Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Plotting Life in Graphs: The Eight Wavering Conditions

Gain/loss; status/disgrace, censure/praise, pleasure/pain: these eight conditions arise in some form pretty much daily. And they are subject to change.

http://www.amazon.com/mn/search/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=buddha&linkCode=ur2&sprefix=budd%2Caps%2C221&tag=thajsnbl-20&url=search-alias%3DapsThanks to Reddit's r/buddhism for this one. I find that thinking mathematically by plotting these eight experiences and emotions below along the temporal graph that is each day is a helpful way to squelch the ego, to boost creativity and compassion, and to be myself and in the moment more frequently. Visualizing change as waves, troughs, peaks or valleys is a remarkable method of reflection and self-optimization.

Calculation is not always cold. Wise living doesn't always live in the stanzas of verse or in the subtle suggestions of prose. Measurements are important too. Economics is not only the study of money, but that of trends and of systems. What is the state of my self's economy? Can I represent it outside of emotional response?

I imagine a Buddha out there somewhere -- maybe on a mountaintop or maybe behind a desk -- who is so in-tune with these eight categories that they begin to melt away, to fade into the routine of aware experience.

And so the poem goes:

these conditions among human beings
are inconstant,
subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things    don't charm the mind,
undesirable ones    bring no resistance.

His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

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  1. I have to ask--What is "end of service?" In my own life, especially recently, I've noticed the crazy fluctuations of highs and lows. It's almost like one works itself through and is followed almost directly by its opposite. It can be frustrating when you find yourself once again in the trough...but staying focused on the present always seems to deliver us.

    Oh, and definitely let me know about that book! Stoked to read it.

    1. To be honest, I don't know. But the idea that the soul persists across infinity helps me perservere. If this lifetime is just a millisecond in the lifetime of the soul, then living it to the fullest and with the utmost integrity might help the soul's curve rise ever so slightly. Is that believable?

    2. Eternity you say? I have been thinking a lot lately about eternity and multiverse. What if there are levels of shared consciousness and not ever one individual consciousness? e.g. You and I think we have our own selves, but in terms of the planet we are just nodes in a bigger mind. That kind of thing extrapolated out and out and out. And the word we put into our "selves" might be baby steps in the bettering of everything. After all, we have eternity to get it right. That probably made zero sense. Ha. Thanks for reading my blog anyway! Hope you come back.

    3. Edit: "the WORK we put into our selves"


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