New Dutch blog: OverpeinzendeAll Considering
1. Limited and Unlimited.
2. Odd and Even.
3. One and Many.
4. Right and Left.
5. Masculine and Feminine.
6. Rest and Motion.
7. Straight and Crooked.
8. Light and Darkness.
9. Square and Oblong.
10. Good and Evil.
The body is transient and may be killed, but you are eternal.
Grief can only come if you identify yourself wholly with the lesser part, the body.
Remember and repeat often the golden words of the Initiate from Tarsos: "Now abideth Faith, Hope and Charity, these three; but the greatest of them is Charity." Faith is needed in all kinds of actions. Men have called it Confidence. That is one of the meanings of the Greek word PISTIS. Without hope there is little use of keeping up any kind of work. You must hope for better understanding, more knowledge. The Greek word ELPIS means Expectation. "Charity" is a misnomer. The Greek word AGAPE stands for voluntary, friendly Helpfulness, not for hypocritic slumming. It stands for Love - a word nowadays mostly used as a synonym for procreative activity. This belongs to involvement in matter and hence to Samsara, the body, and not the Soul. True Love is nirvanic Bliss, the Ananda of the Hindus.
Sometimes it is imagined that the saying "Charity begins at home" is an expression of selfishness and therefore evil. Charity, or rather Love, must begin at home, or else, how can it widen its circle of helpfulness and joy? But it must not be limited to the home. The only so called love that is wrong and must be limited is self-love. Let nothing make you hesitate doing good to any one that you can reach. But do not take from some one else what is his and give it to some one that you want to help.
Siddharta Gautama, the Buddha, has not escaped the universal fate of all philosophers, expounders of a doctrine and founders of religions. Like all of them, he has been betrayed.
During his life time some of his Disciples had already attempted to "improve" in their own way - that is to say to distort - his teaching and his discipline. Buddhist Scriptures mention Devadatta as heading an attempt of that kind; he was certainly not the only one.
What did he and his likes want? They wanted more binding rules, they wanted more peremptory commands regarding what they had to believe and what they had not to believe; they revolted against freedom.
And when the Teacher was gone and centuries had elapsed dimming the memory of what he really had been, small-minded devotees, puerile, emotional bhaktas, metaphysicians, philosophers, small or lofty, all took part in the great betrayal of that which had been a clear, simple and bright doctrine of liberation through Knowledge.
Pseudo-dogmas appeared though the Master had rejected opinions and expressly declared:
"If you are asked, O disciples, `what opinion does your Master hold ?', answer, `Our Master holds no opinion; he has freed himself of all opinions.' "
Ritualistic performances, worship of images and of relics appeared, though the Master had condemned them and declared that the belief in the efficacy of religious ceremonies and in all kind of cults prevented salvation.
Has not the "I", the jiva, the permanent self traveling through series of reincarnations, found a place in the beliefs of the large majority of self-styled Buddhists though the Buddha has taught the instantaneousness, the essential momentariness of all formations, of all Dharmas, the effect being produced by the destruction of the cause.
Do not the stories of the Jatakas play, amongst the common lot of Buddhists, the same part as the "Golden Legend" the lives of the saints, play amongst the alike common lot of the Roman -Catholic countries?
We must agree that the Buddha has not preached for the simpletons. Those may lead virtuous, happy lives under other Masters: Teachers for children's schools.
The Buddha has preached for the few capable of understanding him; for the few lotuses which lift their heads above the water of the pond, according to the similitude in the Mahavagga.
There are such ones; why do they not come forward to re-preach the Dhamma for the conquest of evil and suffering through Right views.
Reliance on men who stand forth as leaders of their fellow creatures; reliance on gods never freed anybody, nor mankind as a whole of the manifold ills to which they are a prey. Most of those are self inflicted and none but ourselves are capable of eradicating them.
Be your own light. Be your own refuge. Such is the advice the Buddha has given us.
Tibetans have chosen a very good term as synonym of enlightenment, it is lhag thong, that is to say, "to see more." It is exactly what is needed, to see more than the many who remain satisfied with a superficial look at things.
It is more needed than ever in the present political, economic and moral chaos into which men are staggering. It is needed to see more in order to detect the foolishness of attempting to build a new world with the rotten materials of the old one.
Buddhism is decidedly neither a religion, not a set system of undemonstrable theories. It is an attitude of mind. The attitude of one who challenges the man made evils of the world and knows that through Right views, Right knowledge, and only through them, these evils can be overcome.
Men who have made theirs that "attitude of mind" are wanted to promulgate again the much forgotten, genuine Dhamma of the wisest of all Masters.
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