This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

The Four Aryan Truths

Gautama was a physician to the spiritually sick of his society: seeing pain, he reflected until he came upon a cure, and then proceeded to its application.

To cite from Gautama’s first sermon:

“This, O monks, is the Aryan Truth of Suffering: Birth is suffering, old age is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, to be united with the unloved is suffering, to be separated from the loved is suffering, not to obtain what one desires is suffering; in short, the fivefold clinging to the senses is suffering.

“This, O monks, is the Aryan Truth of the Origin of Suffering: It is the will to life which leads from birth to birth, together with lust and desire, which finds gratification here and there; the thirst for pleasures, the thirst for being, the thirst for power.

“This, O monks, is the Aryan Truth of the Extinction of Suffering: The extinction of this thirst by complete annihilation of desire, letting it go, expelling it, separting oneself from it, giving it no room.

“This, O monks, is the Aryan Truth of the Path which leads to the Extinction of Suffering: It is this sacred Eightfold Path, to wit: Right Belief, Right Aspiration, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Living, Right Effort, Right Recollectedness, Right Rapture.”[1]

[1] Oldenberg, Buddha, 2nd English ed., p. 206.

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