But by clinging to rules and rituals (silabbata-paramassa) in this way, he has forgotten the most important teaching: Craving-grasping-and-attachment are internal motivations (intent) for actions not the outward actions themselves.
|Transcendental wisdom: Buddha eyes look across the Himalayan foothills of Nepal.|
It is wise to help others so long as one does not harm oneself. Will one be harmed by helping a beautiful woman? That depends. It depends on one's internal state, which is hard (but not impossible) to detect in others and relatively easy to discern in oneself.
It is possible because things (persons, objects, ideas) themselves do not have the power to fascinate and enslave us in and of themselves. We must consent, even in ignorance or mis-estimating ourselves. (Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.")
If things did have that power then the Buddha and other arhats (liberated individuals) would be just as trapped as ever, just as enslaved as we are.
It is the combination of an enticement and a susceptible individual that leads to clinging/attachment.
The moment we are free, the world will not change at all. But because we have changed, the world will be completely different.
|Fat happy monk (speakinggod)|
When we look through free eyes, we see just what is just as it is whatever it is. We will not embellish it, make it more than it is, attach a story to it. The world does not have the power to trap us.
As different and as varied as the Dharma may seem as we study what the Buddha taught, the Enlightened One pointed out that -- like the ocean, which has one flavor, the flavor of salt -- the Dharma has only one flavor, the flavor of freedom. Which of the monks in the cartoon is free?