A Buddhist philosophy from Renaissance:
Neither heavenly nor earthly, neither mortal nor immortal have we created thee, so that thou mightiest be free according to thy own will and honor, to be thy own creator and builder. To thee alone we gave growth and development depending on thy own free will. Thou bearest in thee the germs of a universal life. (Pico della Mirandola)
Burmakin: Your majesty, every Buddhist in this world understands that a Buddhist is always self-sufficient. Thus what I never have heard from a lip of any authorized person of Buddhism like you are currently saying.
Buddhism is for encouraging an individual’s efforts for her ultimatum of mutually exclusive dwelling in Nirvana, the Supremeness, NOT for formulating social design or social policy. How come your majesty comes with such a self-opposing remark that Buddhist philosophy is founded on social relationship as well as self-liberation?
The consensus of all Buddhists is working for cutting off all bondages, those social ties which are evils against one’s own liberation. What we all Buddhists adore is the bliss of renunciation. Such a giant Buddhist like you is, but contradicting yourself!
King of Angels: My son, you are right in saying that Buddhism is not for formulating social design but you are absolutely wrong in claiming that Buddhism is not concerned with any social policy, which in fact was the primordial aim of our Teacher in his inquest for human freedom! Buddhism is wholly founded on his holiness’ critical investigation on social policy and is a sort of giant socialism.
However, this genuine socialism must not be confused with deceitful socialism which cheats people by idealizing the uncontrollable impulses of human wants and expressing irrational leniency over the powerless for sake of tactical expediency of those cheater socialists who manipulates the vast mass of population into dehumanization by their irrational cheap rationalization of justice, fairness and equality.
You can learn an equal instance of what I am trying to explain by observing Edmund Burke’s completely different opinions on American Revolution and French Revolution. Do you get any insight?
Burmakin: Yes, your majesty. It is very interesting. Why that kind of contradiction happened: Burke had admired American Revolution so much but why he seriously condemned the one made by the Frenchmen?
Had not both revolutions tried to uproot the dogmatic antique traditional systems? Had he been consistent to be emphatic with revolutionaries of different nations for fighting against those bad dictators and those bad traditions, this great statesman should have been more respectable.
King of Angels: My son, it is because “Revolution” of Americans was heard in the ears of Burke as true revolution which came from the deep realization and respect for the universal principle of freedom and equality of all human beings. However, “ Revolution “ of Frenchmen was heard in the ears of Burke as a hoax of expediency which emerged from human psychological insufficiency of lust for power of the powerless who once were miserably oppressed and treated as low as animals.
It is to be cautious that people who want to dominate, want to be violent, want to earn better opportunity also always name themselves as revolutionists. In the same way, people who don’t pay respect to the laws of nature that forever imposes the serious limitation, weakness and vulnerability on you humans, think themselves they are able to control nature completely, and are confusing Liberty with dangerous futurism from their psychological insecurity, also call themselves as socialists. It is not on equal terms with the authentic socialists of we Buddha’s Sarvakas who have deep admiration on selfless but very individualistic,brilliant social work of our Socialist Teacher.
My suckling son, your human language is full of farces such that a snake’s head is swallowing its own tail. In this light of this irreparable weakness of you humans, language as the only medium of communication for your understanding of knowledge, to be a wise man is to know what is genuine and what is artificial, not to become a contender on these ambivalent terms of the language.
My dear son, don’t argue the definition of Democracy with your mischievous military government and those endless chain rings of opportunists for power. The difference between a fool and a wise man is that a wise man knows what is the universally authentic reason behind a word whereas a fool never considers it. The maturity of a Buddhist depends on his capability to discriminate whether “diamond” of a voice is indicating a real diamond or an imitate one.
My son, fight for justice only for realization of what justice is, both for your love for wisdom and the enlightenment of your enemies, not on contending with the ignorant on those farces of the linguistic terms, absolutely not by pointing out what the justice is since you are as ignorant as all others in terms of positive justice.
Notwithstanding, never undermine yourself. Do appreciate yourself in your love for fighting against the gross injustices emerging from ignorance.
Be heroic but fight vigorously against heroism.
Be prudent but eliminate passiveness and impotency which will pretend as prudence.
