Monk In The World

To be a monk is to have time to practice for your transformation and healing. And after that to help with the transformation and healing of other people.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

POLITICS AND POWER



I noticed this week that there were some presidential debates going on somewhere with about six or seven would be, hopeful republican candidates.
I did not listen to the debates. I have lost interest in politics. 
I don't have the time to go into all the reasons but may I suggest one word?

POWER

So I thought it would be a good time to offer this little piece from the book I am now reading for the second time by David Loy


Take what you will from this:





This particular section is talking about "Power or desire for power"

"...craving for power reveals a defect in the soul'
The devil took Jesus to the summit of a mountain and tempted him with all the world's kingdoms. "I will give you authority over all these things, if you will worship me." Jesus responded: "It is written: worship only the Lord your God, and serve only Him." Worship power and all power will be given to you-and you will end up serving power. Jesus will serve only God.

If the devil is power, what is God?

Augustine says: You must be emptied of that with which you are full, so you may be filled with that whereof you are empty.

A sage told Siddhartha's father that his son would become either a world-conquering king or a world-renouncing buddha. His father did everything possible to insulate him from awareness of illness, old age, and death-and when Siddhartha eventually encountered them he was so shocked that he renounced his patrimony and disappeared into the forest. According to this legend he too rejected the worldly power that was offered to him. Both Jesus and the Buddha established communities that were physically powerless and dependent upon the good will of others.

The Sangha founded by Shakyamuni was originally a motley crew of wandering mendicants, with few possessions except robes and sharing bowls. The Buddha sent them out in all directions to preach the Dharma "for the good, for the benefit of many."

Jesus charged his apostles to go out and preach that "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money, and do not have two tunics." The Sermon on the Mount tells us not to lay up treasures on earth. "Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, and yet your heavenly Father takes care of them."

What were both saying? Let go of your fears about yourself: just do your best spreading the word and have faith that you will be taken care of. Open up and focus on giving to the world rather than taking from it, trusting in it rather than trying to protect yourself from it.

Their teaching offers an alternative to power-over-others. Jesus and the Buddha lived in ways that challenged the conventional stories of their times and challenge just as much the dominant stories of our times. Despite hypocritical deference--the homage that other stories pay to this one---this message has had limited success. Yet it persists, with the potential to transform the world."

David Loy

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