Excerpt About Growing Up

The Fundamental Truth About Growing Up

The nontheistic traditions—the Buddhists and Taoists, for instance—do not postulate the existence of God. The Buddhists speak of the Four Noble Truths. The first Noble Truth is that there is suffering. That is the nature of the personality. The second Noble Truth is that the cause of suffering is desire. The third Noble Truth is that there is a way out of that. And the fourth Noble Truth is the path. So there is suffering; its cause is desire; it is possible to have a cessation of desire; and there is a path towards that cessation. Desire here is the looking outward: “I want this. I want that. Give me love. Give me pleasure.” It is seeking things from the external. The cessation of desire is the movement inward. The theistic approach comes from the perspective of the heart. The other approach, the Buddhist one, is the perspective of the mind. They are basically the same thing. Growing up is learning this fundamental truth, accepting it, and acting accordingly. You can cry and blame other people for not giving you what you want, but if you persist in the Work, you will finally see that’s how it is. Along the way, you will protest. You will resist in many ways, gross and subtle, direct and indirect. In the process of growing up, you will have many fears about giving up the child’s attitude because you believe that you don’t have the capacity to provide what you need for yourself. You believe unconsciously that there is no other way but to look outside. Yet it is possible to grow up. What does “grown-up” mean? You think of a grown-up as a person who can take care of you. Why don’t you think you can take care of yourself? You believe your mother or father could to it; why don’t you believe you can do it? The reason you don’t is that you want to continue being a little baby and have your mother or your father inside you. When you are finally willing to grow up, Essence becomes your mother and your father.

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