Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Freedom to choose and decide


Question : (Unedited)
I smoke, drink, eat meat and play military computer games. I feel drawn to the bhuddist way of life. Will all of these have to go?

My comment:
Hi B,

Thank you for asking me.

Since you are drawn to the Buddhist way of life, continue to study and practise the Buddha's sublime teachings. You will eventually realize that the teachings of the Buddha are very practical and liberal.  You will be encouraged to use your common sense and human intelligence to analyze all the Buddha's teachings.  Given time you will find the answers by yourself.  Once this happens, your mind will be liberated and you will gain the freedom to think for yourself and not depending on any external agent to make decision for you.  The Buddha's teachings will pave the way for you to walk the path of freedom to know what is right and what is wrong.  Only you yourself can make this decision.   A Buddhist is free to decide for himself what is skilful and what is unskilful living.  He has this freedom and he must use this freedom to decide for himself.

If I were to tell you to stop what you are doing now, don't you think that I am actually insulting your intelligence?  For you are intelligent enough to know what is good and what is bad for you.  I must respect your absolute freedom to decide for yourself.  The Buddha never command anyone to stop doing anything.  He would point out to them that certain behaviour is not beneficial, while others are.  If the person did not want to harm himself,  he should not continue with the unskilful behaviour.

As a guideline, we need to ask ourselves these three questions:
1. Is this action harmful to oneself?
2. Is this action harmful to others?
3. Is this action bebeficial?

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