December 31, 2012

The Modern Distortion of Fake Spirituality and Forgiveness

If you've ever attended any Tibetan Buddhist talks it's likely you've heard the spiel on the "three bowls." The bowls represent problems with the mind that make it incapable of holding deeper knowledge. One bowl is turned over and closed, another is cracked and leaks, one is poisoned, one already filled. The point is, our mind is a bowl-like container, but it can't hold pure knowledge because it's defective.

It is a modern man problem in particular, our "bowl" is cracked and leaking, full to the brim of quasi-spiritual toxins and leaving little room for learning anything new. What we do learn is ruined by the poisonous belief systems.

The ability to absorb deep spiritual teachings can only occur after an eliminating the fake spirituality or morality.

Here's a fine example of this fake spirituality, in an essay by Theodore Dalrymple: Sentimentalizing Serial Murder. It's a brief commentary on two people's reactions to murder: one self-centered in quasi-spirituality and the other, braving the healing by way of straight talk.

It is the goal in the Lotus to teach the profound esoteric teachings of Buddha, Christ and Tao. But that can't learned by a mind full of insipid fluff.

You can read the essay here at the City Journal. Here is one interesting statement, which I expect real spiritual aspirants to be able to discuss. What elements are incomplete in this teaching from a Buddhist?:
Here is a lesson she learned from a Buddhist teacher: “To be grateful for whatever life brings, especially to those who cause you pain or humiliate you.” In short, the abduction, rape, torture, murder, dismemberment, and burial of Lucy Partington was a sovereign opportunity for Marian Partington’s personal growth, so that she could learn to be compassionate toward herself (and therefore, as a side effect, toward others).
What is the rest of the teaching? What is the "Buddhist teacher" (or the student) missing here?