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Making our Planet Liveable Again? … or if you think it already is, how about making it better to reflect our advances in technology?

“There are a lot of “bosses” out there, to be sure. But what I struggle to see, in business, politics, and life, are true leaders who bring us together, inspire us to achieve great things, and bring out the best in us.”  -Nikola Tesla

I don’t understand how those idiots who shout out the catchphrase “Make America Great Again” by relying exclusively on a return to outmoded and cumbersome thinking and technology could even remotely hope to concretize their slogan.   It’s like re-installing in our offices the UNIVAC , these huge computer systems that occupy entire floors  which at first glance could look massive and impressive, but ultimately cannot deliver the workload expected of a present-day laptop which is a thousand times smaller than even a fraction of the former’s frame.

A big bully cannot tactically equal, let alone surpass, the strength and capabilities of an outwardly weak yet very intelligent kid who also happens to be equipped with deadly martial arts skills. This is where the American buffoons, the so-called  political leaders look like right now to the rest of the world.  It would not matter so much if their policies do not affect the rest of us but they just have to inveigle themselves into our affairs and, alas, much to our collective detriment, and hence this rant.

A word of caution to Russia’s Putin and his ilk, as well.  Reflect on the above and understand the nature of reality.  Do not rely on doing the same old things and then expect a different, more favorable outcome for yourself and your entourage.  One man’s liabilities can never become your assets.  You can’t build your strength on other people’s weaknesses.  If you try to do it, you will be in concrete violation of the law of relativity, only  ensuring your people’s painful and gradual descent into the hellish realms of anger, hatred, violence and ignorance.  Remember Hitler, Stalin, Mao-Tse Tung and all the rest of them.  All relegated to the dustbins of history.  They were well-intentioned in the beginning but with power, became corrupted by their reactionary outlook.  Instead of a pure revolution, their legacies only left us with backward-looking movements, eventually discarded by everyone for their contribution of evil of death and destruction.

Yes, the human race in the present world needs to rethink its socio-economic system .  As it stands, capitalism is no longer tenable whereby 1% of the entire population holds 90% of the world’s accumulated material  wealth while the rest are reduced to fend for themselves with the remaining 10%.  This is an insult to human intelligence, now rendered incapable of changing and evolving with the demands of the time, perpetrating the  enslavement of all to the machinery of production.  In this process, both are in the throes of mutual degeneration – the few who have managed to control 90% of the means of production of material wealth are in mental turmoil in their efforts to hold on to their accumulated wealth as well as the constant squandering of their riches for the frivolous and non-essentials of life at a cost to their psychic and physical well-being, not to speak of the spiritual deprivation, while the vast majority must spend all their energies for the procurement of the basic minimum requirements of life through any and every means, including immoral ones, leading to their mental and physical degeneration in the process.  What change for the better can we expect when the purveyor of peaceful and violent actions, the mind, is reduced to subservience and blind adherence to externally implanted norms?  Critical thinking is virtually suppressed.

We need to acknowledge Nature’s truth and role in our existence.  Everything is already given free for our survival – the sun that shines indiscriminately for all, the air that we breath, the water that we drink, the plants that provide energy and sustenance to everyone be they good or bad, and for our fellow travelers, the animals, some of whom are our companions.

We need to evolve an economic system that grants as well as guarantees access to the basic requirements of modern life – food, clothing, shelter, medicine and education.  This basic assumption has to be adapted to reflect the evolving economy.   Hence, the system must promote the rational, but not equal, distribution of wealth.  The extra emoluments resulting from economic production, after ensuring the above-mentioned fundamental necessities for life, will therefore be distributed rationally according to the individual’s meritorious contributions to the human society, with the end in view of encouraging and enhancing their input towards society’s further evolution.  In some sense, we already acknowledge those who have done so.  But this has to be applied at the grassroots level, to the humblest of society’s members.  When robots have taken over the menial tasks of production of the physical and material comforts, we must find a way to distribute the gains from such economic activities to the rest of society.  There will be a need to reduce the required working hours to reflect this development to ensure employment for everyone.  The freed-up time and energy of  the individual can now be channeled by him and the rest of society towards more refined and subtle pursuits such as sports, the arts and sciences, studies and learning of new technological breakthrough and any such mental and spiritual endeavors that promote research and development in every arena.  Bear in mind that spiritual pursuit can never be equated to religious indoctrination.  Rather it involves the spiritual quest and encourages one to develop critical thinking skills for the benefit of society.

