I have been musing upon this blog post for a good while, but when I listened to a recent Buddhist Geek's episode, I had to write this article. Now I am in no way being critical of any thing, these are just my musings on the subject, as they have 'evolved' with time, and I in no way claim them as received truth's.
During the interview, a mention was made of an old Buddhist belief or myth wherein it was stated that when the Buddha became enlightened, the whole universe became enlightened as well. I have to strongly disagree with that statement, mythic or otherwise. I feel very strongly that when the Buddha achieved enlightenment, he came to realize what the universe already new, and demonstrated on an every day basis. To look at Life from a purely human-centric point of view is one of the classic mistakes made by every religion invented or 'percieved' by humans. Among the more primitive tribal peoples, this narrow view point is unknown. Living as they are in close proximity to Life in all its variety, they can not conceive of themselves as separate and apart from nature. They are one and the same with everything. They need no 'god' because they understand that they live with and in and upon that very Source.
If we take a long and open minded view of the findings published by such researchers as Stanislav Grof, it becomes apparent that the soul or spirit that combines with matter to give us life, has passed through many forms on this living planet before it became the form we know as human. Grof has evidence that shows regression memories from other sentient beings as diverse as Redwood trees and reptiles. And if there is lingering doubt about rebirth, I refer you to studies on children who display remarkably accurate memories of a previous life. Over one hundred years ago Judge Thomas Troward of Great Britain, wrote about the soul's travels through the diversity of forms in his book "The Hidden Power". Reincarnation is no doubt, a continuance of the evolutionary process that began with the primordial Source itself.
Back in the day, I was fascinated by a new farming technique from Japan. Called simply 'Natural Farming', it was the pioneering work of the lay Buddhist Masanobu Fukuoka. His radical farming techniques were based on the Buddhist philosophy, and yielded very remarkable results, as will the practice of Buddhism itself. I still recommend his work to any one seeking to improve their health through better, more nutritious food, and like wise improve the health of our planet. But, when one carefully analyzes his technique, you can begin to perceive the human-centricity at the root. No matter how closely intertwined with the local ecology, it still remains separated from it. It is a semblance of it, and only that. It is not a totally natural practice. So the question remains, is close good enough? Its a tough question. And it needs an answer. Our future generations depend on it. Form is emptiness, emptiness is evolving. But at the root of it, we are still talking form.
Travel in peace.