Friday, November 4, 2011

Big or small. What’s the size of your house?


Big or Small

Wise sayings keep getting recycled in different venues. For example this one: “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” That saying from the Bible was co-opted by President Lincoln. Now days one political party is using it to marshal their troops around a common cause. Jesus however meant it as a statement regarding ourselves and our allegiances to either Satan or God. And then he said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Of course we like to mix things together by combining God with money, which is branded with the statement “In God we trust.”

Nevertheless wisdom is wisdom and adapts to many situations. It fits rather nicely into the Buddhist context, which is quite similar to the Christian context, which says “you are the body of Christ: the spirit of God dwells within.” Oh by the way, the Gospel also teaches that Gods love is unconditional but like the contrast between allegiance to either God or money, we like to mix things up a bit and say that while Gods love is unconditional, ours surely is not. Never mind. Losing argument.

The manner in which this divided kingdom idea plays out from a Buddhist perspective is that we are the house (just like Jesus said) and our house can’t stand divided. There are two rooms in our house. One of those rooms belongs to a phantom who is wholly dominated by money and possessiveness. That guy is called “ego” and he thinks the whole house belongs to him. He is just a guest but has delusions of grandeur. The other room belongs to the lord—the host who owns the house. The guest just comes and goes and bobs around like a cork on the tides of life. But the host never moves. He is the sold rock upon which the house is built. And here’s the real truth: this house is never divided even though it looks as if it is. Looks are deceiving. You can’t see the host; just the guest. We can’t see what doesn’t move.

And the house? It’s neither big nor small. It’s both, because this house is all that there is from smaller than an atom to the farthest reaches of space. The house is your mind.
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