About Tolerance

My favorite Buddha quote is , “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.” Obviously that world can take many forms depending on musings during any moment of life.

The description of this blog implies an emphasis on musing. The implication is that I sneak off to a quiet room, sit on the floor , cross my legs, clasp my hands and reflect or meditate in silence on some subject. The fact of the matter is that my musing involves little meditation. My thoughts are very random and may or may not involve the necessary research to qualify them as thoughts to be heeded. As our President is prone to say, having said that, my musing does involve some degree of meditation if I limit its definition to ’thinking’.

I am not a Buddhist . His sayings however, do get my little grey cells going ( as the high primal says, "Tony's blogging is good for his grey cells no matter how little they are. "). This is not to say that the sayings of Jesus Christ invoke any less thinking or for that matter the sayings of Mohamed. Unfortunately the sayings of Jesus and Mohamed get tainted by attempts to justify various brands of religion and their agenda. Many Popes, Bishops, Rabbis, Ayatollahs and Evangelists have seen fit to anoint religions with what amounts to a political agenda. Buddhism on the other hand is more closely associated with a way of life.

Back to musings. My musing led me to the five principles of Buddhism called Panchsheel:

1. Do not to take life
2. Do not to steal
3. Do not to lie
4. Do not to consume liquor or other intoxicants
5. Do not to commit adultery

To my relief four of the five principles are found in The Ten Commandments. The one missing has to do with booze (we tried to get this principle in with Prohibition but that turned out to be a disaster). Four out five isn’t bad.

The Ten Commandments are embraced by Jews and Christians. ( Islam also embraces some of these principles but the little reading I have done about Islam leaves me very confused about its evolvement , the role of violence and its true mission. I need more of an understanding of the laws of Islam.)

Adhering to Panchsheel or the Ten Commandments should be the formula for a wonderful way of life in our world. So why is our world so troubled? Because like so many ideals we give the words of the Prophet, the Messiah, the Buddha lip service. Lip service gives Jews a license to kill Muslims, an excuse for Muslims to kill Jews. Lip service gave us The Holocaust. Lip service gives us racial intolerance. Lip service makes Christian killing Muslims and Muslims killing Christians tolerable. Intolerance, tolerable? Perhaps that is the key. I’m tempted to say that tolerance for one another does not come through loudly enough as the true word of God whether we are referencing the principles of Buddha, the Ten Commandments or the tenants of Islam..

Hidden in the words of Panchsheel and The Ten Commandments is a plea to love they neighbor as thyself . My take on that is that we should at least tolerate each other. We should worship or not worship as we choose but not impose upon others our beliefs which in the final analysis are more the makings of man rather than some supreme being.

This is as far as I can go with my limited knowledge. My 'meditation' leaves me with a gut feeling about the central importance of tolerance in the societies of the world. My musings do not obligate me to lay down a blueprint for world peace - a wish for tolerance in all walks of life will have to suffice. Buddha may have had the blueprint for accomplishing this when he said:

Pay no attention to the faults of others,
things done or left undone by others.
Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone.
Now how do I keep from relegating these musings to lip service? Must meditate on that.

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