Selections From The World’s Great Wisdom Traditions #4 Buddhism

 

 

The Four Noble Truths

Monks, what is the noble truth about suffering?

Birth is suffering, old age is suffering, death is suffering, grief, lamentation, discomfort, unhappiness and despair are suffering; to wish for something and not obtain it is suffering; briefly, the five factors of attachment are suffering.

 

Monks, what is the noble truth about the origin of suffering?

Just this craving, leading to rebirth, accompanied by pleasure and emotion, and finding satisfaction now here now there, namely, the craving for sense-pleasure, the craving for new life and the craving for annihilation.

 

Monks, what is the noble truth about the cessation of suffering?

Just the complete indifference to and cessation of that very craving, the abandoning of it, the rejection of it, the freedom from it, the aversion toward it.

 

Monks, what is the noble truth about the way that goes into the cessation of suffering?

Just this noble eightfold way, namely, right view, right purpose, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

-The Buddha

 

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Seth Kelly Curtis

 

Spiritual Treatments #8

 

Quaerite Et Invenietis  “Seek and you will find”

 

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed”

 

“Your vibe attracts you tribe”

 

Use these treatments as prayer or affirmation. If used as prayer, feel the words as originating from your heart and going to the place inside you that God resides. If used as affirmation, pay close attention to the words and truly believe what you are reading. If you don’t believe in God, substitute the word God for anything you choose, and tweak the words to make them work for you. These treatments are from Ernest Holmes’ book ’34 spiritual Treatments.’

 

“God is my courage! God is my strength! God is the inner confidence and conviction of my being and life. I have nothing to fear. God governs thoroughly, absolutely and completely, every detail and situation that presents itself to me. There is nothing to doubt, no confusion to confuse, and no block to block. The Mighty Spirit of Truth dissolves all excuses of resistance or rejection. A Supreme Intelligence guards and guides my life always. Devine Intelligence in me assures me that evil, error, falsity, of whatever name or nature, has no power, principle, process or procedure. The Universal Mind has decreed that I shall have courage, dominion and strength,  — and it can never be taken away. In this courage and dominion I live and have my being forever. For the Lord my God is with me whithersoever I go. This I know right down to the foundations of my being. Steadfast in Thee, O courage of God, I rise in Thy strength, and all is well.”

 

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comforable

 

Kelly Curtis

What I’ve learned on my spiritual quest.

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.”

– Pema Chodron

 

I started on the path of my spiritual quest in my mid-twenties, right after I got out of the military. Having been raised in a half Catholic, half athiest family, I was able to make up my own mind on spiritual matters. We didn’t go to church in my immediate family so there was never any pressure to lead a religious life, or for that matter, a non-religious life. That notwithstanding, I did go to a Catholic school, fourth, seventh, and eighth grades, where my cousin Amby and I were notorious for getting into mischief. We had Nuns for teachers, straight from Ireland. I loved their accents, but had no love for their tempers. Amby and I made several trips to the Mother Superior’s office. She never saw the humor in our hijinks that my cousin and I saw.

I respected the Catholic religion, and still do, just as I respect all religions, but I have different ideas about spirituality, Mother Superior notwithstanding.

Here’s what I’ve come to believe after thirty-five years of spiritual quest. I know everyone will not agree with everything I believe , and I respect that, I think that’s the way God wants it, free will. So, after much research, reading, musing, and life experience, this is what I believe, what makes sense to me:

