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MOOC BUDDHA1x | 4.5 Buddhist Developmental Psychology: the Cultivation of Compassion

November 5, 2019


– Parallel to the development of wisdom or genius intelligence is the development of
a positive character, the concept, outlook,
sensitivity and energy of compassion being the core principle. Buddhist biology considers
it long discovered, experientially widely verified, and hence, common sense that individual animal beings live a beginningless and
endless series of life. This is not a theory to them but a fact, right along with the idea that all things have endless continuity since the idea of the first beginning always dissolves under analysis. And there’s always a
chicken and egg problem that goes on endlessly. And how can also any, like the law of conservation of energy of the modern scientist, nothing, no thing, no
process, no energy process can ever become nothing. It will always be
conserved and transformed into another level. This, for the Buddhist, is approved that the subtle energy
continuum of the mind will always continue, and also that had never
have come from nothing. So therefore, since nothing is nothing, it cannot produce anything. So therefore, beginninglessness
and endlessness is common sense not only in
Buddhist scientific theory but even in Buddhist culture. Being human is a huge evolutionary advance over the lower language-deprived
animal life forms. And even perhaps a better
opportunity than that of higher life forms of which there are considered to be many, angelic, demonic, and even divine. Although no such being is
an omnipotent creator, God, by emptiness is a
relativization of everything, no absolute entity or thing or state could then relate to relative things. Therefore, the idea of an absolute deity creating a relative world
without becoming relative is simply incoherent
from Buddhist reasoning point of view. One gets to be one, a higher being, like a divine or an angel or something, in the Buddhist imaginary, let’s say, by gravitating toward
such superhuman life form to the pursuit of pleasure or power. But once achieved, long life divine being
living in the pleasure, heaven or something or a boundless one living
in a pure bliss heaven, like a Brahma heaven or something, such life forms once achieved, encourage a complacency
that causes the beings who have achieved them to waste their time even with very long
lifespan that they have, and usually make no progress toward the possible complete relief of suffering that defines the enlightenment state. They’re still only in
a divine pleasure state apart from the suffering of the world, whereas the enlightenment
state is a bliss state that incorporates all the
suffering states of the world in a field of making them
lessening their suffering and relieving them of their suffering. So the human life form is greatly admired and there is a strong
emphasis on making the most of the opportunity of
having human intelligence, genius intelligence and
empathic sensitivity. From the Buddha’s time, the
development of compassion as the inevitable complement
of selfless wisdom is strongly encouraged, compassion being the driving motivation behind assuming the vow of the bodhisattva and dedicating all of one’s future lives to the attainment of the
supreme enlightenment that can benefit other
beings as well as oneself. There are said to be true
most effective methods of the cultivation of
compassion taught by the Buddha. The first later elaborated
most systematically by Maitreya, our dear Maitreya here, and by a Sunda, fourth and fifth century called the Sevenfold Causal Instruction. It begins from the premise of the beginninglessness of life and the fact that given
infinite possibilities in an infinitely
beginningless life continuum. Every single other one
of countless beings, also equally beginningless as we are, has at one life of another been in the optimal biological
relationship to oneself, which is to say has been
one’s own loving mother.

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