Again, it needs to be highlighted here  the importance of society’s adaptation to the imperatives of the time, the alternative of which is a state of mental and spiritual deprivation.  Do we aspire for peace and social cohesion?  Or are we still enamored by the concepts of dominance and descent into anarchy?  Bear in mind, we are all born with an instinct for freedom and dignity, and not for subservience and enslavement, least of all, to machines.

The leaders of society will have to be chosen based on their moral and universal outlook and competence.  He/she must possess the qualities of wisdom and compassion as well as the ability to dispense justice with impartiality and most importantly, by their example, to inspire others to strive for greater heights of excellence in all spheres of human endeavor.

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What is the proper way to nurture a human being in society?

Subservience of one’s individual thinking and reflection upon the prevailing social concepts without rational discernment is the beginning  of the formation of a slavish mentality.   That is why it is imperative for parents and those entrusted with the care of children in their preparation towards responsible adulthood to develop questioning minds which will not rest until the search for truth is  reached and established.  This is the only way to develop intelligent and mature individual minds in any truly human society.

Today, most institutions including religious ones, are failing in this task, not because they were already flawed from the start but because they are starting to view or have already viewed themselves as the goal in their own right, instead of as the means.  The search for truth has, therefore, been sacrificed to the tools of search for truth, as it were, without using them to reach the goal in actualizing wisdom and compassion.  In short, they have become complacent and in the process, corrupted, stagnant, mired in their own ignorance and dogmatism.

A child is not the property of its parents to be dictated upon and disposed of according to their whims and caprices.  This is an individual entrusted to their care, much like a sapling that will become a tree in its own right.  They will contribute to the society what they have learned from you, their parents.  Therefore, handle with care.  If you can’t do this, don’t even attempt to become a parent.  This child is an entity which has already a history, some longer than yours.  Do not dumb down their life experiences with concepts which have no bearing on reality or truth.

Learn from one’s own mistakes.  The point of one’s existence is to acknowledge, forgive and learn and not to impose, judge and condemn.

A parent once asked my teacher, a monk, whether they should bring up their child in their own religion or not.  The wise teacher replied that they should not bring them up in any one particular religion.  Instead they should encourage their children to think for themselves, to constantly question and search for the truth on their own, and teach them to love truth through their own example.  A child of such caliber would not be content with stock answers but would look for the solutions to nagging questions of his/her own existence and in the process, fulfill his/her own destiny.  They would be able to determine, by themselves,  what is true or false, what accords with truth and reality and what does not.  Developing such a mindset is a much greater gift to a child than all the material riches of this world, for this would allow them to grow and mature when you are no longer physically around to guide them.  You would have equipped them with the tools to deal with the trials and tribulations of life wisely and compassionately, long after you are gone.

As it stands, we are producing automatons/drones that follow the diktat of those in authority without due consideration.

For those in authority, you have responsibilities that have lasting beneficial or destructive implications upon the vast majority.  Be careful.  If you settle for mediocrity, for the ‘this-will-do’ mentality without striving for excellence in all your endeavors, you will have failed the society you are purported to serve but more outstandingly, you have failed yourself.

Think deeply about what motivates you in life to do the things you do.  Is your mind guided by right view, right thought, right speech and right action?  If not, how can you carry out or even expect to perform such a life of selfless service which is badly needed in our society today?  Do you seriously intend to deliver on your promises?  The masses have been debased enough by the present environment and the prevailing conditions.  Are you going to add more of the same or are we serious in making the people a shining example of a society fulfilled to its highest potential?

Dealing With The Nature of Reality

For a phenomenon to occur, various factors in requisite proportion within a congenial environment must be present  before it can manifest itself visibly.  This stipulation  allows weather forecasters to predict the advent of  a host of weather patterns such as a storm and, the lab technicians to re-create certain natural phenomena, albeit in miniature, within the confines of the laboratory.

In the case of a storm, a lone factor did not single-handedly contrive to assemble all these elements at any given moment to bring about its visually evident expression.  They (the elements), whether subjective (heat/cold) or objective  ( water/air), were just there at the right time and at the right place together, creating a favorable environment that would, in turn, give rise to the phenomenon that we now call a storm.   Compounded by nature’s input on an infinitely larger scale, you can see the impact of the combined factors of man-made activity and these various elements on the phenomenon’s  intensity of expression.

