Of foremost importance are the people – not celebrities, the powerful, the rich, scholars or others whom society deems great or praiseworthy. The purpose of all things must be the happiness of the people.
Everything else should be but a means to that end.
Those who fail to recognize this fundamental point and look down on the people and exploit them are thoroughly vile and contemptible; they are a hindrance to people’s happiness.
Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda
Friday, March 26, 2010
The Hell of Incessant Suffering and the Land of Tranquil Light
Note: This was originally published here on Sunday, September 24th, 2006 at 4:28 pm and filed under Buddhism.. The link has been dead for quite some time, looks unlikely to re-appear, so I’m showing the words here as they are so wonderful because they deserve to be preserved. The material is straight from Google’s cache as it isn’t in the Wayback Machine. Use the contact page if you think this is unreasonable.
Through enlightenment we escape the confines of the physical and realise the unlimited potential of the human spirit. Just as the sun that dries the newly hatched butterfly’s wings, the compassion of the Lotus Sutra allows us all to soar from our pitiful cocoons and look out over the landscape of infinite possibility.
The potential for enlightenment exists within all human beings, just as an ungainly chick has the potential to become a great eagle, the single roe egg to become a great salmon, or the young cheetah to become faster even than antelope. Why then, do human beings endowed with the capacity for intelligence and great understanding constantly fail to fulfil their potential?
Physical confinement refers not only to tangible barriers, like walls, or borders, but also by those barriers caused by our lesser consciousnesses. Our lesser consciousnesses often serve to withhold our true potential, making us feel trapped within the lower life states of hell, hunger, animality and anger. We constantly fall into the three evil paths of greed anger and foolishness, and we commit the ten evil acts – all serving only to deepen our suffering and further delude us from our most true and pure nature.
This one moment of insight transformed Mr Toda’s life, and catalysed the growth of the SGI in post war Japan, and subsequently revitalised the cause for Kosen Rufu throughout the world.
It surprises me not in the least that given such a supreme teaching, and aware of his inability to directly influence the affairs of the world outside his cell, that the causes inherent in Mr Toda’s experiencing the Lotus Sutra ultimately led to such profound effects upon so many people today.
Trapped in a prison cell one is all too aware of his physical confinement. Given such an environment, and removed from every day affairs, even the ignorant would have much time to ponder. Many great people of compassion have suffered this kind of confinement – not just such great names as Mandela and Terry Waite, but the countless common people who have found their lives curtailed by cruel regimes bent on every kind of domination.
A prison cell is a relative confinement. The insects that must have occupied Josei Toda’s prison cell were most likely unaware of the rest of the prison, far less so the existence of the country of Japan, it’s people’s anguish, or the needless suffering being delivered upon countless millions of people due to the war. Those insects surely went about their daily business, oblivious to these facts. Spiders would spin their webs, and flies, being such, would daily find themselves trapped therein.
Josei Toda although knowing his mentor and friend Tsunesaburo Makiguchi was also in prison, must have felt a terrible sense of isolation from the world outside, and finally upon learning of Makiguchi’s death a year after his last brief meeting with him, he wept in his devastation all night. For a time he must have felt as isolated as a single ant in the middle of a great desert.
The hell of incessant suffering is indeed realised in this life due to our ignorance of our true nature and the way of the Lotus Sutra. Josei Toda’s prison cell provided him with the opportunity of transcending his own difficulties, realising within himself the Buddha nature which in turn blessed him with the vision that this world and all life within has the potential for buddhahood – that the potential existed for the land of tranquil light to be experienced in this life.
The relative confinement of the prison cell is no different from our confinement upon this planet. To live on a world the size of a grain of sand, human beings would be too small to see even under a powerful microscope. Imagine now that this grain of sand upon which billions of human beings depend may be more than 16000 miles from the nearest grain of sand which may also be inhabited by sentient life. It is impossible for common people to comprehend our isolation.
Surely then, humanity is more physically alone within the vast reaches of the universe than Josei Toda was within his prison cell. Yet, like the flies in Mr Toda’s cell, we are ignorant of our physical isolation and the darkness in our hearts. Why does humanity, more isolated in the universe as was Josei is his cell, not see it’s salvation in the compassion and supreme law of the Lotus Sutra? It is not unheard of for a person to exhibit great wisdom. People [pluraly] on the other hand, have never been recorded with the possession of a collective wisdom to match.
