What to do when the
world goes down hill
world goes down hill
An answer to an email.
P. had a similar peak of anguish because of the Paris attacks which is interesting from the viewpoint of "collective" subconsciousness (krishna yoni), which is your main job now. Of course, this kind of worried or frustrated reactions are nothing new to spiritually inclined people who often since childhood feel the pain that humanity inflicts on itself and on other beings. I know it too. This might sound a bit indifferent but I think that even us who are empathetic and try to be compassionate towards other beings, shoud not be too concerned about what is going on in the samsaric world. I think it is not good to be too bothered, troubled or burdened of what is going on. This planet with human beings in the lead is largely a place of blind action. That is how it is. I doubt, and I am not saying this negatively or cynically, that it will ever change from being like that. I hope it would change but at this point I am not too troubled about it or loosing my night's sleep because existentially blind people keep doing what they have done for ages and what they no doubt will keep doing in the future. I am saying this from a practical point of view. It doesn't mean I am indifferent to the pain and suffering of so many innocent victims of all these violent terrorist acts out there, I am not. But let's be smart about this and look at the core issue of it.
We who are on the yogic path, we try to understand our minds with the help of some meditation and mind training practices. We who have the possibility and circumstances to do this, are in a unique position because it is the ultimate way to eradicate that very existential blindness which causes hate, intolerance, fundamentalism and violence. I think it is the responsibility of us meditating yogis to practice what we have been taught, which is a priviledge that most people of the world do not have, and actualise the teachings. A politician will do his job, a police officer his, a soldier his, a doctor his and a lawyer his. Us yogis should do ours. Why? Because it is in the mind of ours where the causes of these terrible actions lie at. If you are just a bit angry with some strong religious views in this life, maybe it doesn't seem so bad now but what will happen to this seed of anger and sectarianism in the next life or the life after that? Floods are created by small drops of water. We might end up like religious terrorists doing terrible things to others, violating our very own nature of wise compassion because of taking thoughts too seriously. We really should realise the dharma teaching. This is important. The matter of samsara and nirvana is serious for people who understand this because they realise that actions have consequences. But for others, it may not be so serious, they just act after their thoughts and ideas whatever they may be. Only person him- or herself knows what is best to him because it is all relative. From the absolute point of view, a yogi should be able to say what is wise and what is unwise, what is helpful and what is harmful, but we cannot make anyone accept our views because ours is the "right view" or the "only view". Earth as a realm is like that and human beings, often within their worlds of limited options, can and should be allowed to do what they want. It is like a big samsaric pot of many sorts of ingredients affecting each other. Life on Earth can be heavenly or hellish to people depending on their karma. Initially, it all comes from former tendencies and as we make further use of options available to us, we stir the pot, each in a way that we see as best. We all try to get to permanent happiness. I don't think anyone really attempts to lengthen their confusion, pain and suffering. No, we all try to get to happiness. But we are confused and do not know what happiness really is. There are so weird conceptions of what it is. What is crazy about humans is that you can take basically any weird thought-pattern and create a religion out of it. And get many followers! That is how poorly humans at large know themselves.
I think it is logical to think that planet Earth is not the only place where dharma-teachings are available. Surely not. We are not that special, although us humans would like that thought a lot, wouldn't we. Ha! No, I don't think we are that special. Human life is special because it has enormous spiritual capacity, enormous potential. But to tap it one needs to have liberating karma which means connections to teachings and teachers, plus circumstances to practice in order to release and make use of that potential. How many people in the world or in your city do practice meditation daily? It's a tiny portion of the whole population. Tiny. It may not have a great instant impact on the world or our city but it makes all the difference to ourselves, doesn't it? And when the karmic weather and the factors are there, yes, it is possible to tap all of that spiritual potential and become buddhas and christs.
We are human beings now so let's make the best of our lives and the circumstances we are in now. However, being human is just a temporary condition we are in at the moment. None of us is going to remain as a human for ever. None of us is going to be here in these same bodies after 100 years (or maybe few newborns will). To be a human now, with a human body and a human mind, with human circumstances and human friends is temporary. We have not always been humans and will not always remain as humans. At some instant, we will shed our bodies. As children we might be able to remember past lives as humans or in other forms, such as animals or in subtle form as spirit beings. But when we grow up, we usually forget about all this and become identified, locked, to being a human. However, this is just a temporary condition and if our minds becomes locked to believing that all we are are these bodies with four limbs, walking on two feet with an erect spine, talking and thinking about whatever it is that humans talk and think about, well, that's just another way of locking ourselves in a cage. An actor rehearses and acts different roles. Sometimes a master actor may have difficulty in shaking off of a role but in general actors know that they are acting a role, they do not really believe them being the acted character. I assume Sylvester Stallone always knew that he was acting Rocky Balboa and he didn't continue to talk and behave as Rocky when the film was done. However, us people do really come to believe all kinds of things, including that we are essentially human beings with 70 kg and 170 cm bodies doing all the stuff we do. But it's just a momentary role. How seriously you want to take that? Essentially, in the most profound meaning of the word, we are not limited to human body or the human mind. Essentially, we are colourless, shapeless, centerless, perfectly pure, transparent and selfless awareness. We are buddha nature. We are clarity itself. We are love itself. We are kindness itself. We are connectedness. We are not merely the relative condition we are in as human being with physical bodies, thoughts and ideas. We should know who we really are. That is what you should do, if that is something you want to do.
When we mature in this view, we should make this knowhow available to others. Share and guide others who have recognised the same problem. That's the way to go about it.
- Kim Katami, 18.7.2016