This is the twelfth and final talk of the series "Samatha-Vipassana for the Nuclear Age". I would like to use this opportunity today to summarize, in one bird's eye view, every angle and aspect of the topics discussed during this series. My goal is to go clearly and penetratingly into each of them one-by-one. I call this dhamma-sacca (Dhamma-truth), by which I mean that a specific aspect or angle must be scrutinized until we realize, on the most profound level, exactly what its true nature is. Most importantly, dhamma-sacca is the one particular truth most appropriate and necessary for a situation and its circumstances. We must choose the Dhamma-truth that needs to be studied and realized here and now. For this scrutiny. I'll use the framework of the Four Noble Truths, which consists of the principles:
What is it?
Through what cause does it arise? What is its purpose? How does it succeed in that purpose?
Today's talk is called "The Dhamma-Sacca of Samatha-Vipassan for the Nuclear Age". The nuclear age form of Dhamma prepares all people to face the events of our nuclear era: events of war and events of peace. It also prepares us for the general events in the daily lives of human beings. In the case of war, if nuclear war occurs, what sort of Dhamma will enable the mind to face such horrible dangers and punishment? With peace, what knowledge is needed regarding this situation in which there is still this nuclear age kind of peace? As for Buddhists, in order to be true Buddhists who don't waste the opportunity of hearing the Dhamma, what do we need to know about this matter and how should we practice to protect our name, face, and honor? Don't forget that being a Buddhist means being "one who knows, is awakened, and has blossomed into perfection".
Nowadays, what are people doing that we call this "The Nuclear Age"? They can go up to the moon, circle it, land on it, and come back to earth. They can send vehicles to look at, explore, and go beyond the planets. Nothing is at all like the old days. We can jump from here to there and fly around the world in hours. Things have changed like this. Now that we can go to the heavens nothing is the same. What mental qualities, then, are appropriate for a mankind that has progressed in this direction and to this degree?
STRANGE & DANGEROUS TIMES
Obviously, this kind of progress leads to strange and powerful results. In Dhamma language, we call these results atimahantramana (ati, extreme; mahanta, great; ramana, things known or felt, things which strike or make contact). They are sense objects that powerfully strike the mind in the form of dukkha (suffering). Why don't we take a happier view of the situation? Because that's impossible. Material progress that leads people to be infatuated with sensual pleasure and stimulation blocks the way to peace. Even though we may be enjoying some delicious sensual pleasures now, such sense experiences support and increase defilement (kilesa), especially the defilement of selfishness. With selfishness reaching extreme levels, there's no peace in sight. Therefore we can see only these undesirable things that we have created.
There are tragedies, disasters, and crisesthe opposites of peace. They come one after another, without any pause between them, and so we call them atimahantramana. This is a strange word for ordinary people, but it is normal in Dhamma language. Huge, extreme sense objects dominate the mind completely and their impact is beyond reckoning. Small objects come and go without having any meaning and are forgotten. When objects are large and extreme, however, they're difficult to forget, they're oppressive and destructive and they cause much dukkha. Also, they have the characteristic of another word from Dhamma languageamtputtikabhaya, "danger that makes one parentless".
The danger we're discussing here is amtputtika. It's so great that not even our parents can rescue us. It's so vast that we can't help our parents either. No one can be of help to anyone else. Normally, this word applies only to the dukkha that arises out of birth, aging, illness, and death, in which children can't help their parents and parents are unable to help their children. This is an enormous and absolute danger. And now there is an external danger of the same magnitude, where parents and children can't help each other, which leaves us completely alone. Close your eyes and think about it. If a nuclear missile comes down who's going to help who? We'll all be dust anyway; who can help who? This peril is of the same proportion and meaning as the words "we can't help each other in the matters of birth aging, illness and death".
In this nuclear age, such dangers can come at any time. Although we may have parents and children, it's as if we had no one. Then who will help us? What will help? I think that Dhamma will help us, which means the Buddha will help us.
DON'T HAVE TO CRY
Therefore, we must develop and store Dhamma that will help us in circumstances so dangerous that thousands of mothers or children would be of no help. To prepare yourself so that you won't cry is enough. Don't go so far as to prepare yourself to laugh; no one would believe you. Simply being prepared not to cry when disaster comes is splendid enough. You don't have to say that you'll laugh. Actually, if one really has a lot of this sort of Dhamma, I think that one could laugh. Someone with a sufficiently high level of Dhamma can laugh in all events, whether disastrous or beneficial. One could laugh at both matters that encourage liking and that encourage disliking. However we common folk needn't go so far. We only needs, for as long as we haven't died not to cry. That's plenty good already. Thus, I encourage you to listen to this Dhamma of "samatha-vipassan for the nuclear age", so that you'll be skillful expert, and correct in its practice. Then you'll remain unperturbed during the enormous changes of the nuclear age.
You must think back to the topics of the eleven previous talks. From the beginning, how are we to practice each one? Of them which point is the most important? Realize anicca, dukkha, and anatt (impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self). Realize suat (voidness, selflessness), tathat (thusness), and then idappaccayat (conditionality). Penetrate to these realizations with every exhalation and inhalationthat's the most important issue. How much is accomplished in practicing on such a level? If one fully sees that "it's only thus, it's only such", whenever something no matter how enormous arises, if tathat is seen, that's how to endure and how to remain still. Then, if you want, you'll be able to laugh. But the arahants (Worthy Ones, perfected human beings) probably wouldn't waste energy on useless laughter. Remaining quiet and still is better without laughing, without crying. That's what's best, having Dhamma that keeps one calm and quiet in all circumstances. Allow me, then, to explain point by point, what it is, where it comes from, what its purpose is, and the method for achieving that purpose.
Before we discuss the meaning of "samatha-vipassan for the nuclear ages", we must understand why the word "nuclear" is used here. In using it I don't mean that we must all be scientists who study the theories of nuclear chemistry and physics in all their complexity and detail. It isn't necessary for us to be scientists like that. We only need to know that nothing can act clumsily or hesitantly and still survive in this nuclear era. All things must be like lightning bolts in their arising, in their ceasing, and in their knowledge of other things. All things must be as fast as lightning bolts. They must be deeper than the ocean and strike like lightning bolts, so that nothing can resist. In just the same way, our acts must accord with the nuclear age. This need for speed and power is what is meant by "nuclear".
SAMATHA AND VIPASSANA ARE ONE
When we say "samatha-vipassan for the nuclear age", we ought to realize the significance of joining the words samatha (tranquility) and vipassan (insight) together. Samatha-vipassan is one thing, not two separate things. If they were two things, we would have to do two things and that would be too slow. When tranquility and insight are united as one thing, there is only a single thing to do. Both samadha and vipassan are developed at one and the same time. That saves timea precious commodity in this nuclear age.
