Stop the Speculating
The Buddha on The Only Thing That Matters
Back in 2015, I hosted a monthly philosophy group called Think & Drink. I got bored of endless small talk, so I started an intentional meetup around substantial topics that took place at a local bar in Austin, Texas.
And at this gathering, I would tell a parable so often it became cliché.
We would cover the most outrageous speculative philosophies… you have to understand we were drinking too much, and blabbing about explicitly detailed cosmology. The most bizarre futurology predictions and hypotheses.
They would get pretty far out… and when our conversations would get to the unanswerable, I would tell the “Parable of the Poisoned Arrow” from the life of the Buddha:
A monk asked the Buddha,
“Because you’re the Awakened One:
How many heavens are there?
How many realms are there?
How many beings in the cosmos?”
and he responded with this parable:
“A man fighting in a war is shot by an arrow.
A doctor is called to heal the man.
The doctor is not concerned with what the war is being fought over,
which generals oversee each side,
or even who shot the arrow;
the doctor is only concerned with removing the arrow and saving the man’s life.”
Similarly, we shouldn’t let ourselves be overwhelmed by exhaustive analyses of the cosmos and all of its complexities.
This world, this universe, this ‘multiverse’… our form in time and space is far too unendingly baffling to fully codify.
All we have to do is remove the arrow.
Remove our suffering, remove our own obstacles to peace — to the awareness of the Love deep within ourselves. And tip your bartenders.
This is an excerpt from my debut book Original Sin Is A Lie: How Spirituality Defies Dogma and Reveals Our True Self coming out June 2022. www.originalsinisalie.com/book to stay informed on when it’s available! Much love and gratitude, Bob