Four Ennobling Truths: The four noble truths are not true for everyone.
Robert E. Buswell Jr. and Donald S. Lopez Jr.
Suggests that most of don't fully understand these truths:
That would seem to me to be rather uncontroversial. If we properly understood, we would be awakened already, right?There is an important teaching in this term: the four truths are not true for everyone. Anyone who has not achieved at least the level of stream-enterer is called an “ordinary person” or “common being” (prthagjana)—sometimes also called bala, meaning “childish” or “foolish.” We ordinary persons are foolish because we don’t know the truth. Specifically, we don’t know that existence itself is suffering, that suffering has an origin, that suffering can be brought to an end, and that there is a path to that state of cessation. We may know it intellectually, we might know it well enough to list it correctly on the midterm, but this does not make us noble. Only the person who has direct insight into the four truths is noble. And it is only for such people that the four truths are, in fact, true.
However, some of the reaction on Tricycle's Facebook page is that of outrage.
https://www.facebook.com/tricyclemag/ph ... =1&theater
Seemingly overlooking the rest of the sentence in the article: "... that suffering has an origin, that suffering can be brought to an end, and that there is a path to that state of cessation."Buddha never said "existence itself is suffering". Buddha said that grasping at the five aggregates as though they constitute a self is suffering. "Existence itself" -- in the absence of ignorance, delusion, fear and grasping -- is Nirvana.
Other reactions include:
It is becoming clearer to me that the author of this series is doing more to create the misconceptions he is reporting than to clarify them. This one in particular irks me, has the stink of hubris and arrogance to it. The four first truths are ARYA not because of the nobility of the one who has insight, but because they are the "irreducible truths" concerning the universally human nature of realization.
This "elitist" claim is interesting. Perhaps, as one of my friends has commented, people are "rattled" by the idea that the Noble Truths are not soothing and democratic, but extremely challenging and difficult.This is very elitist. I am content to cherry pick mindfulness, compassion, and self compassion. These truths i am discovering without any aim or purpose toward a life without suffering.