sutra text from last issue:
“Endowed solely with thought, they will fly and can certainly be reborn in the heavens above. If they fly from the heart, and if they have blessings and wisdom, as well as pure vows, ......and they will be reborn in whichever one they wish.
“Pure vows” means that before the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas you say:
I vow to be born
in the Western Pure Land
With the nine grades of lotuses
as my parents.
When the flower opens
I will see the Buddhas
and awaken to non-production.
will be my companions.
Or you may wish to be reborn in the Eastern Land. Any such vow is a pure one.
heir hearts will spontaneously open” means they will awaken and they will see the Buddhas of the ten directions and all their pure lands, and they will be reborn in whichever one they wish.
[end of second lecturing]
If a person has blessings, wisdom, and vows, then at the end of his or her life he or she will see the Buddhas of the ten directions and be able to be reborn in whichever pure land he or she wants.
“When they have more thought than emotion, they are not quite as ethereal and so they become flying immortals, great mighty ghost kings, space-traveling yakshas, or earth-traveling rakshasas who roam the form heavens, going where they please without obstruction.
When they have more thought than emotion, they are not quite as ethereal. “Emotion” can be defined as sentience. It is said that,
Those with sentience
and those lacking sentience.
Have the same potential
for knowledge of all modes.
“Sentience,” in turn, is defined as having thought and feeling. Insentient objects include grasses, trees, and so forth. It is said,
People are not grass and trees;
Who among them doesn’t have emotion?
That’s just a way of rationalizing. “Everybody got emotion.” True, everyone does. And when is it evident? In youth. That’s why the character “emotion” (情) is made up of the word for mind (情) and the character for youth (青). When we get right down to it, we’re talking here about emotional love. Basically, the word for emotion is not limited to that meaning, but that's the use of it here.
Young men and women talk all the time about love and emotion. Why? Because they don't really know about it. They never finish talking about love and emotion. Day in and day out, month after month, year after year that's the entire topic of conversation. Young people become totally engrossed in emotion. It confuses them. It's said,
Weighed down by karma and confused by emotion,
One is a common person.
Confusion is a kind of attachment, the inability to let go. Where does emotion come from? From your mind. Where does the mind come from? From your nature. That's why it's said,
The nature flows out and becomes emotion.
The emotion flows out into desire.
The “out” means “down.” As when,
The superior person's aims are lofty.
The petty person's aims are base.
When a person goes down, down, down and reaches the level of desire, then the fire of desire consumes the body. One totally loses control. It happens to both men and women. They lose self-control.
“Thought” is persistent thought. This character also contains the character for “mind.” It, too, comes from the mind. At first the mind has not moved, but with thought, something appears in the mind. So the character for thought ( 想) is the character for “appearance” (相 ) over the character for “mind” (心). Whenever you think about appears. This character is quite descriptive. For instance, you think about drinking, and ad image of wine appears in your mind. If you're thinking about eating meat, a piece of meat appears in your mind. It's the same for anything you think about from the affairs of state to your own private matters. The Sutras talk about there being no appearance of self, no appearance of others, no appearance of people, and no appearance of a life-span. But with thought, there are appearances. Is thought right then nor wrong? Basically, it, too, is not right. But since people are attached to appearances, they end up with thought.
To be continued