"The crowd is indeed untruth. Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd (even though he addressed himself to all). He did not want to form a party, an interest group, a mass movement, but wanted to be what he was, the truth, which is related to the single individual. Therefore everyone who will genuinely serve the truth is by that very fact a martyr.
To win a crowd is no art; for that only untruth is needed, nonsense, and a little knowledge of human passions. But no witness to the truth dares to get involved with the crowd. His work is to be involved with all people, if possible, but always individually, speaking with each and every person on the sidewalk and on the streets in order to split apart. He avoids the crowd, especially when it is treated as authoritative in matters of the truth or when its applause, or hissing, or balloting are regarded as judges.
Those who speak to the crowd, coveting its approval, those who deferentially bow and scrape before it must be regarded as being worse than prostitutes. They are instruments of untruth. " - thus remarked the great thinker Soren Kierkegaard, and his timeless words proved him to be one of my soul-mates. This is exactly why I told people to get out of here from the beginning. But you have already come here, so why not take a look at what I have to say?
Only if you would agree to think about what I am going to say. You are a mature man, Gekko, so I am going to talk with you. Let children laugh and play as they are meant to, and let those few mature minds capable of independent thinking engage in serious discussions, in earnest reason and look into the deepest secret of existence. We will touch every matter of life, we will touch quantum physics and see whether God plays dice.
This is a valid question, and also one of the most important questions in philosophy. Whether you asked this question with serious intention or not, I am going to answer for Truth's sake. School is compulsory.
Man is an illusion, an hallucination. He never really was, never is and will never be. The meaning of the Universe -the One and the All- is not man. It has long existed before him and will continue without him. If we are going to look at the highest Truth, we must go beyond humanism and humanist thinking.
In honor of the great soul Miyazaki, allow me to convey my point with one of his most extraordinary statements, which he spoke to us through Nausicaa:
"Our lives are like the wind…
Or like sounds
We come into being, resonate with each other...
Then fade away..."
What a profound Truth this is. Perhaps the most spectacular statement in the history of manga, and its profundity has long since been ignored and underestimated.
Before we look at the nature of human existence, let us take a look at the nature of wind and sound. What is the wind? The flow of gas, the movement of air. That is all it is, a movement, nothing more. It is not an inherent existence, not an entity, a physical being, but simply the moving of something. Is the part of the air that flows separated from the part that doesn't. The truth is, no. The air throughout the Earth is one entity. And to be accurate there is no air that stay still. They all move, some parts more radically than the rest.
The existence of man is also like that. He is not an entity, and inherent existence, but simply a movement of the Universe. When all the needed atoms move to their 'right places', they construct/conform the shape of what we call man. But, the atoms move constantly, the constructions/conformations of atoms changes constantly, so which construction is man? You at this moment is not you one moment ago. If the atoms move more radically, so that his head is at his bosom, while his right leg is in his neck, would we call that a man? If all the atoms move faster, so that a child immediately becomes an old man, and the old a corpse, and the corpse a collection of dust. Would we call that collection of dust a man, even though the totality of atoms stay the same? We call one a man, and another a collection of dust, which is no different from constantly giving different names to the same wind from time to time, from moment to moment. We invent names and categorize endlessly, but ultimately there is no category other than the All, the Universe.
Is the human body a separated entity from the rest of the universe. In atomic level, we are no more separated from the rest of the universe than a wind separated from the air. The skin is no definite border, no definite boundary, just like a cloud's body has no definite border from the air in the sky. There is no entity called wind, only the air; and there is no entity called man, only the universe. Ultimately the Universe is the only entity, the only inherent existence, the All and the One. The existence of 'everything else' is purely a human concept and exists purely within the mind. An illusion. Man is a movement of the universe, and during this constant movement consciousness is created from the conformation of matter, of the brain, and this consciousness deludes itself into thinking it has an inherent existence, an entity.
If there is a giant to whose eyes a million years past in an instant, then the whole 'existence' of humanity is nothing more to him than a wind. All that culture, art, invention, architect, etc.. mean nothing more to him than a wind.
