This Too, Will Pass ~ WHERE DO WE
WRITTEN SOMEWHERE: "The real pain is the pain
of realizing that the Way does not prevail in the
world." All the evil and most of the suffering
in the world comes from Ignorance and Stupidity. If
we understood this we could do something to bring
about a change for the better. And the more people
who understand, the more we can change things; we
are not powerless unless we think we are. Working
alone, no-one can build a house, make a car or an
airplane, etc., but cooperating with others for a
common purpose, it is possible.
There is adequate food and other necessities
in the world for everyone, but while some people have
not enough, others have too much, and the gap between
those who have and those who have-not grows wider
and wider. What is lacking is Dharma or spiritual
wealth, and until people undergo a transformation
of consciousness and learn to consider others instead
of thinking just of themselves this imbalance will
go on, and no amount of legislation or war will correct
Now, nobody is so naïve as to reasonably
expect huge numbers of people to drastically and voluntarily
change their outlook on life; change comes about slowly
in humanity as a whole. But we can— you and
I— begin to move in that direction ourselves,
and if we do, we shall surely bump into and discover
other individuals moving along the same road; there
are people waking up to reality all around us, one-by-one,
each with their hopes, fears and aspirations, but
they don't wear identification-tabs or make a great
show to draw attention to themselves; yet we shall
know them when we meet them as kindred-spirits.
It has often been said that "Adversity
brings out the best in us," but this is being
optimistic, because, while it might be true, the converse
is equally so: it brings out the worst in us! For
suffering and hardship to be of any eventual benefit
to us we must first have a foundation of Dharma, so
that we might be able to turn things around; without
such a foundation, it is easy to fall into the habit
of complaining, blaming others, feeling sorry for
ourselves, or— worse— exploiting the situation
for personal gain regardless of the effect upon others,
like hoarding, black-marketeering, and so on.
We have ridden the wave for quite a long
time already, enjoying the comforts and luxuries of
modern life; but now the wave is curling over and
threatens to hurl us into the trough below; how long
can maintain our balance on the crest? Each extra
day is a bonus, not a right to be taken for granted,
and should be treasured for what it is, because, unfortunately,
it cannot last. We are living in a 'fool's paradise,'
and if we are not rudely awoken by some warmongering
madman, it seems that climatic changes will effect
this. Are we prepared, or have we been lulled, softened,
weakened and robbed by our luxurious living? Time
will tell, and probably sooner than we think.
I heard an amusing little story
while in the United States this year: A Vietnamese
Buddhist had been repeatedly approached by a Protestant
pastor, and pressured to go to his church. Finally,
he said to the pastor: "I won't go to your church
because I don't want to go to your heaven."
Surprised at this,
the pastor asked, "Why not?"
said the Buddhist, "according to you, everyone
who doesn't believe as you do will go to hell, which
means that all my friends and relatives will be there.
Therefore, I prefer to go to hell and be with my friends
than to go to your heaven where I wouldn't know anyone!"