Be duly non-biased but seriously subdue irrational moral relativism of the rational fools.
Respect the value of reason but don’t worship rationality.
Be as much rational as possible but never rationalize.
Be rigorously self-critical and bear humility but don’t fall into the trap of exorbitant humbleness and defend affirmatively on what you believe as true after you have wisely re-examined it.
Listen to others with understanding and empathy, respect the diversity and critical discussions with fellow human beings but dogmatically argue in defense of truth and liberty as if you have the divine power.
Be sure on that Heaven has no discount AT ALL for universal values of liberty, equality and humanity.
Burmakin: Thanks for you kind instructions, your majesty. I can also agree to your point in fray of our human language. The authority of any government in this world solely relies on the opinion of the people. Of course, it is such illegitimate Burmese government’s quack authority which actually rests on the opinion of our Burmese. It is our fragile and malleable language through only which we could develop our opinion.
We Burmese have tons of misdirected opinions on our understanding of the words. You know, one obvious example is that whatever stupid every dictatorial ruler of this world, what he is so clever in doing is “channeling” the rhetoric. Those villain regimes manipulate their people by either restricting and distorting the information so that they are able to rule people’s opinion on which their power ultimately rests.
People in free societies do understand that we human have serious limitations in understanding of the language. We in the closed society are tweaked, cheated, indoctrinated, and deprived of our own self by those social ills emerged from the rulers’ power madness. The ironic is the more we are tweaked and cheated, the more we come to think we know all and everything. It is such an irreparable illusion of a Burmese rational fool to think himself he knows this and that and the meaning of the words are lucidly this and that for sure.
We have never been smart because we have never really understood what smartness is. I see. It actually is the start of all dangers once somebody thinks himself that he is very smart or at least smarter than others.
King of Angels: Well, my son. When the Nazis gained the power in Germany, Hitler claimed that Nazis were the supreme noble fighters for the whole world’s peace. The only authority he confessed to rule above the Nazis was the Nature.
When the lower middle class opportunists would finally blow out your military government and get their power in the future, they are sure to claim in the same way. They will be only afraid of the nature but they strongly believe they are the fittest among all in the nature so they survive. They will justify any rule favorable for survival of the fittest. The unfit will be thrown away as the rabble in your future society of ultimate Darwinianism .
In that society, there will no longer be a place for the survival of the righteous. Opportunism, communitarianism, relativism will be the dominant thoughts of this society of rationalism fundamentalists. The words such as “universal”, “absolute “, and “ nirvana”, "truth" and all other related words will be eliminated from your Burmese language.
You will no longer find Burmese people speak about faith, but they will speak only about the reason as they understand it. They will not discuss about ethics but they will only consider what are the efficient means.
By uprooting the despair and dogmatism of your present Burmese military government’s society, your future shaped by so-called revolutionists’ society will be grasping another irrational extreme of relativists.
Burmese will lose the identity of “Burmese Buddhist” by this time. You will replace your identity as Burmese relativists as your national social character.
Burmakin: I can’t agree with you in this respect, your majesty. Everybody in this world knows Theravada Buddhists, who believe in the diversity of Karma and Dharmas, are inclined to be more pluralistic and relativistic than Christians or all other Abrahamic the devout who trust in the Absolute God and the Immortality. You know Christianity principally has an authentic order to generalize the universal nature of the Human.
Are you aware that masses of young generation Buddhists of Burma have now been rapidly converting to peaceful Christianity in their despair over relativism and restlessness of their parental Buddhism. How can people who have been stormed and shattered by relativistic attitudes should be in love with relativism again? How can Burmese young people who are offered with warmness and shelter of universal values and Humanness of Christianity could come to live with such antique disarrayed attitudes of violence which they come to see as false values of Buddhists’ relativistic rationalization.
King of Angels: Well, my son. The answer is the same instance with how Burke recognized the word, “ Revolution” in his ears. You need to examine the genuine reason behind this hugely growing conversion rather than terming Christianity as peaceful and Buddhism as violent as you understand it.
Burmakin: Aren’t the reasons I suppose not genuine enough? Buddhists are always more or less violent. The whole South East Asia History is full of blood battles and coups committed by people of Buddhist Kingdoms in this region since the long, long ancient times.
