These are my meditation on the crude notes from Buddhism meeting at Cate’s place, Wed 31/3/2010 – on the topic of Fundamental Darkness.
Note: Fundamental Darkness in this post will be shortened as FD to make it easier to type
- It is something that prevents us from doing the right action.
- FD is not the same as a negative action. Rather it is the intangible root cause for a negative action.
- It is possible to predict what kind of impact a particular ‘negative action’ will have in our live. However it is impossible to predict how much concrete negative impact one FD will have in our lives. Except that from a single FD, many negative actions will stem from it.
- Things will go right when we know, through and through, what needs to be done on a given situation. When we fully understand one aspect of our life, we are enlightened in this aspect.
- FD is the inverse of the above. In Indigo, it is said that FD is caused by ‘fundamental ignorance’. Basically, FDs are flaws in our character / belief system that we DON’T KNOW YET. This is why it is so elusive because we will only find out about by reflecting upon our negative actions or the impact of our negative actions.
- Because it is impossible for an ordinary person to be perfectly enlightened in all aspect of their life, a person will always possess one or more FD. It can only be eliminated by conscious effort to elevate one’s life state. It can only be perceived by a humble and open mind. And we can only guard against it by remaining vigilant and rightful in our action.
- Remember Murphy’s law: “What can go wrong, WILL go wrong”.
- FDs that exist in our character WILL trigger when the opportune scenario presents itself to flesh it out. If the FD is present, Its manifestation is not a question of IF, but rather a question of WHEN.
Sooner or later, we will encounter a circumstances that WILL trigger the FD, manifesting in many err from our part.
- This is why we practice. FDs will only reveal itself through our bad behavior (which can only be found if we interact and expose ourself to various experiences – which is why isolation does not help). Each of our bad behavior is an indicator that somewhere in our mind there exist an FD – a dark corner that we don’t know about, that needs to be enlightened.
- FD is dangerous because regardless of our awareness of its existence, it plays a part in the way we carry ourself.
The way we react to situations, the way we speak, the way we think.
- Also, remember that even though FD is intangible, the negative action that stems from it, as well as the negative impact from our negative action is real. This is the root cause of suffering. The very spirit that wants to fight this darkness is the very spirit that will set you free.
Facing the darkness
FD is present in all of us. It is triggered when the opportune scenario that expose our ignorance in specific aspect of our live is met.
When an FD is triggered, a chain reaction will be set off in our life that cause us to carry our negative action. Let us try to illustrate this through the following example:
- If you caught a flu, and your negative action is the act of sneezing and spreading of the virus to the people around you, the fundamental darkness is the mind that “doesn’t worry about our body catching flu, because we’ll be fine” – lack of vigilance to keep up our good health.
- If you are often very angry and emotional, and your negative action is the act of throwing tantrums, anger, and frustation at other people around you, the fundamental darkness is the mind that “doesn’t care about others, doesn’t care about yourself, and doesn’t guard your emotion, letting it run amok within you”
Now is it a sin as such, for a person with a flu to sneeze at others ? I don’t think so. Our mind and body works in a very natural way, when a chain reaction within is triggered the effect is inevitable. The urge to sneeze for a person infected with flu is very much reactive – there is very little you can do about the FD once it is triggered.
This is the same for the flu example, as well as for the anger example. To trully surpass the FD of flu – you would be vigilant and not get it to you in the first place. This is the same with anger, though provoked, your vigilant mind and care toward others will not let it get to you and cause you to be upset and emotional.
Note: This chain reaction can be explained by the teaching of ‘the 10 factors’ – the chain reaction is a single consistency from beginning to end.
People deal with FDs differently. Some try to run away from it. Some try to deny it (and blame the meltdown on anything but themselves), and some will try to face it.
Actually, almost all of the problem in our live is actually caused by our own doing (negative action) – and most, if not all, negative action stems from one or more FD / dark corners that we need to enlighten. So when an unfortunate circumstances befalls us, and we start acting funny – we should be happy. We should be happy that each error we make is exposing an FD that we can hunt down and slay.
Because who knows what bigger error we will commit in the future if we don’t slay our FDs now!
So don’t run away from it. Don’t deny it. Self-reflect and FIND your FDs. Each FD you slay will eliminate ALL of the possible negative tendencies and negative actions that will stem from it and your life state will be elevated to the next level. If that is not worth doing, I don’t know what is.
Enlightening the dark corner
So now we understand what a fundamental darkness is, and we understand the need to enlighten the dark corner. How can we do it?
Fundamental darkness is very similar to virus and bacteria that floats around spreading disease and sickness. To ‘enlighten a dark corner’ means to immunize ourself against a particular breed of virus.
Note that this is DIFFERENT from restraining the urge to sneeze or cough. True enlightenment (for ONE area of your life) solves suffering without the need to restrain our action.
So to ask how to enlighten the dark corner is the same as asking ‘how does our body immunize itself against one breed of virus?’ – and the answer is as follow:
You may think that because your body naturally combat sickness then you don’t have to worry about guarding your health and wellbeing so much. This is an ignorant mind, a dangerous mind. Becauseyou may be fine when you are young, when your body still has the natural vigor to combat the sickness. But the same may not apply as you grow older, and weaker.
As we move through life Ignorance will eventually cause us grief, and there is no substitution to combating sickness by being enlightened in our understanding of maintaining good health and wellbeing.
And what applies to our body will also applies to our mind, as do our life in general. To combat ignorance, we need to be aware of it. To enlighten the dark corner, we must first seek understand it. How can we overcome that which we do not understand?
To understand the problems of life, we must study and understand life. This learning experience is what the Noble Path of buddhism is all about.
So it is NO exaggeration when Buddha said that buddhism is a vehicle (means) to free yourself from suffering – a means to achieve perfect and complete happiness.