Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Devil (Comment)

To-day we shall take the devil by its tail! Well, the devil is supposed to possess a tail, isn't it?

This was my comment:

All spiritual seekers always encounter the problem of the inability to reconcile or "match" their preconceived ideas of their understanding of what religion is, with the "new" religion that they are learning, or interested in. We try to bring in those beliefs and ideas of our familiar religion that we have inherited from our family and culture. We have already been indoctrinated since childhood of what our religion is, what we must believe, and what we must obey. With this fixed mindset we then undertake to learn a new religion assuming that this new religion must also embrace all those beliefs that we have been led to believe and accept.

A good example is the learning of a new language. We have our fixed ideas of the English language which has tenses, and, singular and plural nouns. Now, assuming you are learning the Chinese language, and I am to tell you that the Chinese language has no tense, and no singular and plural nouns. So, what are you going to do about it? Would you still insist that the Chinese language must have tenses, and must have singular and plural nouns? Or would you be wise enough to accept the Chinese language syntax and to learn as being taught? Of course, you will be wise enough to leave aside whatever you have of the preconceived ideas of the English grammar, and to have an open mind, so to speak, to accept the Chinese syntax.

Westerners have this problem of reconciling the concepts of the Creator God as well as the Devil, with the concepts of Buddhism. Suddenly, everything that they have been taught and believed in the name of religion is being questioned! It is therefore, easier if one is to start from a clean slate, so to speak.

The Devil in the Christian concept is non existent in Buddhism. This much I will comment. What the others choose to belief is of no concern to a Buddhist. We will not go into a debate over this.

As for "the equivalent", yes. The Buddha revealed that there are 31 planes of existence. We do not monopolize life. There are other planes of existence that our human faculties could not see or understand. We should know by now that what we cannot see or understand does not necessarily mean is not true. There are planes where there exist ghosts and aggrasive demons.

If we have a deeper understanding in the Buddha's teachings, we will realize that the greatest devil is our untrained mind! It is the devil that caused us misery and agony because of our own ignorance of the true nature of this world and of life. The crux of the teachings of the Buddha is to understand this devil inside us, so that we will have peace in our lives.

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