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Phenomenal world

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Since Buddhism addresses what is basically and fundamentally true of the phenomenal world and our own existence, it is not confined to a set of beliefs or customs designed for a particular group or locality. For the Buddhists, the mind itself creates the phenomenal world.

There are two ways in which we can relate to the phenomenal world and to ourselves. One point of view is the way we normally perceive the phenomenal world and ourselves, and the other is the point of view of knowing things as they really are, fundamentally and ultimately. Most of the time our relationship to the world around us accords not with its basic nature but with our perceptions of it. We do not experience our own basic nature, the potential for the completely awakened state of mind; instead we experience only what we see. The result is that we experience tremendous conflict in our lives. No matter how hard we try to work things out, there is always disorder and dissatisfaction, always something missing. No matter how much we seem to have accomplished, there is still more to achieve. This dissatisfaction continues and its scale increases, because what we are fundamentally and how we perceive are not the same.

As far as our relationship to the world is concerned, thisphenomenal world exists based on interdependent origination. Nothing whatsoever, not even the most minute particle, exists independently or permanently on its own. No matter how truly, how permanently, or how reliably an object may seem to exist, as far as the true nature of world and phenomena are concerned, it lacks true existence. This also applies to our own mind. When we relate to thephenomenal world from a point of view contrary to its real nature, we create problems for ourselves.

 The Buddhist tradition; in other words, someone who is familiar with two totally different ways of exploring the nature of thephenomenal world: one which relies on the rational method and uses physics and mathematics as tools while the other relies on an analysis of phenomena through the contemplative method. Yet both share a common thread: both are based on experience and observation.

The description of thephenomenal world is not the main aim of Buddhism. Buddha is a physician of the soul and his main concern is to show the way to enlightenment. Knowledge is the key to the higher path. Purification is that which brings calmness and peace to life and renders man indifferent to and detached from the vagaries of thephenomenal world.

This is the global message Buddhism has to offer to the vast humanity bewildered and enthraled in the jungle of Samsaric existence and continue to suffer for want of destroying their cankers (Aasava) that keep them bonded to thephenomenal world.