Friday, June 28, 2013

Which would become enlightened, Cat or Dog?

Maya, Seven, Amber Larson, CC Liu, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly (ASK MAYA)
That dog would sit there for hours and just stare (Catgirl/
Humans are so silly (katzendogz)
Ever wonder, if enlightenment were possible among animals, which would it be? Who would be more likely to reach enlightenment, Tabby or Rover, patient waiter or eager chaser?

What a stooopid question! Everyone knows cats and dogs can't attain. For those who attain are freed of the liability of ever falling into any kind of rebirth below the human world, the lowliest of fortunate destinations. (Stream enterers, by a dhamma-niyama of the way the universe works, have at most only seven more rebirths before they are permanently and finally free of ALL suffering).

Felix the Cat is calm cool, and collected
This is just a thought experiment, guys and gals, so settle down and enjoy it. Maya only gets questions about the personal lives of Wisdom Quarterly writers, and when is Ashley Wells coming back from vacation, and why does CC Liu put up so few stories in a day? Finally, there comes a pet question that is really not about pets so much as it is about our favorite subject:

ENLIGHTENMENT. Wisdom (paññā, "liberating-insight") and learning (suta-mayā paññā, "knowledge based on learning") are just a means to awakening, not awakening itself.

Pretentious Brain owns a Prius ("Family Guy")
In North America, it should be explained to the rest of the world who will be surprised, we keep animal companions as slaves and alarm systems. Yes, those filthy, mangy mutts running around in other countries are prized family members here, cats do what they like, and while humans starve elsewhere, our four-footed best friends grow fat with us. Sorry.

Believe it or not, this dog really is driving this car. That's how Rovers are, always roving.
Cat girl (
That having been said, we must begin to stereotype. No cat runs to the door to greet us, bowls us over, and starts licking. But there are few dogs that don't. Cats are aloof and quiet, feisty and self-sufficient. Dogs are wolves in sheepish clothing getting what they can by graft and charm, lazy and cantankerous, fun-loving and loud.

Reader, who would you think is going to make it to the stream first? I know it's not a race, but we would like to stop harming (ahimsa) and make an end of all suffering in this very life (nirvana), too.

Brian is all talk (97.1 FM)
The funny thing is, and what makes this a worthwhile topic is that Americans are like animals, and we mainly fall into two camps -- Team Feline and Team Canine.

Who fits the profile better? The Buddha said that this Dharma (Teaching) is for those who can withdraw rather than clinging to companionship, who can give up material things rather than clinging to possessions, who can relinquish views rather than clinging to opinions and speculations...
"The Truth About Cats and Dogs"

Calm cats can sit, stay (etsy)
Cats just walk away. Dogs come back, whether called to or not. Cats quietly stare at the mouse hole, waiting -- premeditating, outmeditating, mismeditating, but meditating (MN 108). Dogs run then sleep, eat then sleep, bark then sleep, mate then sleep -- a lot of sleeping.

What are the causes-and-conditions that bring about the flash of insight that leads to a glimpse of nirvana and enters one upon the Path to enlightenment? The first stage of enlightenment comes about for four reasons: association with the noble/wise, listening to the True Dharma, giving appropriate attention, and/or practicing in accordance with the Dharma.

If persistent dogs would meditate (
It would be a very disciplined dog that could do that. An unhedonistic cat might. For some of us the Path is harder or easier; in either case, we strive and in no long time come upon a verifiable confidence in the truth and realize that, indeed, the Buddha's words were not empty. The Dharma invites us to come and see for ourselves. So, come kitty! Here, boy! Even an animal accrues karma that makes it possible, after a long interval, to be born into the human world to hear the Dharma.
We've entered the stream, now let's follow him in the world.

No comments: