Monday, 23 May 2011

LIFT THE PAINTED VEIL AND SEE THE WORLD!

COMMENT:

THIS COMPLETES A CYCLE OF PROJECTS.  LIFT THE PAINTED VEIL (THE MENTAL FILM OF IDEAS AND POINTS OF VIEWS) AND SEE WHAT THE WORLD REALLY LOOKS LIKE.

THE WORLD IS NEUTRAL. WE DECIDE THAT WE LIKE THIS, WE DON’T LIKE THAT.
WE LIKE THE GOOD TIMES, THE GOOD EXPERIENCES.
WE DON’T LIKE THE BAD TIMES, THE BAD EXPERIENCES: BIRTH, PAIN, ILLNESS, OLD AGE, DEATH.
WE CAN’T ESCAPE BIRTH, PAIN, ILLNESS, OLD AGE, AND DEATH.
IF WE DECIDE “THE GAIN IS WORTH THE PAIN”, WE CARRY ON GETTING BORN i.e. ACQUIRING A BODY SO THAT WE CAN EXPERIENCE THESE THINGS.
IF WE DECIDE THE GAIN IS NOT WORTH THE PAIN, WE GO ABOUT NOT GETTING ANY MORE BODIES, NOT BEING BORN AGAIN.
IF WE CAN’T MAKE UP OUR MINDS, WE GO ON GETTING BORN AND EXPERIENCING THE GOOD AND THE BAD UNTIL WE DO.

IT’S FOREVER EITHER WAY.

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,--behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it--he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
                                                          —Shelley

SHELLEY’S POEM IS A “YOUNG MAN’S POEM”.

NEW PROJECT: WRITE AN “OLD MAN’S POEM” TO HONOUR THIS YOUNG MAN’S POEM.

Monday, 16 May 2011

WAX FRUIT or REAL FRUIT?

COMMENT:

Coffee or Tea? and Wax Fruit or Real Fruit? are not the same. Coffee or Tea? is offering you a choice.  Wax Fruit or Real Fruit? is not offering you a choice.  It is asking whether what you are looking at now is real fruit or a fake.  There is no choice.  If what you are looking at is a fake, there is no reason why there should be any real fruit somewhere else, for you to choose.  If there seems to be, you would have to examine it.  It may also be a fake.  It may be that all the fruit everywhere, including Heaven, is a fake.  In that case there is no choice.

The "fruit" is the fruit of life, of being born.  Body and Mind.

The body and mind that you are looking at and which you call your own (or maybe yours on loan) is it real?  Or is it a mass of inconvenience and suffering; painful birth, difficult early years when you are wholly dependent on others, ill health, old age (if it lasts that long), and unwanted death (or if wanted, only because the suffering becomes great enough).

Real or fake?  Desirable or undesirable.

What did Buddha say about mind and body (= nama-rupa = the five groups of existence)?

"Whatever there is of material shape, feeling, perception, the habitual (latent) tendencies, consciousness - he (the wise man) considers these things as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as an imposthume, as a dart, as a misfortune, as an affliction, as alien, as decay, empty, not-self."

And having seen this, what should he do?

"He turns his mind from these things; and when he has turned his mind from these things he focuses his mind on the deathless element, thinking: ‘This is the real, this the excellent, that is to say the tranquillising of all the activities, the casting out of all clinging, the destruction of craving, dispassion, stopping, Nibbāna."

Source: Mahāmālunkyasutta of Majjhima Nikāya.



New Project: LIFT THE PAINTED VEIL AND SEE THE WORLD!

Monday, 9 May 2011

AM I A MANGY DOG?

COMMENT:

Whichever way you look at it, mange is suffering. From a simple point of view, the dog suffers because it has a body. If it didn't, it wouldn't.

We suffer physically because we have a body. We suffer mentally because we have a mind.

No mind, no body - no suffering.

So why do we have a body and a mind? Because we want a mind and a body.

Why do we want them?

Because we have a viewpoint which sees them as wantable.

So what's the answer. Examine them afresh and see what the reality is. Desirable or undesirable?

The next time you have a headache, consider that it might be because you have a head.


NEW PROJECT: WAX FRUIT OR REAL FRUIT?

Monday, 2 May 2011

THE DOG WITH MANGE

COMMENT:

If I'm irritated, the people I meet irritate me. If I'm greedy, my attention is continually caught by voluptuous sense objects. My point of view is that it is the people who irritate me and the sense objects that attract me.

(And yet that dog with mange
is still oblivious to change;
continues ill at ease
in shade, hot sun or breeze.)

The sense objects make up the world. They are all quite neutral. It is we who project our states of mind onto them. Ultimately, we don't have total control of the outside world. But we can have control over inside world - our minds. If I am never irritable, no-one can ever irritate me.

It all comes down to the struggle to survive,
the endlessly obstructed urge just to stay alive.
All (including dog) use just one rule as measure;
avoidance of pain and pursuit of pleasure.
Pain leaves an imprint which says, “Leave it be!”
The sirens of pleasure leave a note, “Follow me!”

Withdrawal from the world of pain and pleasure is the answer. Not trying to shape that world to fit our desires.


NEW PROJECT: AM I A MANGY DOG?