It is because people are amused by meaningless trinkets, misled by the poisonous machinations of our rulers, deluded by jealous and vengeful doctrines, and hungry for power that humanity has successfully delivered itself into a time where the great mystic forces have delivered the hell of incessant suffering before our very eyes.
Nichiren stated “those who stay long in privies forget how foul the smell is”, and so it is with humanity and the three evil paths. Our task as votaries of the Lotus Sutra and disciples of Nichiren is to make the great Law as irresistible to humanity, as the copy of the Lotus Sutra in Mr Toda’s cell was to him.
The movement for Kosen Rufu must make the Law accessible to all and to propagate it at every opportunity. True votaries of the Lotus Sutra see our worldly attachments for the illusions of smoke and dust that they are.
It is not enough simply to become comfortable exchanging our views with fellow believers at regular meetings. This time calls for shakubuku to be practiced with great wisdom, courage and compassion. To provide demonstrable proof to all those around you – your employers, employees, family and friends – is paramount if this world is ever to be transformed into the land of tranquil light. This world may not be transformed in my lifetime, but if we are to take true faith in kosen rufu then we will surely be reborn in the land of tranquil light.
I saw the Tory leader, David Cameron’s speech yesterday and then later watched all the knowledgeable punditry give their opinions on such shows as “Question Time”, “Newsnight” and elsewhere.
After it all, I was suddenly reminded about Obama’s meeting with Cameron in December last year (2008), when, after noticing Cameron’s desire to denigrate everything European by building walls between ‘them’ and ‘us’ and his sycophantic attempts at UK-USA matey clubmanship, Obama remarked to an aide,
It’s my guess that this astute observation will come to haunt Cameron in the years ahead, no matter how much entente cordiale is exchanged and oil poured on the waters.
Yesterday’s speech was actually Cameron’s golden moment – the one point that occurs in everyone’s life to rise above the morass of humanity and make a distinctive mark in history. Most people fail, but trained politicians can usually make a good effort at the appropriate rousing rhetoric that appears to be “the moment”. A turning point. Or at least memorable!
They know how to do it, it’s their job and they’ve seen all the great speeches. Cameron’s was not great and was not inspiring. He has everything going for him currently with massive local election gains and a weak government in it’s final death throes…. But he blew it (and I’m glad!).
Following the biggest financial meltdown in history over the last 2 years, the optimists are vociferously making themselves known and talking the economies of the world, up.
However, the United Kingdom is not doing as well as Germany (and France), apparently. The reason for this is that Germany’s profits have mainly come from manufacturing exports and their trading is done mainly in the Euro which makes their transactions and agreements easier. Also, in Europe they are not so het up about house ownership and thus didn’t have the collateral to increase the levels of personal debt that has been seen in Britain. This was the news this morning.
Meanwhile, UK house prices are sliding up again….
Q. So is it back to normal?
A. I think attitudes are back to normal.
White van man and the manic BMW & Audi drivers are hammering down the motorways again, so they can obviously afford it.
In the same news programme this morning it was stated that Britain’s recent prosperity is based on… the financial markets.
So Germany makes, while Britain gambles…
And as optimism returns, all the platitudes about financial controls are being quietly swept aside. Instead of controls, HM Gov is going to increase the tax on the gamblers!!! (see “Call for bank tax to curb bonuses” )
These are all clever people apparently, and they’ve all done their economics homework.
But they fail to correlate the fact that the gambling spiv country has done badly in the recession and that the prime reason for the recession was people acting like gambling spivs.
So while they’ve made “agreements” for tax-havens like Bermuda & Liechtenstein to behave better, Britain, in actual fact, has not altered it’s behaviour. It’s whole raison d’etre and source of wealth is gambling and spiv cons.
Britain is like a Las Vegas in the ocean. Only bigger.
