One of the core principles of Buddhism is the ‘Ten world Principle’. It outlines the continuous changes in our inner lives. It classifies the subconscious human experience of various states of being, thus graded from lowest to highest:
2.Hunger (Wanting more of love/money/approval etc)
3. Animality (Need to dominate/be dominated)
5. Humanity (Tranquility)
6. Heaven (Rapture/ Temporary happiness)
10. Buddhahood (Enlightenment/Absolute happiness)
Most of us have a fundamental tendency to occupy one or two of these worlds. Despite many self-improvement endeavors, we find it nearly impossible to change our default worlds.
For majority of the human race, the six lower worlds (1-6) apply. The problem with these states is that they do not last. They are completely reactive, at the mercy of our environment, bouncing back and forth depending on external circumstances resulting in a roller-coaster existence. True happiness cannot be rooted in this shifting quicksand.
The higher worlds (6-10) are known as the ‘four noble worlds’. Learning, realization and compassion are proactive, not reactive states. They are the basis on which a state of absolute happiness can be created.
The tenth and highest world is difficult to describe as we often don’t experience it. It is determined by the degree to which we establish a solid self, a true self that exists in harmony with the universe. For me, brief glimpses of this world are achievable through meditation. It is deeply restful.
Attaining Buddhahood is a process of discovering what currently lies dormant within our hearts, of discovering our true universal self.
‘Hell is to drift, heaven is to steer.’
– George Bernard Shaw.