Some followers of Buddhism meditate on the Buddha’ sayings to help them stay away from negative and hurtful thoughts and deeds; for example, on his precept “behind every great man there is a woman rolling her eyes”…um, nope, that’s not a Buddha saying. This one is: “greed is the root of all suffering”.
That image is an excellent depiction of that message. But if greed and desires are at the root of suffering, how do we find that root without the wonderful precepts, like the one above, before or after a behavior manifests?
When the Buddha said that “greed is the root of all suffering” he had a whole ‘theory’ to explain that this suffering is the result of a process, a mental process which culminates in a particular thought or deed that will produce joy or suffering, or be emotionally neutral. But we are oblivious of this process during at least 99% of our daily living and fail to make the connection between the suffering or joy, which is the end product of the process, and its origin. I guess that’s the second of the 4 Noble truths: there is the origin of suffering.
The second important teaching is that the existence of everything on this planet is contained within a web of interrelations.
Consequently, everything anyone does will have an impact on the planet and its inhabitants, either at the micro or macro levels. But, again, we spend 99% of our lives unaware of that relation, we totally ignore it to the point that we find explanations or excuses for our behaviors as if they were not related or would have no impact on this planet on which our lives totally depend, invariably of race, class, religious believes, gender, political affiliation, etc.
So, it is through studying and meditating/pondering (for those who don’t like to meditate) on the cognitive process that we will be able to develop the type of knowledge and understanding needed to live a personal and social life with less oppression. The sutra The Root of Existence is the one to start with. Practice applying the teaching to your life and to understand how others engage in cognitive errors.
That’s the type of power that the dreamers of mind uploading can’t promise you. The type of super-knowledge the tech giants offer with their ‘mind science’ is encyclopedic, piling up gigabytes of data in ‘memory’, and it is heartless. All of that data will only desensitize you and turn you into a heartless robot. Knowledge without heart is just words. The Buddha offered both to us.