Tag Archive: Mystic Law

To Be Truly Great

Strangely post on March 10th, 2010
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The big oneThe fundamental spirit of Buddhism is that all people are equal. A person is not great simply because of his or her social standing, fame, academic background or position in the organization.

In the world of faith, the truly great are those who spread the Mystic Law and strive for kosen-rufu, who actively work for the sake of Buddhism and the happiness of others.

Supremely respectworthy are those who champion the cause of kosen-rufu.

Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I was much impressed with this quote of Ikeda’s yesterday.

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Curious Suicide

The Coroner and The Law

I’m often struck when reading the papers or news, to see the coroner’s verdict on someone’s death as:

Ending his own life “while the balance of his mind was disturbed”

Dennis and Flora Milner said they wanted to decide when to die

Dennis and Flora Milner said they wanted to decide when to die

Well they have to say something, it’s their job, but the phrase is very peculiar.  It is also very common, over 110k webpages!

Take this couple, the Milners, who were found dead in their home on the 1st November, 2009.  They look quite jolly, don’t they.  Would you say that the balance of their mind is disturbed?

Current UK law says that it’s OK to end your own life, but illegal to help anyone do it.  I’ve emphasised the word “current”, because not that long ago, when the spoken language of the people of Britain would be comprehensible to us here today, it was actually a capital offence to commit suicide!  In other words, if you failed to kill yourself, the State would that ensure you got your wish, by hanging you.  This all came from the Catholic and then later Protestant religions’ view of life and the hereafter.

This shows that the view of suicide is highly flexible!

New Economy

Angst

A common view, is as I stated at the top; that someone has a mental problem.  This is a tautology, of course. (Statement: ‘All people who attempt suicide are mentally ill.’ Question: ‘How do you know they are mentally ill?’ Answer: ‘Because only mentally ill persons would try to commit suicide.’) But more to the point, what is the mind?

Mind

People have struggled since the dawn of self-comprehension about “the mind”.  Descartes said “I think therefore I am” which is as good as anything.

Nichiren, the Buddhist monk has said many things, usually by quoting other previous Buddhist scholars and the like, and with an alarming number of references to the concept of “mind“, “self” and “existence“.  For instance, quoting Dengyo he states,

“The two phases of life and death are the wonderful workings of one mind. The two ways of existence and non-existence are the true functions of an inherently enlightened mind.” – Nichiren, The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life

Which is all fine and dandy if you’re not depressed, isn’t it?  If you are feeling down, it’s as dust to the wind, isn’t it?

But the truth of what Nichiren is saying is that it encapsulates one’s concept of “self”, regardless of whether you are up or down with your life.

And surely, by knowing oneself, even if you are suicidal, then your mind is never disturbed because at that point you have a very clear idea of “self”?

Suicide Types

Disappearance/Appearance

Value

There are various forms of suicide, neatly classified on this Wikipedia entry.  What is clear to me, is that there are, in essence, only two types of suicide, and they both to varying degrees are to do with a lack of value to life, not a disrespect of it.

  • Respect is a concept based in honour and subservience.
  • Value is a concept that is transferable across many human activities and we all have a good idea of it’s meaning that is far removed from any concept of society, duty, kinship and a host of other things based around law and natural justice.

The first is when one perceives no value in one’s own life.

Here, I’m separating life and existence into two different things, much as all the world’s major religions do.  (Most religions, in one way or another, have at their core the premise that when you die, in the physical sense, that you “go” somewhere else afterwards).  In such a case, a person may be fed up with their lot and end it all for one of the reasons that Wikipedia lists.  For example, men with families like myself, when getting their pension statement will jokingly say amongst themselves that “I’m worth more dead than alive!”.  The truth is that this is a truly valid reason that many suicides will use and is a far closer statement of the reality of many in the Western World’s lives than they care to admit.

The second is when a person sees no value in other’s lives.

Such examples could be:

  • A soldier in Afghanistan
  • A soldier in WW1 or WW2
  • A suicide bomber in Iraq or Afghanistan
  • A kamikaze pilot in WW2

 

Grieving Woman

We must remember that so long as war exists on earth there will be some danger that even the nation which most ardently desires peace may be drawn into war . . .
I hate war . . .
Let those who wish our friendship look us in the eye and take our hand.
© Gettty Images https://tinyurl.com/looceef

In each of these cases, the potential for that person’s own death is there precisely because they set aside for an undefined period, any value of the person’s life they are going to kill, even though there’s a good chance they too will die.

By doing this they wrap up my first reason within the second.  It’s impossible not to!

