It's obvious that other people, when they disagree with us, are just plain wrong. And when we confront these kinds of people, our only alternative is to let them know in no uncertain terms that they are not only wrong, but apparently stupid for disagreeing with us about something so obviously apparent. It's unbelievable that people can be so messed up.

Of course, the other person feels the exact same way about us! It's not that they somehow realize that they are stupid and forge ahead anyway. They, too, believe that we are all wet and they are super smart!

Neither of us can believe that our opinions are just that; opinions. We see our opinions as some kind of an unchanging, divine, all encompassing truth. And this is where our stupidity really lies.

It's strange that whatever we are against, whatever we fight against, we usually end up being a card carrying member of. It might be in a different context, but the act of fighting against something is a dead giveaway of our tendencies, and they will follow us regardless of our situation as we join other fighters.

We have this idea that when we get everything we want, after we win all our battles, we will be happy for life. You know what? That's bogus. Our tendencies will raise their ugly heads regardless of our situation, and soon we will be disagreeing even with our cohorts if we can‘t find another group to fight with. It never changes.

Whatever begins ends. This is a truth, not an opinion, but a fact regarding the material universe, which includes us. Everything arises, matures and dies. We can't refute this. That we might continue after life or not continue, that‘s a different deal; that's an opinion. When we get our way, the satisfaction we receive lasts on average about 5 seconds before we start thinking about what's next. So our opinions, even if we were able to convince others of our view, would only satisfy us for a little while before we looked for more stimulation, more arguments.

The mind, which is cleverly disguised as ourselves, is not happy when nothing's happening. So how can we keep things moving? How can we stimulate our senses, especially our minds? Silence is the most difficult for the mind to handle because the real truth is touched in that silence, which is that everything eventually declines.

Have you ever noticed the endless, rapid thoughts going through your mind in the morning, in the bathroom, when you are in front of the mirror? If we couldn't rely on our minds to keep busy like this, we might accidentally fall into a moment of silence where we would look in the mirror and suddenly discover that we have become old.

This is not an opinion or an idea, it is the truth, and the truth is something of which we are scared to death. Therefore, we fill our minds with everything but truth; we make up our minds to fill our ourselves with ideas and securities that are not truth, but good enough to divert ourselves from the real truth. We know what we are doing, kidding ourselves, but buy into it enough so that we believe it. Without these delusions, without filling up that hole of emptiness inside of us, we feel lost and alone, although this emptiness is real truth.

What is the truth of the body, which we dress up, cover with scents, color our faces and hair, and decorate with trinkets and jewels? We have opinions of the body; she is pretty, he is handsome, etc., but what is the truth? Can we look at it?

The body has a bunch of holes in it, you can figure them out, and each hole drains something. If you took all these drainages and spread them out on your coffee table, this is the truth of the body. Try it the next time you have friends over.

Or don't bathe for a month and take a bus ride, and see what the reactions are of the passengers. This is the body, the truth of the body, but we cover this up. And it's not that we cover it up because we are aware of what we are doing, but in our minds, we have forgotten the truth of the body, and believe otherwise.

When we determine that there is a threatening emptiness inside, this is only an opinion as well. Is it truth? Is it really empty when there is no physical stimulation? Many people never find out because out of fear they never allow even a moment between occupations, thoughts and imaginations.

So, is this emptiness the doorway to hell or the doorway to freedom? Few would ever consider it to be freedom. To them, that would only be a wild opinion.

Author's Bio: 

E. Raymond Rock (Anagarika Eddie) is a meditation teacher at: and author of “A Year to Enlightenment:

His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk.

He lived at Wat Pah Nanachat under Ajahn Chah, at Wat Pah Baan Taad under Ajahn Maha Boowa, and at Wat Pah Daan Wi Weg under Ajahn Tui. He had been a postulant at Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery in northern California under Roshi Kennett; and a Theravada Buddhist anagarika at both Amaravati Monastery in the UK and Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, both under Ajahn Sumedho. The author has meditated with the Korean Master Sueng Sahn Sunim; with Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society in West Virginia; and with the Tibetan Master Trungpa Rinpoche in Boulder, Colorado. He has also practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and the Zen Center in San Francisco.