Saturday, 16 May 2015
Mara And Other Myths
is the Buddhist tempter;
mythologically, is a distinct supernatural being;
but is adequately explicable as an aspect of mind or psyche, a perverse mental process;
can be experienced as a distinct inner voice because the self is not a unitary entity;
was Gautama's doubts arguing against the potential Buddha - contradictory psychological processes in a single organism;
teaches only the First Noble Truth whereas the Buddha taught all four - Suffering, Cause, End and Way;
says, "You are entitled to feel resentment and obliged to feel guilt - continue to suffer;"
is not the same inner process as the Goddess although they might cooperate, e.g., by fusing desire and resentment.
We are not entitled to exist but are obliged to avoid wrong actions and to right past wrongs if possible although not to wallow in guilt. The present is the moment when reality appears, or when being presents itself, thus the moment of revelation and realization. Reality appears to those parts of itself that have become psychophysical organisms. It follows first that reality did not appear before it became such organisms and secondly that it ceases to appear to organisms as they cease to function. If, after my death, my memories and sense of identity are reproduced elsewhere, then the reproduction of my consciousness will be astonished while I, this organism, will be dead. (See here.)
Reality appears to human beings both as an immediate environment and as memories of past deeds. However, the past is a distraction from the present. It is necessary to accept a memory while it is present but not to think about it when, like the deeds remembered, it has become past and thus is no longer a presentation to consciousness. Reality presents itself anew at every moment. Some moments require a response from rational or practical thought but not from the negative thoughts inspired by Mara. We already experience on the Terrestrial plane what we will allegedly experience on the Bardo plane, past deeds preventing realization.
To use Biblical terminology, every day is the Day of Judgment but in Buddhism we judge ourselves. To use Biblical imagery, the Son of Man is always coming on the clouds of heaven but we look up and do not see. The Son of Man who came to find what was lost is a Bodhisattva. (At least one Bodhisattva must transfer merit to those who call on the name of Jesus.) Hindu gods are the man on the road to Emmaus and Krishna's million faces. Many are One and One is Many.
Words can be distractions, abstractions or realizations. Some texts are revered as inspired scriptures, e.g.: "Now I have seen you, builder of the house of ego. Your rafters are broken. Never more will you build."