To be able to foretell the occurrence of any phenomena, one must be guided by right view and right thought.  A clear mind, as far as it concerns the individual, is able to delve into the nature of reality with far greater accuracy than a prophet ever could.

Unfortunately, how to create a clear mind is not taught in any of the conventional schools.  Instead, while there, humans are being bombarded with second-rate information, and therefore, indirect experience, that only serves to further clutter and confuse their minds.  This practice is being repeated endlessly in almost all the present-day institutions which are managed by individuals who hold even a barely superficial knowledge of the very nature of reality.  Indeed, a classic demonstration of the blind leading the blind.

So, what is needed?  Firstly, we need to think outside of the box, out of our individual comfort zones.

The Buddha taught the doctrine of dependent arising and impermanence 2,600 years ago.   He also taught how to cultivate wisdom and compassion.  Where are these reflected in our textbooks and manuals?  Of course, nowhere; or nowhere are they clearly stated and taught.

People wanted the easy way out.  So they suspend their rationality, and now rely on their so-called leaders to dictate what is right and what is not.  Superstition and dogmas become the order of the day, showing a sheer laziness of using one’s rational faculty, the rare ingredient that helps to differentiate one from  the rest of the animal kingdom.  And to think, if the latter could, they would have done so already as evidenced by the painstaking efforts they undertake to solve a dilemma, whether created artificially by man or posed by Mother Nature. But I digress.

In short, there is no incentive to inquire, investigate or find out.  Then, all it takes is for some self-appointed authority with vested interests supposedly mandated by the heavens, to declare that the earth is flat and under pain of death, all one has to do is swallow such statements hook, line and sinker, no questions asked.  And, they expect to produce intelligent, rational humans under such a system?

An aspiring  leader who wanted to become the president of his country even said that he did not believe in climate change, without offering an ounce of justification for such a belief, merely relying on the say-so of some pseudo-scientists who, perhaps, just wanted a quick return on the side.  This sloth in reasoning drags a large number of the population, and prevents them from seeing the bigger picture; it’s like the little boy who takes a square frame and extends it with his arms against the backdrop of the sky and declares that only what he sees within the confines of the frame is reality.  And this sad, anecdotal event is replicated in myriads of manifestations or aspects of human endeavor, be they economic, social, political, or religious.

So, what is one to do given these conditions?   The dictum, “Man, know thyself” would be a start and can help you enormously.  Keep questioning and investigating until one finds the truth.  Know the nature of the mind, that is, whether one has control over it or not.  Never try to attempt to control, lead or manage others when you have no control over your own mind or else, it will only end in disaster, in more pain and suffering for oneself and others.  And, that, is certainly not your goal in life.  Others’  liabilities can never be your assets.  Happiness/contentment is your pure driving force.

Unlike the proverbial man who, when hit by an arrow insisted first  on knowing its origins, constitution and consistency before any operation could be made to relieve him of it,  you must assume that the physician who will remove that threat to life is competent enough to perform an emergency operation before you are dead.  In your quest for truth, do not remain mired on your ‘perceived’ certainties forever.  Learn to move on and do something about your situation.  Also, be guided by all the great sages’ advice, “By their fruits, you shall know them.”

Develop internal sincerity and an abiding desire for truth in all your endeavors and, may all beings be happy and well.

An Indictment But Also A Promise

A Pleiadian message:  “Most of the human race is so utterly indoctrinated by the externally implanted ‘norms’ that bombard their minds from the cradle to the grave that they have no comprehension that their “normal” thinking is their own individual and collective prison…”

This article is an analysis of the proliferating systems in our realm of existence which lack the all-encompassing (universal) outlook which should have taken into account not only the physical, but also, the mental and spiritual well-being of all sentient beings.  Whether they be in the economic, political, religious, and to some extent the scientific spheres, with the last having limited itself to studying only observable phenomena, all these have fallen short of every rational human aspiration.  And unless these present-day problems are addressed, we open ourselves to further frustrations and even more complicated social predicaments.

