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October 16, 2020

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@Navaratri

I am reminded of these words while reading your comments - "It enables you to fully participate in the frantic pace of the capitalist game while sustaining the perception that you are not really in it; that you are well aware of how worthless this spectacle is; and that what really matters to you is the peace of the inner Self to which you know you can always with-draw." Slavoj Žižek

Clyde:

I think generally, based on my own experience and that of what I have observed, is that most people who embark on a spiritual path (and let's face it in this world today we are in the minority) do so with a mistaken perception that the external world with all its shapes and forms and experiences is ultimately real. I hold that it is not, that what is real fundamentally is mind only. Therefore any amount of attempting to alleviate suffering through action is at best palliative. What needs to occur is a transformation of consciousness which is so profound and so awesome frankly, that I would never be able to put it into words and do it justice at the same time as it is infinitely subtle and without anything that I can actually point to. So it is not nothing. But whatever that "something" is cannot be reduced to externalism, which is where most well-meaning Buddhists (and others such as the Bahai who I actually appreciate quite a bit) go wrong. Uprooting the cause there is no effect, and attempts at do-gooding, while they may actually do good in a relative sense, just don't prove adequate to the proposal that sentients can be liberated from birth and death. In any case I am sincere about wishing you well.

Yeti; Thank you for your kindness.

I don’t know why you thought I was focused *solely* on sila. I explicitly referred to the Noble Eightfold Path which, as you noted, includes sila AND samadhi and prajna - as the Buddha’s Dharma. Traditionally, sila is considered the first and foundational practice, but this gives me the opportunity to share a Buddhist teacher’s view that sila is “the first and last training”. His point, and I think a valid one, is that samadhi and prajna are attainments that have a limit - awakening, but that sila (morality) has no limit and continues as long as we are living. The Buddha attained awakening . . . and then taught and lived a moral life.

Blessings on you.

Stay safe and be well.

clyde

Clyde:

I have steadfastly praised good moral conduct (sila) as necessary for spiritual growth just as I have refrained from getting entangled in political views people bring up here from time to time. However, sila is not the end point of Buddhism but is one of three trainings including right concentration (samadhi) and wisdom (prajna), the latter of which is the factor that actually uproots the causes of evil actions, it is said. Come to think of it, I wonder if you might be better suited to a different religion altogether, such as the Bahai faith, for example, which emphasizes moral development and gradual refinement of character. We all have to start somewhere, I suppose. And yes, since you mention it, I happily undertake loving kindness meditation on your behalf, and dedicate all merits from it to you and the fulfillment of your highest spiritual aspirations.

Be well!

NAVARATRI: I think we could say that the unending cycle of samsara is paved with good intentions. From political correctness (PC) to virtue signaling, the most shallow and superficial of minds are engaged in a grotesque show of good intentions. Making matters worse, they already believe that their words and ideas have conquered reality. This is a kind of insanity. And more, they are fighting for insanity as a right.

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