anguish revisited

2008-07-06 02:01:00 -0700

I have returned after quite a while to the careful consideration of Buddhism. Each time in the past when I have attempted to apply Buddhist principles to my life, it has been a rewarding and beneficial experience. But one of the immense hurdles to this way of thinking is that it is not a way of thinking. If egocentricity is what is ultimately responsible for suffering, and thinking over something rationally is a manifestation of egocentricity, I'm in a poor position for eliminating suffering—and furthermore have been deliberately, methodically entrenching myself more and more deeply into this mire for most of my life. And ironically, this evaluation of my situation is simply yet another example of the very sort of distraction from awareness of the present that it is itself criticizing. Measuring, evaluating, and judging are tools I have long relied on for making decisions. I have valued a propensity for thoughtful, impartial, thorough deliberation as a most admirable, invariably worthwhile trait. It appears that this is going to be tremendously hard for me to let go of; extensive, elaborate thinking is what I have depended upon on most heavily for directing my actions. How can I simply abandon this vast investment, and on little more grounds than a peculiar variety of faith? What's more, doesn't the persuasiveness of exercising this faith derive from arguments directed at reason itself? Isn't that suspicious? Is suspicion just another of distractive contrivance of the ego? Is this entire discussion just a way to avoid further reading?