A universal outlook needs to be adapted to address the issue of tribalism, nationalism, capitalism, communism and any and all other forms of divisive isms that have plagued this planet since.  The inaction being engendered by the above conditions will further condemn us to stagnation and further degeneration.

For, it is not so much what fate, destiny or karma has dealt you with that counts, it is your attitude and more importantly, your actions in the face of these conditions that really matter.

To cite an example: a Buddhist monk’s father who was born in England during the pre-war  days and had a father who was an alcoholic and an abusive one to boot, had to endure beatings from the latter for no other reason than that he was in his line of vision upon coming home.  Anybody else, and that includes his own mother, in view was subjected to the same treatment.  During one of these occasions, after enduring the pain of such beatings, this monk’s father vowed that if one day he had children of his own, he would never inflict or visit this same treatment upon them.  And so, as a child, this future monk never saw his father raise his hand against him nor his brother.   In fact, it was the mother who stood as the disciplinarian.

Another example that comes to mind would be Stephen Hawkings.  Instead of riling against the injustices that fate has dealt him with, he overcame his physical disabilities by becoming a respected scientific thinker.

The prevailing mode of education in place is found wanting in dealing with the most important aspect of the sentient being, our mind.  Mind is presently reduced to a series of brain cells and neuron pathways, all physical, but education never touches on the very essential mechanism and operation of this most important subject called mind.   Science presently is in denial.  We know it is not the brain but we still cling to the conventional belief that it is, even though it is a fact that a dead body still has one but no longer possesses any mental attributes.

As we keep holding on to this conventional thinking of “brain over mind”, we might as well resign ourselves to the amygdala-dominated or reptilian brain, reactive and instinctive rather than rational and reflective-mindful. The present or rather, the dominant  systems of thought encourage the former and does not offer a lasting solution to this mental crisis.

Because it knows no better?  No,  because human minds have already existed since its advent on this planet.  But, what it has not allowed itself to do is the development of a progressive evolution of its mental faculties, as dictated by so-called political expediency.  Decrees and edicts have stalled the flowering/blossoming of the human mind, and which, most  institutionalized religions holding sway have inflicted upon humanity with brute force/violence, subtler mental faculties be damned.

There is a yawning gap between the internal and external man.  The external man inflicts harm upon others but the former considers it wrong to do so.  He kills somebody with seeming impunity but will do everything in his power to save his “own”  life.  Already, this attitude is in complete dissonance with the known laws of the universe which states that if you kill somebody, accept that you be killed or harmed in return.

Be aware that if you entertain the thought that you have escaped the arms of the law, there is no escape from your mind.  Education must teach this most basic and fundamental moral truth in the strongest possible terms, or else, suffer the consequences of personality disorders.  Why do you think you have an increase in serial killers  in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world, foremost in so-called first world countries?  This crisis is spawned further by ignoring this most basic of truths.

Education must also teach how to deal with, and treat this mind.  Again, the predominant/existing  studies in psychology and psychiatry are focused on the symptoms rather than the cause, not because of not knowing any better but rather by refusing to know better, that is, in going beyond the confines of observable phenomena.   It is like having the tools of the trade but refusing to use them so as not to rock the boat, remaining guided/constricted by accepted/predictable paradigms.

So, the choice is: stagnate or advance towards an enlightened state?

Allow me to quote the Dalai Lama:

‘Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present – the result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.’

 When conveyed so clearly and concisely, the insanity of how many of us live our lives is painfully apparent. But so too is the treatment:

 Prioritize emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health above other pursuits

  1. Since 99% of what we worry about doesn’t happen (and worrying doesn’t prevent the other 1% from occurring), stop worrying – it’s a waste of energy.
  2. Spend today enjoying today – not thinking about tomorrow
  3. Always remember that your days, breaths and heartbeats are numbered; do not squander them on what doesn’t matter.

Perceive Without Seeing, Achieve Without Doing

 I could never understand the criticism that people have constituted against monks, in this instance, Buddhist monks who have made a conscious and deliberate attempt to pursue the path of wisdom and compassion, for not engaging in more worldly concerns, or simply addressing the latter for the establishment of social well-being, which are externally exemplified by Christian missionaries and their mundane hierarchies.

Far be it my intention to diminish the latter’s contributions, but we should also not overlook the criminal activities committed in the name of said religion, as, to name a few, witch-hunts, murder, torture, corruption, abuse of innocent children, ad infinitum, enough to put a damper in the faith of human kindness, let alone in the God/gods they subscribe to.

