Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Buddhist "Second Coming" (video)

Dharmachari Seven, Pat Macpherson, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly
The Bodhisat is threatened by Mara as alluring deva lingers and nagas and yakkhas scheme.
William Yeats in his poem "The Second Coming," which some people call "The Falconer," laments:

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world..." More

It feels like that now for us between bouts of bliss.

"Summertime and the living is easy" sang Gershwin, Pete Seeger, then Sublime.

"Fish are jumping and the cotton is high. Your daddy's rich and your momma's good looking, so hush little baby. Don't you cry. One of these mornings you're going to rise up singing. Then you'll spread your wings and take to the sky."

Siddhartha was born at a time of endless low-level conflict in Afghanistan (Gandhara). The Shakya clan's land (janapada) with its capital in Kapilavastu was always jockeying to expand or at least maintain territory. He was rich. He was beautiful. He was happy. What was there to be unhappy about, what disappointment, what deprivation, what suffering?

Isn't it exactly like that for us in America? We're endlessly squabbling for territory in Afghanistan, India's northwest frontier at the foot of the Himalayas. Our fathers are rich, our mothers good looking, and we're happy.

Sumeru is no mount but an axis.
Well, we're not really any happier than Siddhartha was. But what do have to be unhappy about? This is as good as it gets materially. The world wants to come here thinking they'll be free, rich, and fulfilled.

We know what Siddhartha found out: What fulfillment is there, what satisfaction, what is there to gain living like this? So is the Bodhisattva -- either Maitreya (Metteyya aka present-day Nātha in the deva-world or the future Ajita in the human plane, discussion) or any of those who have taken vows since Shakyamuni will do -- coming?

A Second Coming?
Hurtling and hurtling in widening desire
The deva cannot hear the deva-ruler;
When Things Fall Apart, the Center cannot hold;
A police state is loosed upon the first world,
The Tasers are loosed, and everywhere
In a ceremony of obedience the innocent are drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some unveiling is at hand;
Surely a Second Coming is at hand.
Again-becoming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image of Axis Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in plains of the Ganges,
A shape with griffin body, the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its naga thighs, while all about it
Reel light beings and indignant river birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That 26 centuries of samsaric sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what new Mara, its hour come round at last,

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