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June 26th, 2010

Dhammapada (24) - Desire

Passion poisons the nature of man,
And hatred, illusion, and desire.
Honour the man who is without passion,
Hatred, illusion, and desire.

What you give to him
Will be given back to you,
And more.
Dhammapada (24) - Desire

Last night we watched the documentary: Tibet: Cry of the Snow Leopard on dvd.  I cannot get it out of mind as i read these verses.
The Chinese government says that it is trying to "liberate" Tibetans from the chains of medieval serfdom.
Tibetans believe that they were already the freest people on earth because so many of them (perhaps 10%) had followed the eight fold path to awakening and "liberation."
I "understand words and the stitching together of words."

Whether Karioke bars and brothels in the streets of Lhassa are signs of freedom is debatable.
Whether the destruction of monasteries and sacred texts and the imprisonment and murder of monk are signs of liberation is not debatable.

A desire to be without desire is a desire still.  It is, of course, better just to be quiet.
But i cannot help feeling that a desire to be without desire is different from other desires.
like wanting to get laid or wanting to get rich or wanting to achieve something.

Teach me to know the true ugliness of desire.
Teach me to know the meaning of true freedom.
O, higher power,
Let what you teach others be up to you and them.

But it is my own fervent "desire" that we all find the path.
In 1922, Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanon born poet living in New York, reflecting on the struggles among the forces of imperialism, capitalism, religion, tradition, nationalism, internationalism, and socialism in Western Asia, wrote a poem: "You have your Lebanon, I have mine" which was later expanded into an essay.  In it he defended a more traditional, arabized. spiritual, pastoral version of Lebanon againt the modern, politicized, capitalistic, state which he saw being constructed there.  An abbreviated version of his essay is available at this site:
You Have Your Lebanon and I Have My Lebanon Gibran Khalil Gibran Khalil Gibran Kahlil Gibran Gubran Jubran Jibran You Have Your Lebanon and I Have My Lebanon  The poem can also be easily googled.  An expanded version of the essay can be read in The Eye of the Prophet,Souvenier Press, Ltd, 1991. Read more...Collapse )

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