Now, in breathing, you know that breath is life. The Greek word, you may pronounce it pneauma or pnefma, is the same a spirit. And spirit means breath. In the book of Genesis, when God had made the clay figurine that was later to be Adam, he breathed the breath of life into its nostrils. And it became alive, because life is breath. But now, if you hold your breath, you lose it. He that would save his life will lose it. So Breathe in, Breathe in, Breathe In get as much air as you can and Trishna clean. And you lose it. So Nirvana means breathe out. What a relief that was. The sigh, really let it go. Because it will come back to you if you let it go. But if you don’t let it go. You will just suffocate.
So a person in the state of nirvana is what we might call a blown out person. Like blow your mind. Let go, don’t cling, and then you’re in the state of nirvana. And I reemphasize the point. This is not, I’m not preaching, see, not saying this is what you ought to do. So me pointing out a state of affairs that is so. There’s no moralism in this whatsoever is simply pointing out like [that] if you put your hand into the fire you’ll get burned. You can get burned if you want to. That’s OK. But if you so happens that you don’t want to get burned. And you don’t put your hand in the fire so in the same way if you don’t want to be in a state of anxiety all the time, and again I emphasize, if you like to be anxious it’s perfectly all right. If that’s what isn’t never how is anyone and they say you’ve got all eternity through which to live in various forms. And therefore you don’t have just one life in which you’ve got to avoid eternal damnation. You can go running around the wheel in the rat race and play that game just as long as you want to, so long as you think it’s fun. But if there comes a time when you don’t think it’s fun. You don’t have to do it. So I wouldn’t say to anyone who disagrees with me and who says Well I think we ought to engage the forces of evil in battle and put this world to right and so on and so forth, and arrange everything in this world so that it’s all up. Try it, please, it’s perfectly OK, go on doing that. But if you see that it’s futile, then you can let go. Don’t try to cling, relax.
And if you do that, you’re in the state of nirvana. And you become a Buddha. And of course it means that you become a rather astonishing person. You may of course be subtle about it, and make like you’re a very ordinary person. So that you don’t get people mixed up. Because if you are a very astonishing person ,everybody wants to be like you. And they use you as an object of Thrishna, of clinging. They rely on you, you get a transference on everybody comes running around says please help me I’d like to be like you are. And then you have to get rid of them. See that’s the difference between a doctor and a clergyman I shouldn’t say things like this but doctors try to get rid of their patients. Clergymen try and try to get them hooked on the medicines so that they will become addicts to the church, and that’s too bad because there is a saying in ancient Christianity. Crux est mundi, which means the cross, the medicine of the world. But you don’t make medicine a diet. And so, in Buddhism, the Buddha explained that his doctrine, his method, was a raft. It’s sometimes called a Yana, Y-A-N-A, means a vehicle a conveyance. And when you cross a river on a raft. And you get to the other shore you don’t pick up the raft and carried on your back you leave it behind. But people who are what I would call hawked on religion, are always on the raft. They are going back and forth back and forth back and forth on the raft so that Clergymen tends to turn into a fairy man. Who is always on the raft and never gets over to the other shore himself. Now there’s something to be said for that because how are we going to get the raft back to the first shore to bring over the other people see somebody has to volunteer to take the back journey. But he must be awfully careful, to realise that the real objective is to get the people across and set them free. If you dedicate yourself to ferrying people across, don’t ask them to come back on the raft with you, because you get overcrowded, and people will think that the raft is the goal rather than the other shore.
So when are I find this in in actual practice that when clergyman do not ever ask for money. And it’s all right you know like a doctor who simply charges a fee says, ‘You come to me, you pay me so much.’ But the clergyman says he doesn’t say pay me so much he says ‘We would like your pledge of voluntary contribution.’ And then nobody knows what to give. And but he has to go calling around all sorts of places. He becomes a fundraiser for this big project, the church. And it’s a bad scene because if any church were really successful in liberating people, there would be no problems of economics at all. Because people would keep coming soon as you got rid of people like a doctor a doctor who gets rid of people becomes famous. Because they’re cured. And so if they know a certain church scene, people are cured and they all therefore leave the church more come in there’s a potential tide of more people so you get a huge overturn turnover. And that’s the way to work it. That’s the idea of the raft.
