On Purifying the World About Us
Jan 17, 1995 09:03 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker
This is by Eldon Tucker
---- On Purifying the World About Us (Comments on a Buddhist
There is a Buddhist meditative practice where we are asked to
take in the evil in the world about us, to purify it, then to
release it as something good. As a statement openly made, it is
an exoteric truth. What could its inner meaning be?
At face value, we are being asked to literally take evil in and
absorb it in ourselves. But are we expected to take on evil
qualities, and live out degraded actions? Certainly not! But it
is possible to twist words into condoning evil ways. There is
always the temptation or force in that direction, something that
originates from those whom would have our spiritual work fail.
For those looking for an excuse to do what they know, in their
innermost natures, is wrong, here is an opportunity. But no one
is fooled; we know when we do wrong; excuses are for other
people, they do not truly hide anything from our eyes.
A better interpretation of the practice is to say that we are to
become transparent to the evil in the world, so that it simply
passes through us. We are clear panes of glass; the evil passes
through us, rather than being mirrors that reflect the harm back
to its originators.
But can the evil really pass through us without leaving a trace?
No. All life is interconnected. The harm cannot be done without
the rest of the universe--ourselves included--feeling its
effects. So how, then, do we respond? First we have to ask who
it is that responds.
Taking the standpoint of a separate self, we get the evil from
the environment. We could hold it inside ourselves and deal with
it internally, rather than perpetrate the continuation of the
evil in the world. We would, for example, not respond to anger
with anger, even if we are mad ourselves!
We can, though, rise about the sense of a separate self. We are
not different that the other people, the source of the evil. We
embrace the evil or take it in by becoming at one with its
source, by taking on the Sukshmopadhi vesture, the conscious
sense of non-separation from those about us. We further rise
about duality by passing, in our consciousness, above any sense
of inside or outside. To the harmful influences in the world, we
"pull them in" by making inside and outside the same. (It should
be noted that when we take on this state of consciousness,
although our experience of life has changed, the world remains
the same to everyone else. Our perspective has changed because
we have *ourselves* shifted into a different mode of experiencing
life; others remain in whatever consciousness they already
We are unified now with the others, the source of the darkness in
life. We purify their consciousness by being so positive in our
goodness and in higher, superior qualities, that through our
consciousness connectedness with the others, through an active,
alert Buddhi we change the other people as well as transform the
content of their consciousness.
Our transforming effect on the others is through our karmic link
with them, part of the karmic web that defines both our unique
personal nature in life as well as helps define them and the rest
of the universe as well. All that comes to one in life is
karmic. From the standpoint of a personal self, we have a karmic
cycle, a give and take, an action and resulting reaction from the
other people. From this standpoint, we break a cycle of evil by
not allowing ourselves a resulting reaction in kind, of a like
nature, to what we have received.
A better response is to not resist evil as we see it coming. We
do not separate off from the experience by feeling repelled or
offended. There is no sense of horror, rejection, of pushing
back from ourselves that which is offensive. We do not respond
to what comes to us in anger, nor in avoidance, it simply passes
by us as "water off a duck's back."
When we've risen above any conscious sense of the other as
separate from ourselves, we "take within" the evil contents
because we are both recipient and originator. But we still
remain non-responsive to its contents and substitute in ourselves
the stronger contents of our own consciousness.
And having taken in and purified the foul, dark contents of the
world, how do we return to life the cleaned-up life energies? We
simply return to the dualistic consciousness again, separating
back to the Nirmanakaya vesture, where we are again separate from
others, and no longer unified with the other, troubled people.
Note that the practice we are considering is described in terms
of a metaphor, and not as literal instruction. We are really
learning to become a source of light and truth and beauty in the
world. Such a practice could be described as "destroying
darkness," as taking in evil and replacing it with good. It
could be described as filling a void, where light is missing. Or
it could be described as simply being a source in the world of
the brilliant, diamond-like nature of our Inner God.
How this practice, or any Teaching, is described, depends on
which of many ways of looking at it is being taught us. We need
to see things from many standpoints to keep fluidic in our
understanding and not crystallize our thinking, not having our
thoughtlife imprisoned in rigid molds of mind. Having shocking,
outrageous, startling ways of expressing the inner truths is a
method of teaching, one that tries to awaken the student to
freshly rethink the key ideas of the Philosophy. Can problems
ever arise from this method of teaching? No, not as long as we
maintain the necessary clarity of mind and purity of heart.
Whenever life shakes us, or knocks us off course, we simply
return to what is right, like a good compass, once bumped,
returning quickly to true north.
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