Back on May 1st I checked out this particular morph of the Google Money Bollox Kit Chest Scheme Plan… See here. I just had to show it because of the naff spelling and wordage, plus the inconsistencies in the text and graphics, and company name changes.
Of course, I’ve now realised that this is all totally normal and is done on purpose to keep Propellor heads busy.. At the time, the penultimate link in the chain of signing up, was:
So I thought I’d check if it still worked, it being a “secure” connection with session ID, and myself having been through several incarnations of Firefox as well as frequent cache and cookie clearances….
Well I was still laughing at the dinky trademark sign when I fired up (in)s3curehost dot com. They obviously consider it something worth protecting!
Work from home with google
You’ll not be surprised to know that s3curehost.com still exists (so much for security and session IDs?). I’m actually surprised, in a small way, that they still keep pumping this stuff out. A Whois shows that s3curehost.com is “IntelliPay, Inc.” a.k.a. “Pacific WebWorks, Inc.” who we’ve already looked at in Salt Lake City on the original Google Treasure Chest – It’s a Scam and a Half posting.
The “Google Profits” web-page has changed slightly, but the incompetent spelling and characteristic inconsistency is reassuringly still there!
It’s to good… Earn $978 a day… Google Profits – eAuction, which one is it?
I left my “qualifying” to another day, so I haven’t found out if I’m ‘eligable’ yet.
Pacific Web Works
Pacific WebWorks, Inc.
There are two things of note about this business, apart from the “Microsoft Certified Partner” logo. [added 26/10/2009: Matt at scamtimes.com has checked out the claim to be valid here in this comment below. However, it seems very easy to get this ‘logo’ certification.]
The phone number at the contact page here: http://web.archive.org/web/20100507231016/http://www.pacificwebworks.com:80/contact_pweb.htm, which is:
230 West 400 South 1st Floor
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
It’s business is an integrated solution for other internet based businesses – my description(SP).
At first glance it’s a normal business for this line of work. Here’s what they say about themselves and their custom software suite:
They have “assembled a staff of professional trainers, coaches and support specialists”
They have “built a state-of-the-art data center” which takes “care of everything, including hosting, manpower, and technical details”
They provide “Tools for creating, managing and maintaining a web site”.
They provide “Electronic business tools, including storefront hosting, shopping cart and Internet payment systems.”.
They provide “Internet Marketing tools, including automated customer database, survey, and e-mail marketing tools.”.
The Plot Thickens
So far so good. And the database – that must be where all the contacts are kept, securely, private?
Now check that telephone number again. It was the 9020 that did it! Like primeval intelligence, it’s come back from the depths of my mind.
It’s listed as the main contact point for Google Treasure Chest, etc, many times. See here and here for two of my posts. Now check this google search for the phone number 801-578-9020.
There are 1780 results, nearly all are complaints about being ripped-off or scammed.
Another word for rip-off or scam is the legal term, theft.
Like links in a chain
Pacific Webworks are still in business – in fact, business is booming and they are reported to be in the top 40 Utah companies! (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/pacific-webworks-receives-recognition,890942.shtml). I’m not sure who this lot are doing the reporting, but I can guess the connections…(added 3/3/10: Link to Earth Times removed. This ‘business’ contains several puffs for PWW. Like most dodgy websites, it’s domain WHOIS is hidden, by Domains by Proxy, again! – SP)
What a tangled web we weave…
This industrial resource, http://resources.bnet.com/topic/pacific+webworks+inc..html, shows that the company had sales >$9m last year for its 34 employees. This is very interesting! The same source shows, on this page, that profits are doubling at the company this year.
This is good news for all the people ripped off by Eborn et al.
Because the company, having exactly the same phone number as the main protagonists in the Google Treasure Chest scams, now cannot fail to be connected by the FTC in their investigations and imminent court cases.
And from what I recall from the closure of the call centre, is that 200 employees lost their jobs. This is the same call centre that had 801-578-9020 as the contact number! It was people working at the call centre who said that 200 people worked there(see http://www.topix.net/forum/source/fox13now/T28A5BU37IS57DC8C/p3).
So there isn’t just a partial business relationship between Pacific Webworks and one or more plaintiffs mentioned in the FTC charges, they are intimately connected.
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