Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I was thinking today more about good and bad, especially since my friend was sending me email questions every few minutes. I started thinking how, before humans were on Earth, there was no good and bad. If such things exist today, they are apparitions, lodged in our head with hate, love, desire, and miscellaneous emotions. Do they exist? Does anything exist? Can you find them in a Neiman Marcus catalog... or even an old Sears catalog?
I asked one of the residents at the zen center what he thought. He said that he likes to use the terms "skillful means" and "unskillful means" because then there is no judgement (his words, not mine) and we can differentiate (my word) by determining if the action led to the reduction of suffering in the world (or not). He then pointed out that we were all part of the same thing, so our actions are really done onto ourselves.
Is this all just a semantic game? Is there really any difference between the people who follows the ten commandments and those that follow the sixteen precepts?