In comparing the importance of lay people’s actions vis à vis the apparent inactivity and so-called parasitism of those who have chosen to retire from worldly pursuits, which in fact is the case of the above Buddhist renunciates, would indeed be a grave commission of injustice, to my mind.

To those who would rather take a stand for the former, I would pose this question: Would you prefer to support and sustain someone who deliberately creates ripples and sensations in lots of so-called normal activity even if they are petty crimes, murder and mayhem, mostly detrimental to the well-being of society as a whole which is the case of serial killers and criminals in general, or an individual who is deceptively inactive sitting uselessly, while remaining calm, peaceful and collected by himself without any perceptible activity worthy of appreciation by human eyes?

I would hope that it would be the indisputable and unconditioned support for the latter.  But what does one know?  The human heart has its dictates which the mind is not privy to, I guess.

Which begs one to question our prerogatives and  priorities as we seem to maintain with lavish funding, prison institutions which were meant to reform its inmates, but which have, in its place,  become havens for misfits and hardened criminals with no discernible prospect of transformation, rather than the neglected and unassuming individuals that have made it their life’s goal to uphold the virtues and teachings of an exceptional human being from 2,600 years ago.

And these renunciates are now consciously and precisely , in some jails and prisons around the globe,  addressing these very issues which were the very purposes for the existence of these failed institutions, failed, at least, in their capacity to reform and transform human beings.

It is evidently preferable to have a calm and collected mind than a seemingly successful one driven to excess, greed and unwholesome qualities which seem to be admired by not a few, even more like a great majority, if one were to believe the rise of these institutions and the norms set by present human conventions.

If I heard it right, the Catholic Pope had the gall to announce during a youth gathering in Spain not to fall prey to the promise of freedom of thought and action as espoused by some new-age philosophies and to stick to guidance or more accurately, the blatant dictates of traditional authority, referring, of course, to himself through  the umbrella of his deity.   What a load of b…erh, rubbish!  He would rather that the youth subscribe to the mindless exploitation promoted and preached by priests and ministers of such a man-conceived deity, without ever cultivating the very faculties that would allow them to act as mature individuals when they indeed grow up as citizens of this planet.

It just so happens that Buddhism is no new age philosophy.  In fact, it is an elder of Christianity and is based mainly on secular ethics and matter-of-fact thinking, although I had the sneaking suspicion that he would have liked to lambast it in front of this impressionable gathering of youth, as a reflexive response to the growing interest that Buddhism has garnered in the West together with the corresponding decline in traditional adherence to authority accorded to his choice of religion.  But nature would not have it his way as he was chastised by the very storm which his god must have purposely created to drum some sense into him.   (“Sorry, my bad!”, as Alicia Silverstone would have said it in Clueless.)

In short, he mainly wanted to continue to keep them in the dark about the truth of their shenanigans, manipulations and machinations.  Which is what was recently demonstrated when the Irish authorities, following the unconscionable abuse of orphaned children under the care of this Church, have called upon this institution to account.  Instead, we were witness to the knee-jerk reaction of the bully feigning aggrieved when the victim fights back.   Rather than answering the charges, the Vatican recalled its Vicar or whatever you may call him to protest the “persecution” of their assailed institution.   The Irish people only wanted an answer to the things they did in response to this atrocious and painful exploitation of innocence entrusted to them by a people who still cared so much to believe.

I would still hope, for our own sakes at least, that they would transform and see their delusions for what they are.  But with the way things stand, it would seem too much of a stretch to entertain such a glimmer of hope.  And, this is one instance where I sincerely would want to be proved wrong.

I challenge the well-meaning men of goodwill, every human of whichever denomination, to rise up and awake from their slumber and stupor and lift the veil of ignorance that shrouds the radiant effulgence of their souls.

Live in the present moment.  Perceive without seeing, achieve without doing, just like the monks who are consciously treading the path to enlightenment .

Desire And Ignorance Are The Root Causes Of Suffering

For some time, it remained a mystery to the author why the Buddha would say such a thing.  But one day, one  realizes this with one’s own experiences in life.  With insight born of deep reflection, it became more apparent, as direct personal experience does confirm it.

