Saturday, November 23, 2002

Die Another Day?

Zeph: Do not live to die another day- die now- kill the ego bit by bit and start truly living now.
Kay: Live today- don't wait till your dying day to live.
Zeph: We are dying now.
Kay: So are we dyingly living or livingly dying?
Zeph: Both.
Kay: So what about a living veg? Is it living or dying?
Zeph: Both.
Kay: Question commonly asked- How are you?
Answer- Dyingly livingly breathing.
Zeph: Yup- life and death are not different- two sides of the same coin.
Kay: An insight learnt. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Ego Trip

If it wasn't a selfless act,
it was probably a subtle ego trip. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
1 Moment

It only takes one moment to die. -Sophie JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Saturday, November 16, 2002

1 Precept

There is only one precept to keep.
That is to guard the mind.

-hong JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

How to be immeasurably happy?
Be happy of the happiness of immeasurable sentient beings.

Don't be infinitely sad-
of the immeasurable sadness of sentient beings-
for it doesn't help much.

Be immeasurably compassionate instead. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Almost Always

Sophie: You hold your views too strongly. You always think you are right.
Zeph: Not always! I must say I hold this view strongly! haha
Sophie: Almost always!
Zeph: Only if my view is true.
Sophie: That's what you think. At times we might not bother to correct you because we know you will not listen or accept.
Zeph: Then that is a wrong perception- I am open to discussion.
Sophie: See! you are doing it again- holding to your view.
Zeph: We are both deluded people with strong views on this issue!
Sophie: It is only your perception. Who is to decide who is right?
Zeph: Say the keyword- stubborn- when you catch me next time- then we'll see if I become closed-minded.
Sophie: You will only argue for your viewpoint until the cows come home.
Zeph: We are indeed both deluded people with strong views on this issue!
Sophie: How to give you feedback when your first reaction is that the other party is wrong without giving it deeper thought? Ask for that second or third opinion. And give it more thought.
Zeph: Okay. Either you or me or both are wrong to some extent- because we are not enlightened. I tend to think the third is true. What I mean is- we are not totally right in our perception- not that you or me are totally right or wrong. I will watch my mind carefully on this and please alert me too- that's what spiritual friends are for- right? :-] JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Friday Girl

A simple case of Mudita, appreciative joy.
When Friday comes,
I am reminded of the happiness of the Friday Girl,
who loves Fridays.
I smile and feel happy for her happiness.
I try not to imagine her blues from Monday to Thursday though.
But may she be well and happy everyday :-] JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
Response to Response on "The Meaning of Life"

Thank you for your comments. Yes, the film could had been scripted better.

>Having seen your film, i feel that it is essentially dangerous to propagation the theory of "meaninglessness" and to push that the only meaning to life is to become Enlightened.

Although it states that "So the only truly meaningful thing to do is to get out of life and death- become enlightened!", it also states that, "It means you are essentially free to create any meaning in your life."

>Even though I do subscribe to the latter, some people might interprete the first and second part of the movie as they can do anything they want because meaning is something they can commission and rule, much like a god onto themselves. thereby cultivating a selfish approach to life.

Although it states that, "It means you are essentially free to create any meaning in your life.", it also states that "So the only truly meaningful thing to do is to get out of life and death- become enlightened!"

Thus, the film counters nihilism (meaninglessness and moral-lessness) with liberation and altruism (becoming enlightened). It is a sequential thinking process that leads the first to the latter point of view.
Dharma Cartoon: The Meaning of Life

Click for a perspective on our existential dilemma.

Annotated Script of "The Meaning of Life"

Scene 1

A: What is the meaning of life?
This is the primordial question we ask when we become spiritually conscious enough.

B: You should first ask, "What is the meaning of meaning?"
Before we pursue answers to our questions, we should always pursue to meaning of our questions.

A: Meaning means meaning!
If something means other things? What does "meaning" itself mean? Does it mean itself? In this sense, meaning means "self-essence" or "self-nature" which does not really exists since meaning is derived from interdependent relationships.

B: Then life is life!
Life is itself too, just as the universe is itself. This is the macro view of life on the whole, of dependent origination, interbeing. All aspects of life interlink in itself.

A: But what is life?
B: Life is what you experience now- the sun, the wind and the waves...
Life is none other whan what we experience through the six senses in the moment. It is not beyond what you cannot experience as that is not meaningful to you in the moment. This is the micro view of life for the individual.

Scene 2

A: What does all these stuff we experience in life mean then?
It is perhaps the blessing and curse of sentient beings to question and seek meaning, and to suffer due to unanswered questions!

B: First ask whether they intend to mean anything.
A: I don't think so.
Things that happen to us, that we experience are essentially natural effects from causes and conditions. They do not mean anything by themselves. For example, failing an exam or falling rain does not intend to spoil your day.

B: So meaning is created by us.
A: What does this mean?
B: Everything is meaningless till you put meaning into it.
Life is meaningless to the individual till he has found, or unless he seeks, meaningfulness. This imputation of meaning applies also to each and every act we do and our response to things that happens to us.

Scene 3

A: So life, the universe and everything are essentially meaningless!
Essentially meaningless in the sense that each being or thing has no intrinsic meaning or significance in itself, only on the relative level, in connection to other things.

B: Not necessarily a good or bad thing- if you see what I mean!
This truth is not necessarily a good or bad thing- it is just as it is- till we choose to take sides- which is not necessary too. However, as we are unenlightened, we will habitually take sides.

A: What does it mean to you?
B: It means you are essentially free to create any meaning in your life.
This means we have no moral or spiritual obligations- free to choose to believe what is good or evil, free to choose whether to purify ourselves. But the wise urges us to walk the Noble Eightfold path, as reflected in the following line in red.

A: But why do that, since life, and even death, are actually meaningless?
B: So the only truly meaningful thing to do is to get out of life and death- become enlightened!
Becoming enlightened here can refer to either the goal of self-liberation (Arahanthood) or the goal of liberation of all beings (Bodhisattvahood which leads to Buddhahood). Thus, the end of this film shows why it is perfectly rational to seek enlightenment, whether for oneself or all. JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

"I" am a magic trick
that continually fools and amazes "myself." JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

Letting Go

Yuan: Gor, I dreamt of grandpa last night, I don't remember wat it was about, but I miss him. I feel horrid, can't even get a grip on myself.
Gor: That was just a dream- he had to let go of life- now you have to let go of him... JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply
4 Dharma Cartoon Movies

1. The Truth is In Here
2. Conquering Mountains
3. Sad Moon
4. Watch It JoinMailingList4LatestUpdates/Reply

Hopefully Somewhat Enlightening & Entertaining Thoughts... Stuff discovered on the path to the natural unshakable peacefulness of a stone...