There are 3 of them as I believe 3 is the magic number. They all resonate with me deeply without me even trying to figure out why. I guess that’s why they’re called axioms. But even though they are axioms, I found them to prove their logical point.
The 3 axioms I follow in life are: Buddhism, Stoicism and spirituality. I don’t consider any of them to be religions. Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha), Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca and myself are all humans; none of which require anyone to see them as a supreme being. The spiritual aspect can be tricky but I’ll delve into that later.
But before I get into why I believe in these three axioms, I just want to mention that I respect other religions because I respect free will. I also don’t know enough about most religions to even judge them. From what I do know and have experienced, the religion I did experience growing up never resonated with me no matter how hard I tried, so I just gave it up and moved on. Whatever you believe is cool, just as long as it doesn’t require you to cause physical harm. Say what you want, think what you want, do what you want but don’t physically harm others. You have the free will to say, think and do as you please, but you don’t have the free will to physically harm others. And if you believe you have the free will to physically harm others, well ok then, that’s on you.
Buddhism and Stoicism are logical philosophies where spirituality is the glue that keeps their meaning intact.
Buddhism focuses on the understanding of the consequences of human attachment. It states the Four Noble Truths: suffering is inevitable, there’s a cause for it (attachment), there’s a solution, and the solution is 8 ways to be a good independent and compassionate human being, or technically, the eightfold path. Boom, that’s it. It doesn’t mean praying to Buddha himself in hopes that he will relieve you of the adversity you experience in life. It means taking what the Buddha learned in his own life and applying it to yours to see whether it works or not. He also said that if it doesn’t work for you, then don’t listen to him. Good job Buddha!
So basically, you do this in order to receive that, but if it doesn’t work out for you, then try something else. That’s all the Buddha recommends.
Stoicism focuses on understanding there are many things in life you cannot control but the one thing you can control, is your response to them by understanding the essence of perspective and how your mind works. Do not quote me on this but from what I’ve gathered though many different sources over several years, early Christianity and the Serenity Prayer were influenced by Stoicism. You can do the research yourself, if you would like.
So basically, you cannot control whether your good natured dog decides to eat your tax papers or if the snow prevents you from your date with the dentist. You do, however, get to control how to respond to them and that’s all Stoicism is about: your response to what out of your control bullshit comes your way by understanding your own mind and how to turn the perspective switch on. Again, you do this in order to receive that, but if it doesn’t work out for you, then try something else.
Spirituality is another ball game. To me, everyone is their own Universe but the way in which everything works and is comprehensible is by the all powerful, source energy. We don’t know where true energy really originated from but we do know certain aspects of it’s purpose through our very own experience. And so I feel spirituality is what causes everything to have meaning.
Spirituality is not like a regular logic equation where you are given the premises in order to form a conclusion, because it somewhat defies logic. Buddhism and Stoicism give you the premises to a conclusion but spirituality gives you just the conclusion first, you just have to figure out what the premises are and that’s what a spiritual awakening is.
Spiritual awakening is when you start to view life in a completely different way than you had previously experienced. The life you once knew but has no profound purpose gets thrown out the door and you are left with only what matters, which is the conclusion. In order to make sense of the conclusion, you go on a journey towards self discovery. It’s almost as if it’s a test that you made for yourself, in this lifetime, to see if you can truly live a meaningful life. You understand that you are an infinite energy source participating in a temporary life, over and over again, wearing a different costume as you reincarnate. Everything becomes brighter. You notice and absorb more of your surroundings than you ever did before. The blinders you’ve had on for your entire life finally lift as you wake up. It’s crazy, I know. I didn’t believe any of this “woo woo” stuff until I woke up. It’s mind blowing! But now I can’t help but firmly believe it to the core, and no one even brought it to my attention. It was only when I met J, and kept an open mind that this started to take place.
I believe everyone has the ability to experience it, but not everyone wants to and, therefore, will always keep their blinders on and trot along on the “ignorance is bliss” bandwagon, sleeping away their life.
Spirituality focuses on believing is seeing instead of seeing is believing. What a difficult kind of logic to be conversant with, right? How do you believe something exists if you don’t see it first? From what I’ve experienced, believe to see does exist. You just have to step out of your comfort zone, believe and take a leap of faith to experience it. For example, Indiana Jones in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when Indiana went in search of the Holy Grail and had to believe there was a bridge to get him across when he could not see it with his own eyes. He was given the answer but it was up to him to decide what he wanted to believe first.
To me, the premises are Buddhism and Stoicism. The only way I figured it out was because it truly resonated with me right from the get go with no explanation as to why. The times I ignored them and allowed my beliefs in them to become rusty were the times I was severely challenged to the point where I felt I was lost. And what a difference it has made every time I went back and embraced them. When I started to fully believe in them again, life started to open up. However, this doesn’t mean the axioms I follow are for everyone, as everyone is on their own journey and has their own authentic belief system.
As of now, I continue to view and absorb many things from a different perspective than most people I encounter. Sometimes I wonder why people still continue to stay asleep. But then I realize, eh, it doesn’t matter because I’m on my own journey to help others and whether they decide to wake up or not is completely up to them. All I need is to continue to practice my 3 axioms during the adversity I encounter in life and share it with people. I say, “take what resonates with you and leave the rest.” Cheers!
Photo: Taken by me at Rock Point, Arizona (off Hwy 191) Unnamed road