Firstly, do we know what suffering is?  Well, it is basically expecting to receive from the world what it is not going to deliver.  This is true in life, and this includes religion.

In fact it is even more valid with religion, which promises you such fantastical and far-fetched beliefs, often to be accepted with blind faith, coupled with doses of “or else” and downright punishment which  leaves one cowering like a helpless child in fear and trepidation in the midst of the irrationality thrown in; sometimes, one is hard-pressed to find ways to extricate oneself from such self-inflicted suffering  beyond all  common sense and sense of proportion, that one resorts to counseling/relief  from a third party called the psychiatrist.

The question to ask also is: ‘What did the supposed deity do in all of these?’  One is afraid to venture questions farther because one is entering the realm of taboos, fear of the unseen, the supposedly omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent entity.

In that case, don’t you think that it is much more logical to ask that if such were the case with all these touted deity’s attributions, what has it done to alleviate our suffering – the famine in Africa, the landslides, earthquakes and tsunamis, floods, the kidnappings, shootings, tortures, etc. ad infinitum, which if one were to follow the argument, are within the purview of his capacity to avert?  And still, to top these conundrums, we are then advanced stock answers like “these are his punishments to sinful man.”  If he is so hell-bent on these nefarious activities, then he has no redeeming quality and love to dispense with, and is, therefore, not worthy of respect, let alone of worship.  And while we’re at it, how on earth can you justify the death of a child, to cite just a simple example, who surely would be unable to commit a crime deserving  of the above-mentioned horrors?

Yet, we keep on clinging to our chosen worldview because they are predictable and closer to oneself even if they are the root causes of our suffering.  (Far be it for me to suggest that one should abandon such ideas;  rather, we should see them for what they are – products of our own ignorance.)

The best way to solve a problem is to acknowledge its existence, analyze its causes and then act with wisdom accordingly as befits the human condition.

So how do we dispel ignorance, this evil more powerful than all the denizens of hell?

In the case of the religious, your answer  should be: know the true nature of God/gods  and don’t give me the stock answer that he/she/it is a mystery so it is impossible to fathom his nature.  If I were given such an answer, I would simply reply “I don’t think so; somebody must have known the said deity to come up with his attributed definitions and,  I must know this entity as well.”

I’d be a fool to simply accept such statements blindly especially as it supposedly dispenses punishments  (all the while remaining invisible) for purportedly not following his dictates.

Or even better still, know the nature of reality.  These are our assignments as human beings.  In short, become enlightened.

To use our faculties to see reality as it is, not how we want it to be.  If we don’t, we might as well be a bunch of fauna fleeting through earth without having to use consciousness for intelligent ends.  And I have more confidence that nature is more capable of fulfilling this latter capability than all the deities put together.

You don’t use your intelligence or reasoning power, then you’re wasting it.  Might as well put you in animal form  as animals don’t have to do anything intelligent.  Instinctive yes, but nothing too intelligent.  The poor things are stuck in their predicament as animals.  They are at the mercy of the elements, their predators, their condition and their environment.  No way out!  Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you see it, we are at these crossroads.

Expectations are the direct source of frustration.  Simply put, when your expectation is not met, you become frustrated, depressed, angry or disillusioned as the case maybe.

Life deals us with all sorts of situations, positive, negative or neutral.  It is not so much that we must force ourselves to always be all positive, but to take stock and be mindful of our attitude towards any given situation.

Plus, we are bound to make some mistakes along the way.  So what?  Life is a learning process, a growing up process.

The thing is, we should not leave it at that.  One needs to Acknowledge, Forgive and Learn , and not get bogged down in it, for the best way to be in this latter situation is to say: “God will save me.  Though I know I’m sinking, God is on my side so I’m okay.”  I would rejoin this immediately, not with an “Amen”, but with “What a load of boules Quiès!”

However, because we tend to gravitate towards the predictable, we stick to it;  we don’t want to venture into the unknown which, to our general perception, is fraught with danger and unnamable misfortunes.

Do not subscribe to the word of these merchants of delusion in the garb of priests, ministers and so called holy men, who have convinced themselves (and not a few) that they truly are God’s gift to mankind.

Rather, for once, let us fulfill our destiny by being wholly and truly human.  Do not be content with mediocrity.  Give it your all without any expectations.  Only then can we say with certainty “I’ll be okay.”

