The wise will ever modify a plan, and only fools are
what the gods have disapproved they wipe out utterly.
Saith the Great Law: "In order to become the knower of ALL-SELF, thou hast first of Self to be the knower.
Self-knowledge, even in its beginnings, gives rise to wisdom.
The kingdom of heaven is nothing more or less than a condition
Real kindness requires realism.
I made giant squid! This means an editorial team decided my 65 pages on squidoo were of excellent quality (or at least fifty were).
I confess myself disappointed: the results of the elections are in, and Radha Burnier won again. I guess this means John Algeo will remain vice president. It's to be hoped that come next election some younger candidates (say in their fifties or something) will be nominated. I hope we aren't heading for a situation where it's tradition for the president to die before a new one gets instated.
"A self is not something you are endowed with at birth. It is something you are continually creating as you live your day-to-day life."
The above was found in The Reader's Digest, and is given as being adapted from a book called The Self You Have to Live With, by Winfred Rhoades. As we do not know what else the author may have said, we cannot presume to comment on his views; but the quotation serves as a convenient text for remarks on the problem of what constitutes a Self.
There are those who argue that the Self is simply the sum-total of out mental states, built up bit by bit in the way described. In this case however the Self would be a mere abstraction, a noun of multitude as the grammarians might say. Or at best it would be a machine, made by assembling parts, instead of being an organism with parts built around a vital germ. No organism can be created by the mere assemblage of parts. We need to know who or what it is that brings all these various elements together and unites them into a whole. The mental states, habits, ideas, emotions, memories, etc., do not constitute the Self, they display it. They are the garments in which the Self clothes itself. When dissolution takes place, it is certain that the phantasmagoria which we have been calling ourself will dissolve; but this does not mean that nothing will be left. It means a change similar to what we undergo during life, but of a greater degree. Myself of today is the same, and yet not the same, as myself of forty years ago. No doubt the ultimate Self, the Atman, is a universal principle; but we know that in each man this Self gathers to itself skandhas or attributes or vehicles (one is obliged to use vague words), which give to each human being his own distinct individuality. When the attributes peculiar to physical life are dispersed, there still remain attributes proper to other planes. Our attempts to imagine this Self, as it will be after physical death, will remain deceptive and futile until we have lifted some veils of initiation; and even then it will not be possible to put what we see into ideas understandable to the ordinary intellect. What we learn in books is like a map of the country which we shall enter; it points the way but does not reveal the details.
There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.
One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed. No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move,
Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior's challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed.
Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. "How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?"
"If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it," the master replied, "to whom does the gift belong?"
Just a note to say hello and thank you for all the effort you have put into this site. real generosity, greatly appreciated. have you read R.D. Liang's book The Politics of Experience? Could not a different path of conditioning our children bring about a world attitude in time that could be the very essence of what people like Krishnamurti comment about. Knowing who we are, what we are doing and why we are doing it? Is the quote below valid to you. Think Liang is correct here in what he says:
"In order to rationalize our industrial-military complex, we have to destroy our capacity to see clearly any more what is in front of, and to imagine what is beyond, our noses. Long before a thermonuclear war can come about, we have had to lay waste to our own sanity. We begin with the children. It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brainwashing their minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I.Q.'s, if possible.
From the moment of birth, when the Stone Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to those forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father, and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities, and on the whole this enterprise is successful. By the time the new human being is fifteen or so, we are left with a being like ourselves, a half-crazed creature more or less adjusted to a mad world. This is normality in our present age.
Love and violence, properly speaking, are polar opposites. Love lets the other be, but with affection and concern. Violence attempts to constrain the other's freedom, to force him to act in the way we desire, but with ultimate lack of concern, with indifference to the other's own existence or destiny.
We are effectively destroying ourselves by violence masquerading as love."
So much we do is done without any reflection at all. Reaction. So many aspects of life are just overlooked. We use words to communicate, give them meaning which, in many cases, is not accurate. So many examples. Take the word Justice. In America with its Christian roots that word means to be right, to be fair. That is how a dictionary would define justice. So here in the USA, when the state executes a condemned man, they say "Justice has been done." Where is the rightness and fairness in killing a living being? How do those that loved the condemned man get justice from his death? How do those that loved the victim realize justice by the state killing someone? So, in the USA we use the word justice when in fact we mean punishment, extracting a pound of flesh for a perceived wrong, retribution, vengeance, etc. As H. I. Khan said "justice is knowing when to say I must not do. this." Is that alone not fair and right? If we are going to take the path of conditioning folks let us at least do it so that at least some of the skills to live a life full of love and understanding have been placed into our childrens minds?
Thanks again for the lovely site. me ke aloha pumehana, michael evans
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