As a caveat, before I share the next set of quotes, I need say am not sharing them so that you believe them, not in the very least! I know some of the thoughts he expresses have been superseded by time and for the non-believer like me, they appear to be cow dung. My aim is for us to have a glimpse of how members of how species have tried to answer the questions of why things are as they are. There are those who created gods, for which we suffer to date or rather, a great percentage of the planet’s population suffers under bondage and still a great number are exploited by pastors, priests and mullahs. The Buddha, and whoever his disciples were, developed a godless philosophy, a way of living that is earth bound, that asks us to live a good life just as Epicurus in his many writings advised that we live a good life, so that if there are gods, they will be proud of us or something to that effect. So take the quotes with a grain of salt and while at it, yours truly would like to hear your thoughts.
With that out of the way, below, is what can only be described as ten commandments.
- Kill not; but have regard for life
- steal not, neither do ye rob; but help everybody to be master of the fruits of his labour
- Abstain from impurity, and lead a life of chastity
- Lie not, but be truthful. Speak the truth with discretion, fearlessly and in a loving heart
- Invent not evil reports, neither do you repeat them, Carp not, but look for the good sides of your fellow-beings, so that ye may with sincerity defend them against their enemies
- Swear not, but speak decently and with dignity
- Waste not the time with gossip, but speak to the purpose or keep silence
- Covet not, nor envy, but rejoice at the fortunes of other people
- Cleanse your heart of malice and cherish no hatred, not even against your enemies but embrace all living beings with kindness
- Free your mind of ignorance and be anxious to learn the truth, especially in the one thing that is needful
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.
In our continuing series of quotes, I will present two snippets; one on why there is so much sorrow and evil
The world is full of evil and sorrow, because it is full of lust. Men go astray because they think that delusion is better than truth. Rather than truth they follow error, which is pleasant to look at in the beginning but in the end causes anxiety, tribulation and misery.
and a second one that talks about consciousness. And those god people who keep saying an intelligent creator is responsible, the Buddha says shut the hell up. It is written,
In the beginning there is existence blind and without knowledge; and in this sea of ignorance there are stirrings formative and organizing. From stirrings, formative and organizing, rises awareness or feelings. Feelings beget organisms that live as individual beings. These organisms develop the six fields, that is, the five senses and the mind. The six fields come into contact with things. Contact begets sensation. Sensation creates the thirst of individualized being. The thirst of being creates a cleaving to things. The cleaving produces the growth and continuation of selfhood. Selfhood continues in renewed births. The renewed births of selfhood are the cause of suffering, old age, sickness and death. They produce lamentation, anxiety and despair.
Over the next few days yours truly will be sharing quotes gleaned from the Gospel of Buddha that am currently reading. To start us off, we have written
What love can a man possess who believes that the destruction of life will atone for evil deeds? Can a new wrong expiate old wrongs? And can the slaughter of an innocent victim blot out the evil deeds of mankind? This is practicing religion by the neglect of moral conduct.
Purify your hearts and cease to kill: that is true religion.
Rituals have no efficacy; prayers are vain repetitions; and incantations have no saving power. But to abandon covetousness and lust, to become free from evil passions and to give up all hatred and ill-will, that is the right sacrifice and true worship.