March 20, 2013

Manly P. Hall - Buddha and the Bomb

Manly P. Hall, from his talk "Buddha and the Bomb":
"When a person follows a wrong pattern for enough years a good pattern will hurt him or make him feel uncomfortable. He will not want to change even though he realizes that his present course is fatal. He does not want to understand life even though he knows that he must sometime face a change. He is just beginning to think seriously about life after death, and he is not able to create a philosophical insight or a mystical insight strong enough to accompany him in the years as they come to an end. All of this is part of a little plan, a little pattern which we have to live by within the great pattern and our only great hope or ability to handle this situation is through the complete reorganization of the processes of the mind. We've got to do something to get the tyranny of the mind off of our backs." [38:20 - 39:28].

"We have used one little tiny bit of energy in the search for truth and all the rest of our energy in the search for profit. And this problem has locked us within a situation which is contrary to God's will and natural law. We know that nearly all sickness in life is due to obstruction. Nearly everything that moves and has its proper circulation functions normally, whereas obstruction leads to congestion and death. We have for ages obstructed the flow of life. We have failed to use the potential that we have for the good of ourselves and others. We have settled down to the assumption that life in us is simply an energy by which we can create physical things. It is the power to hit the nail with the hammer and that's all. We have never realized that the skills that we have and the intricate nervous structure that we possess, that all these different powers and others unknown and unconsidered at the moment, all of these point to the fact that there is a potential in man that is inconceivable. There is a potential that nothing has yet attempted to understand.

Even our theology has not gone far enough to teach us these mysteries. We do not know what to do with the life we have and we therefore waste it. Religion and philosophy can help us, but they cannot compensate for the fact that we do not apply in daily living the rules and principles that would make life unfold. In other words, what [inaudible] in us, whatever it may be, grows and is wiling to grow and can grow and takes advantage of every step forward. And the more we become thoughtful, wise, and gentle people the more this inner life expands until finally this ultimate expansion is the great mysterious illumination seen in the Buddhist patterns and mandalas. It is the gradual expansion of an inconceivable light within ourselves. A light that we all possess. A light that is also our life, for without it we could not live. And because we are alive and because everything in the universe is alive this tremendous power can be released.

And the power that is released in an atom is only symbolical of the power that can unleash in the human heart, in the human soul. And not only is it something that starts so small you can't even see it, but grows to become a great tree, so in man himself. While the beginning of his process may be invisible, the greater part of it shines through the magnetic fields of the body. And in the course of ages the individual becomes a great luminous center in this galaxy of ours with which we are so deeply concerned today.

If as the result of our being faced, as we are now with this decision, with armaments on everybody's mind, with the money we need to live being used to make forms of destruction. As this goes on and on, and we try to figure out how security can be achieved by mutual destruction, it must come to our realization that there has to be a better way. We are not going to disobey the laws of nature. And if from somewhere in space our planet is suddenly seen to have a little red spot on it somewhere it means we have set off another bomb. But we will not destroy the planet. We cannot destroy anything that lives. We cannot destroy life by physical means, even though that means being nuclear fission. The only thing we can do with it is to cast that life out of body. We can destroy its bodies, we can destroy its cities, we can destroy its industries and its arts and sciences, but we cannot destroy the life that is within any living thing. Even the sparrow cannot die. But it can become unembodied.

And if through nuclear warfare it becomes true that many people will be forced out of this life, not one of them is dead. There is no death. There is only a change of worlds. We are all faced constantly with the challenge of this change. We are all faced constantly with the realization that all kinds of sorrows and mysteries hang over us, any one of which can take us away without much attention or notice. But we are not too much afraid of this because we believe in something. We believe in a life beyond, a life that is greater. We must face our problems of nuclear fission in exactly the same way. We know that while some may be sacrificed as the process continues that nothing will die. The planet will not be destroyed. There will not be an extermination of the human race." [1:00:05 - 1:06:02].
Manly P. Hall - Buddha and the Bomb.