Every legal scholar in this world knows universal human rights are based on values of Christianity. Burmese have the inalienable right to embrace peace of the Father in such despair over and oppression from Buddhist tyrants.
Buddha has already passed away so he would not come back to punish those devils. However, the Jesus assured us that He would come back once again to the world for the equality and justice of all human beings!!
What kind of assurance you could give us as a broker released by Buddha? Perhaps, you are just frustrated at your Buddhist market failure. You are smart only in your war tricks with Asuras but not as a businessman for retaining customers for Buddhism. A pity!
King of Angels: Well, my son. You are still misunderstanding what the word “Buddhist” is real about. You are understanding Buddhism and Christianity as this and that and get into the trap of becoming a rational fool that you yourself have just claimed as the most dangerous falsehood of humanity.
Hey my son, Buddha means the awakened one. Everybody who has wakened up from violent relativist dispositions are to be respected by we Heavenly beings as Buddhists. I never think Buddhists and Muslims as this and that. What I regard is who have Buddhist virtue and who have not.
I see many Buddhists around this world as mere pluralists, materialists, futurists, empiricists, nirvanists, reductionists and not as the waken up ones from dual consciousness. I can see many Muslims and Christians as affirmative or potential Buddhists who think the equality of all the Human in their balance of faith and reason.
Only the universal principles can discriminate who are entitled to be called Buddhists and who are not eligible, my son. Not the other way round.
Burmakin: I see, your majesty. In terms of the Buddhist value as virtue and respect for humanity, your Buddhist market is actually a boom and is not on the track of regression as I thought.
King of Angels: Well, my son. You are correct in saying that young Burmese have despair over Buddhism so that they become the convert. But this despair is not because their traditional Buddhism itself is dogmatic and violent. Some may justify their conversion by pointing out these pitfalls; some may also really think Buddhism is dogmatic and violent. However, these justifications are not the genuine reasons for their conversion.
Burmakin: Then what really happened to them? Perhaps, you will go down to psychological roots as I know your mastery of Sakka Suttra is all about human psychology.
King of Angels: The reason is my son. Those young people lose their individuality by living in Buddhism. They become feeling so powerless, insecure and especially couldn’t find the values in themselves for their continuance with Buddhism.
Burmakin: Lord Buddha, how come this happens! What a paradox of the world. How can a person in the most individualistic world religion come to lose her individuality and not be able to find the values in herself.
King of Angels: Well, my son. The succinct explanation of this thesis needs heavy volumes of writings. Briefly, remember what I said before. There is a sort of adhesive love towards someone, who lives within your human flesh, splits you human into duality and drives your characters into dehumanization.
In layman terms, this guy is called the lust for power; In technical term it is called sadomasochism. This was the same guy who drove Martin Luther and Calvin into developing new concepts of Christianity of reformed faith, which had had titanic clashes against human civilizations. Just remember that my prophecy of your future Burma driving into irrational Darwinism is based on careful observation of such social human behavior of civilization. I will turn back to this topic later.
At this moment, let me continue to elaborate why Buddhism is a gigantic social policy. This topic, I regard as imminently important for protecting your Buddhist society into the savageness of Darwinism and Nazism completely dominated by rational fools.
Burmakin: Your divine prophecy is extremely interesting but also an utter frustration. OK, let drop off this complex topic for a moment. Here I will ask where is the empirical evidence to show that Buddha was not on the principle of self-sufficiency and conceded to the principle of social animal in his inquest for freedom?
Should individual instincts be sufficient enough for his motivation for his voluntary struggling and noble sacrifices for the whole universal welfare? I don’t think Buddhism has any particular focus on developing better social relationships. All it is speaking is the universal welfare or individual freedom; it is what it is, that is Buddhism as it is.
Most Buddhists clearly believe social relationships as harassing unworthy bondages. Didn’t you ever hear that Buddha is a mother killer? He killed Maya (tricks and ropes of Loka (society)) that is the name of his natural mother! It is absurd to think that a person who killed his mother for his benefit had a serious concern about his mother which is a bondage against his liberation. You have to cut the umbilical cord of the newly born infant from mother otherwise the newborn cannot be his own.