  1.    I believe that God isn’t some “man” sitting on a throne somewhere in the sky. If God was humanlike, God would be female anyway.
  2. I believe God is the animating force that permeates the universe. This is our lifeforce. It’s what holds everything together. It’s in you and me, and that rock over there, it’s what powers the sun, and makes the flowers grow. It’s what holds the planets in space and makes the blood flow in our viens. God is, simply put, everything, and we’re working our way back to her/him/it.
  3. I believe in reincarnation. I think we keep returning, learning each time until we get it right. I don’t believe we have just one shot at getting it right, and if we blow it we are tortured for eternity.
  4. Once we get it right, we don’t go to some paradise in the shy, but carry on, out into the universe on a great adventure, to a higher plane, to do more good work, until we rise once again on our quest to get back to God.
  5. We’re not here to amass as much wealth or material goods as we can, but to grow as spirits by giving of ourselves, by doing good deeds, by raising our vibrations thereby raising the planets vibration.
  6. I believe that we are in the universe, but likewise, the universe is in us. UNI-VERSE. Uni being one. The universe is a hologram. All is one, and one is all.
  7. I believe that we as Humans are much more powerful than we believe. we are made to be very creative beings. We can create the life of our dreams, but we have been conditioned since infancy to believe that we have no power, that we are at the mercy of fate. Nothing could be further from the truth in my opinion. We believe so strongly in our impotency because that is what has been drilled into us from an early age, that has been our reality.

If we could just forget our conditioning and think for ourselves, we would have the power to change our world, to make this planet a paradise of love and joy. All we must do is believe enough, use our imaginations. Visualize the life you want. Put emotion into it, really believe, no doubting allowed, and it will come to pass.

Let’s all try to create a more peaceful, beautiful planet, end suffering, and bring more joy and love to mother earth. we can do it if we believe.

May God bless and protect you and…

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe, and Comfortable.

 

Kelly Curtis

 

 

Why are we here?

“My whole belief system is that our paths are drawn for us. I believe in reincarnation. I believe we’re here to learn and grow. We choose how we come into this life based on what it is we have to learn. Some people have harder lessons than others.”

-Gillian Anderson

 

Why are we here? It’s probably our most important question, and the most difficult to answer. If you believe in God then you might wonder why God put us here, instead of Heaven to begin with?

I believe, like the quote above states, that we’re here to learn and grow. To strive to be better people each day. To treat all beings on this planet with love and respect, be they Plant, Insect, Animal, or Human. I think that, at the end of your life, if you haven’t learned to treat all beings with love, dignity, and respect, then you’ve wasted your life, you haven’t grown, no matter how much wealth or material items you’ve accumulated.

Okay, that’s all well and good, but why are some of the lessons so hard? Well, we can be pretty hard headed as a species, so the old adage explains it very well: Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.

So, the religious believe we’re tested with these hard lessons to build strength and our relationship with God before we go home. But what if you’re an atheist? Then the above explanation just doesn’t fly. I mean, if you’re truly a good person, you’re going to do good regardless of whether it will bring you closer to God. If you’re not altogether altruistic, but not a bad person, just middle of the road, then you don’t have to bend over backwards to do good. It won’t matter after you’re gone right? So then what would be the meaning of life to a non-believer?

Take heart, there are still good reasons to carry on. For example, here is what actor Jim Carrey believes: “Energy is what I believe all of us are. We’re just conscious awareness dancing for itself for no other reason but to stay amused.”

Not a bad reason to exist, I guess. Then again, some may agree more with author Oliver Markus’s take on the question: “What is the meaning of life? Why are we here? Philosophers have pondered that question for centuries. I’m afraid the answer is disappointingly simple: Mating. That’s it.”

That is disappiontingly simple. Too simple, and I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it. We’re here for a reason. We just may not find out the reason until we leave this life. In any case, we can all strive to be better people and make life better or easier for all beings.

A good guide to live by, whether you’re religious or not, is the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there  is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Amen.

 

Words to live by indeed.

May God bless and protect you and…

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe, and Comfortable.

 

Kelly Curtis

Suffering

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Suffering seems to be a part of life on this planet, we can’t get away from it. We all have to deal with suffering in different forms and levels, from mild to intolerable.. But what is suffering, and why must we?

