In my interpretation, the Sangha is the community of people who help you towards Enlightenment, the Dharma are the natural laws of the universe that you need to abide by and pay attention to in order to achieve Enlightenment, and the Buddha is the ultimate model of the Enlightened individual living in the context of Samsara. All three are needed in order to achieve Enlightenment in any realm, form, or time. Once Enlightenment has been achieved by an individual, the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth ceases for that individual. There is no further need, reason, cause, or ability for that individual to suffer any further in Samsara. What remains from that individual is their Buddha essence, which continues to be present and pervade the entirety of the universe, known, unknown, knowable, and unknowable. In this sense, the Buddha has never left our existence, even though Siddharta has ceased to be reborn. We are Buddhas are underneath the filth of suffering. Greed (attachment), ignorance (willful or otherwise), and carelessness (lack of compassion) are intrinsic in Samsara. Yet beneath that is a wondrous presence that is common to us all. We can either acknowledge our own faults, peel away at the interstellar gunk that clouds our minds and hearts, and become that which we are, or we can be lazy, indoctrinated into one of the causes of suffering, and ultimately fail to realize a lasting bliss which characterizes peace of mind, wisdom, awareness, and compassion.
It should be noted that Buddhism is the one way that I can think of that enables one to achieve Buddhahood conscientiously and deliberately. All other religions, philosophies, and ways of life either will get you to better rebirths or to Enlightenment through happenstance and the accumulation of past deeds from many many many different lifetimes. This is similar to how the scientific method is the one way to understand and comprehend the universe beyond the thoughts in your head, which enables one to achieve real results for better or for worse on this plane of existence. All other methods with working with the world may only make you and others feel temporarily better without actually making you better or may allow you to succeed by chance and chance alone. It is the difference between self-medication and substance abuse and taking substances with a medicinal purpose, intent, and under verification from well-versed and knowledgeable clinicians who have made a correct diagnosis of the causes of your suffering. One may help. But it will only help by chance, be not as effective as other methods, or else, do more harm to your well-being than good. The other may likewise have mistakes inflicted upon you. You can still suffer at the hands of even a competent doctor, just as you can suffer at your own hands or an incompetent doctor. But, this other way is what will more likely lead you to being cured of what’s actually afflicting you. The choice is up to you, especially when it comes to you making a choice to put a deliberate, consistent, and sustained effort into making it work.
Only you can liberate yourself from Samsara or make a way out of the suffering that you may presently be in. The essence of the Buddhas, the laws and conditions of the Dharma, and the presence of the Sangha, regardless of the forms or ways that you perceive them are always going to be there to help and will always be present as soon as you think about them. That is the power of Buddhism and the essence of Buddhist philosophy. It is not the gods or even God who will save us and yourself. It is always ultimately going to be up to you to make the world and yourself better. It is you who ultimately fails to accomplish this goal when you neglect the natural laws and conditions of the universe. It is you who ultimately fails when you lack the care, compassion, or wisdom to make things be better for yourself.
I’m sorry that I don’t have happier news to give you. I wish that I could have a magical being to enable us to all be Enlightened and cease to be reborn permanently in this universe. I wish I had such a being for myself, actually, to make it so I would never ever have to come back to Samsara again. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. I am here with you because I made a choice to be here, even in the most subconscious of senses. I came here because I either did something inanely stupid and wrong, or was motivated by an honest, if foolish choice to help all other beings achieve Enlightenment before myself, not realizing that the only way I can be of help to others is to help myself and, paradoxically, let them go and enable them to figure it out for themselves in their own right and in their own ways. I’m not sure whether my exhaustion is from being too old of a soul, being too immature of a soul, or simply being not entirely healthy on what ultimately is a physical level. In any case, I’ll simply abide until my time is come. What else is there to do?
This is just to celebrate this blog reaching 2000 views in less than a year and a half! I would like to thank all of you who made this possible for your time and consideration. I hope you enjoy what I continue to write.
