Who are we, what is our purpose, where are we going, Why so much suffering, When will we find the answers? Profound questions indeed that have been asked since the dawn of mankind. And even with the thousands of years that have passed since man's creation, no answers have been found. When I first joined a Martial Arts school these questions were not on my mind at all, it was pure defense that I was concerned with. But it was my Masters, especially my Zen Masters, that opened my mind that just learning how to fight was really not the answer, it was much more profound of a problem that caused us the problems we face today.
In the beginning survival was all mankind had on its mind. But over time and the development of the human mind we have come to realize even more profound questions. We fight because we have not come to understand life and the real meaning and purpose of existence. If we really knew the answers, fighting would stop this instant. Wars would end, disputes would be nonexistent, mankind would change for the betterment of all sentient beings in every way. The human existence would take a tremendous transformation.
Is this all just wishful thinking? Yes, it could very well be just a dream, maybe we will never learn and we will all just destroy ourselves over time. Self destruction is more likely then finding the answers before it is too late. However, the mind of mankind has improved since the dark ages, so hope still prevails. Science has brought us from the darkness into the light. But still, we are a long way from real enlightenment.
The Buddha knew that when he awake from the dream it was useless to spread his new found knowledge and so, he just sat there and did not move. It is said even the Gods wondered why he did not get up and spread the word of what he had come to know. The answer according to many stories of his awakening; is that he knew mankind would not understand nor believe his new found revelations. He felt is was hopeless for him to even say a word of what the had uncovered. But after a while he decided that even if he could awaken just one person, then it was worth his efforts to spread the word to the people.
Buddha was right, few understood the profound truths of life. Only one or so ever really understood his message. If this was not the case then the world would have changed to that of all enlightened beings by now. But we have not, we remain in the darkness, still fighting, still killing, still suffering. In the preaching of Christ, he also indicated many would to not be saved, but rather many would be lost. He to saw the obvious as did Buddha. All you need do is look how mankind has progressed to see these Masters were sadly correct, mankind remains in the dark as to the meaning of life and its purpose.
Some have asked me; is there no hope at all for mankind? My answer is; I really don't know. I can only hope there will be some kind of earth shattering revelation that will awake mankind up in time. But somehow I am doubtful, only because of what I see around me. My Zen Masters were always preaching that mankind was asleep to truth, and to really accomplish self enlightenment takes more effort than more humans are willing to give. Waking a person up to truth up is almost as difficult as wakening a person from a coma, they simply have to awake themselves, it can not to be forced. Those who recognize truth say it will take more then one lifetime to awaken any one individual, more likely it will take hundreds or even thousands of lifetimes before you see the light of truth.
There is absolutely nothing harder to do then awaken from the illusion of life, and see it for what it really is. If we did, those small words of Who, What, Where, When, and Why would have been answered and the world you see today would have been long gone. But sadly, we as yet remain in darkness, which blinds us from the light of truth. I can only remain hopeful I am wrong and some how, some way the light will prevail over the darkness and in time and we find what the Buddha found.
My definition of enlightenment: = Release from Hypnotic Self Deception.
Enlightenment occurs only when you finally come to realize you been wasting your life by playing the fools game of Hypnotic Self Deception. Only by exposure to the light of truth do we have the capacity to wake up. Only then will the fool's game truly be over.