From suffering we get experience, yeah, but who needs that kind of experience, right? So, look at it this way – suffering is a gift, if you believe we are here to learn and grow, and to gain experience. Suffering tempers the soul for when we finally leave this school and go out on our grand adventure into whatever awaits us out in the universe. Just try to remember that you’re not suffering because of what is happening to you, but because you think it’s not supposed to be happening. Ah! Let that sink in. In suicide, most don’t want to die, they just want the suffering to end, whether the pain be physical or mental.

Let’s look a little closer at suffering. Theologians believe that God allows us to suffer because of free will, or, freedom of choice. Others believe that the cause of suffering is attachment. The Bible says that during times of suffering we should look beyond the present and focus on the latent benefits we receive rom it. The Bible also refers to another aspect of suffering called Time and Chance. Basically that good and bad things happen to people regardless of whether they are good or bad . For example: The Bible tells of eighteen people who lost their lives when a tower fell on them. Jesus said about this: “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.” He said that the accident at the tower was not divine punishment directed at the victims for their sins. Although poor construction may have played a part, it was strictly time and chance as far as the victims were concerned..

In Buddhism, suffering or, Dukkha is an important concept. It refers to the basic pain and unsatisfactoryness of everyday life. Dukkha is one of the four Noble Truths, and one of the three Marks of Existence. Dukkha, translated as “All is all”, is the foundation of Buddhism, and all of its teachings are based around it. The Buddha said: “I teach suffering and the end of suffering.”

The three marks of existence:

1: Dukkha – suffering

2: Anatto – no-self

3: Anicca – impermanance

 

The four noble truths:

1: Suffering and pain exist in life.

2: This suffering is caused by selfish craving and desire.

3: This selfish craving can be overcome.

4: The way to overcome this misery is through the Eightfold Path.

 

The eightfold path:

1: Right view.

2: Right intention.

3: Right speech.

4: Right action.

5: Right livelihood.

6: Right concentration.

7: Right mindfulness.

8: Right concentration.

In science, suffering is categorized as physical or mental, but I’m writing about suffering in the broad sense; any feeling, sensation, or emotion that is unpleasant, be it mild, or intolerable. The theory of Hedonism states that good and bad consist in pleasure and pain. Epicurus’s doctrine states that we should first seek to avoid suffering, and that the greatest pleasure lies in a profound state of tranquility.

In the brain there are many structures and physiological processes involved in suffering. According to studies using neuro-imaging, the Cingulate Cortex activates when the person feels suffering from physical pain as well as social distress.

So now we know what happens in the brain when we suffer, why we suffer, and why God lets us suffer. My personal belief is that we are here to learn and grow and be tempered. It’s kind of like a boot-camp, if you will, to get us ready for the universe. I endured US Marine boot-camp, and believe me, those Drill Instructors made us suffer! But we knew it was to get us ready for what may come later. I survived boot-camp and four years as a Marine Infantryman, thankfully in peacetime. Although our bodies won’t survive our incarnation here on earth, our souls will. And they will go on to soar out into the universe, to shine as a spark of God. And shine we will because of the lessons and suffering we endured on this beautiful, but tough planet. God bless and protect you all.

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”

-Khalil Gibran

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis

Karma

“I saw that”

-Karma

 

I came across The Law of Karma in my spiritual quest, and after study, decided that what I’ve read about it makes sense. Karma ties in with reincarnation, the life you incarnate into is decided by the karma you have accumulated or paid off in previous lives. Karma is automatic and there  is no escape from it. It is absolute justice, there is no mercy; or for that matter, no wrath, although every debt must be paid to karma. There is no help from a higher source due to prayer. Karma is not really punishment or reward for good or bad, it’s just cause and effect. It acts as any other natural law.

One writer says of karma: “The good man doesn’t always reap his reward of good results, nor does the wicked man always suffer, not immediately, but eventually and inexorably.”

