In Search of Truth

Reflections on the truth of the Dhamma arranged in alphabetical order.

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In Search of Truth

In Search of Truth

To Chulanganee who saw and understood these first


“I came in search of truth, and they gave me a bowl of rice”.

In these following, pages there is a search for truth; but not as it might be understood generally: for it is not possible to search for something one does not know. And it is too obvious to say it: We have not understood what truth is.

Truth is not something that exists in itself. Truth is not an object, and therefore cannot be the object of a search. It is rather like beauty and love, which can be experienced, but which cannot be made, or shown, or taught. But the understanding of what is, is an experiencing which is true. No disciplining, no culture, no tradition, no religious observance, no metaphysical analysis can give that understanding, which is not knowledge but which is the actual experiencing in an unconditioned freedom, which gives a sensitivity, open to learn, ready to receive, and to perceive. It is not learning with a view to acquiring knowledge, but a learning which knows of no goal, of no control or conformity, yet which is a simple awareness to understand. Without prejudice, without conditioning, without aiming, there is a freedom which comes from silence.

When the mind is silent, and not disturbed by thinking about a technique of searching for an object one does not know, in that silent awareness there is a direct understanding of what is, of the futility of an “I” searching for the truth of “non-I”, of the stripping of all the paraphernalia used in dressing up a void.

That understanding, that meditation of insight (vipassanā), is the truth which has no objective ideal, which is no subjective achievement, but which is an actual experiencing without comparing, classifying, or retaining, which has no memory of the past, no ideal in the future, and no “self” in the present.

This is obviously not a book to be read through, or to be used for reference, alphabetically, in a month of sittings, or when the mood moves the mind. It is more than a year of thoughts, and one for every day, although that was its beginning.

It won’t be easy reading, and at the end of a day’s thought there will be felt a need to rest, and to forget to think. If the mind feels uneasy, it will find out before long that one’s own thinking makes one ill, creates all one’s problems, causes all one’s conflicts. And that would be a wonderful awakening from delusion, whatever else reality may be.

Thoughts have been made into words, and words have been said before, but here they are not quoted. A quotation may be literally correct, but in a new environment it may appear twisted, seeking the convenience of a new fitting. Thus, words have been said before, but the meaning in their present life must always be new. “Whether there is a Tathāgata (a supremely enlightened Buddha who has found the truth and the path for himself) or whether there is no Tathāgata, it always remains a fact that all that is composed will be decomposed (sabbe saṅkhāra anicca), that every complex is a conflict (sabbe saṅkhāra dukkha), that all that is, is not (sabbe dhamma anatta)”. And in that realisation there is a freedom of deliverance which cannot be desired, which is not an object of search and striving, which is not at the end of the path, but which is the ending, the cessation of becoming, which is the end of the conflict (bhava nirodho Nibbānaṁ).


In the beginning was the thought
And the thought was made word
And the word was God-Almighty, my “self”,
Begotten by thought and creating the ideal.

In the beginning was the thought,
The memory of a dead experience,
Brought back to life as the word,
Conceived by thought as an idea.

In that conception was born the ideal
For thought to continue,
For self to become,
For craving to arise.

In that conception was born the conflict
between the past and yet to come,
Between the word and the fact,
Between the ideal and the real.

In that conflict, it was the ideal that won:
For, without the ideal there could be no conflict,
As without the ideal there could be no security
And without the ideal there can be no “self”.

In that conflict, then, there is only the “self”,
The ideal created by the word,
The word begotten by the thought,
The thought projected from the past.

Thus, in the ending of thought which is “self”
Lies the ending of conflict, now.
Thus it was in the beginning and is new,
When thought is free from the word.

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