[Advayavada Study Plan – week 5] In Secular Buddhism generally, firmly bearing in mind the impermanence and changeability of everything (see week 1) and the selflessness and emptiness (and, therefore, finitude) of all things and beings (see week 2), the focus is on the correct interpretation and realization of the historical Buddha’s so-called ‘four noble truths’ or ‘four truths for the noble’ (catur ariyasacca in Pali, catur aryasatya in Sanskrit).
The first of these truths is that of the ubiquity of existential suffering in the world (see week 3); the second truth is that ignorant craving and attachment are the actual and immediate causes of such suffering and the third truth is that this suffering shall cease altogether when we deal with and overcome its causes (see week 4); the fourth truth is that the sure way to achieve this is by following the Noble Eightfold Path.
Now, in Advayavada Buddhism, the Path is understood dynamically, as an ongoing and fully autonomous, non-prescriptive, investigative and creative process of progressive insight, reflecting in human terms wondrous overall existence becoming over time in its manifest direction; our reference standard is wondrous overall existence becoming over time and not misguided and failing mankind, not ‘this shallow, short-sighted culture that we have created’ (Laudato Si). That evolution or progress is recognized in Advayavada Buddhism as the obvious but nevertheless long overlooked fourth sign or mark or basic fact of being (caturtha lakshana).
Our thus personalized Path (to be highlighted in the coming weeks) is composed stepwise of (1) our very best (samma in Pali and samyak in Sanskrit) comprehension or insight, followed by (2) our very best resolution or determination, (3) our very best enunciation or definition (of our intention), (4) our very best disposition or attitude, (5) our very best implementation or realization, (6) our very best effort or commitment, (7) our very best observation, reflection or evaluation and self-correction, and (8) our very best meditation or concentration towards an increasingly real experience of samadhi, which brings us to a yet better comprehension or insight (1), and so forth.
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