Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Suffering of the Heaven Realm

In Buddhist psychology, unlike in Western religions, heaven is part of samsara, part of the cycle of birth and death. Though the highest point on the Wheel of Life, heaven is not for eternity but just another inevitably changing state of existence. The suffering of heaven is insidious and a trap, very difficult to recognize as suffering because it seems so happy, so wonderful. It is so enjoyable that there is no striving and no 'good karma' created, one lives on the results of his past striving and meritorious actions. Nobody is helped, no higher states of mind are realized.
Isn't Heaven the trap that America has fallen into? Food and shelter are abundant, our average hours of work are only 40 a week, and after the work day is finished, it is entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. When one entertainment is over, we reflexively search for another to fill the time. Restaurants & bars, movies, television, great music, Internet links, scandals and stories of celebrities' lives, games to play, and entertainment by professional game players.
You think you are enjoying these entertainments, but in reality, the ENTERTAINMENTS ARE ENJOYING YOU, robbing your time, stealing life of its potential. It takes time to realize the Buddha's teachings, to examine one's own nature, cultivate good qualities, help neighbors, and practice calming and insight. Life is soon over, wasted in pleasures of heavenly entertainments, and we die without ending our suffering or showing others how to end theirs. Buddhism was just another entertainment.
The irony is, that while we waste our lives, obvious to everybody is the coming of mass planetary disasters, the great suffering quickly and increasingly closing in on all life on Earth.

No comments: