It would be an awful waste of human life that, if after millennia, humanity had not managed to at least make some steps towards what might pass for a teaching on life.
If the sages of bygone ages where to manifest in our time they would no doubt be amazed by many of humanities endeavours; men on the moon; electricity; computers and so forth but they would probably be equally amazed at the lack of understanding of the human condition.
Whilst there have been attempts, down the ages, to create a teaching or philosophy to bring about Utopia it usually comes as an attempt to impose or to control, to eradicate anything that doesn’t conform to that control.
In recent past Hitler, Stalin, Polpot, Mao and others have all sought to bring about a utopia but at huge cost in humanity, maybe even at the cost of their hummanity. Even now, in this country, efforts are made to erradicate the different, the unusual and promote standardisation of perception and of views. Non essential cosmetic surgery for example; what is and isn’t of value; choosing the sex of babies; even attempts to define beauty.
Are there any teachings on, or for, life that actually work, that bring about happiness for all, that celebrate the diversity of life, that sees all life as having value, a teaching that promotes universal love, kindness, tolerance and a path to true joy? Happiness that doesn’t come at the cost of someone or something else?
Circa 2500 ago the Buddha mapped a pathway to true joy, true happiness. Not a path for a select few that held a particular view, for people that spoke or looked a particular way, people that had the power to impose there will on others but rather a way that sees reality as it is, that sees the interdependence of all manifestations of life, a path open to and for all and promoting mutual respect and the value of all life. Today we know this as Buddhadharma, the truth of the awakened or awakened truth.
Life may not come with a set of rules but it does come with a set of ‘suggested instructions’.