Rich Siddhartha, the unhappy relativist
Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be, grew up in well-to-do middle class home as a happy contented child. He had time and space, and the money to fill them with idle distractions. Eventually, as he grew older he became, like most middle-class off-spring, bored, ‘low’, in a word, unhappy.
That he felt ‘low’ (i.e. un-aroused, un-awakened, i.e. not-a-buddha) happened naturally in that he was confined (i.e. bound) to his home (his relationships that caused of his current state) and which suffered diminishing excitement (resulting from difference) returns due to ongoing sameness. He felt un-free to make new contacts, thereby to increase the excitement in his life.
His comment was: “Household life is cumbersome and dusty!,” in 3rd millennium speak: “Life at home sucks!”
So, like all young middle class people he ‘made plans’. He invented a path (or journey, to wit, a career). He would escape from (a depressing, hence distressing) home (i.e. boring Dad, Auntie, the wife and kid, and the stallion, now displayed on every Ferrari) and go on a trip, on an adventure that would provide new highs (of happiness moments, i.e. fun) via new relationships.
That was not a great idea as he soon discovered. A new relationship, once you’re in it, also becomes a home that sucks. No matter what relationship you get into, it eventually sucks, and that hurts.
Sid soon realised that a path/journey (and there are n of them) leads to goal/home, and which, as relationship, is without a true self, i.e. atta (i.e. transient and not owned), hence empty (Sanskrit: sunja), void, in vain (just like his old home). Once he’d realised that he decided to cut all relationships/homes and join his peripatetic pals from across the Way, namely the Vedantins, to seek out/become THE ABSOLUTE (i.e. the quantum or step), that which is free from the relative, i.e. ‘The One without a 2nd’.
Sid, the (rich and) depressed person’s hero, having become the sam-Buddha, i.e. the fully Aroused or Awakened One, the latter because he had figured out completely (hence with absolute certainty) why relativity is (i.e. relationships are) fundamentally empty (of satisfaction, hence fulfilment), spent the rest of his life staying out of relationship (to wit, a homeless wanderer) and explaining to people why they should also stop (rat-racing on their never ending path to new relationship), and chill out, i.e. cool down in/as @ rest ≈ nirvana.
Had Siddhartha grown up in abject poverty poor, like his father’s subjects/slaves, he wouldn’t have had the need or the time, space or resources to plan and go on a journey (or path to a new home). He would have been forced to live from day to day (read: moment to moment, nowadays called ‘living in the NOW’, a temporary respite for the stressed out), that is to say, he’d have been stuck on his spot/step, i.e. in his quagmire (i.e. of sameness) and going nowhere, hence an absolutist trapped in a zero value (almost non-) relationship. Not going anywhere save round and round and nether (i.e. down, i.e. marking, i.e. emptying time and space, as in marking a single step/spot), he would have been as miserable as the endless running but never arriving rich boy ‘who ain’t going nowhere neither!’
A path is journey to the relative (or, a home is a round path or journey). A path is the after-effect of series of individual steps, hence a relationship between steps. A path (read: an on-going line, byte, process and so on) is a relative phenomenon because it relates (i.e. arranges in relationship over time and space, thus creating a trace or identity, to wit: a form). Relationship (i.e. a series as trace or identity) per se is unreal, empty, uncertain, incomplete.
See: The Pilgrimage Site
A step (i.e. a stop/slice, cut, ‘decision’ of a path, a momentary relationship freeze) is absolute, real/true (Sanskrit: sat). But because it is un-related, random, consequently does not belong to time and space (and which emerge with quantum ground turbulence), it is formless, that is to say, not identifiable (and which is the reason why God can be experienced as real (presence) but not identified). Early 20th century physicists, like Planck and Einstein et al, deliberately misnamed the step that is absolute ‘quantum’ (German: ‘a fixed quantity’), rather than Ganzheit, whole or unit so as not to be drawn into the nutty religious dispute over ‘The Absolute’. However, the change in verbal description from quantum mechanics to absolutes (or constants; so Einstein in his c2 notation) mechanics would have quickly ended the relativity theory versus quantum theory wrangle that provided so many ‘jobs for the boys’.
Siddhartha, having proclaimed himself a sam-Buddha because he had virtually ended his journey of discovering why relationship (i.e. relativity) sucks, embarked on actually ending relationship and, once ended, never restarting it. Ending relationship (and which happens dependent on quantum (i.e. 1st causes) collision) was his dharma. His dharma was, quite obviously, incomplete (and which is why it lasted so long). He recommended the ending and not re-starting of one’s journey (i.e. of birth producing life, the ‘greed’ for relationship) since the journey (i.e. relationship) led to a home that was fundamentally empty (sunja: void of permanent identifiable reality). By stopping and not restarting, i.e. either by going ‘On standby’ or turning off completely, i.e. by de-relativising, one could at least revert to the absolute (i.e. the initial step or quantum state) prior to relativity and attain @rest ≈ peace ≈ nirvana (and happiness, as he suggested).
No doubt that is why the dying Buddha mumbled these last words of advice (Nyanamoli’s translation): “So, Ananda, each of you should make himself his island, himself and no other his refuge; each of you should make the dhamma his island, the dhamma and no other refuge.”
Or, in plain English: “For Christ’s sake, do your own thing. Don’t get into relationship!”