The point I am making is just like normal people tend to be totally deluded by samsara, mentally ill people can sometimes, maybe rarely have, an extra degree of insight into something that a normal person would not, as an example here is a historical fiction I wrote of the Buddha's enlightenment, at a time when I was clearly manic, not quite psychotic,(I haven't got this "sick" since I wrote this over two years ago) I actually had the idea I was channeling the Buddha, its fanciful, made up, but has just a little bit of a magic element that maybe a "normal person" could never come up with. I know I could not write it in the more normal state I am in now. I'm doing this to point out that mental illness is not only a liability, it also can give one some awareness that is not common. I'm interested if anyone appreciates this, if not, my apologies for wasting screen space!!!!
THE BUDDHA'S ENLIGHTENMENT Historical fiction by john
preface; before enlightenment the buddha lived for several years in the jungle with tigers and was practically starving eating nuts berries and fruit, i guess. he was not interested in getting rid of his own suffering but reaching enlightenment or a state or true being.
Torturously sitting 24/7 under a tree for three months meditating 23/7 so to speak, the soon to be buddha experienced a brilliant thought, if we fed everyone, nobody would starve, if we healed everyone no one would be sick, if we clothed everyone no one would be naked(except by choice), if we housed everyone no one would be homeless, if we educated everyone no one would be as ignorant as without an education, if we could end war, no one would die or suffer the ravages of war, if we had a fair political system, the rich brahma would be equal to the poor low caste people,if we could eliminate or tame delusion, people would suffer less,
then after meditating on this for a month or two(historical fiction here) the buddha thought how can i explain to people something so complicated and how could it possibly be accomplished. these are all true worthy things but what do they have in common, then voila, that mighty aha moment when the buddha realized all bad things are a form of, or cause of, suffering, suffering is the one thing they can all have in common, another week or two and he'd got it down,1. suffering is a bad thing and needs to be gotten rid of,2. all suffering is caused by something, 3 If we can get rid of the individual things that cause suffering, then 4 obviously with the causes gone that particular form of suffering has been eliminated.
in a start the buddha rose up, he didn't jump as his legs were cramped, his worshipers had considered him a god for his stillness, he was the ultimate meditator like a statue, they were alarmed and thought something had gone wrong with the buddha, and he seemed ravenously hungry, and enjoyed expensive gourmet dinners people offered him, he didn't speak, just put his finger to his lips and said sheh, his very lazy habits of not meditating hours on end like before weren't impressing any one, he'd walk in circles and around the parks smiling and bowing at people,
his worshipers had lost interest in him as he no longer was the somber meditator; he seemed elated, five or six devout followers stuck with him, though, sometimes following him around the town, then one day as they sit cross legged under a tree, the buddha spoke slowly, "hey guys your not going to believe this!!! i think i've got it figured out, the answer to everything and all our problems, no joke. listen to this and tell me if it makes sense;
and then preached to them the four noble truths, i'll stop this semi fiction account right here as the rest of the story was recorded 2500 years ago in a place known as bhodigaya, india, its the buddha's first sermon in the deer park, where he teaches his formula for success, the four noble truths; its in the buddha's Dhammapada scripture, maybe a gracious reader could reccomend the good translations, sincerely Lyndon John Taylor Mar.2011
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John