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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Ripples, Reflections and the Golden Road:thoughts about Christ and the Pipeline (Video)

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him." Buddha, Chapter one Dhammapada

My spiritual sensibilities include the supposition that there is more than meets the eye.    (note at the highlighted links are texts and materials which support my ideas so for a fuller explanation of my thought take note of the references)

We humans are facing a big shitload of Karma due to the way we have treated the environment.  The stated intent of the new cabal in Washington is to double down of the assault on the environment by means of the promotion of fossil fuel extraction.  
We're waist deep in the Big Muddy

While I truly appreciate the thoughts of Buddha I am mostly familiar with the spiritual tradition of Christ and move easily among the symbols of the Christian faith expressed in the New Testament. It doesn't mean I'm right, but it does mean I have an understanding that makes sense to me. 

So let's cut to the chase.  We can be sure of only one thing and that is that we exist. There is something that says "I exist" that something inside which speaks of your existence beckons you. Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, speaks about this in his parable of the Prodigal Son.  

In the parable of the Prodigal Jesus tells the story of a young man who rebelled from his wealthy Father and asked his Father for his inheritance before his Father had died.

The Father, not one to interfere with the free will of his son, said okay.  The young man went off with the wealth of his Father to what is called a 'far country'. Once in the 'far country'  he wasted his Father's wealth and became penniless to the point he had to beg a swine herder to let him have some left over food from the swine's dinner just so he could survive.

The story has a happy moment.  Jesus describes the young man as 'coming to himself' (vs 17).  When he came to himself he remembered his Father and his previous condition in his Father's household.  He decided to return home and beg his Father to forgive him. This is the essential point in the story for me. When the young man came to himself he did so on the basis of remembering his original identity as being a Son of God instead of being born a bum destined to eat the food of pigs. In this story about the Kingdom of Heaven Christ reminds us that we are spiritual beings in the midst of a material experience. Not the other way around.  

The Father would have nothing to do with his son begging forgiveness.  He had always been forgiven and welcome home:   

"But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."

This is where the material and the spiritual
are connected. In the story the young man had been reduced to eating the food of pigs. This is a spiritual metaphor for the experience of having repudiated his own being, his own self.

The Father in the story is God.  The 
household the young man deserted was 
the Kingdom of God.The picture of the Father running to embrace his wayward son is a beautiful and hopeful message of unconditional love and compassion which is the heart and soul of the reality constructed by Christ.

To tie this together.  God made the world. 
Humans fucked it up for profit because of
greed. We are now on the cusp of having 
to eat the food of swine, in a metaphorical 
sense, with regard to the laying waste to
 the creation of God in pursuit of profit.

I'ts not likely those in charge will change their minds about the raping of the earth; rather the earth will likely succumb to the Karma loaded drive for wealth. 

Citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven will respect the Creators handiwork even if they are not religious. It is in their still small voice. From within the heart of humankind good and evil come into the world.  Those who align themselves with the Kingdom of God will show respect for the earth and those who live on it. Those who take away from the earth the ability to sustain life...well Buddha has a thought for them to consider:  
"If an intelligent man be associated for one minute only with a wise man, he will soon perceive the truth, as the tongue perceives the taste of soup.
Fools of little understanding have themselves for their greatest enemies, for they do evil deeds which must bear bitter fruits.
That deed is not well done of which a man must repent, and the reward of which he receives crying and with a tearful face.
No, that deed is well done of which a man does not repent, and the reward of which he receives gladly and cheerfully.
As long as the evil deed done does not bear fruit, the fool thinks it is like honey; but when it ripens, then the fool suffers grief."  From chapter 5 of the Dhammapada.

Any sober minded person can understand that what has been done and what is still being done in pursuit of profit has resulted in conditions which are imperiling our existence.

This is where the notion of the Kingdom of God Jesus revealed applies.  Jesus stands in opposition to those who would destroy the earth. The reason for that is Jesus is understood by Christians to be the Creator who made the earth and gave it to man who did what we see today to the creation of God. 

Like the Prodigal Son we can change our minds, many have. Sadly those with power have not changed their minds.  

In the bible the 'Wrath of God' is represented to be the result of humans making shitty decisions.  It is not something God does to us, rather it is something we have done to ourselves while absent from God in a 'far country' where we have forgotten who we are.

Times of calamity such as we now are immersed in can drive a person to despair if he or she thinks in their heart of hearts this is all there is.  But there is that still small voice inside of you which says there's more. That voice is saying to all who are in a 'far country' come to yourself, change your mind and come home.

This video came to me after I finished.  It is a discussion by Manly Hall on the topic of Buddha and his approach to ending suffering, it is uncannily appropriate to my blog post. 

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.