Let's review the method of practice that was discussed in the previous talks. When we look at something, we endeavor to see how it truly is, both the characteristics that it has and its deepest reality or truth. In short when seeing or watching anything, one will see the state of idappaccayatthe activity of causes and conditions endlessly forming and concocting each other. As I've summarized this before sitting right here and looking all around us, we will see nothing but the flow of idappaccayat? that is concocting and being concocted. It flows continuously according to impermanence and the fact that once conditions have formed they force the arising of new things and more new things.
We can describe this as simultaneously seeing with tranquility (samatha), seeing an object and fixing the mind upon it, and seeing with insight (vipassan), seeing the characteristics, conditions, and truth of the thing. These two kinds of seeing happen together. We can say that samdhi (concentration) is added to pa (wisdom). Samdhi is the mind steadfastly focusing on the object; pa is seeing what the thing is about, what characteristics it has, and what its truth is. For example, to look at and fix on a stone is samdhi, then to see that this stone is flowing continuously in change is pa. You don't have to do it many times, you don't need to do it twice once is enough. Watch the stone and bring concentration and wisdom together in that watching.
This illustrates the intelligence of the Zen Buddhists. They don't separate samdhi and pa. Rather than distinguishing between the two, both together are called "Zen". In Pali the word is jhna" and in Sanskrit it is "dhyna", which means "to gaze, to stare". Therefore stare into that thing and see it with both concentration and wisdom. We can see that the Zen sect doesn't distinguish between morality, concentration, and wisdom. When we stare at something there is morality (sla) in that gazing. Then fixing on that thing is samdhi and seeing its reality is wisdom. It saves a lot of time to combine three things into one. Yet practicing this one thing yields three kinds of fruit.
Maybe we'll be forced to admit that it's stupid to separate morality, concentration, and wisdom from one another, then to practice them one at a time. There's never been any success in doing so. One can uphold morality until death, yet never have morality. It is impossible to fulfill any of the trainings when they are separated from one another. There's no use intending to practice (sla) without knowing why and how to practice (pa). Actually, we practical morality to support concentration and practice concentration to support wisdom. If we separate them and do only one, there's no chance of success. Therefore, do all three together, simultaneously; in this way there is success.
There's a Zen picture that I'd like to discuss; I think it will amuse you. It's a picture of a frog sitting at the mouth of its hole. I'm not very familiar with it, but I've seen it a few times. The frog is sitting at the mouth of its hole it's sitting in the meditation posture. The words accompanying the picture are the frog's: "If they're Perfected Ones only because they sit in the meditation posture a lot, then I'm a Perfected One (arahant) as well, because I've been sitting meditation all my life". The frog says it has sat in meditation from its birth until the present. The Zen people are teasing other sects, kidding both other Mahayana sects and Theravadins as well for attaching to sitting meditation, for trying to sit in concentrated states until they become rigid, stiff, and crusty. The frog teases them saying, "I've sat in meditation all my life, therefore I'm an arahant just like the others". This points out something important: Don't practice anything blindly, without examining it from all sides and in all aspects.
There's another picture that teases in the same way. In this one the frog says, "These guys are accomplished and successful. If they pass this way, I'll jump into the water with a loud plop and scare them out of their wits. Have these accomplished vipassan teachers walk past this way, and I'll jump into the water with a noisy plop to startle them". This pokes fun at those who attach so much to an activity that they preach, "Do only this, do just this". Then they attach so much to any success that it becomes magical and holy, something that never existed in Buddhism. Always remember that Buddhism has never had anything to do with magical and holy matters. Don't drag them in. There's only idappaccayat; everything follows the law of conditionality directly and absolutely. There's no way for it to be anything magical or holy. If you don't realize this, little things like a frog's plop will continue to frighten you.
If we bring magical and sacred things into Buddhism it will become just more bowing to and worshipping holy things, requesting whatever we want without doing anything. That's a religion of begging and pleading; that isn't Buddhism at all. Instead, we must behave and practice in correct accordance with the law of nature. Then, benefits will progress according to that practice.
NOT HERE, NOT GOING THERE
We can see in the Dhammapada Commentaries, which are full of stories, that the Buddha once gave his disciples a certain meditation object. He gave them a particular matter to take into individual practice and instructed them to come to tell him of any results that occurred. The Buddha didn't sit watch over the monks as is done with people nowadays, nor did he distinguish that as concentration and this as insight. He gave them a meditation object very similar to a Zen koan to think about...no, not to think about but to guard until they saw clearly. For example, they were to practice in a way that was neither here, nor elsewhere; without past, without present, without future. They were to practice until the feeling of "not being here and not having gone anywhere" arose. In "being here", there is yet a self, some person that is here. In "having gone" there is the desire to go somewhere, there is craving to find something somewhere. And there's no past, no present, no future, because these all are identical.
If we are just free of craving-that's all it takespast, future, and present have no meaning. This is what the Buddha meant, but instead of explaining the meditation in this way, he had the monks figure it out on their own. He had them meditate until they saw that there is no past, no future, and no present, that there's no being anywhere, nor going somewhere. Nothing going, nothing coming, and nothing stopping anywhere. "Figure it out yourself".
The monks did as they were instructed and as soon as they began to contemplate what the Buddha had given them, there was morality, concentration, and wisdom full to the brim. The self-control to do a certain thing is morality (sla). Pouring the mind's power into that thing is concentration (samdhi). Clearly seeing and brightly knowing in successive understandings is wisdom (pa) or insight (vipassan). As soon as the monks applied themselves to scrutinizing the matter that had to be understood, sla, samdhi, and pa arose. They didn't chant through any rituals about the 10 precepts or the 227 precepts. Collecting the power of the body and mind into scrutinizing one certain thingthat collecting is s-la, the looking is samdhi, and the seeing of the truth of that thing is pavipassan.
The commentaries make it very clear that in his time the Buddha gave meditation objects the scrutiny of which led to both tranquility and insight. He didn't separate practice into different stages to be done one at a time until we die without actually having practiced anything, such as keeping sla all one's life without ever having sla. Be very careful about this. Things that are genuinely successful and beneficial become small, simple matters, not the complicated elaborations of our modern thinking and attachment.
l'd like to ask you to observe the way things are naturally. When we think or do anything, the idea and intention to act, and then the intention to do it as well as possible, are gathered together within the act itself. We are able to survive in this life and can win the struggle with nature, because nature creates living things that have the intention to act and act correctly within themselves. But because this happens gradually we don't see it clearly and can't make out the distinctions. If we observe the children running around, we'll see that they develop daily in both samdhi and pa. Have a small child write the ABCs; she'll improve daily. This shows that there is samdhi (concentration) developing daily in her writing and there is growing intelligence in her ability to write more beautifully. Can't you see it! Meditation and wisdom work together and develop together until, before long, the child is able to write quickly and beautifully, that is successfully.
There is nothing that can be done without the simultaneous application of the powers of mind and wisdom. No matter how stupid a person is, if we give him an ax and tell him to cut some wood, and then he returns with the wood, then there must be samdhi and pa present. Any fool who can cut wood successfully must have concentration to chop down with the ax and wisdom to know how and where to chop so that the wood splits properly. It doesn't take a teacher to do it. In the chopping of wood, concentration and wisdom develop to the appropriate and necessary degree.
All natural things are under the control of nature itself. Sla in woodcutting means the intention to cut wood and to not wander off to play half-way through the work. Steadiness in the chopping and intelligence in knowing how to do it in a simple way are samdhi and pa. This natural concentration and wisdom is present in everything. Even a cook boiling rice or making curries in her kitchen demonstrates mindfulness and wisdom (sati-pa), steadiness of mind, and careful control of things. Without these qualities she couldn't cook anything. She couldn't even light the fire without both concentration and wisdom. Yet this is all natural and according to nature. Also, it's so subtle that you won't realize it if you don't carefully observe and study it. However, it isn't necessary to study this because anyone can cut wood, any fool can light a fire.
CONCENTRATION & WISDOM ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE
With no exceptions, nature brings concentration and wisdom together in all things. This is something that nature has ordained all along, so that this partnership is a matter of nature which proceeds naturally. Consequently, we have the skill, cleverness, promptness, and resourcefulness needed to survive only because adequate samdhi and pa are available. Whether an animal is about to sting us, bite us, or claw us to death, or we've fallen down, or whatever danger might happen, it is necessary to rectify that situation in order to survive. That survival requires concentration and wisdom that are naturally sufficient. Such is the goodness of nature that it gives us half a chance.
If we step into a fire, the leg will immediately pull back without any conscious mental intention. This is an area in which nature helps a great deal. But should it be impossible to pull the leg back to remove the foot from the fire, then there must be the knowledge, the mindfulness and wisdom, the problem-solving ability, the something needed to survive. I've observed that even animals have these faculties, although to a less evolved degree than people. They have the intention to act and then they act well enough to succeed. For a snake to swallow an animal as big as itself takes concentration and wisdom. Sit down and watch for once; a snake can swallow up something as big as itself.
Nature requires that we have both samdhi and pa, and it provides us with both, only we don't bother to use them. We're careless, proud, overconfident, stupid, or what-ever, so that we don't bother to make full and proper use of concentration and wisdom.
MORE GOING ON THAN YOU THOUGHT
If we take a purely material example, one that has nothing to do with people, in which there's a kind of awareness and thought that accords with natural law, we can see that more than one thing is necessary to achieve success and benefit. Let's take another look at the ax used for cutting wood. For the ax to bite into the wood, it must have two qualities: sharpness and weight. It can't be light, but must have sufficient weight. Sharpness alone, as with a razor blade can't do the work. Nor would a heavy but dull ax work; a hammer is useless for chopping wood. For an ax, or any cutting tool, to perform properly it must have both weight and sharpness. Samdhi is the weight that provides the power to chop, and pa is the sharpness that cuts into the wood. Both qualities are needed. This example of an ax and its function is merely physical, yet both concentration and wisdom are required. Nobody, however, is interested in these things.
If you were to study from the lowest levels of nature, you'd probably understand this matter. In general, we blur the two qualities into one. We don't know about the realities that deceive us; we don't catch the deceptive facts. Take, for example, a slide projected on to a screen: we think it's a picture on the screen. We don't know that it's composed of two most important factors: light of adequate strength and a slide that is projected by that light. If we turned on the light without the slide, the screen would be all white, there would be just the light-component. When we put a slide in front of the light, it appears as a picture on the screen and we see the picture. We don't see the light because we already see it as picture. We only see the picture on the screen. We never distinguish between the light, as one component, and the slide, as another component, both of which must work together. This is the cause of our inability to distinguish the samdhi component and the pa component as two saparate qualities.
The powerful light which shines upon the screen is the equivalent of concentration and the different pictures carried by the light are like wisdom (pa). We think reality is a picture on the screen; this is the fool's reality. Wise people realize that there are two things at work: sufficient light and a clear slide. Add one to the other and they come together on the screen. Thus, wise people realize that the picture on the screen is impermanent, insubstantial, and not a soul, self, or eternal entity; that it is compounded of two components: light and slide. We ought to know and remember that things are compounded of at least two important components in order for them to appear as something with any meaning or value.
Things work the same way when we see a car drive by; we only see "the car" driving past us. We never think to distinguish the two components: the engine that creates power and the wheels that spin by the strength of that engine. These are different components, as all mechanics, well know. In the language of mechanics, they say that if there's no load the motor spins without doing work. In other words, if the engine isn't engaged with the drive shaft the motor spins like crazy to no purpose. Samdhi is the power. If it is put in gear and connected by the drive mechanism to something, then that thing will move accordingly. For example, when a car runs or a generator produces electricity, we don't distinguish the two prominent features, the two important aspects that are twinned togethernamely, the energy produced by the motor and the mechanism that converts that energy into motion or some other visible effect. There are two parts, but we always see it as a single thing. We only see the car go by. When we look at rice mills, elevators, and traffic lights, we only see some contraption doing some strange activity. You ought to observe that the power aspect is concentration and the activity aspect is knowledge and wisdom. This is only natural. Even inanimate things must have these two componentssamdhi and pa. I've spent all this time on this point to help you realize that for success in anything, both factors must be present. Concentration or tranquility is the force or power needed and insight or wisdom is the action that is required by the circumstances.
Now it's clear that samdhi and pa can't be separated, and that sla is a junior partner or assistant that must always be in tow. Within any action there is morality, because that action must keep itself even and in order. Hence morality, concentration, and wisdom are revealed in the secret of nature that all success comes through sla, samdhi, and pa. Concentration is the energy, wisdom is action in line with an objective, and morality is the foundation that allows that action to proceed smoothly. You should thank sla, samdhi, and pa, these profound and hidden principles which we never observe or realize. I hope that you will observe and realize them. In addition to that, I want you to improve them and perfect them to be appropriate for the nuclear age.
THE PATH MUST HAVE ALL THREE
Now we'll take a purely Dhammic view. Observe that when various problems arisedukkha in particularthere also must be solutions for them. All solutions must be complete in certain necessary qualities. The same is true of what we call the Eightfold Path, the Eightfold Path that we've memorized so well. Generally we take only the quicks superficial view of recognizing "that's the Eightfold Path", just as when we see a car go past but don't see the various systems at work within it. The larger systems of the Eightfold Path contains hidden subsystems within it. These are the morality subsystem of Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Maintenance of Life; the concentration subsystem of Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration; and the wisdom subsystem of Right View and Right Intention. In the Noble Eightfold Path, in those eight factors, there are sla, samdhi, and pa operating as integrated components that make the whole system work. Having no sla is like lacking any ground to stand on; to have no samdhi is to lack energy and strength; and to have no pa is to lack the sharpness needed to cut through problems.
You would do well to remember that concentration and wisdom must join together and work together without any separation. So it seems that the Zen people are actually quite skillful in using the single term "Zen" to mean both concentration and wisdom working together. If we don't think carefully about this, we'll remain stupid. If we do think carefully about it, we'll admit that their improvementjust "Zen" to cover sla, samdhi and pais true and correct. We don't need to be frogs sitting in frog-meditation and becoming "arahants" at the mouths of our holes. That's how things will end up if we make such separations. Here we practice morality, concentration, and wisdom together. We Buddhists have the Noble Eightfold Path as a fundamental tenet. In it, morality, concentration, and wisdom are fully present. We must realize the fact that these three components must be intertwined, just as a three-ply rope has three strands twisted into one usable rope.
Now if someone asks, "So what's this samatha-vipassan for the nuclear age?" we'll answer: "the system of practice that completely accords with natural principles, that yields the best, the fastest, and the most complete results in order to be abreast of any situation". Some people will then ask, "If that's true, then isn't the Buddha's teaching enough?" If they're blindly going to ask questions like this, it isn't necessary to answer. The Buddha's teachings are sufficient, more than enough. But his followers are stupid; they don't apply the teachings fully or quickly. They must be up to every situation, and in time, if they're going to catch the sparks before the nuclear fire erupts.
What the Buddha taught is adequate for the nuclear age; it's quick and complete enough for any age. His followers are sluggish, however, and sometimes they split the teachings into so many pieces that it's impossible to do anything right. Rather than spinning everything into a single theme, they unravel it into more threads than can be followed. Whether this is stupid or wise you can see for yourselves. If a person took three ropes, then unraveled them into many strands in order to tether a water buffalo, what a mess it would be! How stupid have things become? If it takes one three-ply rope to tether a buffalo properly, how could we tether that same buffalo with just a single strand from that same rope after we've unraveled it? This point must be scrutinized until we see that the Buddha said all that needs to be said"Svkkhto bhagavat dhammo". "The Dhamma has been explained perfectly by the Exalted One". It's completely successful already, but we don't act correctly in this matter.
I'm afraid that if we allow this clumsiness to continue, there will be nothing left to use in the nuclear age, because it demands absolute correctness, perfection and speedexcellence in everything. This is the reason that I'm giving this series of lectures entitled "Samatha-Vipassan for the Nuclear Age".
WHY IS SAMATHA-VIPASSANA NECESSARY IN THE NUCLEAR AGE?
Now we come to the second topic. From what cause does this thing arise? Why is this thing necessary? Tranquility-insight that is appropriate to the nuclear age is essential because we are beginning to realize that the nuclear era is sliding forward more and more powerfully, and increasingly encroaching upon us. We must prepare something to meet the situation of this out-of-control era. But we aren't going to speak from just this one perspective; to do so would seem to belittle Dhamma's worth. We're going to examine this matter from the beginning, from its deepest levels, according to the instincts of beings living naturally, to see that we necessarily must have this thing already.
To state the situation briefly, to be dominated by dukkha is our normal state. Nonetheless, as we enter the nuclear age, dukkha will dominate and trample us more and more strongly, thoroughly, and heavily. How is it possible not to prepare ourselves by improving our practice so that it can cope with the times? We've had natural dukkha all along; as the nuclear age progresses, that dukkha increases to nuclear strength. Buddhists must have the knowledge and whatever else is needed to resist and solve the dangers. If not, we can sit and cry at amtputtikabhayathe danger in which parents and children can't help each other. It really will make us cry. Think about it please.
Ordinarily, what afflicts us? I'll use an easy-to-remember simile to illustrate. Ordinarily, we are in a condition that is like being slapped left and right, right and left, constantly. Normally, naturally, people are in a state that is like being slapped left and right, right and left, all the time. Do you see? If you don't see even this large a problem, we have practically nothing to talk about. And what slaps our faces left and right? The things in the world whose values condition satisfaction and dissatisfaction, liking and disliking. When we say left and right, we mean that on one side there is satisfaction and on the other there is dissatisfaction. Whoever sees this life as equal to constantly being slapped left and right is beginning to see correctly and is beginning to see in a way that will be of use.
This is a matter that we ought to discuss and study together. Why are we in a state that can be compared to having our faces slapped left and right? In this world, there are things that are conceived of and imagined to be pairs, through the foolishness and lack of knowledge in people. People insist that the pairs are real. Things are "just like that", they are "just that way". These are "the way it is" of fools, the truths that deceive the ignorant. People don't understand and take them to be the truth.
DECEPTIVE PERSONAL TRUTHS
It's amusing that everyone has their personal truths. When someone studies the Buddha's teachings, it remains the Buddha's truth. It doesn't become one's personal truth until one actually passes through it. Children have their childish truths. We can't pull them away to do things that they don't want to do, because they have truths and likes of a certain level. Teenagers, young men and women, husbands and wives, everyone has their particular truths according to their particular feelings and sensitivities. Such truths can't be interchanged. Therefore, there are many levels of truth following from the awareness or sati-pa (mindfulness and wisdom) of the individuals who make up each level. There are the foolish, deceiving truths that fools take to be the truth; there are the genuine truths which the arahants have realized; and there are the medium truths in between, where one sees to the other side but is unable to get there and remains stuck on this shore. This last group of truths are for those who see that the other shore is safe, but can't get there yet and are left clinging to this shore. It's the kind of truth called "standing on both gunwales of the boat".
This world is lovely and satisfying. We become infatuated with it and think we are right in doing so. Everyone thinks that it's correct to dote on the delicious tastes and beautiful sights in this world. These are illusory truths of the most foolish kind. Then we begin to study and practice insight. We begin to see that it isn't like that or this, that there's no self or soul as we had thought, and that there's nothing to grasp at, cling to, and identify with in such a way. Grasping and clinging at any time will bite every time. One begins to want not to cling, which means not to have a self, but can't stop because the attachments and identifications are too firm and tight.
UNABLE TO QUIT
We have a simile to illustrate this. A certain gentleman is full of infatuated love and desire for his wife. Later, it becomes apparent that the wife is actually cheating on him and is a wicked person. Yet he can't divorce her, tell her to stop, or kick her out of the house because his infatuated love and desire is too strong. He will remain with that wife who he knows to be dangerous until things pile up and become more and more heavy, to the point where he can make up his mind and divorce her.
This world is the same. In reality it's a fierce world, for it bites us if we attach to it. The same holds for all that we attach to: beauty, entertainment, enjoyment, deliciousness, wealth, gain, fame, and praise; form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and thought. We've attached to these things for so long that the mind is addicted to the clinging. Even when one practices enough to realize the way things are"Oh! It bites every time, it gnaws every time"even then one can't stop. One still can't let go of this world, one still clings and clutches at it. One will continue hugging and embracing this world as something desirable until sati-pa (mindfulness and wisdom) are sufficiently trained to be able to give it all up.
Smokers are an easy example of this point. Those addicted to cigarettes know that the habit is bad and want to quit, but these people can't stop smoking. And drunkards, they know that drinking is evil; they want to quit, but can't. Why not? Because the pleasure still binds them too strongly and they can't stop. These examples make the same point as the story of the gentleman who couldn't abandon his evil wife because the old love and bondage was still great. Such is true for each human being who when born into the world of forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and thoughts is fond of and bound to it, even up to this very moment. While we are yet sunk deeply in that infatuated love, it grips us too strongly to pull ourselves free; we must endure a lot of pain first. Pain must be endured until one day or one night a person is able to give it up, just as one day or one night that person is able to give up cigarettes or alcohol.
This is what we've been talking aboutthe truth. Truth has various levels. The truth of fools is clung to with all their heart and life. Eventually, they know that it isn't true that there's something which is more true. Nevertheless, they still can't abandon the truths that they have attached to. First, they must increase samatha and increase vipassan sufficiently. Then they gradually will abandon ignorant, deceptive truth. This period of transition is what we call "standing on both gunwales of the boat". They see that that side is safe, peaceful, and free of problems and pain, but insist that they must remain on this side with its dukkha (misery). This is the truth that holds back those people who don't change or don't cross to the other side. Finally, one practices on to higher levels and discovers the truth of anatt (not-self, not-soul). One lets go of everything with the realization that all things are not-self, are free and void of self, and doesn't turn back to find the soul (att) that one was once attached to.
Everyone is like this. Even Buddhists are stupid. They have their foolish truths, the illusory truths that they have clung to and grasped at since before they were worldlings. Once they listen to this Dhamma and realize their foolishness, realize that they're sunk in dukkha, they want to come over to this side which is free of dukkha. But they can't come over because they're still bound by assda, the delicious charm of the world they have known. So cultivate the mind. Increase samatha and vipassan to higher levels and the mind will incline toward the side of genuine truth. The truth that doesn't deceive is the truth of anatt, through which there is never again any clinging to anything as "mine". When we begin to understand these things, we will see that we should hurry. Hurry to increase the powers of samatha and vipassan in the quickest way possible to cope with these nuclear times!
In this matter we have our easy-to-remember metaphor: we live in this world stupidly, like fools, like worldlings; and so we get slapped left and right, right and left, endlessly. Or, we could say that with every inhalation and exhalation there is liking and disliking, disliking and liking. We get slapped for this reason and that: now something about our children, now something with our husband, now something with our wife, now something about our possessions, now something about our honor and famenothing but what is ready to slap us silly. Getting, we are slapped one way. Losing, we are slapped the other way. Getting leads to love through which one stupidly sinks into attachment. Losing leads to sadness, crying, and moans of despair. Here we have both liking and disliking.
DUALITY TORMENTS THE WORLDLING
When the mind is on such a low level that it already is liking or disliking something, take a good look and see if that isn't the same as being slapped left and right constantly. When eating delicious food, we get slapped by satisfaction with the deliciousness. When eating unpalatable food we get slapped by anger and aversion. We can say that this is more pitiful and sad than pity itself. The natural state of worldlings, of those who don't know anything, is a life comparable to being slapped left and right all the time by the things that come accompanied by their opposites.
There are many things which form pairs of opposites or dualities. The first set has already been mentionedliking and disliking. Then there are gain and loss, victory and defeat, having the advantage and being disadvantaged. There are many pairs, many dualities, dozens of them, and each is a pair of slaps in the face. That is, they bite a person's heart on both sides because they are dualistic. Dualities have two sides, and whichever side comes by, it bites in its particular way. So if we aren't bitten this way, then we're bitten that way. Life goes on like this until we strip it all away by saying, "That's just how it is; it's just that way. It's idappaccayat just like that; there's no I-ego nor things of mine, no me nor myself". When there's no I, no self, whose face is slapped? Because there's no self to have its face slapped, there's no slapping, and thereby there's no condition in which the mind is tormented and suffering.
THE MOST URGENT OF ALL
Is this matter as urgent and pressing as nuclear matters? Think about it. Is this matter as urgent and all-important as the issues of the nuclear age? Anyone who sees the truth of this will realize that this is the most urgent issue of all. We must resolve this problem before the body dies. But most people don't see at all, and so are careless. They cover their cars and close their eyes heedlessly as if nothing were happening. In laughable situations they laugh, in tearful conditions they cry. Laughing and crying, crying and laughing, as if it were nothing.
They aren't aware that their lives are the same as being slapped in the face. Yet one who studies the mind, who reflects upon mental matters, who already has knowledge and understanding of the mind, will have observed that the mind is attacked from two sides: the side leading to liking and the side leading to disliking. The side of liking affects the mind in one way and the side of disliking affects the mind in another way. But fools don't know this. And why not? Maybe because their skin is too thick. They have no awareness. Their nervous system knows nothing about what is going on, because they're totally lacking in genuine wisdom of Dhamma. It's as if their skin is so thick that they can't feel anything. So we must scrape off the ignorance and thickness. Then, as it becomes thinner we'll gradually come to know these things. Whether or not this condition is as urgent a matter as our nuclear problems is something that you must decide for yourselves.
If we understand suat (voidness), the condition of being void of self because there is only idappaccayat (the law of conditionality), there is no self (soul) to be slapped in the face, no "person" who exists to have his face constantly slapped left and right. This is the fact of the matter. Whether it is urgent or not is for you to consider for yourself. If we practice by contemplating these truthsjust impermanence, merely not-self, just such, only natural elements, purely idappaccayatin the ways that we've explained many times, that will be the end of self. The self gradually fades and disappears until there is no self whatever to be slapped in the face. That's it. The matter ends here.
WHY ACCEPT DUKKHA?
