The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Friday, August 1, 2008

Many types of valid consciousnesses derive from basic, natural and obvious perception.  All of us have an innate "I", although if we try to locate this "I", we get into a lot of difficulties.  This sense of "I" gives us a well founded aspiration to happiness and a wish not to suffer.

There are different levels of happiness and different kinds of suffering.  Material things usually correspond to physical happiness, whereas spiritual development corresponds to mental happiness.  Since our "I" has these two aspects--physical and mental--we need an inseparable combination of material progress and internal, or spiritual, progress.  Balancing these is crucial to utilizing material progress and inner development for the good of human society.

Big schemes for world development arise from this wish to gain happiness and relieve suffering.  But there are higher levels of happiness beyond these worldly forms, in which one seeks something longer-term, not just confined to this lifetime.  Just as we need a long range perspective that protects the environment, we need an internal long-range perspective that extends to future lifetimes.

--from "How to Expand Love: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships" by H.H. the Dalai Lama, translated and edited by Jeffery Hopkins

No comments: