The New World Religion

The world today is more spiritually inclined than ever before. This is said with a full realization of the generally accepted idea that the world of men is on the rocks spiritually, and that at no time has the spiritual life of the race been at such a low ebb. This idea is largely due to the fact that humanity is not excessively interested in the orthodox presentation of truth, and that our churches are relatively empty and are under public indictment as having failed to teach humanity to live rightly. These affirmations are distressingly true, but the fact still remains that human beings everywhere are searching for spiritual release and truth, and that the truly religious spirit is more fundamentally alive than at any previous time. This is especially true of those countries which have suffered the most in the late world war (1914-1945). Countries, such as the United States and the neutral countries show, as yet, no sign of any real spiritual revival. The other countries are spiritually alive – not along orthodox lines but in a true search and a vital demand for light.

The religious spirit of humanity is today more definitely focused upon Reality than has ever before been the case. The orthodox world religions are rapidly falling into the background of men’s minds even whilst we are undoubtedly approaching nearer to the central spiritual Reality. The theologies now taught by the ecclesiastical organization (both in the East and in the West) are crystallized and of relatively little use. Priests and churchmen, orthodox instructors and fundamentalists (fanatical though sincere) are seeking to perpetuate that which is old and which sufficed in the past to satisfy the enquirer, but which now fails to do so. Sincere but unenlightened religious men are deploring the revolt of youth from doctrinal attitudes. At the same time, along with all seekers, they are demanding a new revelation. They seek something new and arresting by which to attract the masses back to God; they fear that something must be relinquished, that new interpretations of old truths must be found, but fail to realize that a new outlook upon the truth (as it is in Christ) must be attained; they sense the approach of new, impending spiritual revelations but are apt to shrink back from their revolutionary effects. They ask themselves many questions and are assailed by deep and disturbing doubts. It is interesting here to note that the answers to these questions come (and will increasingly come), from two sources; the thinking masses, whose growing intellectual perception is the cause of the revolt from orthodox religion, and from that over-shadowing source of truth and light which has unfailingly brought revelation down the ages. The answers will not come, as far as one can see, from any religious organization, whether Asiatic or Western.

Some of these questions can be expressed as follows:

  • Why has the church been unable to arrest the overpowering expression of evil, as evidenced in the late world war?
  • Why has religion proved inadequate to the need of humanity?
  • Why have the so-called spiritual leaders of the religious world proved themselves incompetent to aid in the solution of the world problems?
  • Why, as exponents of the God of Love, have Christian teachers been unable to arrest the unparalleled growth of hate in the world today?
  • Why are the majority of such teachers so sectarian, separate and denominational in their approaches to truth? There is, however, a spiritual, open-minded minority.
  • Why do the young people refuse to go to church and lack interest to accept the doctrines presented for their belief?
  • Why is death and not life stalking the world today?
  • Why do so many new cults arise and sidetrack the people away from orthodox organizations of a religious nature?
  • Why does Mental Science, the Unity Movement and the New Thought presentation attract people away from the better established organizations? Note the use of the word “organizations”; it holds the key to the problem.
  • Why is there a growing emphasis upon the Eastern theologies, upon the various yogas, upon Buddhistic teachings and oriental faiths?
  • Why do such teachings as astrology, numerology and various magical rituals find so many adherents whilst the churches remain empty or are only attended by old people, the conservatives and reactionaries or by those who go there by force of habit, or desperate unhappiness?
  • What is wrong, finally, with our presentation of the spiritual realities and the truths of the ages?

Many answers can be given. The most important one is that the presentation of divine truth, as given by the churches in the West and by the teachers in the East, has not kept pace with the unfolding intellect of the human spirit. The same old forms of words and of ideas are still handed out to the enquirer and they do not satisfy his mind nor do they meet his practical need in a most difficult world. He is asked to give unquestioning belief but not to understand; he is told that it is not possible for him to comprehend and yet he is asked to accept the interpretations and the affirmations of other human minds who claim that they do understand and that they have the truth. He does not believe that their minds and their interpretations are any better than his. The same old formulas, the same old theologies and the same old interpretations are deemed adequate to meet man’s modern needs and enquiries. They are not.

The church today is the tomb of the Christ and the stone of theology has been rolled to the door of the sepulchre.

There is, however, no point in attacking Christianity. Christianity cannot be attacked; it is an expression – in essence, if not yet entirely factual – of the love of God, immanent in His created universe. Churchianity has, however, laid itself wide open to attack, and the mass of thinking people are aware of this; unfortunately, these thinking people are still a small minority. Nevertheless, it is this thinking minority which (when it is a majority and it is today a rapidly growing one) will spell the doom of the churches and endorse the spread of the true teaching of the Christ. It is not possible that He has any pleasure in the great stone temples which churchmen have built, whilst His people are left without guidance or reasonable light upon world affairs; surely, He must feel (with an aching heart) that the simplicity which He taught and the simple way to God which He emphasized have disappeared into the fogs of theology (initiated by St. Paul) and in the discussions of churchmen throughout the centuries. Men have travelled far from the simplicity of thought and from the simple, spiritual life which the early Christians lived. Is it not possible that the Christ may regard the separative life of the churches and the arrogance of the theologians as wrong and undesirable – dividing (as they have) the world into believer and unbeliever, into Christian and heathen, into the so-called enlightened and the so-called benighted – and as contrary to all that He Himself held and believed when He said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold.” (John X, 16.)

