Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Who is the Master? Man or fire?

The beginning of the the Dhamapada or the sayings of the Buddha, began with, "Choices', we are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world...." Two thousand five hundred years or so ago this great Teacher expounded what modern scientists, religious thinkers and philosophers are still grappling with as to the truth of the matter. Does our mind has the power to think this Universe into being as it is today? How many of us living on this planet today really even care about the question or even come close to asking it of himself? It is insanity to try to unravel what it entails if one accepts the Buddha's words to be the truth. How can billions upon billions of minds with untold number of thoughts, to coin the Buddhist way of counting, as many as the sands of the Ganges, create such a world, much less the Universe that we exist in? But then again how did we ever dream of creating the nuclear bomb towards our own self destruction?
Yes, we have come a very long way from the time of the Buddha and our human history has charted a course towards its own self realization if not destruction. Ironically, the Buddha teachings points towards the letting go of the self or as some would put it, self annihilation as a goal in order to attain liberation from this circle of existence. Are we collectively fulfilling this requirement that we wipe our 'selves' out to achieve this goal of liberation; perhaps unconsciously? The human mind is not unlike the fire. Fire is when under right control a very useful servant to have but when it is in control, it is a very bad master. The great teachers of all religions has in one way or another warned mankind of the dangers of allowing the human mind its free will without any form of restraint. Islam warns us against giving in to our 'nafs', or desires (ego), just as Buddhism does. 
"In this world, hate never yet dispel hate, only Love dispel hate." The Dhammapada went on to say,"This is the Law, Ancient and Inexhaustible. You too shall pass away, knowing this, how can you quarrel?" Herein lies our predisposition towards killing one another, we ever so often forgets that we are mortals and the fact that our mortality can happen at any time. We live in forgetfulness of our mortality and assume that by removing others from this life we attain a longevity in our very own life; or attain immortality itself. In this way we have slowly evolved into a cancerous virus that is eating up our very own guts from within and manifesting itself without. We are a sickness that is affecting everything in and around us while living in denial of this. We are living governed by our Greed, Hate and Ignorance, the three illnesses that has affected us since mankind began to see himself as an entity, a self with the sole purpose of its own survival. 'Taking care of Number One,' 'Do unto others before they do it to you!' 'I am Me and this is Mine, my way or the highway!' This is how we have evolved in our mental and spiritual evolution, we have become 'self-serving', we have become 'self- idolater,' we have become lost in our own self-worship; only fear of the unknown has kept us from declaring ourselves Gods.
The Prophet of Allah (PBUH), declared after winning a battle that, man has a greater battle (jihad) to fight and win and that is the battle within; the battle against his 'nafs' or desire (ego). Today we stand on the threshold of loosing our faith in the teachings of the ancient while allowing for our collective minds to be influenced by decadence and unconsciousness, we are asleep with our nightmares hammering at our doors and yet we refuse to awaken to the reality of the dangers we are drifting towards as humanity itself. We are on the brink of a Third World War! Only Love can dispel Hate the Buddha had warned us in His wisdom through the Dhammapada, or have we gone way beyond Love and Hate; are mere acting now on auto-pilot? Has our mind become as mechanized as the machines we create? Has the fire become the master, or are the flames not the servant anymore?       

No comments: