A Purpose in Life
Wisdom-gatherers do good turns by it
Many proverbs and wisdom proverb may carry essential insights, worth listening to and learning as well, and are widespread. It is far from enough to gather proverbs and learn a lot of them well to get wise, for proverbs are a motley crew. You need discernment to choose the most helpful ones, and much else to implement them and see what apt proverbs may do.
Among the forms of wisdom is that of living well, and so well that your vitality does not go away and you lose interest in life. To create fair success is quite another. To form well-founded decisions is one form of wisdom, and to learn to tap your spiritual source is another. To support life within safe bounds is another, and so on.
To let something worn out go, is also wisdom. To strip away what is utterly foolish and non-essential is too. To invest in a wonderful home with honour is good also. To take just as much as you can handle is also a form of wisdom, and so on. [More tips]
"A wife of noble character ... is clothed with strength and dignity ... speaks with wisdom [Proverbs 31:10, 25, 26]." - Also, "Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding [Prov 4:7]." Wisdom is "more precious than rubies [Prov 3:15; 8:11]." [More]
Six Words for Us
I keep six honest serving-men
The serving-men in question are interrogative pronouns. The six "serving-men" of Kipling are taught in very many schools of journalism to help coming journalists write well enough. Applied to "gardener Jesus":
Sheep are sorted
Just as sheep are sorted into rams, ewes and lambs, the Christian flock can be sorted as well:
Which side are you on? It is good to find out of it and be wary to survive. Animals in the wild live it, whereas herded animals may get too trusty as they are shephered and shorn, in the end to led to a slaughter-house or butcher and made still more use of. Do not trust seniors to your harm, then. Compare Buddha's teachings in the ground-breaking Kalama Sutta
Arming Yourself Well
Ever-new joy is an aspect of what is termed "Sat-Chit-Ananda" in Sanskrit: Sat is Being, Chit is consciousness itself, and Ananda is joy, bliss, gladnesses. That is a definition of God as the Self. The ancient Jewish word "Yhwh" is taken to mean about two-thirds of it: "I Am". It corresponds to "Chit-Sat". To be glad, you have to be (Sat), and know (Chit) and the Ananda side to the Self too. A caveat, though: Who gets into the states where Self is experienced directly, may look stupid or catatonic or looney to many. At times the conduct of such a liberated soul (jivanmukta) may deviate much. There are good stories about other jivanmuktas than Ramakrishna too.
A sound life is led on an even keel on top of probability estimates or far better, whatever that may be. The good life is marked by convenience of living. Now for an article in The Sunday Times, from 2006,
Forget the perception of France as a land of sexual fulfilment. The sad truth exposed in a new report shows that when it comes to performance in bed the French have nothing to crow about ...
Not too little, not too much, but a little, loving touch might help
Once in Denmark some woman disciples of a certain guru had got aware that their guru had had a series of erotic activities going with a large number of female disciples. The guru had had erotic, but not sexual contact with them, maybe as part of a tantric practice. It had "turned them on", away from sexual abstinence. Over twenty young women told of abuse by the elderly Hindu monk.
The disciples shouted and screamed in their disappointment. [◦Link]
❋ Such things happen
In humanistic psychology and humanistic education there is a basic belief that runs contrary to the teaching of Jesus [Matthew 13:38,39]. Some are openly evil, others are feigning good and put snares along the path of men to catch and make use of them, and much "God-ballyhoo" serves to legitimate much evil.
Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow are two among the psychologists that hold that at bottom, deep in our hearts, we all are good and lovable. In psychiatry, that view is not "good Latin". The Norwegian psychiatrist Tollak Bakke Sirnes (1968) warns against thinking that most psychopaths will change. They may not.
Note the difference of basic beliefs.
A society has bad chances of good times if bad ones are helped on and up at the cost of good and decent ones that are counteracted by vile doings by those who reign.
Thus, good and brave people need protection, kind children likewise, and self-defence is a good thing too, opposed to sayings of Jesus of turning the other cheek, of letting aggressive intruders have your watch and home if they demand it, and so on. His teachings just do not work for fair and good ones, and is naturally damaging for a society in the long run.
Try to stay fit, protect your home by walls and bars and whatever - that is what many do. Gated communities have become a part of the American society too.
❋ Inspect carefully to handle key sides to living
You might wonder who are good leaders. They do what they say and say what they do (Buddha), for one thing. They do not seek to impress by demagoguery and great-sounding phrases, or kissing ass insincerely. And they do not make their followers degenerate in time either.
Now who are good people, people of most worth? Interestingly, it may not be those who dress up in swaggering clothes for giving a great-looking impression, or have their bragging self-confidence tied to a swimming-pool, status cars, and bank-accounts to name a few things. Worldly esteem is not a very good indicator. Good people help others, plants, animals, humans, and in a wider perspective, as Buddha reveals many keys of. Basically they are friendly and harmonious souls who seek to live well. Sometimes they may be self-help-minded reclusive too, as part of it. And they delight in flowers - in living ones.
After pointing out a fair, long-term way to go, and showing there are great differences among people and, correspondingly, what steps and sorts of religiousness people gather around, from the primitive, torture-inflicting level to a liberated level.
"High altitude" Buddhist teachings, as many of Nyingma Buddhism are much like Vedanta teachings, all in all, just as the Encyclopaedia Britannica says:
Shankara's . . . works reveal that he not only was versed in the orthodox Brahmanical traditions but also was well acquainted with Mahayana Buddhism. He is often criticized as a "Buddhist in disguise" by his opponents because of the similarity between his doctrine and Buddhism. [However,] he tried with great effort to "vedanticize" the Vedanta philosophy, which had been made extremely Buddhistic by his predecessors. (s.v. "Shankara")
Two great differences between most of the current variants of Buddhism and of Shankara's form of Vedanta, are the acceptance of Self (Atman), and of the authority of the Veda scriptures. However, Dr Richard Gombrich reaches the conclusion in What the Buddha Thought (2009) that the most common Buddhist doctrine today, there is no Atman (Self, soul, spirit) is rooted in an ancient mistranslation of this:
Things are impermanent, i.e., ever-changing, and by that token they are not satisfactory, and by that token they cannot be the atman [spirit]. (Gombrich 2009:69-70)
Later Buddhists came to interpret "cannot be the atman [spirit]" as 'not having a self or essence', but that was not its original meaning, says Gombrich. He finds upon much study that both Pali grammar and a comparison with the Vedanta show that the true meaning is 'is not atman' rather than 'does not have atman'. And comparison with the Vedanta further shows that the translation 'self' is appropriate, he sums up (Ibid.). (Cf. Wikipedia, "Richard Gombrich").
Much of ancient Vedanta and Buddhist teachings is similar and overlapping also, as suggested in the Britannica quote above.
Gombrich, Richard F. What the Buddha Thought London: Equinox, 2009.
Gupta, Mahendranath. The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna Tr. Swami Nikhilananda. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1942.
Maslow, Abraham. Motivation and Personality 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins, 1987.
Sirnes, Tollak. . . . at vi skal elske hverandre Oslo: Gyldendal, 1968 and later.
Yogananda, Paramahansa. Man's Eternal Quest. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship, 1982.
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