ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

Dharma 法

When I first ran across The Noble Eightfold Path I tried to visualize each aspect in a pyramid form as if it were the Buddhist version of Maslow's Pyramid, which incorrectly assigned subservient values. Until I figured out their interrelationship. In a dawning of comprehension, I immediately understood why a ship's helm was the symbol for Buddhism. In short, its not. Its the wheel of dharma - the visual representation of eight paths simultaneous, rather than hierarchically. And that made sense.

The problem with Buddhism of course, is the Buddhists. Like Rufus the 13th Apostle said, "He still digs humanity, but it bothers Him to see the shit that gets carried out in His name - wars, bigotry, televangelism. But especially the factioning of all the religions. He said humanity took a good idea and, like always, built a belief structure on's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier." Hell, New Testament Christianity would make a great philosophy! But look how much epic fail it has as a religion. The same can be said about Buddhism. Great ideas - the practical application of which as a belief system, not so much.

Unsurprisingly, my experiences have been a little different. And while I acknowledge my understanding of the Eightfold Path is both limited and in its infancy, I immediately take issue with a couple of things. I think I'm a good person. We all think we're good people. No one thinks they intentionally set out to hurt others or are inconsiderate. We may see rudeness in others, but only insofar as our own perception differs from theirs. Even if they are being rude intentionally, its likely for reasons we would agree with if we understood their motivations. So yeah, subject to change.

Which brings me to my sticking point. While I seemingly not only agree with most (not all) of the Buddhist dhamamic elements (as a philosophy) I especially appreciate their attempt at anti-ignorance. Sadly, those who revel in ignorance aren't the type to attempt to eradicate it, so pretty much this is only going to help you in dealing with those types. Regardless, I find the subjectivity of some of these a little off-putting, because they're open to interpretation. I have no intention to resist the pull of desire for example because I desire knowledge and that suggestion would run antithetical to the concept behind it. Hrumph!

And speaking of intentions...while they're great ideas in concept, the fact that I have found myself cock-deep into some new endeavor prior to that focus being antinomically diverted also means that I've suddenly gone from fulfilling the Intention of Harmlessness to actively arousing unwholesome states! WHO NEEDS THAT SHIT ON THEIR CONSCIOUS? So basically I'm doing everything right - up until the moment I'm suddenly not. Oftentimes it doesn't matter that you didn't intend to hurt anyone, they're going to be hurt regardless and there's no "right action" to repair it or spell of disillusionment to clarify that intent. People are going to believe what they're going to believe, there's no logic to it, and no talking them out of it.

Tags: philosophy

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