The Importance Of Community In How To Tell A True War Story, Into The Wild, And Robert Thurman’s Essay, Wisdom

1947 words - 8 pages

Knowledge is defined as the body of truth or facts accumulated in the course of time. Knowledge is gained through school, peers, friends and family and oneself, but one gain the most knowledge through the community. A community is a group of people living in a particular location. The community helps individual see what is right from wrong, by pointing it out. In Tim O’Brien’s essay, “How to Tell a True War Story”, he mentions that individuals need a community to grow and learn. O’Brien states that as individual we need other people to lean on during hard and difficult times. In Selections from into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless embarked on a journey to find himself. At first, McCandless was all about an individual depending on them self to learn, but in the end he realized that one needs a community to help one learn. In Robert Thurman’s essay, “Wisdom”, he emphasizes that community is the best pathway to learning. In most levels of Buddhism, the authority and projection level of the mentor or teacher is de-emphasized because the burden is on the students to find things out for themselves, so the basic model of the spiritual teacher is that of a virtuous friend or auspicious friend by giving teachings helps you gain knowledge and experience. The community is one that does the teachings. The teaching would be telling the individual what is considered wrong or dishonest. The parent will tell the individual that stealing is wrong. Without the community, friend and family to tell an individual wrong from right, the individual will never know that perhaps stealing is wrong and telling lies are dishonest. With nobody correcting the individual, the individual will always think that whatever he/she is doing is always right no matter how wrong it seems.
Selflessness is the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others. In war, individuals need to work together to reach the common goal, to defeat the enemies. In the essay “Wisdom”, Buddha commonly uses the word selflessness in the context of teaching that all things perceived by the senses (including the mental sense) are not really "I" or "mine", and for this reason one should not cling to them. According to Thurman, “When you become aware of your selflessness, you realize that any way you feel yourself to be at any time is just a relational, changing construction” (463). All things in the universe will become clear to one who understands the selflessness and conditioned nature of all phenomena of existence. When an individual have a reliable type of inner bliss awareness, a sense of connectedness to the universe where the individual feel the bliss of life flowing up and bubbling up within them, the bliss of freedom coming up within them, then they want others to have that. In “How to tell a True War Story, there is a great example of selflessness happening. According to O’Brien
You feel an intense, out-of-the-skin awareness of your living self—of wanting it…Though it’s odd,...

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