Saturday, 5 May 2012

"Great Wisdom From Birth"

All (or at least most) of us have to be:

attached before we can be non-attached;
un-empathetic before we can be compassionate;
naive before we can be wise;
immature before we can be mature;
superficial before we can be profound

We are not like the Isvara of the Yoga Sutras, a special kind of being, perennially liberated. Is it possible to have great wisdom from birth, as Dogen said the Buddha did? It is too late for us. We cannot change our pasts. Can we have great wisdom from birth in a future life? I do not believe that we will have future lives. The One is reborn in all beings but each being is a single organism, not a series of organisms.

Earlier and later subjects of consciousness have different bodies and memories. Conceivably the dispositions of an earlier organism are transmitted to a later organism through a psychic medium but where is the evidence that this occurs and would this alone suffice to constitute identity between earlier and later psyches? Instead, can we bring it about that future generations, whatever their initial dispositions, are helped to move towards wisdom as quickly as possible with a minimum of obstacles? Can we build the Western Paradise here? Yes, that is a realistic political goal. In fact, radical social transformation is urgently necessary in any case.

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