Why Is It So Painful When Somebody You Love Cheats On You

During a phone-in your questions in Australia, a taxi driver called and addressed this one to a monk: “Mr. Monk, I’d like to ask you this question. I’m having an affair; my wife doesn’t know about it.  Is it right?”

Rather than going into the philosophy of ethics, immediately Ajahn Brahm, the monk referred to, replied:  “If it was right, you would not be ringing me up to ask.”  The guy on the other end put the phone down immediately.

What he was actually phoning up for was to get an expert to tell him it was okay.  He knew it was wrong, but he needed the expert to assuage his guilt or to convince him that it was right.

Otherwise, why would he ring up?  If it was right, he would simply not have told anyone and carried on with the affair.

Anyhow, he realized that it was wrong and in fact, most people do.  It’s just the peer pressure, and so we try and justify it.  Why do we think or know it’s wrong?  Because,  it hurts another person.

One of the most important things in a relationship, as we all know, is trust.  You want someone you can trust, who says something, and you can actually believe them.  Because that’s so rare in our world to have trust, at least we want the person we commit to be our friend, our partner, a fellow companion along our journey through life – one person in life you can trust.  You may not be able to trust anybody else, but at least you have that one person to lean on.

Without that trust, a relationship is so lonely.  You can’t share.

So that’s why it’s a most terrible thing to breach that trust, cheating on your partner by taking another partner when you already got one, even temporarily.

It really hurts because it goes to the very essence of a relationship, and destroys it.  This is why people react so fiercely if they find out that you’ve been seeing someone else.  Why do they react that way or for that matter, why do we? Because, it is attacking something so beautiful and so spiritual and so wonderful, and desecrating it, that’s why.

So, we investigate and look deeply into its ‘why’, so we don’t just believe these precepts as rules, laid down by one man some 2,600 years ago, who probably didn’t understand modern life and that these precepts could  now be well past their use today.  But if you look at ethics that way, you’re missing a huge amount of truth.

Why does it hurt?  What is it hurting when somebody messes around in a marriage or relationship?  Why?  You can see that it’s that deep sense of trust between two people, their intimacy and not simply sexually speaking, but between two people who get so close to each other, they open up their vulnerable part, so much can be hurt and you’re willing to take that risk with another person and be vulnerable.

Opening up and being vulnerable to someone else takes a huge amount of trust.  And when that vulnerability is abused, it hurts so much more.  You have taken off your armor in that relationship, all of the things that have protected you.  This means you are so fragile and so easily hurt when someone takes advantage of that trust and hurts you in that way.  If you’re going to have to use the word ‘bad’, then you know, this is it.   It is unskillful, it is unwholesome, that it should never be done.

You only have to look at movies, or read books, and you only have to know from your own life what happens.  Sometimes we in ethics, sometimes all these rules, I don’t just want to follow them literally, I want to ask why.

If it hurts, why does it hurt?  Where is that pain coming from?  You feel that hole, you feel that hurt, that deep pain.

And now you know why it’s a rule, why it’s a precept.  You are just trying to protect people, that’s all.  Just trying to stop the suffering and pain in life.  Have a harmonious society and families where you can trust each other – an example for others to follow.

So at least two people, the one you choose to walk along with in this life, there is that one person that you can trust.  Please, you be that person and please never let go that trust.

It’s so valuable because once you’ve been hurt so many times, it’s as if life loses its meaning, loses its beauty.  That’s why it’s really, really important to keep your happiness and peace.

If you made a mistake, admit it.  And please, don’t do it again.  It hurts.  If you have failed, you’ve only got seven out of ten.  Please, try and make it better next time.

So if you have broken any of these precepts, whether it’s drinking, or adultery or whatever, there’s no punishment.  Again, take away the punishment from these precepts.  They are not rules where you get sort of whipped up, banished or executed.

In our philosophy, it’s not punishment but learning which is important.

That’s why we follow that AFL code.  Acknowledge if you made that mistake.  Be honest.  Forgive and learn so you don’t have to do it again.

(Thanks to Ajahn Brahm who is the source of this wisdom inspired by the Buddha’s teachings.  The above is an excerpt from one of his lectures and has been transcribed so that others may find solace and comfort in life, guided by this generosity of mind and spirit. 

May all beings be happy and well.  Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.)