What is our fundamental view on ourselves and reality? That is one of the key questions in our lives, and a basic assumption that colors how we perceive and act in the world.
Our conscious view is certainly one aspect of the answer. But even more important is our very basic images and feelings about ourselves and the world.
Do we have a basic trust and faith in ourselves and the world, or is there instead a basic sense of distrust and fear?
If we feel that the world cannot be trusted at a fundamental level, we will naturally tend to get lost and caught up in escape, wishful thinking, sentimentality, and so on. We seek refuge in beliefs.
If we experience a deep trust in reality, we will equally naturally tend to allow experience as is, and seek to find what is more honest for us than any one viewpoint. We seek refuge in reality.
And as we get more familiar with allowing experience, inquire into our beliefs, and other ways of exploring what is, we can gradually get more familiar with the terrain, gradually find more genuine trust in reality, and gradually seek refuge more in reality.
This is quite beautifully expressed in the most basic of Buddhist vows: I take refuge in the Buddha, the Sangha, and the Dharma. Initially, we may do this on faith. We hope there will be something in it. We believe in the teachers and teachings. And over time, as we use teachings as pointers for own exploration, we may find that taking refuge in Buddha, Sangha, and Dharma is to take refuge in reality.
And as this happens, it looks very sane, mature, and healthy, even in a conventional sense. Reality does not exclude conventional views and ways of life. It embraces these and goes slightly beyond, and even what is beyond is quite simple, familiar, and noticeable in present experience.
- fundamental view on ourselves and reality
- if distrust, ambivalence, then tendency to get lost/caught up in escape, wishful thinking, dreams etc.
- if trust, seek refuge in reality, then allow experience, find what is more honest than beliefs – and free to play with projections, dreams etc. while recognizing it as happening here now
- can gradually get more familiar with, through allowing, inquiry etc.
It is a reality reflected in conventional views. These are generally not abandoned. And it is a reality that goes beyond this as well, and yet is very simple, familiar, and noticeable in present experience.