These days this world is in a state of becoming more and more stupid. No one believes me when I say this. You who are listening, do you believe that the present world is in a condition of increasing foolishness? We don't notice because we only look at those areas where man is clever in material knowledge. People are most clever at making strange, new things that we must buy and must use. Even these video cameras, although an example of the cleverness of modern man, demonstrate that the situation is becoming more and more stupid. These things are totally unnecessary. Why do we let them cause so many difficulties? We surely don't have these wonderful things in order to know Dhamma. They're only used to fall into deeper infatuation with beautiful and delicious experiences. These magical things are created for humanity to grow stupid and sink more deeply into the mire of delusion. Everything that is considered clever in this scientific age, all these marvelous instruments, when seen from a foolish perspective are thought to be examples of human intelligence. But when they are seen on a more profound level, they're simply proof of the human stupidity that makes us sluggish, that enamours us with all this, that keeps us stuck here, and that is nearly impossible to get free from.
We can summarize this point by saying that the modern world is in a state of accelerating stupidity regarding the creation of peace. We insist on the qualification "regarding the creation of peace". Although this world is increasingly idiotic, in the area of creating crises it is increasingly clever; it is quite talented at starting more complicated and troublesome disasters. This is the sort of progress we have. So whether people go to the moon or who-knows-where, they aren't going for peace. They do these things for reasons of war and increasing affliction. Thus, we must say that the world is becoming more stupid regarding peace. A correct method is needed. Don't become foolish. Don't sink into stupidity, but become more genuinely intelligent. Don't bother with unnecessary matters. Don't create unnecessary things. As for the unnecessary things which already exist, use them for peace.
All of the luxuries and conveniences with which we fill the world answer only to our defilements (kilesa, e.g., greed, hatred, fear, worry, ignorance). They support people's defilements and make people selfish. For this reason, all of the cleverness does nothing to create peace. All of the fine things, new products, expensive goods, and magical inventions only make people more stupid than ever. They lead people to infatuation with things that bind and attach the mind. Thus, there is no dawning of wisdom, no abating of the ignorance. This is what makes me think that samatha-vipassan is necessary for the nuclear age.
Actually, there is some understanding in the world; some people have some sensitivity regarding the situation. They try to free people from dukkha, to get people out of dukkha, but they can't get people out from dukkha, because they don't understand the cause of the problem. There are too many things that have been made to mislead people and sink them in the mass of dukkha, more than too many. Consequently, if samatha-vipassan isn't enough, isn't strong and sharp enough, it won't be able to destroy all this stupidity. As worldly progress develops to whatever degree, it increases our idiocy toward the world at least that much. Thus, that which can solve the problem and protect the world, samatha-vipassan, must develop and increase accordingly. So we have said that a system of tranquility and insight is necessary. This system of practice must be correct, fast, and able to keep pace with the material progress of worldings, for they become ever more thoroughgoing worldlings by their developing cleverness in deluding themselves.
Humans get dukkha, difficulties, and troubles from their own foolishness. They make the problems themselves. Is this point too profound for people to see? Why do they continue amassing hassles and difficulties until they're so afraid that they can't sleep at night? This is the result of stupidity of their own making. They don't know what something is, and are consequently afraid of it.
A PIECE OF ROPE?
To explain this Dhamma point we have an interesting metaphor. Both Buddhists and Vedantists tell of mistaking a rope for a snake, then falling into dukkha because of the stupid snake thus created. That is, in the moonlight at night, when it is dark and difficult to see, there is a coiled piece of rope lying on a path. A man comes walking down the path. There isn't enough light and the man thinks the rope is a snake. He jumps suddenly and cries for help. He created a "snake" for himself. The stupid man creates the stupid snake, then he is troubled and frightened by it. He doesn't even know that the snake isn't real, that it has no mouth or fangs.
He wholeheartedly believes that it's a complete, 100% snake, which strikes terror into his heart. There he stands shaking and calling for help. So it is with humans these days. Lacking sufficient light in their minds, they conjure up dangerous things which leave them shaking in fear.
As is well known, a kitten will be frightened of a brick or a block of wood if we tie the kitten to it with a rope. The kitten is afraid of the block because it believes the block is dangerous, and so cries in fear. It's the same with modern man. He creates all sorts of things, thinking that they will be good, progressive, advantageous, rich, or whatever the dream, but they end up causing him to be afflicted by fear and the many other problems caused by those things. In economics, politics, and other arenas of social competition, people are producing things that frighten them and cause them problems. Because wisdom is inadequate these things are common. So don't let these things into your homes, don't let them spook you into stupidity, fear, insomnia, and neurosis. These things which irritate the nerves, don't let them in. If you allow them to enter, they'll bite their owner so that, at a minimum, you can't sleep at night. Vipassan (insight) is the clear, bright knowledge that will get rid of all these things.
Nowadays, we lack adequate wisdom and think ropes are snakes. Things that aren't even dangerous frighten people to death, although they are only things that have arisen out of our own foolishness and inability to think in the right way. This sort of thing is happening more and more. On the other hand, people see saw-tooth discs as lotus flowers: things which can genuinely help are seen as useless, while dangerous things are taken to be helpful.
People search out the bait of defilements as solutions for their problems. This is what is meant by the saying, "People see saw-tooth discs as lotus flowers". Such remedies are more harmful than the problems, yet these remedies are all too common these days. Saw-tooth discs are mistaken for lotuses, ropes are mistaken for snakes, dangerous cures are taken for minor illnesses. We create these things out of our own stupidity; otherwise they wouldn't exist. Then when it's time to get rid of them, we can't. We see things backward; we take unsolvable messes as the solutions to our difficulties.
SACRED OBJECTS ARE NO HELP
Which brings us to a matter for which I've been criticized many times. If I say anything more, I'll be attacked again, but I can't skip over the topic of magic, sacred objects, charms, and talismans. They can't solve anything, but people still use them as solutions. They're conjured up without pause. I've even asked people with chains of amulets around their necks, "If we fill our homes and cities with these things, will your suffering end? If we fill the world with charms and amulets, will the world be free of dukkha"? They answer "No...no..." with a load of the things clanging around their necks.
Things that can't help, we want. Things that can help, we don't want. What are we going to do? The things that nourish intelligence and sati-pa (mindfulness and wisdom) are tossed away unwanted, while things that darken and dim the mind are wanted, hoarded, and clung to more and more.
What can we do about this? Whose problem is this; whose mistake is it? Is it the error of Buddhism? Of the followers of Buddhism? Whose fault is it? Please think about this carefully.
Only when correct understanding and sufficient wisdom or vipassan arrive will this darkness be cleared up and dispelled.
