The Buddha realized directly that a discrete, independent, persisting self cannot be found. Delusion is simply not having realized what The Buddha realized. Delusion is living the unrecognized assumption that life revolves around a discrete, independent, persisting self.
Simply to believe and attach to the idea of a persistent self is to live life filled with craving and dissatisfaction. Unwittingly holding this fundamental belief, our actions perpetuate and radiate turmoil, as we try to bring our individual ideas of right and wrong to the world of many ideas.
We typically assume we can bring peace by lobbying for changes that match our beliefs, explanations, or philosophies about life. We have taken our formulas about life as absolute truth, and we attempt to make the world bend to those held formulas. This is already to stray from peace.
Each of us has the capacity to realize exactly what The Buddha realized. To thoroughly recognize our identification with this fabricated self, is to be released from the turmoil of craving and dissatisfaction. We can, just like The Buddha, realize directly the fluidity of reality from which the illusion of separateness arises. From this knowing of wholeness and non-separation, activity is manifested as a life of open response (rather than personal-agenda-response). With this knowing, activity attends to the life of All-Beings, which is none other than this life, here/now.
Not to attach to a self is exactly not to stray from peace.
© Bev Forsman and Letters from Emptiness, 2010–2012. If you share this material, please include direction to the original content. Thank you.