When a country obtains great power, it becomes like the sea: all streams run downward into it.
The more powerful it grows, the greater the need for humility. Humility means trusting the Tao, thus never needing to be defensive.
A great nation is like a great man: When he makes a mistake, he realizes it. Having realized it, he admits it. Having admitted it, he corrects it.
He considers those who point out his faults as his most benevolent teachers. He thinks of his enemy as the shadow that he himself casts.
If a nation is centered in the Tao, if it nourishes its own people and doesn’t meddle in the affairs of others, it will be a light to all nations in the world.
The people of Kalama asked the Buddha who to believe out of all the ascetics, sages, venerables, and holy ones who, like himself, passed through their town. They complained that they were confused by the many contradictions they discovered in what they heard. The Kalama Sutta is the Buddha’s reply.
|–||Do not believe anything on mere hearsay.|
|–||Do not believe in traditions merely because they are old and have been handed down for many generations and in many places.|
|–||Do not believe anything on account of rumors or because people talk a a great deal about it.|
|–||Do not believe anything because you are shown the written testimony of some ancient sage.|
|–||Do not believe in what you have fancied, thinking that, because it is extraordinary, it must have been inspired by a god or other wonderful being.|
|–||Do not believe anything merely because presumption is in its favor, or because the custom of many years inclines you to take it as true.|
|–||Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers and priests.|
|–||But, whatever, after thorough investigation and reflection, you find to agree with reason and experience, as conducive to the good and benefit of one and all and of the world at large, accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it.|
The same text, said the Buddha, must be applied to his own teachings.
|–||Do not accept any doctrine from reverence, but first try it as gold is tried by fire.|
A more thorough discussion of this text can be found here: Soma Thera
“Fixin’ to Die Rag” is one of the best anti-war songs of the period. It’s sad, but we seem to have forgotten all the lessons of the Viet Nam War, and we’re right back where we started–doing it again in Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and places we don’t even know about because the “national security state” doesn’t tell us. Our job is just to pay for covert action, not ask questions.
History could be so valuable if we would only learn from it, but we never do. Like Country Joe says, Give me an “F…., etc”!
Like Joe, that’s about all I can say to sum up these issues.
Alan Watts makes the astute observation that it’s absolutely amazing that anything exists at all!
It refers, of course, to us and the supposed “civilization” we have created.
Are we civilized or are we insane?
An art-house circuit sensation, this feature-length documentary is visually arresting and possesses a clear, pro-environmental stance. Koyaanisqatsi is composed of nature imagery, manipulated in slow motion, double exposure or time lapse, juxtaposed with footage of humans’ devastating environmental impact on the planet. The message of director Godfrey Reggio is clear: humans are destroying the planet, and all of human progress is pointlessly foolish.