HMK: why would I want that?9th: Because it's liberation from suffering, and absolute truth. You have a pre-conceived notion of liberation that you want to cling to, that's the problem.
Someone needs to tell him that his picture is wrong, so I did.
Of course, he may not listen, he probably won't listen. He'll have to learn the hard way.
But a seed will have been planted that may take root at some point in the future.
seeds need shit to blossom...
I'm amused, and am taking your comments, I think, in the spirit in which they were intended.
And if there were substance in these arguments, I might respond to it.
But I feel you're more interested in the (admittedly entertaining for us DhO readers) aestheticization of "the seeker's struggle," the transformation of sentiment into a stylistic literary production,
than in what it takes to actually succeed in that struggle.
When someone comes to the Buddha complaining that a family member has died, does the Buddha empathize? Not particularly. He says, "Go bring me a mustard seed from a house which death hasn't visited." You can imagine how that went.
Actually, i've tried:There is a story told in the extra-canonical writings of the Buddhist Paliliterature, about a woman named Kisogotami, a young mother whose son had died,who, maddened by grief, carried her dead child along with her on her hip as shewent from door to door in her village begging for some medicine that might curehim. She was eventually sent to the Buddha, by some well-meaning soul, and shebegged the Awakened One for the medicine she had been begging for fromeveryone. The Buddha told her he could make the medicine for her son, but tomake it, he needed a single mustard seed from a household whose grief was lessthan hers. And so, with her dead son still resting on her hip, she set out tofetch the precious seed, certain that it would not be long before she found ahome less devastated by loss than she was herself. At many houses, the depth ofthe family’s grief and suffering was so immediately obvious that she did noteven ask for a mustard seed, but simply gave them her heartfelt blessing andthe compassion that comes with mutual grief, and went on, still hauling herpoor dead child. Other households invited her in, and offered hospitality,kindness, generosity, and she would always be sure she had found the place atlast. But always, when she explained what the mustard seed was for, the storyof the grief that household lived with would be told, and the woman never hearda story less painful than her own. As her search went on, indeed, she couldalmost begin to believe she had gotten off relatively lightly, with hershattered heart, though that did not ease her grief in the least. If anything,the deepening realization, door by door, story by story, of the shared vastnessof the world’s raw grief became more and more unbearable.At last, of course, the story tells us that she went back to the Buddha, with her dead son, stinking now, still on her hip, and told him that she had not been able to get that mustard seed. The tale, as told in a text called the Therigatha Atthakatha, or "Commentaries to the Verses of the Elder Nuns," concludes with Kisogotami telling the Buddha with a sigh, I have resolved the matter of the mustard seed. I understand now. And then, as the Commentary tells it, “She rejoiced and threw the body out in a field and sang this verse: This is no law for village or town,No law for any single family.Through all the world of devas and menThis law holds good: All is Impermanent. The Therigatha Atthakatha goes on to tell how Kisagotami returned from the field to be ordained by the Buddha into the order of nuns. It is said that she practiced diligently, and in time she realized enlightenment and became an arhat, and the poems of her Realization are treasured to this day.The horror of this woman tossing her son’s dead body away into a field and moving on to arhathood is not unique to the eastern traditions. The gnostic vein in western thought is recurrently prepared to see everything of this world as either illusion or an actively deceitful evil, which must be seen through completely to be escaped. But even Jesus, doing the will of his Father, the God of love, told a man who wanted to follow him, but wanted to go to his father’s funeral first, “Let the dead bury the dead.” If he had told me that, before the funerals of any number of loved ones in my life, I would have told him to go fuck himself. If our grief is meaningless, then so is our salvation.There is a variation on the Kisogotami story--- lost somewhere deep amid the haggadot of the Jerusalem Talmud, I believe--- that says that she never wrote any of that heartless bullshit poetry, nor did she throw her son’s body out into a field like a piece of trash with the rest of the impermanent and illusory things that whirl through samsara. She carried her boy at last to a funeral pyre and lit the holy blaze herself, and then walked on through the world of devas and men, going nowhere, seeking only a pyre of her own. It is said that she eventually made her way to the dung heap next to Job, where she sat down beside him, bowed her head to him once in helpless compassion, and received his nod in return, and never said another word. She came to my door with her dead son on her hip,and asked me for a mustard seedunsalted by the sea of grief,but only liars would have you believethey have such seeds to give.I thought the one who’d sent her cruel.(real probems with formatting this, despite my best efforts, translation from an old word processing program, i think, but you get the jist.)
When Arjuna complains to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita that a civil war is going to slaughter his entire family, what does Krishna say? "Man, life sucks?" Nope. He says, "What a wimp you are. The truth is that the wise mourn neither the living nor the dead."
That's because the truth is the real lifeline... it seems harsh, but that's only from one side of the gateless gate. If the truth was false it would be harsh. If it's true it's the sweetest nectar.
Now stop mindfucking folks who are trying to gather initial energy to fire up their practice-relalisation. Otherwise I just might unleash Tim's Wrath on you!
Lovely. This struck me:
"If our grief is meaningless, then so is our salvation."
Yes, it is. It's something better than meaningful, something infinitely deeper and yet more immediate. Meaning is a prison.
9th:Maybe that's your answer then. I guess you're just not interested in enlightenment right now and that's that...