A Buddhist “Thought for the Day”

A Buddhist on Thought for the Day 11-5-18 or as much as I caught of it!!

We must be concerned to model an example of the world coming together to tackle the shared problems that mount around us. Talks on Climate Change in Bonn have just stalled: poorer nations saying that the richer ones prioritise economic growth above reducing emissions and support for developing countries. This vivid reminder of the Buddhist parable of ‘The Burning House’ is as well-known in the Far East as the Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son in the West.

A group of children live in a crumbling mansion are oblivious to decay turning to fire because the children are playing with their wonderful toys, when that fire breaks out. The father, who is outside the house, sees what’s happening. There is no way for him to reach and carry out, and the children just keep running around in their joyful playfulness.

Scientists who sound ever louder alarms about the consequences of global warming and a corrupt economy must feel like that father. Economic growth pays for our services and lifestyles but it isn’t a game or a toy. Many of us do our bit to live sustainably, but in thinking of our culture and economy as a whole, there is something compelling in the image of those children entranced by what is in front of them and ignoring the wider dangers. In the parable the father’s solution is to tell the children that outside the house are new toys much better than their old ones and they come running to him.

In the original setting the father represents the Buddha and the build-up of toys outside are the riches of spiritual practice. [That relates to our frequent stressing that love of the Ground of all Being [God] and getting right all neighbourly relationships, are inseparable commitments for the faithful]. But perhaps there’s a further resonance with the climate crisis. Fear alone can’t sustain the slow and difficult changes that will reduce global emissions. We also need compelling images that are more attractive than the current one how this initiatives around the world focused on doing that individually we also need a vision of a meaningful life which we find satisfaction in zero emission pursuits like friendship and appreciating beauty and loving nature for what it is, not what it can give us. Art has a place in this and so do ancient sources of wisdom, perhaps including the Buddhist tradition, that speaks to our hearts like the cries of the father in the parable…. first he made a cry of anguish ……. then he made a cry of inspiration.” End

That ‘providing of inspiration’ for actions both palliative and curative is ICUK’s preposterous, ‘impossible’ but achievable task.  We need commitment from all who join with us as strategists preparing the tactical path that ICUK is working out with who-so-ever will collaborate generously in whatever way lies within their scope and skills – with your help please. The networking channels offered here are CCMJ, LGOT and now, most specifically, is the model of Independent ConstitutionalistsUK [ICUK]: see: www.icuk.life

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