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Patience Sweet

Dec 28, 1994 11:41 AM
by Dara Eklund

As William put it:

>I think this is may be merely a matter of symantics, so
>perhaps not very important. When you remark of "the other half" of
>making a kindly society, you say that one must learn to "absorb
>anger, hate & other negatives...."
>I wonder if "absorb" is the right word?  I'm asking because I spent
>several years as a university administrator and spent quite a lot of
>my time trying to subdue and arbitrate differences--often rather ugly
>ones.  As I reflect on those years, I think that I did absorb the
>anger, hate, etc. of others.  To some extent this worked (from the
>administrative point of view--getting people to go on with what the
>institution regarded as their proper and important work).  But, I
>think that absorbing those negatives made me ill--ill enough that I
>had to get out of administrative work.  Perhaps if one is a truly
>developed leader then one has powers within to neutralize the
>absorbed negatives.  For myself, however, I now realize that what I
>should have been striving for was to repel them.
>I'm not sure any of this makes sense.  But, would the ability "to
>repel anger, hate & other negatives" change the meaning of what you

Yes it would William.

No, "absorb" is not the best word.  Perhaps "accept", "abide" or
"endure" would be better.  But to strive to "repel" ugliness
would only make things worse, in the long run of many lifetimes.
Excepting people who regularly or constantly are faced with
anger, violence etc.  the attitude of endurance will work to the
benefit of society.  Yes, that means the individual will suffer
some "slings and arrows"; but what was the first Noble Truth of
Buddha? The nature of incarnation *is suffering* and quite

This is such a vast area.

Briefly then, Theosophy and Buddhism both teach that the prime
evil is selfishness or a sense of separateness.  Thus our normal
attitude to the negatives is already one of repulsion.  How many
on this net can stomach even the written (not to mention verbal
or personal) "through a glass darkly" barks and snarls with
equanimity, much less embrace them? But as Je Rinpoche said,
patience is the supreme *armor*.  Paradoxically, if one's
attitude is truly accepting, even welcoming of life's horrors,
that stance, in itself, is protective and soothing.  Of course
the foundation of this bearing must be built up lovingly,
carefully and wisely.  Which is what the words mean "*in every
way familiarize yourself* with the armor of patience supreme".

Hope this is not too abstract William, I know it is too

Best,  Nicholas Weeks

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