SAMATHA-VIPASSANA CAN STOP THE CRISES
Now to the next topic: What advantages will nuclear age samatha-vipassan bring? Actually, I've been telling you all along throughout this talk. To make it completely clear and easy to remember, I'll say it again now. It will stop all the crises, and then there can be permanent peace. By "crises" we mean all the difficulties, hardships, and abnormalities in our world. When these things are absent there is peace. This world has two conditions which oppose each other: crisis and peace. When the world is full of hardships, we call it "crisis"; when the world is full of tranquility, we call it "peace". In order to calm away the crises and not cause any new ones, and then have genuine, lasting peace take their place, we must use samatha-vipassan that is appropriate for the nuclear age.
The essence of this matter is: dispel the darkness, let in the light, then walk the correct path. When the darkness is gone, the light can shine, and it will be possible to walk the right path. That's all there is to it, this is our only objective. There's a metaphor which I've used in th past: correct samatha-vipassan will be a cloth to wipe away the tears of crying people, whether the tears of beggars or the tears of millionaires. The rich and wealthy also cry; they commit suicide, they feel oppressed, they let tears fall the same as beggars. The cloth that can wipe away the tears on all levels is just this oneknowledge of samatha-vipassan that is sufficient for the nuclear age.
Beggars, if they're silly, cry just the same. They'll need to use that very same tear-wiping cloth as the millionaires, the exact same cloth. Think about it. Is this necessary or is it not? Between the beggars and the millionaires there are many levels of people: the ordinary poor, farmers, laborers, merchants, civil servants, professionals, and whoever, up to the rich, royalty, and the deities in heaven. If the deities up in heaven begin to cry, they'll need the same cloth to wipe away their tears. This is how it is; there's no cloth to wipe away the tears of fools other than samatha-vipassan that is up to the mark and appropriate for the nuclear era.
This metaphor covers many topics. It covers all the terribly fearsome matters that lead people to hang charms and talismans around their necks. Nothing else will dispel that fear except for correct knowledge of true samatha-vipassan. This is appropriate and true protection, because it doesn't lead to ignorance, craving, clinging, and then the arising of dukkha. It isn't possible for dukkha to arise in the mind and heart of a person who has full nuclear age samatha-vipassan. That person's mind is cool, cool because no fires of defilement burn it, for in that mind is the meaning of nibbna". Nibbna is coolness, all levels of coolness, from that of this type of person right up to the final level which is absolute coolness. When there is no longer self, no kilesas (defilements) are born again; this is the highest, the supreme and final level of coolnessnibbna.
Or if you prefer, it's amata (deathlessness), not dying, beyond death, which is the same thing. When samatha-vipassan are fulfilled completely, there will be no one to die. With no individual who dies, there is no death. We call this amata, deathlessness, because there is no person who dies. Now, however, there is still attachment to a person, an individualnamely, "me". Thus there must be the one who dies: one who is born, who ages, who falls ill, who dies. When we attain the highest sati-pa of the Buddha, to the point where there is no self or soul belonging to anyone, there is no more birth, ageing, illness, and death.
This, exactly this, is the goal. There must be this level of sati-pa especially in this age when everything helps create stupidity. Progress in the modern world only serves to encourage stupidityinfatuation with the new the strange, the delicious, the seductive. There's nothing that causes us to be aware of what should and should not be done, what is enough and more than enough. Because nothing encourages such awareness, we fall into delusion almost from birth. As soon as a baby is born from its mother's womb into this modern world, it is met by all sorts of things that lead it astray. The baby begins its life by going astray, then loses its way more and more, until there is nothing better than what it likes. Consequently, today's children have no parents, no teachers, no religious exemplars, no merits and good deeds, no religion, nothing much of use or benefit. They have only ego, just this ego that wants to satisfy its selfish defilements. This is the real problem. I'm not saying that everyone is like this, but it's getting worse, and eventually everyone will be deluded. Not everyone has reached that point yet, but the way is being prepared for everyone to fall.
So whoever has a child, grandchild, or greatgrandchildbe careful! Set them on the right path. Turn them around on to the path that they should travel. To do otherwise is equivalent to turning them loose to walk into hell, into blazing fires, into things that make life purposeless, where there are only problems and dukkha. Please accept this knowledge as something essential, to be developed and preserved for sentient beings and human beings. Without this knowledge there is no humanity; there is nothing to distinguish us from beasts.
INCREASE SAMATHA-VIPASSANA'S POWER
There's one more topic and we'll be finished. What method will do it? What method will produce samatha-vipassan that is appropriate for the nuclear age? We've said this so many times, it's like pounding our fist on the ground. We insist on it and there's no way for it to be wrong. We speak according to the principles of the Buddha's teaching and with certainty pound the earth with our fist. There's no room for error; it's correct both in foolish ways and in the true way. We'll take the way that is correct, the way that will extinguish dukkha. The true path will quench all suffering.
We must realize that the needed Dhamma principle already exists. The Noble Eightfold Pathexclusively this and nothing elsecan solve the problem. There is only this way. No other path can solve the problem and quench dukkha; the Noble Eightfold Path is the only way. To increase its power and energy is to increase the power of that very same samatha-vipassan. The Lord Buddha used the two interchangeably. When he spoke of the path that extinguishes dukkha or of the method of practice for realizing the cessation of dukkha, sometimes he specified the Noble Eightfold Path and sometimes he specified samatha-vipassan. Both are found in the Pali scriptures. Yet no one ever hears of this, because it is never taught. Only the discourses discussing the Noble Eightfold Path are taught, never those that discuss samatha-vipassan. But they're actually the same thing; samatha-vipassan is the Noble Eightfold Path.
SAMATHA-VIPASSANA FOR EVERYONE
Not speaking about the facts has led to a gap in our knowledge; so we don't understand that there are different ways of talking about this one thing. Because this hasn't been taught, some people have an erroneous understanding. They are confused to the point that they feel samatha-vipassan is totally different from the Eightfold Path. Some people even say that samatha-vipassan is only for hermits in the forest, only for people who have abandoned the world completely. Others go even farther and blindly say that even the Eightfold Path is only appropriate for people who have abandoned the world, left it behind, and are no longer in it. In fact, the two are really the same thing, that which must be attained and used by everyone who still has life in this world.
We therefore practice samatha-vipassan of the sort that sees all things correctly as they really are, and then tell ourselves "just thus, only thus, just thus". This will increase the power of samatha and vipassan, or, if we specify its name more clearly, will increase the power of dhammatthitinas. These are the "insight-knowledges" (nas) regarding the "normal and natural standing" (dhammatthiti) of conditioned phenomena: seeing impermanence (anicca), unsatisfactoriness (dukkha), and not-self (anatt). Increase the power toward the insight-knowledges (nas) that realize anicca, dukkha and anatt. Then it will give birth to nibbna-nas, the insight-knowledges that realize nibbna. Increase the energy behind the insigh-knowledges that see "just thus, only thus, simply idappaccayat (conditionality)". Increase the power toward these knowledged and they will increase the power and strength going into the insight-knowledges that see what nibbna is like, what the total quenching of dukkha is like. Increase the power toward the dhammatthitinas and they will cause the birth of the nibbna insight-knowledges.
