29 January 2008

All Things Perishable

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In Buddhism there are five realms that define existence - Hell, Hungry Ghost, Animal, Human, Jealous Gods, and Gods.

We live in the aptly titled, Human Realm. I like Chogyam Trungpa's explanation, it is humbling:
"The human realm is based on passion, the tendency to explore and enjoy; it is the area of research and development, constantly trying to enrich ... And there is something extra connected with [this] realm, a very strange kind of suspicion which comes with passion, and which makes human beings more cunning, shifty and slippery.

[We] can invent all sorts of tools and accentuate them in all sorts of sophisticated ways so as to catch another slippery person, and the other slippery person develops his or her own equipment of anti-tools. So we build up our world with tremendous success and achievement, but this escalation of building-up tools and anti-tools develops constantly, and introduces more sources of passion and intrigue.

Finally we are unable to accomplish such a big undertaking. We are subject to birth and death.

The experience can be born, but it can also die; our discoveries may be impermanent and temporary."


(The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Francesca Freemantle & Chogyam Trunpga p.8)






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