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“The Buddha said, ‘Birth is dukkha [discontent], age is dukkha, disease is dukkha, death is dukkha, contact with the unpleasant is dukkha, separation from the pleasant is dukkha, every wish unfulfilled is dukkha.’ And its source is our self-centered way of participating in the process of life. Stemming from a biologically programmed instinct for self-preservation, it consists at the human level in seeing and valuing everything primarily as it affects oneself. This produces a distrust of strangers, a feeling of being threatened by the otherness of others, an apprehension about what the unknown future may bring, and a fear of death, all building up into a pervasive angst which deprives us of serenity and the deep joy of inner freedom. This in turn leads to individual greed, malice, cruelty, jealousy, resentment,cheating, untruthfulness, and to corporate selfishness in the forms of aggression, exploitation, war, slavery, institutionalized injustices. According to the Buddha, all this human misery which evoked his compassion and led him to a strenuous life of teaching, flows from a false consciousness that renders us fundamentally insecure, seeing others as potential rivals and enemies, so that we have to safeguard ourselves by grasping at power and possessions. In Buddhist terms we lack awareness of our own Buddha nature and of the ultimate Buddha nature of the universe, an awareness that would release us from the constant defensive self-concern that makes life a danger, the future a threat, and the human world a jungle of competing interests.When the Buddha nature within us is released by eroding the hard shell of self-concern, its natural and spontaneous expression is a universal compassion(karuna) and love(metta).
- “The Fifth Dimension – An Exploration of The Spiritual Realm" by Professor John Hick, Published by Oneworld Publications, UK.