Yes, where IS the door? The wisdom in this cartoon is fundamental to our understanding of Buddhism. We need to understand what is fake and what is real, each one of us, for ourselves.
We all have questions about this life: the suffering, the inexplicable way things happen to the person next to you and not you, and more. Many of us are converts to the teachings of the Buddha because the answers to questions we were given were not satisfactory in the absence of “blind faith.”
Commands carved in stone demand adherence. We read Dante’s Inferno and the rings of Hell he populated with people from history and shiver. Our teachers taught a history now being challenged. We watched Father Knows Best and so wanted to believe that such a family was the norm.
Deep down, we want there to be one truth that is unchanging and real. It is comforting to know there is a truth. It is comforting to believe in a dualist “other.” One who can be petitioned for your football team to win or a cure for a dying child and then expect this “other” in an omnipotent and omniscient position to determine who wins, who loses, who lives, who dies.
It is when our own experiences of the real world continually fail to match belief systems we were taught, or the world view from school, we begin to search for answers we can work with.
Buddhism is not an easy path. There is no door to enter. The door is the teaching, the Buddha Dharma. The Buddha taught us how to discern fake from real, for all aspects of this life we are living.
For me, the words of the Buddha, printed below, reminds me it is my responsibility to sort out fake information. That means to explore all opinions, not just the ones that match my current beliefs. The Right Speech (see Tanaka excerpt below) aspect of the Noble Eightfold Path helps with this. Is what we are hearing conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then can I live up to it? The Buddha’s teaching on Fake News was asked and answered.