Now then the fourth noble truth. It’s called Magga. This word means path. And the way of Buddhism is often called the Noble Eightfold Path. Because there are eight phases, I won’t say steps, because they’re not sequential. They’re all simultaneous. Once upon a time, there’s a very very great Japanese scholar, D.T. Suzuki., who was giving a lecture at the University of Hawaii on Buddhism, and was explaining, he’d come to the fourth noble truth. And he said, ‘Today we come to for that noble truth. Called a noble eightfold path. First step of a noble eightfold path called Shoken, Can he was using Japanese name shoken can mean the right view. Or of Buddhism, is right view. Right you mean no particular of you. Know fixed view. Or Buddhism Shoeken, right view, second step of Noble Eightfold Path, oh I forget the second step, you look it up in the book.” This man was one of the most terrific scholars in Chinese, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Japanese and so on. So I’m not going to bother you with the individual steps of the eight fold path it. All of them are subsumed under three headings of which you can say the right view. Which in Sanskrit is Samyak. And Samyak is a very curious phrase, it doesn’t mean right in our sense of correct some is the same really as our word some. Total, complete. All inclusive. We might say we might use the word integrated, as when we say a person has integrity. That a person who has integrity, we mean is all of a piece, is not divided against himself. So in this sense of Samyak, there is, his is related to the word. Darshan which means a point of view of viewing when you go to visit a great guru or teacher you have Darshan, you look at him. And you offer your reverence to them. [There are] many senses of it, but it means simply to view look at the view. So the summing up Gulshan is the complete view. For example let’s take the constellation called the Big Dipper. We look at it from a fairly restricted zone in space. And it always seems whatever the season of the year because we’re so far away from it that the stars in the Big Dipper in the same position. But imagine looking at it from somewhere else in space or together, and those stars would not look like a Dipper. They would be in another position. Now then what is the true position of those stars. Don’t you see there isn’t one. Because wherever you look, the position alters. You could say that the true situation of those stars is how they are looked at from all points of view, all possible points of view. Inside the constellation looking outwards, outside the constellation looking inwards, from everywhere and everywhere. But you see there is no such thing as the truth. The World, in other words, is not existing independently of those who witness it. Because the world is precisely the relationship between the world and its witnesses. Just as the sound of a drum is the relationship between a striking hand and the skin. If there’s no skin on the drum, it doesn’t make any sound.
And so if there are no eyes in this world, the sun doesn’t make any light. Nor do the stars. So what is, is a relationship. You can, for example, prop up two sticks by leaning them against each other and they will stand. But only by depending on each other. Take one away and the other falls. So in Buddhism, it is taught that everything in this universe depends on everything else. That we have a kind of a huge network and this is called the doctrine of mutual interdependence. All of it hangs on you and you hang on all of it, just as the two sticks support each other. And this is conveyed in a symbol, which is called Indra’s net.
Imagine a multidimensional spider’s web, in the early morning covered with dew drops. And every drop contains the reflection of all the other dew drops, and in each reflected dew drop, the reflections of all the other dew drops, in that reflection and so ad infinitum. That is the Buddhist conception of the of the universe in an image. The Japanese call that jijimuge, means a thing-event. A happening. So between happening and happening, mu, there is no ge, separation. Jijimuge.
Now, or so, the first phase of the Eightfold Path has to do with one’s view, understanding, of the world. The second phase has to do with action. How you act. And here we get the Buddhist view of behavior. A Buddhist doesn’t base his ethics on the idea of commandments, of orders from a higher echelon of authority. Buddhist idea of ethics is based on expediency. If you are engaged in the way of liberation. And you want to clarify your consciousness, doing that is inconsistent with certain kinds of action. So every Buddhist makes five vows. Five precepts. And you may perhaps have heard the Buddhist formula of taking what is called conscious which five precepts. And they take what are called the sadhana the three refuges and the five precepts the refuges are the Buddha, the Dharma, the doctrine, and the Sanga, the fellowship of all those who are on the way. So the priest of the bikkhu, the Buddhist monk, and the laypeople will chant the formula. [sings] Those are the three refuges the border the Dharma and the Sanga, then they take the five precepts. [sings]
So they take these five precepts, I depart, I undertake the precept to abstain from taking life.. I undertake the precept. To abstain from taking what is not given. I undertake the precept to abstain from exploiting of the passion. I undertake the precept to abstain from falsifying speech. I undertake the precept to abstain from being intoxicated by Surya, Mariya and Majipayana, mother tongue or whatever they were. I presume tardy which is alcohol. I don’t know I don’t know what else it was nobody does know. Because if you see if you start killing people. Or taking life you’re in trouble you set up an opposition and you’ve got to become involved in taking care of it. If you start stealing you worry people you upset people’s orientation in life because if you suddenly come into the back home for dinner and find somebody stolen your table where you going to serve dinner. If you explode your passions. It means that when you are when you feel bored. And somehow that life is a little bit empty you say well our what are we going to do this evening that’s go and get stuffed. A lot of people who suffer from obesity are trying to simply fill their empty psyche by stuffing themselves with food. Well it’s the wrong cure. So, likewise most of Arda if you start telling lies to everybody you know what happens when you start telling lies you have to tell extra lies to cover up the first one and you get into the most hopeless misunderstanding. Speech collapses, and of course the intoxication is the same problem as the exploitation of the passions.
So there’s a purely kind of practical, expedient, utilitarian approach to morals. There’s another side to this which doesn’t enters into the into the precepts which I will explain later. So that’s the third phase of the Eightfold Path then, no, the second phase. Then the third phase has to do with your mind, with your state of consciousness. And this has to do with what we would ordinarily call meditation. There are the two final, the seventh and eighth, aspects of the path. Are called Samyak Smriti, and Samyak are some of the reedy means recollection. That’s the best English word for it now do you understand the word recollect. Is to gather together what has been scattered. What is the opposite of remember? Obviously dismember. What has been chopped up, and scattered becomes re-membered. So in the Christian scheme, do this in remembrance of me. You see the Christ has been sacrificed. Chopped up. But the mass is celebrated in remembrance. One of the old litigious says ‘The wheat which has been scattered all over the hills and grows up is gathered again into the bread.’ Remembered. Go back to your Hindu basis. The world is regarded as the Dismemberment of the self, the Brahman, the Godhead. The one is dismembered into the many. So remembrance is realizing again that each single member of the many is really the one, so that’s re-collection.