Living as if Drunk and Dying in a Dream, It's Hard to End Birth and Death
Good and wise advisors: there's no knowing how many times we've met together before, as if in a dream. Since time without beginning, all living beings have mutually been relatives, parents and children, friends, brothers and sisters. We become stuck so closely together that when the time comes to part, we cannot relinquish our emotional ties. Not being able to relinquish them, we cannot be free. That inability to be free is what hinders us, so that we cannot see things clearly and be decisive. Why can't we be decisive? Because of ignorance and lack of understanding.
For countless eons, we have undergone birth followed by death, death followed by rebirth, going along in the cycle of the twelve links of conditioned co-production.
Lack of understanding is stupidity. Because of stupidity, there is activity. With activity, the seeds of stupidity are sown. Once seeds of stupidity are sown, there are names created out of stupidity. When there are such names, the six sense faculties (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind) come into being and we become attached to them. The six faculties perceive the states of the six sense objects. When they perceive pleasant states, we have a pleasant experience. When they come into contact with something unpleasant, we have an unpleasant experience. Thus there are favorable and adverse states. If it is something we like, we want to hang onto it. If it is something we don't like, we want to get rid of it. When favorable states come, we feel happy. When adverse states come, we become upset. Thus feelings of like and dislike come into being. With such feelings comes birth into the next life. Once there is birth, there will be old age and sickness. And so this is how we make a mess of things, like a fly buzzing around to the east, west, north, and south, not knowing quite what it is doing. It crawls around on the windowpane, but cannot see what is on the other side.
We can't see through things and let go of them, and so we live as if drunk and die in a dream. In this way, in life after life, we argue and fight, laugh and cry, and become vexed and afflicted. It never ends, but we don't get tired of it. We think it's a lot of fun and very interesting.
There is merit in diligence.
There is no benefit in playing.
So be careful!
We should urge ourselves on!
The situation in the Middle East is very dangerous now. War is about to break out. This is because everyone is having deluded thoughts and putting out poisonous energy. It's emitted here, there, and everywhere. The individual releases his poisonous energy onto his or her family, and once the family is contaminated, there are family wars. But a family war isn't exciting enough, so it spreads into the society. You scheme against me, and I plot against you, both of us trying to find ways to benefit ourselves. All this fighting is for the sake of money.
There is a verse which describes the character qian (錢) for "money" in Chinese:
Two spears fighting over gold: the killing energy
Everyone is obsessed with money.
Those who know how to use it can transcend the
Those who don't fall into the underworld.
The way the ancients designed the Chinese character for "money" is very interesting. On the left side is the character for "gold." The character for "gold" has a "person" on top and three horizontal lines, a vertical line, and two dots below. The two dots represent gold nuggets, and the three horizontal lines are probably three people. The vertical line symbolizes the single-minded focus on fighting. And so there is a central vertical line, a gold nugget on either side, and people on top fighting over it all. What do they fight with? They use spears. So the character for "money" consists of a "gold" character and two copies of the "spear" character. So there is a lot of meaning behind the way the ancients designed Chinese characters.
The two spears are fighting over the gold nuggets, which could also be in the form of U.S. dollars or pounds sterling. So the verse says: "Two spears fighting over gold: the killing energy runs high." You want to kill me, and I want to kill you, because we're after the gold. So you take your knife, and I take my spear; you set off an atomic bomb, and someone else sets off a hydrogen bomb or uses poison gas, and waits to see if you survive. When that happens your gold nuggets are of no help, nor is the oil that you've seized. The energy of killing rises to the heavens.
"Everyone is obsessed with money." Money brings a lot of trouble. People lose their appetite, or commit suicide by jumping off buildings, all because of money. They place their bets at the horse races and lose several billion, almost losing their very life, all because of their greed for gold.
to be continued