Saturday, October 4, 2008
Isn’t Buddhism about the experiential and the verifiable? You say that the father never dies, that he continues in the son, and that a son can transform what his ancestors did. Doesn’t it then become mythical? Consciousness cannot be confined by time and space. That the flower contains the cloud is a truth. Everything is still present in every cell of your body. Looking deeply, you see the suffering and then you transform that suffering to be Blissful. We are the confirmation of our ancestors, not just of our mother and father. You can look deeply into yourself and recognise your ancestors in you. In this way we are touching the continuum not just biologically but also spiritually. Look at all the collective spiritual traditions India has got enriched with over the ages... that is also a continuum... Direct experience is a mystical, deep experience; it is difficult to put it into words. For instance, the book you are holding is verifiable but the cloud in the book is not. A direct experience is difficult to explain. Can you convey the taste of a mango to one who has never eaten the fruit? That direct experience is mystical. Krishna is seen as the embodiment of Ananda or Bliss even though his family and friends were murdered. You cannot have the lotus bloom without the mud. If you have suffering, you are able to transform that suffering into Bliss. To be Bliss, you need to transcend suffering, for by doing so you are able to experience the ultimate dimension, what is called the Kingdom of God, of Interbeing. So Krishna could do that. You cannot grow a lotus in marble! Krishna became aware of the suffering of all those who were killed because of him and that suffering he transformed into Bliss. We can all do that. When you transform yourself so that you overcome suffering, you also have transcended all the suffering experienced by your parents, brothers, sisters, other family members and friends. In that sense, you transform your ancestors and become Bliss. The Kingdom is available to every one of us. The question is, are you available to the Kingdom? It is difficult to achieve it without historical dimension. Suffering is universal and you can overcome it with compassion, by freeing yourself of anger, discontent and despair. You can only touch the Ultimate by touching the historical deeply. Isn’t consciousness separate from biology? Biology and consciousness ‘inter-are’. One is not separate from the other. This is called ‘double grasping’, griha and grahi. In the mango seed is the biological future of the tree. The seed is also consciousness. When you look at the body and consciousness, there is no separation of body and mind. They inter-are. You cannot have one without the other. The body is the manifestation of the mind and the mind is the manifestation of the body. Everything including inanimate matter is consciousness. The snail has the consciousness of building a shell. So it is consciousness. Not understanding this is called double grasping. Consciousness is not something separate from matter. Just as the flower has non-flower elements in it, it is also consciousness. Both subject and object are consciousness. Neuroscientists are coming closer to this. The subject and object of consciousness arise simultaneously.