POUR ON THE FUEL
If we want the fire to blaze, we must add fuel. If we want the nibbna insight-knowledges to blaze in strength, we must give them fuelthat is, the insight-knowledges regarding dhammatthiti (normal, natural standing of things). The practice of noting truths as we have described in the previous talks, is the insight-knowledges about dhammatthiti. Such development of wisdom is the wood, oil, and fuel that causes the fire to flare up more strongly. This fire we're talking about is the fire that illuminates darkness, the fire that destroys ignorance, the fire that leads to the realization and penetration of nibbna. Thus, if we practice to see the reality of everything, correctly noting truth constantly, it will increase the power and strength of the nibbna insight-knowledges and the fire of nibbna will shine brilliantly in all directions.
We use a material metaphor and speak of increasing the fuel for Dhamma so that Dhamma will flare up. The fire of Dhamma is dying out, it's almost extinguished, there's no light left. Increase the fuel to the fire of Dhamma! The fire of Dhamma will blaze forth and radiate its brightness everywhere so that people will follow the right path. People will be able to follow that path to the highest truththe truth that there is really no self. The same holds true for the young man who loved his wife so passionately that he couldn't divorce her even when it became apparent that she was wicked and adulterous. He must add the fuel of knowledge of correctness, increasing it until he is able to abandon that evil wife of his. Then the matter is finished, the problem is ended, and there is no dukkha.
Nowadays, we've fallen in love with the worldsights, sounds, odors, tastes, touches, and thoughtsto the degree that we love it even though it bites us. We're infatuated with the world in spite of the biting and clawing. The fact that it bites us means that it isn't loyal to us, it has another lover, and it isn't honest with us. But we still can't let go. We're just like the fools who can't stop smoking and the slaves who can't give up alcohol, because we don't have the strength and fortitude to sacrifice the petty charms of these things.
We must observe until we see the wicked punishment of att (self, ego, soul) clearly enough that we can't stand it any more. We must end att once and for all. Nowadays, the best we can hope for is indecision, like that of people who hate cigarettes but can't stop smoking, or hate alcohol but can't give it up. Now, we remain drunk on att, attached to "I" and "mine", and can't give it up. We don't have enough strength to throw it all away. Please increase the power for Dhamma, for vipassan-samatha, which is the fire that will flare up brightly and burn all the evil defilements with it.
Living the Noble Eightfold Path, or genuine samatha-vipassan, strengthens the realization of tathattathattathat, "just thusjust suchjust thus". It's only thus, that is, everything accords with idappaccayat; there's no part or portion that can be clung to as a self or as a possession of self. This realization grows in power until no thing, no part of anything, no matter what its level, is taken to be a self or a possession of self. Then there is no dukkha, and no way the mind can ever feel dukkha. If the mind realizes tathat, it can't experience dukkha. If the mind realizes idappaccayat, it won't suffer dukkha, because it doesn't attach to anything as its "self", including even itself, the mind itself. This mind doesn't cling to anything as being its self, because it sees according to reality. It's a mind that has been released, a mind that is delivered and saved.
What we mean is to accelerate the machinery of seeing tathat, "just thus", or suat, "voidness", or idappaccayat "interdependent conditioning of causes and effects". It's all the exact same matter, the matter of absence of a self. Now, people are engaged to and getting married to att, to the self. Instead, they should increase the vigor and energy put into upholding correctnessthe extinction of dukkhaas the fundamental principle of life. Why get lost and buried in temptations, delusions, and defilements? When sunk in illusions and impurities, people are just like this modern world, which gets closer and closer to disaster each day. Progress! Progress in ways that will destroy the world. It's hard to believe people can continue saying this world is civilized, when that same civilization is destroying this very world by bringing upon it the dangers of the nuclear age.
IF ITS THE PATH, IT DELIVERS
Please devote your lives to more, higher, and better practice of the Noble Eightfold Path, or samatha-vipassan if you prefer to call it so. When the Noble Eightfold Path, the set of causes is perfected, then two more factors, the fruit of those causes, arise. They are Right Knowledge (sammna) and Right Deliverance (samm-vimutti). These two are never discussed or studied in this country, but the Pali scriptures are full of theme. Right Knowledge and Right Deliverance, together with the Noble Eightfold Path, make up the Ten States of Rightness (ten sammatta). The ten sammatta are mentioned in the scriptures frequently. They are the Sublime Way of Life (brahmacariya) in both its causes and its effects. If we speak only of the Noble Eightfold Path, that's just the causal aspect of the Sublime Life, only the practice of cutting through the defilements. But once there is samm-na (correct knowledge) and samm-vimutti (correct release and deliverance), then the fruition aspect of the Sublime Life has arisen as well. Then the Sublime Life is complete in both causes and results, and extinguishes dukkha perfectly.
The Ten States of Rightnessthe Noble Eightfold Path, plus Right Knowledge and Right Deliveranceis the perfection of the Sublime Way of Life. All the necessary causes and effects are there. When all ten factors are fulfilled, the Buddha said that it is perfect. It is a cathartic (virecana) that evacuates the self; once taken it purges the self. Beings possessed of birth will be released from birth, beings possessed of old age will go beyond old age, beings possessed of disease will transcend disease, and beings possessed of death will be delivered from death. This comes about by taking the purgative known as the ten sammatta. Sometimes they're called a vomitory (vamana) that causes the self to be heaved and thrown up. Other times they're known as dhovana (holy water that washes away sins), but this "holy water" washes away the self. The Ten States of Rightness are the perfect cure for the disease of self.
We've used these materialistic metaphors because they're easy to remember. Once the self is finished, what is born? What grows old? What falls ill? What dies? We can see that there is hope for us to not be born, not grow old, not fall ill, and not die. There's hope when we take this cathartic, when we take this vomitory, and when we bathe with this "holy water". But no one talks of this! But now the time has comeit's most urgent and is getting closer and closerto be interested in this matter. So please help each other. Help work together to perfect this world with nuclear age samatha-vipassan. Everyone must join in and not waste any time doing so. Hurry! The matter will be over when we all help to perfect the world through samatha-vipassan that is appropriate for and in this nuclear age. We must work quickly.
The time for this lecture is up. Before finishing, allow me to express the wish that you all will get moving, that you will get active in causing these things to arise gradually, or immediately, so that you can be released from the dangers of this nuclear age. It's time to stop talking now. Our time is up. Get moving!
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