::the age of ignorance
it's the 2nd day of our trip and we were waiting for our bus to arrive to fetch us to Leprosy village (would be elaborated a few days later when we actually embark). so we went out to grab a heavy breakfast that was to be our lunch as well.
sam decided to have his boots polised by the ubiquitous shoe polishers waiting in line for customers, all for just 1 yuan, which is S$0.20! ha, and Sun ne'r here is the son of the shoe polisher helping sam, and i think he is 6, if i remember correctly.
kids are just so wonderful, their wide eyed wonder and perpetual interest in everything never fails to make my day. he was shy at first, then after taking a shot of him and showing it to him, he warmed up and became my young model of the day! ;p
ignorance is bliss. or is it? what happens after reality sets back in?
many of my friends are quite surprised by my sudden interest in religions and in particular Buddhism.
i have not been an inquisitive teenager, never really got down to thinking hard about wat life means. one could attribute that to a side effect of our rigid, structured education system, but ultimately, it is myself who have gone ignorant to the questions that i have had when i was a child. simple questions like, 'where do we come from? who am i?'
simple as it seems, i discovered only recently that these questions have confounded philosophers, scientists and many other intellectuals for eons, with no definite answer in view. only recently i started thinking about these questions and realised how easy it is for us to forget them. the practicality of life and the need to feed mouths makes these questions useless and pointless. which i believe is so.
which makes me ponder next on the purpose behind our existence. i have shared this quite a while back, and Buddhism is tackling this straight on. Happiness is the meaning of life, Buddha Shyakamuni answered. this happiness is not ego-centric, but born out of compassion to others, spreading warmth and thus recieving them in turn. the suffering that prevents happiness can also be eliminated by removing the desires that causes them. and the way to remove these desires is by contemplating on impermanence, and how these attachments to worldly concerns are pointless. and after recognising these, we can enjoy things for wat they are and not have ideals attached to them, binding us down.
i am being disrepectful by summarising the concepts of Buddhism up so shortly, but the point is, i am deeply moved by these simple truths and the way the Buddha encourages a contemplative life.
all in all, i believe living a life of ignorance can only bring about a short term relief. it is not solving the ultimate question which hides in our hearts. only by addressing it fully in the face will we have any hope of answering it.
+ |-jX-| updated @ 1/29/2007 11:02:00 PM | past comments | | | permalink| add as fav
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