I’ve learned that there are two ways to look at karma. There is the fear based idea of karma, where you reap what you sow. That karma is the consequences, both good and bad, that are brought to you based on your actions, good and bad. In essence, you are judged for your actions. Or, you can look at karma based on love, where karma is a gift that brings lessons for your soul’s personal growth, and will continue to bring these lessons back around until you have learned them.

Newton’s third law states: ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ That is karma. Good deeds bring good karma, bad deeds bring bad karma. It is the law of life and can never be altered. So, whatever you did, soon you will get it.

There are different schools of belief concerning karma. For example; the old school reincarnationists believe karma determines ones rebirth along the lines of desire and attraction. The soul’s character would attract it to rebirth according to its strongest desires, coming into life circumstances that give the greatest opportunity to work out those desires using suffering and the joys of life to grow as a better being.

The Hindu belief is that it is a great rewarder of good, and a great punisher of evil. One’s future state in the next incarnation depends on his goodness in previous lives.

Theosophists believe there is truth in each doctrine. That of the Hindu belief of the moral law of rewards and punishments, and the old school reincarnationists’s natural law idea.

There are three kinds of karma according to Hindu teachings. These are:

1- Samchita, or piled-up karma. Karma that is not yet worked out.

2- Prarabdha, or beginning karma. A persons destiny for that life.

3- Kriomana, the karma we are now making in this life by our current actions.

So, briefly, all unhappiness or pain is the result of some bad deed done in this, or some past life. And happiness, joy, and pleasure is the result of some good deed done in this or a previous life. Every soul will work out its karma and eventually reach God.

This quote gives us a good template to live our lives by: “There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind-are always attained by giving them to someone else.”

-Peyton Conway March

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy,

Safe and Comfortable

 

Kelly Curtis

Reincarnation Part Two

July  2019

 

“I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had to be born again because I had not fulfilled the task that was given to me.”

-Carl Jung

 

I wrote in part one my idea of what reincarnation is. In part two I’ll present some compelling evidence for the existence of reincarnation. There are many things that point to its existence. A few examples are: Past life regressions, where a therapist guides the subject, using hypnotic regression, back in time until the subject reaches a past life. Then there’s xenoglossy, when one seems to know a language not formerly learnt. Some people may have spontaneous memories of past lives, and some child prodigies, piano virtuosos, for example,  claim to have known how to play in a past life. Some people have uncanny dreams of previous lives.

The following case is hard to dismiss: Alaskan Tlingit fisherman Victor Vincent told his niece Irene that he would be reborn as her son, showing her two scars from earlier operations. Victor died in the spring of 1946. Eighteen months later, Irene gave birth to a baby boy. The baby had two birth-marks at the exact location as Victor’s scars. When the baby was thirteen months old he insisted his name was Kahkody; Victor’s tribal name.

In another case, a three year old boy claimed he was murdered in a past life by an axe. He had a long birthmark on his head where he was struck. His family took him to many villages, until he finally recognized one. The boy suddenly walked up to a man in the village and said “I used to be your neighbor. We had a fight and you killed me with an axe. I even know where you buried my body.” The boy then led his elders to his body, and later, to the axe. Consequently, his killer confessed his crimes.

Four year old Edward hated rainy days and often complained of severe pain in his throat, he would say his shot hurt. After questioning he said he was in the trenches and described his life in the first world war, and how he was shot in the throat and killed. He eventually developed a cyst in his throat. After sharing more stories of his past life the cyst disappeared.

Then there’s the story told by a man who’s sister was born the year his father’s mother died. His father told him that as soon as his sister was old enough to talk, she said to the father: “I am your mother.”

I’ll let psychiatrist, physician, and well known reincarnation researcher Dr. Ian Stevenson have the last word:  “We are not obliged to believe that every case that suggests reincarnation has to be explained as an example of it. What we consider is whether there are some cases (or at least one case) in which there is no other explanation and reincarnation seems best to connect all the data.”

 

May you always be

Healthy, Happy

Safe and Comfortable

Kelly Curtis