Quotes: Day 3


On our continuing series of posts from the gospel of Buddha, allow me to share this passage from the book.

Again it is said that the Absolute has created us. But that which is absolute cannot be a cause. All things around us come from a cause as the plant comes from the seed; but how can the Absolute be the cause of all things alike? If it pervades them, then, certainly, it does not make them.

Again it is said that the self is the maker. But if self is the maker, why did it not make things pleasing? The causes of sorrow and joy are real and objective. How can they have been made by self?

Again, if we adopt the argument that there is no maker, our fate is such as it is, and there is no causation, what use would there be in shaping our lives and adjusting means to an end?

Therefore, we argue that all things that exist are not without cause. However, neither I?vara, nor the absolute, nor the self, nor causeless chance, is the maker, but our deeds produce results both good and evil according to the law of causation.

Let us, then, abandon the heresy of worshipping I?vara and of praying to him; let us no longer lose ourselves in vain speculations of profitless subtleties; let us surrender self and all selfishness, and as all things are fixed by causation, let us practice good so that good may result from our actions.

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

14 thoughts on “Quotes: Day 3

  1. mixedupmeme says:

    “let us practice good so that good may result from our actions.”
    This is a good one. Whose good are we going to practice? 😦

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  2. shelldigger says:

    Yeah, it is running off the rails at this point…

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  3. tildeb says:

    And this little gem:

    “Again, if we adopt the argument that there is no maker, our fate is such as it is, and there is no causation, what use would there be in shaping our lives and adjusting means to an end?”

    Yes, without Oogity Boogity exercising POOF!ism, our lives can have no meaning or purpose! Such clarity of thought! Such wisdom! Such insight! (Apparently…)

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    • makagutu says:

      Whereas I agree with you slightly, there is no where as far as I can tell where he says we must believe in a god or some other for our lives to have meaning. I can only construe that statement as a rejection of nihilism, though our fate is such as it is.
      There is a discussion he has with a few Brahmans on the question about the path to follow to god and he inquires of them if any of the people who tell them about the gods know anything about gods. They respond to the negative and so finally he tells them the only thing they can do is to follow truth, whatever that is, and do good deeds and I think even you agree.

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  4. john zande says:

    Oooooh, i like his rebuttal to the First Cause argument!

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  5. The causes of sorrow and joy are real and objective. How can they have been made by self?

    So that we might know the difference.

    On Joy and Sorrow
    Kahlil Gibran

    Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
    And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
    And how else can it be?
    The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
    Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
    And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

    Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
    But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
    Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

    Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
    Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

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  6. An early First Cause argument… interesting. I see you’re researching Buddhism. Pass along any recommended literature, as I am in the middle of doing the same.

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