Tuesday, November 12, 2013

right and wrong

Wrote this elsewhere and thought I would post it here as well:

The Eightfold Path points out a number of "right" activities. But the word "right" is sometimes translated as meaning "complete," "wholehearted" or something similar. There is a difference between a "right" that brings with it a mirror image of "wrong" and a "right" that is complete or thorough-going.

Right and wrong are where any sensible person begins. Socially speaking, ethics are important. Actions have consequences. If you doubt this, try robbing a bank or gob-smacking a cop. In general, it's a good idea to think through the consequences of actions -- both for ourselves and others. Spiritual persuasions are sometimes known for joining the fray -- heaven for good little boys and girls and hell for the rest. This is the world of right and wrong.
But rewards and punishments only reach so far. They may be good training and good manners, but are they really "complete?" A complete action has no edges. There is no "before" and no "after." There is nothing else. For example, try "being a Buddhist" in the midst of a sneeze. A sneeze is invariably complete and my view is that The Eightfold Path points to a life that is complete in each moment ... not because you'll get thrown in the slammer or ascend to some golden throne, but rather because each moment is already complete and you might as well get with life's program.

Just because each moment is already complete does not mean that right and wrong can be set aside. There is a certain effort required to actualizing what no one could ever escape. Any dimwit can say "every moment is complete." The challenge is to prove it.

Just noodling.

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