Monday, April 27, 2009

Q&A: Swine Flu Myths (Buddhist view)

False-color image of influenza virus, or virion, taken with transmission electron micrography. The flu's protein-laced fatty coat (orange) toughens up in cold weather, helping it survive (Credit: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith).

Pain (dukkha) is characteristic of the human experience (as on all 31 Planes of Existence). The "suffering" that accompanies it, however, is optional. There is unpleasant sensation to be sure.

But our reaction to it -- taking it personally (anatta), seeing it as persisting (anicca) -- our mistakes we make now. Karma is not what comes from the past. (That's vipaka and phala, result and fruit). Karma is action -- our deeds, our choices, our volitions -- in the present responding to what comes our way.
The Swine Flu epidemic is the latest reminder of these truths. What are the myths and mysteries associated with it? Should it be blamed on human abuse and slaughter of pigs. More>>

The Unthinkable Elements

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