Good and evil: A dilemma of religions

Once the notion of a Sky God had begun to evolve into a deity shaping the world and its destiny from the heavens, the question was asked: why would such a deity allow human beings to suffer?

It is a dilemma that religions still struggle to answer to the satisfaction of many. One solution was for religion to shift the blame, so that whatever went wrong in the world, and in individual lives, was now the fault of an evil spirit rather than an omnipotent God.

– 50 ideas you really need to know: Religion

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Awareness 2

Often, in meditation, we are besieged by desire. One desire after another, they cycle through our mind endlessly. We’re alone with them, with nothing to distract us and no way to fulfill them. We can only look at the endless parade of desires. 

– Tim Burkett

The stories of our lives

Shunryu Suzuki said, rather than seeing the world as we wish it to be, it’s important that we accommodate ourselves to the world as it actually is. 

Often we don’t do this. 
Instead, we try to fit the world into our stories, ignoring what doesn’t fit and emphasising what does. According to Nassim Taleb, we create narratives because we prefer a world that is predictable, structured and safe. 

– Tim Burkett

Just

Rather than interacting with the world directly, we interact with our thoughts about the world. 

To see the world just as it is, you must relinquish your distorting ideas, views and concepts. 

– Tim Burkett

In Kyoto

Hearing the cuckoo

Longing for Kyoto

– a haiku by Basho

It’s only nominally yours

Contemplate the body and mind so as to see their impersonality, see that neither of them is “me” or “mine.” They have a merely provisional reality. It’s like this house: it’s only nominally yours, you couldn’t take it with you anywhere.

  • Ajahn Chah

Awareness of conventional speech

We conventionally say the sky is blue. 

Yet there is no colour existing anywhere in physical reality. The blueness of sky is only an appearance perceived in consciousness to represent the light frequencies detected by our eyes. The colour blue is a mental phenomenon; light frequencies are what our eyes detect. 

Similarly there is no separate sky existing above our head in reality. If we take an aeroplane up to the blue sky, no matter how we look, we can’t apprehend a separate thing that can be called the blue sky. 

Still we would conventionally say the sky is blue, and people would understand what we mean. 

Resilience and resourcefulness

Quite often we believe that as long as we do what we should, misfortunes and calamities will not befall us. 

But minimizing risk does not mean eliminating risk. Shit still does happen despite all that we have done. Such is fate. 

What’s important is developing resilience and resourcefulness in handling all that that comes. Prevention has its limits.