Any other religious and/or spiritual ABDLs here? How do you interpret ABDL within the context of your faith?


Est. Contributor
The Christian version of clearing away misconceptions is removing the log from one's eye. Seems like a sensible approach for a spiritual quest, but there is the danger that these misconceptions, or logs, will only be replaced by others. A spiritual quest, in itself, can become one of the logs.
Yes, quite so! Perhaps in the previous story you mentioned, the old master's book of Tips & Tricks For The Monastery was just such a "log"? ^.^

There is a parable that highlights that. A zen student was so impressed with the wisdom the master displayed when he used nonverbal means to communicate things that can't be put into words, that he copied the master's way of answering questions by raising a finger. He continued doing this until the master chopped off his (the student's) finger, and at that point he gained true understanding.

I still have all my fingers so, obviously, I don't have true understanding. :)

There are differing opinions on whether or not something "spiritual" can even exist, but, as I see it, for those looking for spiritual answers there will always be this nagging suspicion that caving in to 'earthly desires' could be an obstacle to obtaining enlightenment or the key to Heaven.
For me, I've always been driven to understand the truth of reality. Since I was little, the world was a mystery that tantalized me. It's why I love science so much. ^.^ My questing for answers that might be called "spiritual" is born out of a growing recognition that so much I thought I knew for sure about reality was misperception. "Logs in my eye" I suppose. ^.^ And the fear of merely replacing them with new logs had to be addressed by whatever method of investigation I took up going forward. Obviously, I am a fan of the Scientific Method, but I had been using it to search for certainties, for conceptual understandings of how things really are … and if I proceed under the assumption that any aspect of my current best understanding of things is a given, or is ultimately correct, I will always risk having a log in my eye. This is exactly why I found the Buddhist notion that "all concepts are ultimately misperception" an appealing basis: it suggests a solution to the "log in the eye" problem whose only drawback is the possibility of forever remaining skeptical of a concept that is actually perfectly true, if such exists and ever occurs to you. To me that seems a better application of the Scientific Method. And actually, even my studies of science have arguably been spiritual in motive… as Einstein reportedly put it, "I want to know God's thoughts — the rest are mere details."


The more I read about scientific discoveries the more I realize every question that is answered merely raises more questions. Increased knowledge seems to do little more than increase the understanding of the limitlessness of our ignorance. If the possibility of gaining meaningful knowledge exists for me in my lifetime, it seems the scientific approach is doomed to fall short. I don't hate science. I find it fascinating. I just don't think it's the answer.