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December 30, 2014


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I appreciate your kind words, Minx, and agree. It is a pity that most people cannot see that everything has spiritual roots, even technology. All it takes is one look at the state of affairs on this suffering planet too see what utter barbarians humanity still are, with or without technology. My sense is that it may be a long time before humanity annihilates itself through stupidity, but it does seem to be most inevitable and perhaps sooner rather than later. All the more reason to look inward, earnestly and unceasingly for the answers to that stupidity.

Most excellent analysis of the current spiritual status quo, n. yeti.

The sad thing though is that it is far worse than what you have written here. If you were to illustrate the spiritual and material/technological development of mankind as two graphs, one could say that at a certain point on the timeline of this civilzation, the two broke off in two diametrical and very steep directions.

As much as we have this technological marvel today, the deep ignorance risiding within most sentients on this planet, as a collective consciousness of fear, hate, anger, unwholesome desires, will eventually result in a complete annihilation, or when the leaders of said (constructed) consciousness are facing such an abyss, a complete turnaround will be made as to unify said graphs as one unified, going in the right direction significant of a civilzation ready to step up one step on the Kardashev scale.

I feel after this recent disruptive exchange with the nihilists it is important to go into retreat which I soon shall as soon as I am able. However a few observations shall I make based on what I have seen of this question.

First, and I think this is most obvious, the whole body of Buddha's teachings resulted from looking beyond appearances: were the world honored one a materialist, believing inwardly that all is nothing, why would he refuse Mara? Why would he not, as prophesied to his father, become a prince and great ruler of men, instead of a mendicant and itinerant pauper who left his life, loves, and belongings, his status and his station, all his worldly attachments? The only answer that I can reach is that he perceived the fragility of any truth predicated upon what is seen, felt, and experienced in the world.

I have met and had meaningful discourse, prayer and meditations with people of various faiths and spiritual conviction, and one common trait is a recognition that there is more to truth than what is readily available. It takes looking, it takes a kind of sensibility which goes to the furthest star and tiniest subatomic blip and realizes it has more to reveal than this. Materialists insist upon their obtuse doctrine, having grasped the low hanging fruit of the obvious and crude, yet fail to detect the subtle perfume of the nectar of truth which permeates this Saha world; Buddha wanted us to recognize what it means to stand before the truth of existence and not its myriad deceptive appearances.

A second observation is that many modern Buddhists, being driven to succeed in the world, look at Zen Buddhism from a utility standpoint: how can I apply this stuff to phenomena (golf game, marital peace, physical health, social activism and so on) without recognizing the path actually requires turning away from such traps to see, as Buddha saw, the nature of reality as it is, not as we might like it to be. People mistakenly convince themselves the condition of reality obviates this kind of self inquiry (because if not, my golf game, my marriage or my society will fall apart) and therefore toss aside the inconvenience of giving up this karmic merry go round to stand before the truth as it is.

It is disheartening to hear good people, sincere people, who accuse the few of us who follow this way as passive or oblivious to the cries of the world. Nothing could be further from the truth. The passivity of sitting as advised by Dogen is not the inward journey of the yogin who slays the demons which arise with every thought. There is nothing passive about it! The old masters have accounts of those who vomited blood because of this kind of meditation. Let there be no mistake, I have seen for myself this is no trivial matter. In fact anyone can, who is willing to put aside the world long enough to defeat Mara.

But again I go back to the most important thing: even ignoring the teachings and selecting only here and there, as many modern Buddhists do, in conformity with their delusions of a world which exists not because of itself but only because of Mind, it is an inescapable conclusion that Buddha would just not have spent his life teaching what he taught if the nature of reality were limited to the things of the world. Even science knows there are dimensions untold. Our ignorance as a species is obvious: trust our crude barbarian science at one's own peril! Science ever changes, but the Buddhadharma is as pristine and wholesome today as it was when uttered by the vanquisher of the world.

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