pink_trike wrote: As it is, we are caught in a runaway system that our mind has calibrated with...because that's what minds do. We need to break that calibration and return to "the land" in the mind, or as we say in Buddhism, "the ground of being". Only then will we be able to make real, informed, even wise decisions about how to live integrally within the boundaries of the natural world, instead of dis-eased, dis-integrated, and dis-connected from the fullness of reality. It isn't "escape" we need...it is re-integration at all levels of our being. We have the tools to do that, if we choose to use them.
nathan wrote:What, really, is the difference between a gilded cage and one that isn't?
We're not talking about "gilded" here. We're talking about an ignorant, hungry, oft unconscious participation in the creation of wholesale suffering and murder. Yes, I mean you - whoever is reading.
Are we really to believe that we (no one is exempt from the current human-caused eco-holocaust that threatens the life of all higher living beings) can despoil everything and get away scott free? As they say on Southpark..."reeeeaaallly?". Can we greedily maim, poison, and destroy countless species for generations to come without karmic accumulation? Can we hack at the tapestry of life with our media-inspired and fueled cravings with impunity, with no thought of the forces that we support while we feed our personal hungry void? Can we unconsciously and actively participate in processes that cause widespread illness and suffering to all living beings for vast generations to come with no negative conditioning or karmic consequences?
Are we really exempt from the terrestrially-located ramifications of our cravings, ignorance, and inaction? Wow...lucky us, huh? Fundamentalist Christians also believe that we can destroy and rape the earth because "the end is near" anyway (based on an inaccurate belief that the Earth is dying) - you see, it doesn't matter to them what happens here, they've done what it takes to "escape". Is this what we are to believe? The worst sort of arrogant, material-phobic nihilism?
Our Dharma practice let's us do all that??
What I'm talking about (or perhaps rambling nonsensically about) is the externalization of our practice. When the delusional boundaries between "me" and the so called "filthy" messy natural world and all its so called "foul" inhabitants are dissolved, then we begin to realize, imo, the full extent of our madness...a madness that will follow "us", whether we believe in post mortum rebirth, rebirth moment to moment in this life, or rebirth in the form of a continuation of the singular human organism for generations to come. A madness that deeply clouds our awareness and fuels our sense of separateness and uniqueness. Is there really "escape"? Is this path to be an egocentric one...for "me" alone? Is the whole purpose of this exquisitely sophisticated path just to benefit the hungry "me"? "I wanna escape!!!
"me, me, me". I don't think so...each of us in this very life participates in the creation of suffering, disease, and murder (sorry, there is no softer word) right here, right now, through our ignorance, mindless participation, denial, and self-serving inaction - that conditions the mind towards the lower realms, no matter where these realms may appear, and no matter how much we believe ourselves to be exempt.
I confess...I'm an "engaged" Dharma practitioner. Imo, the dualistic separation of material and "trace aggregates" is delusional. Imo, working with circumstances right here and now is a valuable, indeed a _necessary_ part of the path. Imo, com.passion is really the senses (passions) that have been harnessed for the good of the commun.ity...and the Whole. Com.passion. Communal.senses. Imo, the rejection of circumstances is an abject folly of delusion - part of the exact problem that we attempt to address through Dharma practice, and a view that has far-reaching negative ramifications for all of "we" and "me", that no amount of belief in other realms or escape destinations erases.
[ This is why I post mostly in "The Lounge" here.
For clarification, I don't "believe" anything I say. If you have a better view, lay it on me...I'm open to it ].