Journal Entry: 11 December 2017

decorative imageI haven’t transferred a blog post in almost two weeks. I keep thinking about it but not taking action. I could easily make the excuse that I’m too busy with stuff. Work Stuff, getting ready to go to MI stuff, on and on. But deep down, I know it is because I have these fears about writing something so public. What if I’m wrong about what is going on in my head as I think about these things? What if someone thinks I’m crazy? Will I have an impact on anyone, as per my soul contract? Once again, my level of confidence is not high about my ability. Yet that is exactly what I’ve been told is holding me back!

So maybe I just need to write something and let it go… so I will. Here it is.

In all religions and belief systems, there are certain things that cannot be reconciled. Buddhism has not – at least in general public understanding – provided an interpretation of the soul. As a belief system, doesn’t necessarily have to do so, or at least it doesn’t have to explain it to me. There may be an interpretation of soul in Buddhist texts (source of information passed down through centuries) that is beyond my simple understanding of Buddhism. Perhaps it is explained or understandable to those with greater knowledge of the intricacies of this belief  system.

It could also be a complete culture block I have for understanding how Buddhism sees the soul. I think this is partly due to our cognitive tools being crafted by the culture we grew up in and live in. A hammer in one culture may be a sledgehammer in another or it may be a delicate hammer used for faceting a diamond. So what I would call the soul may be known as something else in other systems of belief, or even what individuals all around me call the soul. [Would this be some type of relativism? Is relativism a bad thing?]

Of course, the difference between Buddhism as a belief system and Christianity as a belief system, is that Buddhism encourages individuals to question what is presented to them (at least that’s what the Buddha said) – to delve deep into meaning, to look at it from all angles. The religions, such as Christianity, seem to require that you don’t look at the details, you don’t question it from all angles. Instead, you have blind faith when you have questions or need clarification (this may be true for Buddhism as well – just that I never got to that point in my own study of it).

Except for the question of the soul.

What’s strange is that in Buddhist belief, something moves through the Bardo once the physical body dies away and before the “person” takes on a new birth. This “person” experiences the Bardo – so is this different than a soul?

This will take more study. Good thing I’m a lives-long learner!

Blessings, S