What is sound? A vibrancy within matter. It too is not an inherent existence, an entity. And there is no sound without the ear and the brain to receive and interpret. Colors are also like this. 'Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light power versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors.' And therefore, without the eyes and the brains, there is no color. This applies to the shapes and forms of everything we see. Without to the brain to receive and interpret, they have no shapes or form. The shapes and forms are therefore constructed purely within the brain and don't exist outside of it.
If some certain part in the brain stop functioning or can't function well, we can only see in black and white. This proves that there is no immaterial soul that control the body. How can an immaterial soul sees and differentiates one color from another; and hears and differentiates one sound from another and think without the brain? Nothing arises without cause. Even sub-atomic particles have definite number of possibilities and thus are predictable in a certain extent. Every thought and actions we have are conditioned, and determined from beginingless time. It is my destiny to write those words, inevitably, and it is your destiny to read it.
All these analysis showed us that man is not an inherent existence, an entity like we have thought ourselves to be. All of our selfishness come from this illusion about having a self. More than 2500 years ago a man saw all of this clearly. And he was the original Buddha.
Allow me to quote the Buddha's Gospel, compiled by Paul Carus:
All things are made of one essence,
yet things are different according to the forms
which they assume under different impressions.
There is not a self residing in Name and Form,
but the co-operation of the conformations
produce what people call a man.
Just as the word 'chariot'
is but a mode of expression for axle, wheels, the chariot-body
and other constituents in their proper combinations,
so a living being is the appearance of the groups
with the four elements as they are joined in a unit.
There is no self in the carriage
and there is no self in man.
This doctrine is sure and an eternal truth,
that there is no self outside of its parts.
This self of ours which constitutes Name and Form
is a combination of the groups with the four elements,
but there is no ego entity,
no self in itself.
Paradoxical though it may sound:
There is a path to walk on,
there is walking being done,
but there is no traveller.
There are deeds being done, but there is no doer.
There is a blowing of the air, but there is no wind that does the blowing.
The thought of self is an error
and all existences are hollow as the plantain tree
and as empty as twirling water bubbles.
He who knows the nature of self
and understands how the senses act,
finds no room for selfishness,
and thus he will attain peace unending.
The world holds the thought of self,
and from this arises false apprehension.
Self is an error, an illusion, a dream.
Open your eyes and awaken.
See things as they are
and you will be comforted.
He who is awake will no longer be afraid of nightmares.
He who has recognized the nature of the rope
that seemed to be a serpent will cease to tremble.
He who has found there is no self
will let go all the lusts and desires of egotism.
The cleaving to things, covetousness,
and sensuality inherited from former existences,
are the causes of the misery and vanity in the world.
Surrender the grasping disposition of selfishness,
and you will attain to that calm state of mind
which conveys perfect peace, goodness, and wisdom.
We humans, unaware of our true nature, cling to our possessions while we live, and are heart-broken when they are taken away from us. We all know this simple truth, that we all wide die one day, and yet we still cling to worldly possessions, cling to a mirage. Forever do we remain in our illusion, never wake up to truly live. The desire to possess, the desire to hold on to that which will eventually fade away are the root of all pain and all suffering.
"We die struggling to get born. We never were, never are. We are always in the process of becoming, always separate and detached. Forever outside" - painfully remarked Henry Miller. And truly, look at what we have done. We become the only species who need money to survive on Earth.
"We are making constant progress, but it is a progress which leads to the operating table, to the poorhouse, to the insane asyium, to the trencher. (The Colossus of Maroussi, p. 81)
"The aeroplane brings death, the radio brings death, the machine-gun brings death, the tinned goods brings death, the tractor brings death, the priest brings death, the schools brings death, the law brings death, the electricity brings death, the phonograph brings death, the knives and forks brings death, the books brings death, our very breath brings death, our very language, our very thought, our money, our love, our charity, our sanitation, our joy. No matter whether we are friends or enemies, no matter whether we call ourselves Jap , Turk, Russian, French, English, German, or American, wherever we go, wherever we cast our shadow, wherever we breathe, wherever we poison and destroy. Hooray for civilization! Hooray! We will kill you all, everybody. Hooray for Death! Hooray! Horray!" (The Colossus of Maroussi, p. 130 - 131)
"But all of them, from the top to the bottom, are restless, dissatisfied envious and sick at heart. All of them suffer from cancer and leprosy in their souls. The most ignorant and degenerate of them will be asked to shoulder a gun and fight for a civilization which has brought them nothing but misery and degradation."
