Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How to solve problems


Question: (unedited)
How to get solution for any problem according to buddisium?

My comment:
When a child has a toothache, he cries. He doesn't know why he is having a toothache. The only way he knows is to cry to attract attention of the parents, thinking that the parents have all the power in the world to solve his problem. As far as the child is concerned, his search for a solution is "successful" once his parents are aware of his problems, because of his naiveness and childish innocence. In the end the parents still have to take him to the dentist.

We are like this child. We think we can rely or depend on someone or something to solve our problems. We are constantly searching for this "miracle person" or "magical stone" to help solve our problems.

Your question on "solution for any problem" is too wide and all-embracing. If you are hungry, your solution is to seek food. If you are short of money, you go and get a job. These are physical and material problems where you seek worldly solutions. However, there is another aspect of "problems" which is more than material and physical. The problems we create in our mind are more subtle and more dangerous. If our mind does not know the real nature of this world, we react to many things in the wrong way, thus causing agony not only mentally but also physically; both to ourselves and to others.

The Buddha's message was that we can solve our own problems by ourselves. Not knowing that; we spend our time, energy and money searching for external help. The key message from the Buddha was "realization of the true nature of this world and this life". Once we understand and realize this, we will know where to look for solution. This world deceives us because of our inability to see reality and to accept this reality.

There are 2 inherent characteristics influencing this world. The first is its ever changing character. Because of this incessant change, nothing is permanent. Because of this impermanence, nothing can last forever. The fact that it cannot last forever, it is very unsatisfactory. The 2nd characteristic of this world is this "unsatisfactoriness".

In our lives we always seek permanent happiness, permanent health, permanent beauty, and so on. When we seek for something that does not exists, we are asking for trouble and problems. In this life there are many things that we want but cannot get. There are many things that we don't want but always come our way. When we get the things that we want; then we want more and more. When we get things that we don't want, we hate and are even prepared to kill to "solve the problem". Not knowing the nature of this world, we actually create our own problems. Once we realize the true nature of this world, we can solve our problems by ourselves.

I think this should be a sufficient answer to your question. I am sure now you would have futher questions arising from my comments. Please follow-up your questions if you need further clarifications. I will be too happy to comment on them.


A true Malaysian said...

A simple matter can be complex and a complex matter can be simple.

It's all depend on how we perceive or look at certain matter or problem.

A problem may not be a problem per se, right?

Justin Choo said...

A T Msian,

Many problems are real.

I know for sure.

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