Buddhism has a problem, an unfortunate one, but such is life. And that problem is: there is no way to know for certain what the Buddha said. It is a problem with any spiritual teaching more than a thousand years old, or any history for that matter. It has to do with written texts and oral transmission.
The first written Buddhist texts are in the Pali language and are based upon 400 years of oral tradition. That means that whatever the Buddha said 2500 years ago was repeated generation after generation, from one man to the next, for four centuries. Even if the monks who recited the Dharma for 400 years didn’t add a single thing to the words they were taught, not a single new interpretation or …
Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the existence of a Soul, Self or Atman. According to the teachings of the Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of 'me' and 'mine', selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities and problems. It is the source of all troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this false view can be traced all the evil in the world.
In my previous article, Desire, Part 1: The Agony of Lack, I discussed how desire often creates agony, primarily because, as I saw it at the time I originally wrote that article a year ago, desire comes from a place of feeling empty, of lacking, of feeling an emptiness that we want to fill. I would like to go much further in this article, and I will begin with a reader’s comment that got the ball rolling on the subject of desire. It sparked a mini-debate that spurred me into thinking more about it.So, let me begin with my reader’s comment:I notice that the Sedona Method, in its sidebar ad, promises that you will “have all that you desire” if you follow it.