In my research regarding the nature of awakening and stream entry within the Buddhist tradition, I see that I’ve been stuck in the realm of doubt.
Within the Buddhist tradition, there are a number of ‘fetters’ that exist preventing us from achieving the ‘fruit’ of the next stage. As we drop or abandon these fetters, the next stage becomes clear – or so I understand. I do not know – I am at the very first stage.
There are three specific fetters that lie within the ‘lower fetters’ or the easiest self-imposed limitations that can be dropped once right view has been established (I think).
As these first few fetters fall away, the fruit of awakening may be plucked, or maybe it’s the other way around – I have no clue! Either way, the two are tied together – this much is clear!
These include the nature of identity (there is no I), the nature of ritual attachment (relying on anything other than truth born of experience to find peace), and doubt (in the Dharma).
Wait – Doubt in the Dharma? Well in that I have NO DOUBT! NONE! I never had ANY doubt regarding the path of the Therevada tradition. I ALWAYS knew that this is where my salvation was. I just never thought I’d actually experience it!
My doubt is an internal matter. It is me doubting my mind. It is the clouded belief that, having reached this place while attempting to address a diagnosed mental health problem, I cannot trust my mind.
It is still healthy for me to rely on the observations and guidance of others… However, I am beginning to take this root of my own personal doubt and pull it apart. What is beginning to unfold for me is this.
It is ALL a delusion! The very nature of the world as absorbed by our senses and interpreted by our brains is inaccurate – AND IS ITSELF A MENTAL DISORDER!
This is really really true! Any story that we allow to continue to feed out delusion is a mental illness – plain and simple. And it is the entire WORLD that is sick!
So what? If I came to this place through some desperate search for self! So what? If there is some human label that misunderstands even its own definition. So what? If that label was once applied to my un-awakened mind.
Whether I had a mental illness or not is IRRELEVANT and unworthy of further concern. Even if I hadn’t had NPD, I WAS STILL MENTALLY ILL ANYWAY!
Every aspect of this mental illness was dissolved over a period of three weeks for me, with a final culmination in true spiritual awakening. Yes it was rather fast and somewhat spontaneous.
IT WAS NOT MY GOAL AT ALL! It may even be that I just stumbled my way into this because of my stubborn refusal to take ‘there is no cure’ as my final answer.
So this is something I am working with today and something that I will take with me this week into my discussions on the nature, extent, depth, and hindering elements of my own personal doubt.
With this understanding of the root – and my apparent knack for tracing roots to causes and conditions in order to connect the dots and breakdown the walls of this grand illusion, I know that I am not far away from removing this last spot of disquiet from my mind.
There’s still a lot more beyond this doorway though… It’s not like this will be the end. It’s STILL just a beginning. In fact, it is ALWAYS just a beginning!