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July 23, 2018


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I wonder Smith, if you were to cultivate this reverence within your own heart to the utmost limit, such that no barrier could exist between your own nature and that of the divine, if the flowering of your own nature at that moment would be at all distinguishable from God?

thank you yeti for the thoughtful reply. to answer you fully would require a thome. instead i will do my best using limited words. first, i agree with you that things don't seem near a bottom. i was thinking of waves, peaks and troughs. lowtide is not yet, even a successive waves in their own time may mark related peaks and troughs. also rogue waves occasionally occur. all of this is of course observation, interpretation, and reflections on and of samsara. mindful, that truth, god, is ever unchanging, still, perfect, waveless. thank you for mentioning the aseity of god, it evokes the infinite depths of the divine and the humility of me/us.

second, in relation to the truth, to enlightenment, to genuine and full communion with god - i understand it as the greatest of gifts that god bestows upon those of whom he does(intentional and complete disregard on my part of marxist/pc 'offense'). further, in relation to awakening, in my own experience - kundalini-prana yoga, and vipassana-insight-observational, i understand the counter-intuition to realize transcendent-consciousness. the humility is that of the deepest sense in one lets go of all mental attachments, lets go of ego-identity, and in so doing see's that which 'is'. enlightenment is a gift by the grace of god, which can only be recieved through utter and complete humility, and even after is not simply a permanent change, in as much the regression back into samsara is mostly certain. but thereafter you remember and know the true nature and way to the truth. it is always as close as your next thought and as far as the ocean is wide. in the samsaric we live in we are trapped/imprisoned by duality-mindedness. when we let go we are free - both the easiest and the hardest thing to achieve/simultaneously. in the awe of that realization one truly grasps the infinite depth of the humility, of the love, that define all truth.

although the samsaric environment changes, and seemingly makes realization more difficult, the gift is always as close and as far as ever. some also say that it is easier in bad, worse/harder, dark times, as the contrast and pressure of less ways of escape, distraction, romance with samsara, may be helpful. but anyways passionate attachment or identifying the samsaric with real power is a dead end trap. the true seeker gains liberation in the fullness of his time by opening up to receive the always offered gift, never a moment too early or too late, never dependent and always perfect.

humbly and - as is the inescapable fact of words in our samsaric world- incompletely spoken.

Jung, as surely as I can see my hand before my face, I can recognize that any expression whatsoever that stirs up discriminated views from a still mind quickly fractionalizes what reality is into what it is not. There is no question of this in my mind.

In truth, the teachings of the Buddhadharma appear to me as stirred and convoluted reflections of the truth, the limpid clarity which is the perfect right of every sentient reveals itself in the midst of the samsaric maelstrom when one can accept, patiently if necessary, that the concealed truth of nirvana is not to be laid bare by any reckoning or reasoning or dharani, nor brought down in any discourse, even from the highest god. It is as it is, without temporal/spacial dimension, without intervention from sentients who in their profound ignorance mistake a fleck of worthless pyrite for gold as it floats down the turgid outflows of mind, whether it be found in a sutra or in a dharma talk or in a mandala. This kind of clarity is neither a state nor a level of spiritual progress, nor any kind of attainment, any more than foolish Yajñadatta attained his own head when he realized it had never fallen from his shoulders.

In other words it cannot be found in any temple or conveyed by any act of professional priestcraft. I assure you, if I have many burdens an attachment to ritual is not among them. My temple, if you wish to call it that, would fit on a blade of grass or expand beyond the light of the sun in empty space. It is as light as a feather and as unmovable as a mountain. No good or evil can touch it. The tools we use to sweep away the dust become dusty themselves, and to put them away is a blessing. And yet the tools are available to those who avail themselves of them.

Perhaps you have concluded that my willingness to pronounce my condemnation of the wicked monks who suck the lifeblood out of their followers, who use them for their pleasure and worldly gratification, is rooted in confusion about good and evil. I hold it is not. It is neither moral relativism nor absolutism which I hold to be true, and any expression of what that truth is would by its very nature obscure the truth. Moral outrage is like a dim flame, which offers nothing to the light of mind. Truth can never be obscured, but it must be realized. My concern is for others, who misled and confused by false teachers may be led to abandon the path which would lead to this realization.

Jung, LOL. See, was that so hard? I knew you could do better.

However, if you're still actively travelling then let me know, I'd be glad to meet up so you can scold me in person. Right now I'm at Das Buddhistische Haus, 30 mins outside Berlin. Then it's Sri Lanka and Thailand and some other places from September till the end of October, or thereabouts.

And yet, Smith, the progression of Buddhism since the parinirvana of Shakyamuni has been one of increasing difficulty for each generation of followers. Apparently there was a time when it was relatively easy to realize Buddha nature, and the early Buddhist scriptures are full of accounts of people who awakened merely by being in the presence of a living Buddha or hearing a few teachings.

Over time, I am persuaded, the difficulty has increased. This is evidenced by the continuous modifications in Zen practice, in the case of Zen Buddhism, which have been required due to the poor aptitude of students – the hua t’ou and gong an, for example, and the emergence of Pure Land schools which rely directly on the support of the Buddhas because of the difficulties those who practice in our age now face.

Although mind is of an unchanging nature, Buddhism is not, and the expedient means of Buddhist teachings are only necessary due to the failures of sentient beings to recognize truth on their own. Even your own religion has faced this difficulty, for example the sect of Calvinism which arose largely due to corrupting influences over time, with an attempt to recover the fidelity of the scriptures and to correct the failures of people to live according to his teachings; and furthermore your arguments of the aseity of God (how can God be unchanging if from one moment to the next he created light, transforming from a supreme being that had not created light to a supreme being that had?) speak to some of these difficulties as well, and the confusion that exists in the present day even among the sages you have learned from.

How then can you argue for a brisk pace of enlightened people casting off the bonds of samsara, when clearly the world (and its religions with it), as you yourself have recognized, is declining into moral and spiritual confusion?

And by the way this decline has by no means reached its lowest point in my opinion. We are probably reaching the half-way point in our present age, and things will get darker from here.

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