King of Angels: Well, you are speaking in this way because you wrongly assume that you are born out of society. We heavenly divine well understand that it is not society where you are born, but it is from you individuals society was born.
Bodhisattvas and we all Buddha Savakas are naturally individualistic because individuality is the primordial form and society is the derivative. At this point, you can be cautious of this huge problem in your human understanding of the self. This me-self as later found out by Mead, is also the same Sakkaya ditthi that our Teacher Buddha warned against us as the most cumbersome obstacle in realizing our I-self. We, Buddha’s savakas, are just cutting off this bondage of me-self. Renunciation is a surgical procedure for denuleating Sakkaya ditthi, which in fact is our own faulty reflections on life within ourselves. Contrary to what you currently understand, we don’t kill our mother because there is no your mother since the beginning. There is only one woman in the wold,my son. She belongs to every one. But you realize that she has never been with you when you ultimately come to find your I-self.
We just denucleate this trivial part of our own. Instead, after discovering our ultimate I-self , Savakas are fully in love with society, fully identical with humanity, and we realize that we ourselves are the Bhrama of this universe. We are the Everything.
Let me also know your human understanding. Where on earth you have some empirical evidence in saying that Buddhism is not founded on social relationship, but assurance of self-sufficiency?
Burmakin: Your majesty, when Bodhisattva Siddhartha was stopped by Satan, he was offered two choices: either he returned to his palace and emerged as the universal king for the welfare of all beings or a faceless ascetic to be aloof in those dangerous jungles on his own whose fate has full uncertainty about the final outcome of his recalcitrant pursuit for realization of enlightenment. He took the second choice that was the strong empirical evidence in his undermining of the role of social relationship.
Nevertheless, I like your explanation on Sakkaya ditthi. Societal images of one’s own identity, of course, are strongly related with those crude junks of Sakkaya ditthi, but perhaps for the ultra levels we may need to deal with meditation.
Let me be curious. Where on the Heaven your argument comes out that the primordial aim of our Teacher is his critical investigation on social policy if you acknowledge Buddha’s Savakas are so individualistic?
King of Angels: My son, the great Taoist, Lao Tsu, who was my another great Teacher, was just enjoying riding a buffalo’s back, wandering the forests in rural areas in his bliss of peace for freedom.
His thinking, originally was regarded as a shun away from a societal life. But, are you aware about how the contemporary liberal Chinese who are concerned about the clashes between their nations’s dominant authoritarianism and prevailing radical tendencies of revolt for changing their stagnant political system, think about his teaching?
Burmakin: Ah yes. I have had some interviews with a number of Chinese and Tibetan liberals on my visit to China. They have the consensus that the harmony, the core principle of Yin and Yang of their traditional Taoism, is very important in changing their society without violence and bloodshed.
They even view the US constitution as the same philosophy of harmony of Yin and Yang which manifests as checks and balances or Charles Montesquieu’s separation of powers. It was a surprise for me even democracy is finally found as being based on such an ancient principle from a Buddha’s contemporary sage.
I am confused but proud. The thinking for democratic principles is not started in the West but in the East. The world itself is full of paradox for naïve learners like me.
King of Angels: Well, Chinese medicine and martial arts were among the first to apply these democratic principles of checks and balances. As a medical doctor, did you find any proof of the correctness of my Great Teacher’s insight?
Burmakin: Ah, we have learned in physiology that there is an inherent principle of the function of all living cells which is called homeostasis. Homeostasis is the main mechanism to restore the integrity of the living cells’ environment. The secretion of hormones must be turned on and off as needed to maintain this principle of homeostasis which must be accomplished by neural or feedback mechanisms.
This is essentially the same principle with the importance of harmony of interdependent, contrary and polar forces in Yin and Yang! How could this Great Teacher envisage this essential mechanism of living things without an electron microscope?
King of Angels: Then what happens when this balance of homeostasis is disturbed in your living cells of mortality?
Burmakin: The disturbance of this balance results in over-expression of the genes for growth factors which are originally required for the proliferation of normal cells. Over-expression happens when inhibitory signals on controlling the expression those genes are distorted. This is the main mechanism of pathogenesis of tumor formation in higher animals. Checks and balance and harmony are not only important to the peaceful cohesion of society but also inherent in the integrity of a biological life.
