Essence of the Teaching
He taught a world view and a way to realise it. He
left a metaphysics with the instruction to examine and verify its
content. Beliefs, if present, are to be reflected. His legacy consists of three categories of
statements, a sceptical attitude and a way to deal with questions. From
the view of an awakened, a buddha, his statements are experienced
knowledge, from the view of a non-awakened they are hypotheses in need
of examination. Blind beliefs are
foreign to his teaching.
1. Interdependent Arising
The interdependent arising, based on karma, is his
explanation for the suffering of beings. It is the very core of Buddha
Shakyamunis awakening, and from the view of the non-awakened a
hypothesis about the function of the universe.
2. Three Signs of Beeing
They express three Ideas:
(i) Impermanence (Anicca);
(ii) Noself (Anatta);
(iii) Suffering (Dukkha).
The first, a further hypothesis about the function of the
universe, is in harmony with all fundamental laws known to science. All
describe change. Noself is a hypothesis about the
impossibility of a separate self, or about the impossibilibity to
identify such a self, be it a small self like a soul or a large self
like God. Separate means here separate in relation to everything else
that is. Suffering is the hypothesis of the existence of a property:
Sentient beings have suffering as one of the properties the way stones
have mass. All sentient beeings are subject to impermanence, noself and suffering.
Human beeings are special in so far as they are able to reflect on these statements.
3. Four Noble Truth
They express four Ideas:
(i) alle sentient beeings have suffering (Dukkha);
(ii) this suffering has a reason;
(iii) this reason can be overcome;
(iv) the method to achieve this is the Eightfold
4. Attitude of the Sceptic
5. A Way with Questions