Vote Blue 2020

Vote Blue 2020

Friday, December 31, 2004

Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

As Grace Slick once so exuberantly said, 'feed your head.' I have been doing so. The only 'work,' I'm doing is editing the video, (editing is a slog, but I am making progress) otherwise, it's leisure and fun I am seeking.

Yesterday, I devoured big sections of the book on the Buddha (The End of Suffering). It's an amazing read, and it's eye opening, since the author is a young Indian writing about his initial fascination with the West and his disillusionment with his own country. The author (Pankaj Mishra) is captivated by the acheivements of the revolutionary West - logic, science, technology, progress, modernity, capitalism. He looks at his own country as poor, backward, superstitious, trapped in the ways of the old world.

The other side of the coin would be someone from the West who is disillusioned by the madness of the capitalist beast, someone who looks to the East as some kind of refuge; instead of the march of progress, the cool tranquility of the old world. (One man's ceiling is another man's floor).

Ironically, it was the Europeon explorers who rediscovered the origins of the Buddha and his teachings (Hinduism had absorbed the Buddha as a Hindu God) who discovered remnants of an ancient India. I believe that the book is taking us on a journey into the 'middle way,' the best of East and West (supposedly Albert Einstein thought that Buddhism was the religion of the future because it was most compatible with a scientific view of the world).

Much of this is life-affirming, it confirms that history is alive and ever-changing too. As Buddha puts it: all thoughts, feelings, actions, phenomena are impermanent. All that exists is mind. When we still the mind, we change the world.

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