February 13th, 2013


Bric-a-brac, Bargains, Buddhism, Bombs. Also Neighbouring And Snow

Dot thought the thing that goes cuckoo in the middle of the night might be in one of two suitcases in the loft so I hauled them down. The first contained a number of smaller suitcases. The other was full of the kind of things you keep for reasons of conscience but don't want to put on display because they're crap- including a bunch of silver-plated objects (made in China) that had been handed out as gifties at Masonic dinners. We were ruthless. Dot got to keep the the stuff of genuine sentimental value but everything else- including all the masonic gifties- are going to the charity shop. We didn't find the cuckoo.

Ailz got an access of energy late afternoon and suggested we went to the supermarket. We arrived as they were cutting prices on perishables and got a lot of bargains. We came home to a call from Sam saying she'd got held up at work and would we take Nakisha to her madrassa. Later Nakisha and Zaim came round with a box of chocs.

Researching dukkha led me to the Four Noble Truths. A dude in a deer park tells a bunch of other dudes to chill out and over time (actually not very long at all) this becomes a reason for dudes who really don't get it to dress up in special clothes and live in special houses and have everybody else bow down to them. 

I dreamed I was having a holiday on an island. One of the people with me had a baby which cried when I held it. There was a town on a river estuary. I stood on the shore and watched nuclear bombs explode- soundlessly- on the mainland. It sounds grimmer in the telling than it was in the dreaming.

And now it's snowing.

On Second Thoughts...

...I'm unhappy with my version of the fourth truth. It contains too much interpretation. In the original Buddha is recommending the Eightfold Way- by which he means "right thinking", "right action" etc- without defining what he means by "right".

So here's a second version:

1  Life is hard

2  Because we're always wanting things.

3  Stop wanting things.

4  Lead a good life.

Questions Arising

Why doesn't Gautama spell out what he means by "right" living etc? Is it because he thinks the term has been sufficiently defined in his first three truths? Or because he believes his listeners are already in possession of a perfectly adequate idea of "the good". 

One of the strands of the Eightfold path is "right livelihood". Are there professions that put you beyond the pale? Or is it enough that one does one's work- whatever it is- according to the highest professional standards.