|Cartoonified Eurocentric "All-American" ideal of beauty fed to us from childhood (WQ)|
|“Classic” beauty from India: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, blended actress and former Miss World|
|I'dunno what my fans see in me|
|Sexualizing Wonder Woman|
3. How beautiful you are, now that you love me. — Marlene Dietrich
4. Beauty is all very well at first sight; but who ever looks at it when it has been in the house three days? — George Bernard Shaw
5. Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. — Khalil Gibran
6. It’s beauty that captures your attention; personality which captures your heart. — Anonymous
7. The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony. — Mary Baker Eddy
|"You 'love me for my mind'? You don't think I'm beautiful, do you?! Boohoo!"|
The Buddha on BEAUTY
Ariyamagga Sutra: "The Noble Path" or "Path to Nobility/Enlightenment" (AN 4.235) edited by Amber Larson and Dhr. Seven for Wisdom Quarterly based on trans. by Ven. Thanissaro
|What do I have to do to get attention?|
- There is karma (action) that is dark with dark results [resultants called vipaka and karmic-fruits called phala].
- There is karma that is bright with bright results.
- There is karma that is dark and bright with dark and bright results.
- There is karma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright results that leads to the end of karma [and its results].
|Merit (good karma) results in beauty.|
|I need more merit, more good karma.|
|The average human beauty today?|
4. "And what is karma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright results, leading to the end of karma [and its results]?
- Right view
- right thought (intention, motivation)
- right speech
- right action
- right livelihood
- right mindfulness
- right concentration (coherence).
"These, meditators, are the four types of karma directly realized, verified, and made known by me."
Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly based on introduction to the Cakkavatti Sutra: "The Wheel-Turning Ruler" (DN 26) by Ven. Thanissaro (trans.)
|If we could go back to the "Garden," an idyllic world early in human history.|
|What's the average human life like on earth today? Most struggle with dark and bright.|
|Science: "Beauty" is related to facial symmetry (Amber Heard).|
In the distant past, unskillful behavior was unknown among humans. As a result, humans lived for an immensely long time -- 80,000 years -- endowed with great beauty, wealth, pleasure, and strength.
Over time humans began behaving in various unskillful ways. This caused the human lifespan to gradually shorten to where it now stands at 100 years [it was 120 at the Buddha's time and is probably still closer to that, with humans reaching sexual maturity at about 12], with human beauty, wealth, pleasure, and strength decreasing proportionately.
In the future, as virtue (merit, morality, skillful behavior) degenerates further, human life will continue to shorten to the point were the normal lifespan is 10 years, with people reaching sexual maturity at about 5.
"Among those human beings the Ten Courses of Unwholesome Action (AN 10.176) will have entirely disappeared... The word 'skillful' will not exist. So where will there be anyone who does what is skillful? Those who lack the honorable qualities [or career] of mother, father, wandering ascetic, or Brahmin will be the ones who receive homage...
"Fierce hatred will arise, fierce malevolence, fierce rage, and murderous thoughts: mother for child, child for mother, father for child, child for father, brother for sister, sister for brother."
Ultimately, conditions will deteriorate to the point of a "sword-interval," in which swords appear in the hands of human beings and they hunt one another like game.
A few people, however, will take shelter in the wilderness [or places of light in a world gone mad] to escape the carnage. And when the slaughter is over, they will come out of hiding and resolve to take up a life of skillful and virtuous karma again.
With the recovery of virtue, the human lifespan will gradually increase again until it reaches 80,000 years, with people attaining sexual maturity at age 500.
Only three diseases will be known at that time: craving (desire, tanha, lit. "thirst"), lack of food, and old age.
|Golden Maitreya, future Buddha|
Metteyya's monastic community (Sangha), will number in the thousands. The greatest king of that time, King Sankha, will go forth from the home-life into the left-home life [to become a wandering ascetic Buddhist monk] and attain full enlightenment under Metteyya Buddha's guidance.
This story, after chronicling the ups and downs of human wealth, lifespan, and so on, concludes with the following lesson on karma and skillful action:
The Wheel-Turning Universal Monarch
|A wheel-turning world ruler (aided by giant 1,000-spoke "wheels" in the sky, UFOs?|
|I'm an ugly duckling, but I have a pretty doll!|
- 1: This may also be translated as: "Live with the Dharma as your light (dipa), the Dharma as your guide, with nothing else as your guide." (WQ)
|He's handsome. - She's hot. - We're happy!|
"Wander, meditators, in your appropriate (proper) range, your ancient territory. When you wander in your appropriate range, your ancient territory, you will grow in long life, beauty, pleasure, wealth, and strength.
"And what is [or gives rise to] a meditator's long life?
|If only black lives mattered again|
|What is beauty for a meditator?|
"What constitutes a meditator's pleasure? A meditator -- quite withdrawn (secluded) from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities -- enters and dwells in the first meditative absorption (jhana, dhyana) which is accompanied by rapture (joy, bliss, piti) and pleasure (sukha) born of withdrawal... [and so on for the other three meditative absorptions associated with form]...
"So, too, one pervades above, below, and around, everywhere encompassing the world with thoughts of loving kindness grown abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free of hostility, free of any ill will.
"One keeps pervading the first direction -- as well as the second, third, and fourth -- with compassion (karuna)... with happiness-in-the-happiness-of-others (mudita)... with equanimity (upekkha) grown abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free of hostility, free of any ill will. This constitutes a meditator's wealth.
"And what constitutes a meditator's strength? A meditator, through the ending of the mental taints, enters and remains in the taint-free release and liberation by wisdom, having directly known and realized them for oneself right here and now. This constitutes a meditator's strength.
"Meditators, I envision no other single strength so hard to overcome as the strength of Mara.
- 3: This next passage is related to the opening passage of the sutra, in which the Buddha says, "Wander, monastics, in your proper range, your ancient territory. When one wanders in one's proper range, one's ancient territory, Mara gains no opening and Mara gains no foothold. And it is because of adopting skillful things that this merit increases." See SN 47.6-7.
- 4: This is the refrain repeated with each stage in the account of how human life will improve in the aftermath of the "sword-interval." Here, merit seems to have the meaning it has in Iti 22: "Fear not acts of merit." This is another way of saying what is blissful, desirable, pleasing, endearing, and charming, namely, acts of merit (good or profitable karma).