Of course, they justify their reasons under the flags of patriotism or peace and the promise or expectation of a “better life” either elsewhere for themselves or their families or country.

Country-Person, Person-Country?

Nationalism and native land

Nationalism and native land

But what is the point of committing suicide for a country or a belief system like a religion?  These are temporary constructs of our human minds.  As Nichiren said;

There are not two lands, pure or impure in themselves. The difference lies solely in the good or evil of our minds. – On Attaining Buddhahood in This Lifetime – The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, Volume 1, page 4

and here;

It is like the case of a person who in a dream sees himself performing various good and evil actions. After he wakes up and considers the matter, he realizes that it was all a dream produced by his own mind. This mind of his corresponds to the single principle of the essential nature of phenomena, the true aspect of reality, while the good and evil that appeared in the dream correspond to enlightenment and delusion. – The Entity of the Mystic Law – WND1, page 418

So what we have is our own mind.

  • Who is to say whether it’s mad or bad?
  • Who is to say that life itself is a true reality, because every single thing we see with our eyes and perceive with our other senses, is actually processed information by, and a product of, our own mind!

This last is pure physics and logic.  We live, and see things just like TV.  A TV picture is just dots on a screen.  Our mind converts them into news, trees, people, porn.  But there’s nothing there, only dots.

Similarly with Great Art.  It’s just paint splodges.  It’s our mind that makes the Mona Lisa enigmatic – not even Leonardo’s – it’s our own mind that does it!!!. Just like the expression, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.

Life and Love

Soldier Love

Love

So who can put any suicide under any form of disdain?  Who can dare compare the suicide of a soldier (usually dressed up as medals and bravery, and they are brave, make no mistake) dying for his or her concept of patriotism with the suicide of a spurned lover, dying for their own concept of life and duty?

It takes just as much bravery for a young girl to walk into a market place and blow herself up as it does for a soldier to run across open ground through a field of enfilading machine gun fire.

And it takes the same bravery for a spurned or deceived lover to end their life when they’ve been through all the options in their own mind, using all the logic at their disposal and deduced that a new, different life for themselves in the next existence is a better option than the current life, especially if, as I said earlier, they consider the value of their life to be greater when they are dead!

To go through all these acts of certain death takes the same amount of courage from everybody, in that I see no distinction.

In this story, a very good Agatha Christie type of mystery, transported into the modern era in a multi-cultural ghetto that explores the social conflicts and mores from many angles, not least the personal, the social, the political, the economic and the cultural clash angles, one of the characters, Hassan, says,

‘Fucking love, ain’t it, messing with you, makes you unable to think clear.’

And that’s about the sum of it.

Let there be light

Let there be light

For the love of a woman, a man, your children, a country, a religion, a promise of a better future;  these are all good and valid reasons for a suicide.

Question?

Now can anyone tell me a valid reason to oppose someone’s suicide?

Answers must be logically consistent.  When you’ve got them, then either reply here or write them on a piece of paper and shove them up your arse.

I really don’t care.  It’s my blog space and I’ll say what I want.

 

Somewhat Related:

You may pile up dung and call it sandalwood, but when you burn it, it will give off only the odour of dung. You may pile up a lot of great lies and call them the teachings of the Buddha, but they will never be anything but a gateway to the great citadel of the hell of incessant suffering.

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How High Can You Go?

Belle and Sebastien (Belle et Sebastien)

This is the signature tune of a French show which appeared on UK TV in the late 60s.  For some interconnected reason, I stumbled on it and realised that I still whistle it now and again when it pops in my head.  I have to whistle it as there’s no possible way until the next life that I can hit the notes.

However, I used to be able to sing along with it, and even get the high note, before my voice broke… ;-)  I sang it in tune, with the correct expression and the appropriate feeling.  Because, as Nichiren said, several times,

“It is the heart that is important”

– Nichiren Daishonin, WND1 p949: “The Drum at the Gate of Thunder

The way of attaining Buddhahood is just like this. Though we live in the impure land, our hearts reside in the pure land of Eagle Peak. Merely seeing each other’s face would in itself be insignificant. It is the heart that is important. Someday let us meet at Eagle Peak, where Shakyamuni Buddha dwells.

– Nichiren Daishonin, WND1 p1000: “The Strategy of the Lotus Sutra

Masakado was renowned as a brave general who had mastered the art of war, yet he was defeated by the armies under the emperor’s command. Even Fan K’uai and Chang Liang had their failures. It is the heart that is important. No matter how earnestly Nichiren prays for you, if you lack faith, it will be like trying to set fire to wet tinder. Spur yourself to muster the power of faith. Regard your survival as wondrous. Employ the strategy of the Lotus Sutra before any other. “All others who bear you enmity or malice will likewise be wiped out.” These golden words will never prove false. The heart of strategy and swordsmanship derives from the Mystic Law. Have profound faith. A coward cannot have any of his prayers answered.

It’s important to realise that these blue words were written in feudal Japan to a nun, and to a samurai warrior.  Nichiren wrote them directly to these people, to encourage them in words most appropriate to them.  He did not write them to me.  But the core of the meaning is just as important now in the 21st century industrialised West as it was then and I can use them just the same….

“It is the heart that is important” – it really is.

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The 26 Admonitions explained by Richard Causton

Strangely post on September 13th, 2008
Posted in Buddhism Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introduction

Lotus Flower - photo by Strangely PerfectI’ve nabbed the content of this from Ted Penfold.  My wife, has told me that she heard this lecture of Dick’s and found it and him some of the most inspiring things in her life.  I came across this wonderful piece by chance, looking for some background information on Nikko, the second guy after (Nichiren) in our prayers, and repeat it here so that more people might be similarly inspired.

I’ve corrected some spellings from the original transcript here which I assume were due to OCR transcription errors, mainly.  I’ve also added a few links, where appropriate, to external sources (SP)

Quick Links: Background Discussion Preface and Conclusion The 26 Admonitions Conclusions

n.b. Admonitions = Precepts = Warnings.  The three terms appear in different places, but essentially mean the same thing (SP)


LECTURE ON THE TWENTY-SIX ADMONITIONS OF NIKKO SHONIN by the late SGI UK General Director, Richard Causton

LecturnThe following lecture by SGI UK General Director, Richard Causton, based on various lectures given by him around the U.K. and overseas during late 1992 and 1993, was inspired by SGI President Ikeda’s guidance on this subject on 24th October 1992. This lecture first appeared as a series of articles in SGI-UK’s monthly magazine, the U.K. Express. (now called Art of Living – SP)

Dick Causton’s and Nikko Shonin’s words follow…

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Atishoo! Atishoo! All Fall Down.

According to UK Gov., in a project instigated by Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister,  the greatest threat to our national security is not terrorists, rampant armed youths or family breakdowns; no, it’s the flu!

Flu pandemic tops risk register was the news first thing this morning while lying in bed.  That really cheered me up!

Co-incidentally, this message e-Passports fail cloning test arrived in my morning emails.  Electronic Passports (and by deduction, ID Cards), failed security tests.  So they are useless.

Also, yesterday, I was just thinking about “The Postman”, the post-apocalyptic Kevin Costner film, and how it’s actually one of my favourites on many levels.  The fact that it wasn’t well received doesn’t bother me, much like the fact that our Crawling Chaos music continues to wind people up.

“…..discard the ignorance associated with evil and delusion, and take as one’s basis the awakening that is characterized by goodness and enlightenment” – Nichiren Daishonin / The Entity of the Mystic Law – WND1, page 418

Q. So how is this all connected?

A. Simple.

  • The film represents a post-apocalyptic society that made it’s own frightening rules.
  • The flu is the most likely apocalypse facing humanity now, as it always was.
  • The government’s insistence on using ID cards and concentrating the nation’s fear onto “foreigners” and “terrorists” is seriously flawed.
  • The 42 days rule.  Instigating the facility to lock people up without trial and the very easy potential that this “law” can be subverted in a national crisis (say a pandemic!), leaves the door wide open for the kind of extreme, violent, misogynistic and survivalist society depicted in the film to very quickly develop.  (I’ve already talked about how the Nazis took control in the 1930s previously – the key to the future is always in the past).
  • In a panic, with reducing population and command structures, this “42” law would be wheeled out to hit anyone who even slightly disagreed with the people in power at that time.

So what to do then?

  • Drop the 42 days law.
  • Drop ID Cards.
  • Get proper security – the £10,000 million that’s earmarked for ID Cards could pay for a policeman on every single corner of the land. A true visible deterrent to all sorts of crime.
  • This would immediately stop drive-by shootings and random stabbings.  It is, after all, what happened in London in the 1800s when the “bobbies” were first brought in to quell the utter lawlessness and carnage on the streets of London.  They were positioned to be no more than a whistle blast away from each other so could call for help when needed.  Guess what – it worked! It would reduce the opportunity for your odd mad bomber to make his way unchallenged to his target as well.

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