Saturday, December 8, 2018

Watching the Train Wreck, Helpless

These have been years that try men’s souls.  Dysfunction and inhumanity have always been abroad to a greater or lesser extent.  But these last two years under President Trump have been especially difficult.  Yes, come January the Democrats will be in control of the House.  But while that portends some policy changes that will be welcomed, real change is the underlying status quo in politics and our society is not in the offing.

In many of my posts, I have noted with sadness the destruction that man continues to wreak on himself and the environment.  Whether the issue is politics, social injustice, domestic strife, human interactions, the state of international relations, or at the core how man relates to himself, while there is a clear path forward out of the morass that man has created, the forward energy of this train of destruction cannot I fear be stopped.  Indeed, the train is speeding up.  

Most of the world’s leaders and many of its inhabitants, certainly those with a voice, are unwitting advocates of the forces that propel the train forward to its dark destiny.  They have from birth sucked from the nipple of our culture the seven deadly sins … lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, anger, envy, and pride.  These sins flow from the font of insecurity that is formed almost at birth and hides man’s divinity from himself.  It is a rare man, certainly in Western cultures, that truly loves himself.  

It is the ultimate punishment for man eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and being thrust out of the Garden of Eden, separated from his own divine state.  (See my post, “Our Culture is the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.”)  The way back, to return to the God/Buddha-essence he was born with, lies in renouncing man’s ego-mind, his mind’s judgment of all things, including good and evil.  And that is simply beyond the ken, the imagination, of most men.  (As I’ve written often, this does not mean that man would not discern the problems and dysfunction in the world; he would be very aware, but he would not label or react with emotion.)

In the Bible, when man was lost, God knew that the only way out of the morass was to wipe mankind out.  And so he sent the flood.  But God, or rather the creators of the myth, made the mistake of not wiping man out totally.  Through attachment to His creation, He allowed Noah and his family to survive.  And so all the failings of man were perpetuated into the future.

The evolution of man has turned out to be a most destructive force.  Man has added much that has benefitted and enriched the lives of man, but on balance he has done far more harm than good, both to himself as well as his co-inhabitants of Earth.  As I have written previously, this harm is not as most would say a product of man’s nature, but rather his nurture.  It is a monstrous self-inflicted wound.  

The force that has driven and is driving man to inflict this wound, to create the cancer that consumes him, to act in a way that is not in his self-interest, to separate him from his divine self, is the combined force of our culture (at least Western culture) and our religions (see my post, “The Shame of Religion”).  Even in the East, it is painful to witness the hatred towards the Muslim Rohingya that springs forth from the mouths of Buddhist monks and is condoned by leaders such as Aung San Suu Kyi.

There is no doubt in my mind that the only hope for planet Earth lies in the total destruction of man.  The Biblical Day of Judgment could not come soon enough.  If man were wiped out, nature would slowly restore itself.  It has that power.  After millennia, the world would once again be as verdant and alive as it was before the advent of man.  

The fact that I am a Buddhist makes this an especially painful statement to make.  I know and have absolute faith that every person is born with the God/Buddha-essence inside them, as the mystical traditions of the three Abrahamic faiths and Buddhism teach.  I know the process of life experience through which man loses contact with that essence and instead is subject to the emotions, judgments, cravings, and attachments of his ego-mind, and the suffering and frustration that flows from that.  And I know and have faith in the spiritual process that can free man from the control of his ego-mind and restore him to his true self, his heart, his God/Buddha-essence.

But the overwhelming majority of human beings are not aware of these teachings, and even if they were, probably would not subscribe to them.  Because they go against everything we are taught by our culture, everything we believe about ourselves; these teachings are radical.  Even those who do follow the path typically have difficulties because of the constant challenges thrown in their path by the ego-mind’s reactions to life experiences and by our culture.  As we’ve seen, even Buddhist monks can become lost in the grip of ethnic hatred

We just have not been raised to have the necessary fortitude for the spiritual path.  And irony of ironies, true spirituality often does not come with orthodox religious belief; the ultra-orthodox are often intolerant of others and abusive of themselves and their loved ones.  There is no aura of divinity in their actions; just the facade of ritual. 

The evolution of man is an experiment gone awry.  The sooner it ends, the better for man and for our planet.

In the meantime, I live in the present.  I will continue to raise my voice, to work with others to make life better in whatever small way I can.  After all, the present is our only reality; all conjecture as to what the future will bring is just that … conjecture, thought.

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