And Henry Miller reminded us of what we must do.
"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because se we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he gets desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive form the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up to discover what is already there.
We invent nothing, truly. We borrow and re-create. We uncover and discover. All has been given, as the mystics say. We have only to open our eyes and hearts, to become one with that which is."
To become one with That which is, that is the path of the Buddha.
"Truth is ever present, Eternity is here and now. And salvation? What is it, 0 man, that you wish to save? Your petty ego? Your soul? Your identity? Lose it and you will find yourself…. Cultivate your doubts, embrace every kind of experience, keep on desiring, strive neither to forget nor to remember, but assimilate and integrate what you have experienced."
All is one, and One is all. This is the Truth in a nutshells.
"We are all one, we are all an imperiled essence. If at the far end of the world a spirit degenerates, it drags down our spirit into its own degradation. If one mind at the far end of the world sinks into idiocy, our own temples over-brim with darkness.
For it is only One who struggles at the far end of earth and sky. One. And if He goes lost, it is we who must bear the responsibility. If He goes lost, then we go lost.
This is why the salvation of the Universe is also our salvation, why solidarity among men is no longer a tenderhearted luxury but a deep necessity and self-preservation, as much a necessity as, in an army under fire, the salvation of your comrade-in-arms." -cried the great writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
"Yes, the purpose of Earth is not life, it is not man. Earth has existed without these, and it will live on without them. They are but the ephemeral sparks of its violent whirling.Let us unite, let us hold each other tightly, let us merge our hearts, let us create — so long as the warmth of this earth endures, so long as no earthquakes, cataclysms, icebergs or comets come to destroy us — let us create for Earth a brain and a heart, let us give a human meaning to the superhuman struggle."
"We come from a dark abyss, we end in a dark abyss, and we call the luminous interval life. As soon as we are born the return begins, at once the setting forth and the coming back; we die in every moment. Because of this many have cried out: The goal of life is death! But as soon as we are born we begin the struggle to create, to compose, to turn matter into life; we are born in every moment. Because of this many have cried out: The goal of ephemeral life is immortality! In the temporary living organism these two streams collide ... both opposing forces are holy. It is our duty, therefore, to grasp that vision which can embrace and harmonize these two enormous, timeless, and indestructible forces, and with this vision to modulate our thinking and our action."
To become one with That which is, after dissolving your delusional ego, is to become a Buddha. He is one with everything and everything is one with him.
"Those only who do not believe, call me Gautama,
but you call me the Buddha, the Blessed One, the Teacher.
And this is right, for I have in this life entered Nirvana,
while the life of Gautama has been extinguished.
Self has disappeared
and the truth has taken its abode in me.
This body of mine is Gautama's body
and it will be dissolved in due time,
and after its dissolution no one,
neither God nor man,
will see Gautama again.
But the truth remains.
The Buddha will not die;
the Buddha will continue to live
in the holy body of the law."
(The Buddha's gospel).
To say is easy. Live the Truth.
I no longer have an ego. I was a wave who thought he was an entity separated from the sea. Now I am one with the sea of the universe. I live Truth and only think about how to free mankind from suffering. I have no self-interest, and am concerned with nothing other than to improve the world. I, the disciple of the Buddha, assigned for myself the mission of walking the path he and many other sages in the path walked.
"I am concerning myself with only one essential thing: to set man free. I desire to free him from all cages, from all fears, and not to found religions, new sects, nor to establish new theories and new philosophies." - so declared Krishnamurti, and I live by this principle.