Saturday, October 25, 2003

On blogging and what kind of blogger one wants to be...

Thinking about what kind of blogger I want to be, I remembered a teaching of Buddha. The version that left a lifelong impression was given in a class on Thai culture at the impressionable age of 15 or 16. It impressed me because here was a teacher telling me not to believe in teachings, not to believe in books, authority (which include our parents, elders, government, religious leader, etc. )... Before you start raising arguments against that, let me tell you the part that impressed me most. The Buddha says to test out any knowledge and if through your own personal experience it rings true, then maybe you can accept it as true. Since then I have looked up this teaching and found it rephrased in many ways. The one I found quickly for refering to on this blog was the following from a Shambala pocket classic, "Teachings of the Buddha", ed. by Jack Kornfield:

"This I do declare, after investigation there is nothing among doctrines that such a one as I would embrace. Seeing misery in philosophical views, without adopting any of them, searching for truth I saw 'inward peace'.

"Not by any philosophical opinion, not by tradition, not by knowledge, not by virtue and holy works can anyone say that purity exists; nor by absence of tradition, by absence of knowledge, by absence of virtue and holy works either; having abandoned these without adopting anything else, let one, calm and independent, not desire any resting place.

"One who thinks oneself equal to others, or distinguished, or low, for that very reson disputes; but one who is unmoved under those three conditions, for that person the notions "equal' and 'distinguished' do not exist.

"The Sage for whom the notions 'equal' and 'unequal' do not exist, would he say, 'This is true'? Or with whom should he dispute, saying, 'This is false?' With whom should he enter into dispute?

"An accomplished person does not by a philosophical view, or by thinking become arrogant, for he is not of that sort; not by holy works, nor by tradition is he to be led, he is not led into any of the resting places of the mind.

"For one who is free from views there are no ties, for one who is delivered by understanding there are no follies; but those who grasped after views and philosophical opinions, they wander about in the world annoying people."
(adopted from the Sutta-nipata,
translated by V. Fausbol)


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