Enlightenment = removal of craving, hatred and ignorance
Buddhism = wisdom
Wisdom is opposite of ignorance
SO WHAT IS IGNORANCE?
Have you ever wondered? Well, I have.
One of the thing that we are ignorant of, is Dukkha (commonly translated as suffering.)
It is the 1st thing that Buddha taught after enlightenment. A sermon that brings swift enlightenment to the 5 most qualified man at that point in time. The Four Noble Truths.
They became enlightened just by listening to that sermon.
Reminder: wisdom or absence of ignorance is not just knowledge. In Buddhism, realization means actually experiencing it. That is why we say “seeing the dharma” It is a constant state of awareness, right understanding and right view.
The 1st ignorance is being ignorant of the suffering in Samsara.
Most of us do not see suffering. ( it is different from being depressed and seeing things in an averse manner or having a pessimistic view of life) When we “see” something, it is like seeing “hot” in fire? or “cold” in ice
You look at existence in Samsara and you see dukkha (suffering)
Impermanence is suffering. Because of it, we repair building and spend effort in maintenance. Because of it, we strive to keep our body healthy and take supplements. Because of it, we go for plastic surgery and spend money buying expensive cream to put on our face? Wouldn’t it be nice if things are permanent and we do not age? (That is why the man-made promise of heaven is attractive, isn’t it)
Not getting what we desire is suffering. Getting what we hate is suffering. Parting from people we love is suffering. Having to put up with people we hate is suffering. Aging is suffering. Sickness is suffering. Dying is suffering. There are so many unsatisfactory condition in Samsaric existence (That is why the man-made idea of a paradise is so attractive, isn’t it)
Worst of all, nothing is within our control. Things influence one another. Our body never ask for our permission to age or grow old. Our cells never ask for our approval to age. Covid-19 virus never ask if it can come into our system. The world seems to be one random pot of events influencing and affecting one another. We are just one little factor in that gigantic pot. Churning and tossing endlessly. (that is why people ask “Why me?” or “Why not me?” crying to heaven and gods for an answer. Isn’t it so?”)
Not seeing all this is ignorance. When we remove ignorance, we see. When we see we know. When we know………. (we want to get the hell out of samsara. We want to be free) WE LET GO.
May all be well and happy 🙂