On Dharma, to action! (A short critique of Buddhism)
In earlier posts, and works yet written, I speak of the Cosmos. When I use this term, I use it as Hinduism uses the term Dharma, namely the principle of cosmic order, the whole considered as one mysterious reality, as a closed system of conceptual gears which coil in on themselves down into smallest, and onto what metaphysicians may call the foundations of reality, and out into the largest, widest, furthest reaches of this totality, outward to the frayed boundaries of anything that ever was, is, or will be –totality by definition.
The Dharma as taught by Buddha (which for practical purposes I shall so name my understanding of it) runs with the aforementioned understanding of everything, everything being a natural function, your worries are nothing so do not worry about them. In fact, lose yourself because that’s more real than your life which it lives.
From the piece:
“Whether in regard to the body or to the mind, just throw them all together as transient, imperfect and ownerless - aniccam, dukkhamand anattā. They are simply conditions of nature. They arise depending on supporting factors, exist for a while and then cease. When there are appropriate conditions they arise again; having arisen they exist for a while, then cease once more. “
This is exactly how I view myself, and likewise how I view you, your cat, a bird soaring overhead, and even any one of the cells within your body. Unless there is a God or a programmer who has created myself and these lives around me, surely life is what naturally rises from that which is (to digress, if there is a God or programmer, and each of us and this world is contrived, then the question of origin goes to Him or him, respectively.)
The above passage continues:
“These things are not a ”self,” a ”being,” an ”us” or a ”them.” There’s nobody there, simply feelings. Happiness has no intrinsic self, suffering has no intrinsic self. No self can be found, there are simply elements of nature which arise, exist and cease. They go through this constant cycle of change.”
If I have accepted the paragraph before, I cannot distance myself from ourselves being “elements of nature which arise, exist and cease”, and I must accept that there is a constant cycle of change, of which each of us is product. Still, I cannot help but see error in there being no ‘self’, nor ‘being’ to which I, us, we, or them may be attributed. My reasons for thinking as such are not conclusions from the mere thought of the Cosmos, but as a thought resultant of the life which I am living. For, the Cosmos cannot think unless something like myself thinks it. And therefore attachments that I have are meaningful, because the good which can be, and is sometimes produced is of greater net value (suffering included) than states of mind concerning detachment.
“This sort of thinking is like building a dam or a dike without making an outlet to let the water through. The result is that the dam bursts. And so it is with this kind of thinking. The Buddha saw that thinking in this way is the cause of suffering. Seeing this cause, the Buddha gave it up… All trees [are] as one, all beings [are] as one, there’s nothing special about any of them. They arise, exist for a while, age and then die, all of them.”
I disagree. Though everything is as one, I believe it is also accurate to say that everything is every one thing in the many parts of which is constituted the whole. [unclear as hell) that the temporary life is to be treated with a particular kind of passivity seems less than good.
My problem with the prevalent Eastern view of the Cosmos is that, in light of the enlightened revelation that each of us is this one natural totality, there seems to be promoted the disenfranchisement of the individual. That the individual being is an effect of the totality of everything is a good reason not to fear death, but it is a poor reason to lessen the importance of each life.
For, how can the Cosmos live if not through the individual? That I may strive, and cry, and gnash my teeth for the pursuit of a good which so affects the rest of creation; that I may enjoy and worry about, and thus participate in this damming up of sensation under the transient banner of name, identity, of dreams… is it not the highest form of beauty? And is not this beauty my own, as part and whole?
That I am the Cosmos. That in this body, like a wave risen from the great ocean, as a wave among waves, is it best that I, having at all times been the ocean, use this time as a wave to realize my being the ocean and to abandon my being the wave? Or now that I have form to see myself in this body, and in others, that I with joy do as the wave as best I can, that as a human I apprehend the sensations of the mind and make them my own for the fleeting duration of my time as this self?
I believe what is best for all and for each is to apprehend the truth of the totality (as Buddhism does), the Dharma, the Cosmos, and then to live a life as an individual, toward the good of this fleeting self and to all others who may so do the same.
Though it may be, technically speaking, that each is an illusion experienced by the whole, these illusions are as dreams, and they can be so very beautiful and conducive toward even more valuable realities for that which sees, feels and thinks into being. So we should engage ourselves and life, define who we are and be that as best we can.
As I am part, each part is I; let dam the flow, let be the flower of the self. Though life is difficult, and in time its form withers, there is no death, nor life but the being of all through the instance of each.
Know the whole, by thy self, be the Good. [perhaps too large a coffee this afternoon]
Essentially I mean to say that attachment is more valuable than detachment. Detachment is probably what the material world is, and when problems of minds arise, there is experience of the world, ourselves, and of others, and the resultant lives produced are beautiful good and can be constructive toward the good of life more generally.