Published Thursday, 05 May 2016
are better left undone
as they always lead to remorse.
Harmless deeds are better done
as no regret will follow.
The Buddha's guidance on how to live a truly beneficial life is consistently practical. In this Information Age many of us fall into the habit of accumulating ever more data. However, it is a big mistake to believe that having information about reality is the same thing as knowing reality. Information can approximate to reality and obviously has its place in directing attention. For instance, if we didn't have the information about the Four Noble Truths, we would certainly be worse off. However, when we are identified as the owner of that information, or we perceive the approximation to be the fact, we fall into conceited views of self-importance. So instead of merely thinking about the nature of reality, the Buddha encourages us to feel it. Here and now, what is the consequence of those hurtful actions which we have performed in the past; what is the consequence of those actions which were kind and considerate?