In earlier posts, I have written about how we all suffer from feelings of insecurity that have been formed almost from the moment after birth and how strongly these feelings impact us and the choices we make. And now I know why those feelings of insecurity have such power. Because an insecure person worries more about his or her survival. Which turns insecurity into a primal fear. Indeed, that is also why the ego has such power … the “I” is all about survival.
When I first was exposed to Buddhism, I took the second step because I sensed that this was a possible path to end my suffering. When I was in the zendo in Chicago and experienced its peace and warmth, unlike anything I had experienced, I saw the sliver of light of a door slightly opening. I somehow sensed that suffering was not necessarily a given.
Over the years I first learned and then became aware that in fact all of the things that we seek in life are due to cravings which are a product of the mind and cause us suffering. That all the “what if’s” we obsess about are all mind games. That there is no reality other than the present moment; all else is thought.
As a Buddhist now, except for those moments when I am still in my ego-mind, I am present and I know this is the only reality. And I know that all feelings and perceptions are just a product of the mind. Things are the way they are because it’s just the way it is. And so I am at peace and find happiness in the moment.
One moment follows another; that is the only survival known to a Buddhist. Just as I do not fear death, I do not obsess about survival, as all things are impermanent.
But for the unfortunate masses who never experience that sliver of light, survival remains a primal instinct and the only way they know to survive is to pursue the dictates of their ego-mind. If they are rich or powerful, or waanabes, they are driven to achieve what they do not have; become what they are not; or retain what they already have. For those that feel that they are just cogs in the machine, for whom the avatars of culture and family are unquestionably out of reach, they may not try but are still left frustrated with the “defeated” lives they are forced to live. Either way all are caught in the endless grip of samsara.