The Zennist

A ride in an endless illusory world

Whether we realize it or not we are always trying to turn the reality that confronts us into words then from words into a fiction that we can manipulate or at least have some control over.  In this fashion, words are as useful as they are dangerous.  They can be used to express the truth as much as they can be used to lie and to deceive.

In George Orwell’s totalitarian world the lie is disseminated through the Ministry of Truth.  But even before that happens from a Buddhist perspective the lie has already taken hold of the person who is born into this world. 

The corporeal body that the person is attached to is the lie insofar as the person does not realize that they are attached to something which is not their true spiritual self.  It is alien. 

This false self in Buddhism is the anātman.  It is more of a thing of suffering than joy or pleasure.  Our six senses help to guide it and make it through its short lifespan only to embark on another one after this body ends.

We have enough fuel (upādāna), which is produced by desire (ta), to go on forever.

Ordinary people take refuge in their corporeal bodies and especially the anātman which is made up of the five aggregates, namely, form, sensation, perception, volitional formations, and consciousness.  We can call this the holy lie to which all human beings and animals are attached.  The body’s death in no way ends this journey.  It is just a continuation into another rebirth vehicle by which to take a ride in an endless illusory world.

The Zennist

Author of The Zennist blog since 2007.