Thank you! 🙂
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.
The essence of the correct ways to govern is to 1) always be flexible and open to the real conditions that are present in spite of how uncomfortable, upsetting, or unlikely they may be and 2) to always be willing and able to do what is actually in the best interests of everyone, even if you personally may take a hit for it. Specifics of policy choices are all negotiable to a point where there are some things that are objectively less healthy and some things that are objectively more healthy. The goal of a policy researcher is to identify the condition and proper response to any given situation that may arise within the context of the social, economic, environmental, political, and technological system of systems. Changing how we look and analyze a given situation will change the outcomes that are achieved. The ends justify the means, however, the means affect which ends are actually achieved. Always focus on the means relative to the situation, and be sure that the ends that you’re trying to achieve are actually healthful, beneficial, and worth fighting for.
Our neurology hasn’t yet evolved to the point where we can actually say that we can manage or comprehend the full complex of the system of systems. There are many people out there who honestly have malfunctioning neurons; people who don’t know, don’t care to know, and refuse to know that which is actually in their personal interests relative to the system of systems. Some of these people have managed to reach incredibly influential positions in our societies, which then degrades the overall quality of the networks for everyone, including themselves. The fact that the rest of the social system is not fighting back en masse to remove these pathological personalities and other countries and in the United States is symptomatic of a much deeper lethargy at work that could lead to the undoing of anything and everything that we value and cherish and need for surviving, while not eliminating the root causes of what’s behind our current lethargy and social domination by pathologically sick people. These folks have prioritized what is significant for their survival poorly and who use destructive means to achieve their unsustainable and unreasoned ends. Therefore, they should be treated as the mentally ill and removed from office by force if necessary to receive treatment that they are in apparent need of. We are moving to a tipping point in American society and, therefore, the world’s society. I doubt that the American people will rise to the occasion to institute more enlightened government and put people who are frankly just better at actually governing into office.
And that, my friends, is why I will not accept, acknowledge, or entirely embrace any Dharma center or living guru fully in this lifetime. Full disclosure, I am a Shugden supporter. I think that His Holiness is perhaps overreacting to what could have been a bad portend from the oracles that he consults (honestly, I don’t know why His Holiness listens to oracles uncritically anyway, but, this is in line with Dorje Shugden’s role in the universe of consciousness as the enhancer and trainer of perception and wisdom (and, it’s also a historical battle between His Holiness and Dorje Shugen as well, one being essentially an very special human incarnation, the other, being an aspect of Enlightened consciousness in the universe). It makes sense to me that these two would be fighting, one as the supreme teacher and guide amongst humans, the other, being the Supreme Teacher and Guide within the context of the universe. But look at the mess that is created when other beings get consumed by ego in these situations! Look at the mess that is created when both sides persecute another, and gets walled in by ones’ ego! The Sangha is broken up. People get led astray by the faults of the teacher, within the teacher (and themselves). Nothing gets accomplished. All is waste while both sides struggle it out amongst themselves, neither side using reason, sense, or compassion to guide them out of it. What’s worse, is that I know that I am no better than these high monks. I am just human, liable for everything that I do, speak, and think.
I am no better than these people; the best people among us. Look at what they’re capable of doing! Look at the messes that they can create! It honestly scares the willies out of me that I can, and likely will, do no better than these well trained monks, and that I can create suffering for billions, if not whole swaths of the universe, thanks to my actions and my mistakes.
In the end, I am just mortal. The universe is going to inflict upon me what it will, thanks to my past actions and mistakes, and present actions and mistakes. I’m tired of playing a game that I can’t seem to win and will more than likely lose for the sake of everyone and everything. I don’t want to actually hurt anyone, and I sure as Hell do not want to hurt myself through hurting others. There is no separation between myself and everyone else after all.
I’m scared. And I don’t know what to do about it.
