A Path Of Inquiry
The Buddha warned against blind faith and encouraged wise inquiry and tolerance. In one of his talks he pointed out the danger in basing one's beliefs merely on the following criteria: hearsay, tradition, because many others say it is so, the authority of ancient scriptures, due to logical deduction, or out of respect for one's teachers, elders or priests. Instead the traveler on the path of inquiry should maintain an open mind and thoroughly investigate his or her own experience of life. When one sees for oneself that a particular view or belief is both reasonable and in accordance with one's experience, leading to happiness for both oneself and others, only then should that view be adopted. This standard of course applies to the Buddha's own teachings. They should be looked into carefully, and examined with the clarity generated by meditation. As meditation deepens, direct insight into the nature of life grows. Only at this point do the teachings offer the bliss of liberation.
(to be continued.....)