For every action an equal and opposite reaction exists. They hate us, we hate them, they hate us back. We are the victims of mathematics. It seems that even enlightened self-interest can not thwart the inexorable rhythm that tears us apart.
Yet, without hope things will improve and our inheritors will know a world richer than our own, life is pointless and evolution vastly overrated.
In many religions there is a Triune Symbol. Three rings in Siddhartha Gautama's Buddhist faith dating back to the 5th century BC, there are the three interconnected rings representing the Three Jewels or Triratana as shown here. Literally, the Three Jewels are the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
Christianity has the Holy Trinity representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Judaism has the Star of David, which is actually representative of two trinities, one for the divine existence, and one for our current extistence. "As above, so below."
Kabbalistically, the Star/Shield of David symbolizes the six directions of space plus the center, under the influence of the description of space found in the Sefer Yetsira: Up, Down, East, West, South, North, and Center. Congruently, under the influence of the Zohar, it represents the Six Sefirot of the Male (Zeir Anpin) united with the Seventh Sefirot of the Female (Nekuva).
This was confirmed by Christ's teachings
Beyond cause and effect, there is a third principal wielded by sentient life - the capacity for self-sacrifice - the conscious ability to override evolution and self-preservation for a cause, a friend, or a loved one.
About 12 years ago, Babylon 5's first season hit the air. On the surface, it appeared to be yet another Trekkie-style show. However, the writer must have done some homework on humans and what makes us great. This scene I have borrowed stayed in my mind since 1994. I ran across it recently. A mere 60 seconds, but it's message indelible and lasting in its truth.
Some of the episodes are now available online for free, incredibly enough!
The scene demonstrates what is best about humans, our diversity, our passion, and what ultimately adds palpable quality to every one's lives on this planet, this fragile spaceship we have been entrusted with, Earth.
Vandana Ti-sarana is often recited by both monks and lay people:
- Buddham saranam gacchāmi - I go for refuge in the Buddha
- Dhammam saranam gacchāmi - I go for refuge in the Dharma
- Sangham saranam gacchāmi - I go for refuge in the Sangha
The Mahayana Chinese/Japanese version differs only slightly from the Theravada:
to understand the great way and make the greatest vow.
to deeply delve into the Sutra Pitaka, gaining an ocean of knowledge.
to lead the congregation in harmony, entirely without obstruction.