A policy engineer is a more accurate description of what I’d like to do than a social engineer. I’m not really interested in making societies. Rather, I’m interested in making policies and programs for societies, much like medical engineers make treatments and regimens for human bodies. The only difference is the scale and scope.
This video has been presented at the Ubicomp 2014
Workshop on „The superorganism of massive collective wearables”
Interesting concept. I wonder if we already have this via the Internet. At any rate, I doubt that we’ll be able to get it up and running in time to save anyone or anything.
Nice thoughts. But nice thoughts don’t really mean anything here in this universe.
In Buddhism, our bodhisattva Avaloktishvara, the symbol and state of Supreme Compassion, is said to be what all other religions, especially in the Abrahamic tradition, know as God. In Buddhism, there is no Creator being, because all beings arise out of interdependence and have no singular “beginning” or “end” point. Those two opposite concepts, indeed, the whole range of concepts that are dual, is considered to be, in fact, one and the same things in essence and dependent upon our own conceptions of these things, which are not absolute and are only as lasting as you allow them to be.
In spite of being the emanation of Supreme Compassion, Avaloktishvara has a wrathful side, known as Mahakala. This is your mother scolding you for touching a hot radiator when you were little, or yelling at you in an effort to protect and teach you in such a way as to effectively get your attention and correct your behavior for your own sake and benefit. This excludes moments when she could just be screaming at you because she’s just mean (which could be the case). In this case, I think that her behavior can ultimately be interpreted as a means for you to learn unconditional compassion for someone who brought you into this world and is suffering just as we all are, perhaps in ways that are greater than you can imagine (if you’re going to follow a correct path to Enlightenment).
Let’s hope that the experiences we’re about to go through are ultimately the effects of Mahakala working his magic on the world, to get us back on track as a species and to hopefully eliminate the suffering that is in the hearts and minds of those who are causing our whole world (and their own world) considerable harm and damage.
Let us hope that the moment becomes ripe for us to make our move against the idiotic, the misers, and the callous individuals who inhabit and control our world by default. Never be moved by the crocodile tears they’re going to shed, brought on in a moment of panic and desperation more than out of anything sincere and genuine.
They really don’t work on the same plane as the rest of us. That is how I know they’re mentally diseased at best by the illusions of wealth, well-being, and power that they think they have as a result of their poorly chosen and poorly prioritized actions.
Supreme rationality my foot! They’re just Ignoratti, out to “conquer” the world at the barrel of a gun and for the sake of things they don’t really need (and shouldn’t really want) to begin with.
Down with the Ignoratti and all those who follow them through their actions!
It’s already been done. It’s just a matter of time.
I value many contributions libertarianism makes to challenging power. But here’s why I no longer associate with it
Honestly, the biggest problem with any ideology is that it only creates a haze over reality that is tinted towards your preconceived notions and desires. This haze will not guide you accurately throughout the ocean of life, the universe, and everything. In fact, it may run you into shoals and rocks that you could have avoided, had you been trying to look at reality for how it works and what is present in it.
A society is a complex adaptive system, just like an economy, environment, and a government. The goal of a government should be to examine the interrelated nature of these facets of the world, in order to understand how to make policies that produce optimal well being and the greatest chances for sustainable survival within a society. Otherwise, it’s just a load of philosophical crud that comes out of the mouth of people who have no idea and no inclination to have an idea about how the world actually is and works. This then makes them a danger to themselves and a danger to others, because they are not only not seeing, but refusing to see what is present and how things connect to one another, thus, increasing the odds that they’ll cause harm in a society to either individual members and/or to the collective whole. Furthermore, due to the persistence of the ideological haze, it is more likely that they’ll persist in their incorrect assumptions, beliefs, and poorly prioritized desires, thus increasing the odds of entrenched dysfunction both within the government and within the whole of the society.
We may not have all of the facts and relations in yet. But we should be able to tell now, that philosophical arguments are a poor substitute for scientific research and empirical study.
Think about it.