It is so stunning to understand Teacher Lao’s teaching is widely applicable from a DNA helix of a microscopic biological life to those titanic clashes of human civilizations and social cohesion. But how is it when we want to apply Buddha’s principles for such wide applications? Your majesty still has not convinced me any parallel example from Buddhism.
King of Angels: When you are talking about the choice of Siddhartha in his ultimate life, let me talk about the choice of Bodhisattva Sumedha in the first and foremost life in our Teacher’s pursuit of Buddhahood. Which ambivalent choices our Holy Teacher Sumedha hermit faced in his meeting with Buddha Dipankara last four infinite periods and a thousand hundred eons ago?
Burmakin: He was also faced with two choices that time: either he will attain Nirvana for himself or he will bear the burden of a social life for his struggle for Buddha enlightenment for four infinite periods and a thousand hundred eons therein after.
I see. This critical ambivalent situation for choices is our current debate: whether Bodhisattva would choose to be self-sufficient or to be living as a social being. He chose to be living as a social animal. Then my recent argument, perhaps the general understanding of Buddhism by almost all, is to be seriously reexamined as this assumption now looks suspicious.
King of Angels: Don’t be merely suspicious. Actually, this authentic choice of Bodhisattva is a complete refutation. What do you think of it as the reason for Bodhisattva for his suffering as a social animal? Did he ever think about just trying to get an Arahat’s enlightenment which could easily obtained at hand? Did he imagine about stepping this Arahat’s enlightenment up into Buddhahood?
Burmakin: I see, this is a complete refutation against the divine power as well as objectivism. Buddhism assumes that a divine (an arahat) cannot be the Divine (Buddha) any more.
King of Angels: My son, Boddhisattva Sumedha in his abundant wisdom realizes that wisdom cannot come out of divinehood. Wisdom comes out from your stupidity, ignorance , struggle and learning. His abundant wisdom spontaneously assigned him to choose to be an ignorant being as you are. And the reason behind this choice lies only on fulfilling his ultimate purpose.
Burmakin: For his omniscient wisdom?
King of Angels: A sort of. But I may prefer to a modest and more sensible word which looks more authentic. My son, this sacrifice of Bodhisattva for just living as an ignorant being as many others for such horrible long eons in varieties of animal and human kingdoms has a single technical purpose, which is articulation!
Burmakin: I see, your majesty. How serious this problem of our human language limitation imposing restrictions on our rationality and enlightenment! How difficult is this process of articulation! Even the Bodhisattva’s primordial wisdom of abundance is far, far away from being able to articulate.
King of Angels: My son, there seems to be only one solution to your human problem. You, elite mankind, acquire a consciousness of limitation of the human mind, at once simple and profound enough, humble and sublime enough!
Burmakin: Most often you are saying paradoxes, your majesty. How can we be simple and profound enough at the same time, humble and sublime at the same moment?
King of Angels: Well, once you understand this application of the primordial abundant wisdom of Bodhisattva Sumedha on laying down the principles of ten imperfect practices for his march to Buddhahood, you come to comprehend what I am saying.
Burmakin: You majesty, you look to be in a haste. It should be ten perfect practices.
King of Angels: No, my son, I am saying what I am supposed to say. The practices to Buddhahood are called ten imperfect practices because each one is extremely imperfect and need a triangulated support of the others so that all ten together in their solidity can become perfect enough for working to be a Buddha.
Burmakin: A paradox again, but very sensible!
King of Angels: Well, I will continue to elaborate on them so that you can be finally convinced how all these imperfect practices reflect our gigantic socialist Teacher’s primordial thinking on Social Policy.
Burmakin: So and so. Then these imperfect practices are also our Teacher’s hypothesis of his Social Theory.
King of Angels: Of course, they do. But it is neither thesis-antithesis nor negation of negation as if some contemporary Buddhists have such new interpretations on Buddhism. The theory refutes but doesn’t dispel. Again it is because a Bodhisattva in his supreme self-hood at that moment have the abundant wisdom to defend his supreme individuality for his love for these principles of Humanity.