I thought that it would be good for my mental health and need to say a few things before I pass on to -- the next life, the Pure Land, the emptiness which is all reality-- or maybe, nothing.
Kalu Rinpoche was the meditation teacher of the current Daiai Lama. This quote of Rinpoche keeps returning to my mind:
We live in a world of illusion and the appearances of things,
There is a reality.
You are that reality.
--- and being nothing, you are everything.
That is all.
The most important thing in life is to preserve The Earth -- all sentient and non-sentient beings, i.e. people, birds, insects, wild and domestic animals, mountains, streams, plains, wetlands et al — without exception.
I do not believe that man is made in the image of God. I think God is made in the image of man. Who could believe in a God that created humans in his image and did not have the omniscience and omnipotence to do better. Oh, I know he/she,it wanted to give us free will and see what we could do with it. See if we could learn to behave like images of she/it/him.
Humans are not special. They are just another species. Becoming endangered themselves through their lack of humility, the superabundance of hubris and egotism; their pride in their great knowledge, and their lack of a modicum of wisdom. I think of myself as some kind of Buddhist, and should feel compassion for mankind. It's hard for me to feel compassion for the majority of my fellow species members — and, often for myself. I heard someone in a movie say "The more you know people -- the more you prefer dogs (in my case cats).’ I can empathize.
One fundamental mistake humans including us of today and continue to make --- to believe we are here soley to make our lives happier, more pleasurable, more convenient, more abundant, more prosperous, i.e. the boy with the most toys at the ends -- wins. Everything should revolve around us, our wishes, desires, ambitions, goals. Some think this springs a misreading of the intent of God in Genesis -- and believing that God made the world and EVERYTHING in it for US! To do with it what we want. Our plaything, Our playground. Surely, he/it/she must have realized that the progeny of Adam and Eve would not have the sagacity or common sense to be put in charge of things and given a carte blanche. Elsewhere, though, in Genesis I am told that our species is to behave like stewards of the rest of Creation. Well, if that's the case we have flunked.
We are part of creation, of the world. We are interdependent. We need everything and every other sentient and non-sentient beings. Together, all form a beautiful mosaic which has a future. However, not if we human beings continue to think that all of the world is for our use to do with it as we want.
A few days ago at my doctor’s office, I picked up a copy of a recent Popular Science. Judging from the cover, the focus of this issue was “colonizing other planets”. Here are articles explaining how it might be done, why it may be desirable and scientific and technological theories and discoveries that if followed up on may make human colonization in certain planets possible. Frankly, I was appalled. First, I have no interest in living or even visiting other worlds. Second, humans have made such a mess of this beautiful planet Earth, the ideal spot for life — why would we want to wreck havoc on other celestial bodies? If there is other beings“up there” in our universe, they must be gnashing their teeth (if they have teeth) at the thought of a barbarian invasion. Third, there was and still is no need to depart from this very special place this Earth of ours. We could change our life styles, respect life in all forms, conserve, restore the environment and avoid doing any more damage. Live within our means AND within the limits of this wonderful place in the universe — our home.