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The Buddha

So are you.

So is everyone.

The Buddha refused to answer when anyone asked him about the existence of an omnipotent deity. He did say that appeals to an omnipotent deity and rituals that deity supposedly prescribed grew out of fear.

Better, according to the Buddha, to meditate and learn to look at one’s fears and the reason for them.

Humans tend to want certainty, but when all is impermanence, certainty is impossible. That is another way of stating the basic human dilemma that the Buddha identified and solved. The only way to find any certainty is to stop wishing for it and awaken to the deathless, where one leaves the round of death and rebirth.

You really can’t take it with you. We hear that often in our modern culture, but what most people apparently mean by that is that, after you die, you will still be you, only in a different place where you will have none of your worldly possessions, but you won’t need them.

The Buddha said, in effect, that this is a fantasy. There is no you in the operative sense to begin with. Like an acorn falling from a tree, when you die, you will likely be reborn as an extension of the current you that is still completely distinct from the current you. Once you awaken, after you die, there will be no you at all, and there will be no regret or concern for that absence. You only care about you because you are invested in you and in thinking that perpetuating you is very important. Which it is, to the mistaken idea of you that you carry around with you.

When you abandon your belief in this fictional version of you, the body that persists until the end of its current lifetime gains access to all the powers of the universe. It becomes god, or as god, which is pretty much the same.

So meditate, forget yourself, and get in touch with your inner god.

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Written by

Uppity gay, Buddhist, author, historian.

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