It is not the evil rampant in the world today which is hindering the revelation and hindering the unfoldment of the spiritual life. That evil is the result of the misapprehension and the wrong orientation of the human mind, of the emphasis upon material things which ages of competitive activity have brought about; it rests upon the failure of the religious organizations throughout the world to preserve the truth in its purity and to avoid the fanatical idea that anyone’s individual interpretation of truth must necessarily be the only and correct one. Theologians have fought (and with sincerity of intention) for forms of words which they believed were the only true and correct formulation of the divine idea, but Christ was forgotten behind the words; churchmen have expended effort and executive ability in raising funds for the building of stone edifices whilst God’s children everywhere went hungry and unclothed and so lost their belief in divine love.

How can the need of humanity for spiritual guidance be met when the leaders of the churches are occupied with temporal concerns, when the emphasis is laid in the Roman Catholic, the Greek Orthodox and the Protestant Churches upon pomp and ceremonies, on great churches and stone cathedrals, upon gold and silver communion sets, on scarlet birettas, on jeweled vestments, and upon all the paraphernalia so cherished by the ecclesiastically minded? How can the starving children of the world – and of Europe in particular – be salvaged when pleas go out from Popes and Bishops for money to build cathedrals and erect more churches when the existent churches now stand empty? How can light shine again in the minds of men when churchmen keep the people in a state of fear unless they accept the old theological interpretations and the old ways of approaching God? How can the spiritual and intellectual needs of the people be met when the theological seminaries teach nothing new or appropriate to the day and age, but send out young men to guide humanity who are grounded only in the past interpretations. These young men enter upon their religious training and preparation for the ministry with high hopes and vision; they emerge with little hope, not much faith, but with a determination to “make good” and rise to prominence in the church.

The question arises whether Christ would be at home in the churches if He walked again among men. The rituals and the ceremonies, the pomp and the vestments, the candles and the gold and silver, the graded order of popes, cardinals, archbishops, canons and ordinary rectors, pastors and clergy would seemingly have small interest for the simple Son of God, Who – when on Earth – had not where to lay His head.

The presentation of religious truth in the past has blocked the growth of the religious spirit; theology has brought mankind to the very gates of despair; the delicate flower of the Christ life has been stunted and arrested in the dark caves of man’s thinking; fanatical adherence to human interpretations has taken the place of Christian living; millions of books have obliterated the living words of Christ; the arguments and discussions of priests have put out the light which the Buddha brought, and the love of God as revealed by the life of Christ has been forgotten whilst men have quarrelled over meanings, over phrases and words. In the meantime, men have agonized, starved, suffered, demanded help and instruction and, unsatisfied, have lost faith.

Today everywhere people are ready for the light; they are expectant of a new revelation and of a new dispensation, and humanity has advanced so far on the way of evolution that these demands and expectations are not couched in terms of material betterment only, but in terms of a spiritual vision, true values and right human relations. They are demanding teaching and spiritual help along with the necessary requests for food, clothes and the opportunity to work and live in freedom; they face famine in large areas of the world and yet are registering (with equal dismay) the famine of the soul.

We are surely not in error if we conclude that this spiritual dismay and this spiritual demand have assumed a paramount place in the consciousness of the Christ. When He reappears and when His Church, hitherto invisible, appears with Him, what can They do to meet this demanding cry and this intensified attitude of spiritual perception with which They will be greeted. They see the picture whole. The cry of the Christian for spiritual help, the cry of the Buddhist for spiritual enlightenment, and the cry of the Hindu for spiritual understanding – along with the cries of all those who have faith or have no faith – must be met. The demands of humanity are rising to Their ears and the Christ and His disciples have no sectarian scruples, of that we may be sure. It is impossible to believe that They are interested in the views of the Fundamentalists or in the theories of the theologians upon the Virgin Birth, the Vicarious At-one-ment or the Infallibility of the Pope. Humanity is in desperate need and that need must be met; only great and fundamental principles of living, covering the past and the present and providing a platform for the future, will really meet that human invocation. The Christ and the spiritual Hierarchy will not come to destroy all that humanity has hitherto found “necessary to salvation,” and all that has met its spiritual demand. When the Christ reappears, the non-essentials will surely disappear; the fundamentals of faith will remain, upon which He can build that new world religion for which all men wait. That new world religion must be based upon those truths which have stood the test of ages and which have brought assurance and comfort to men everywhere. These surely are:

1. The Fact of God

First and foremost, there must be recognition of the fact of God. That central Reality can be called by any name that man may choose according to his mental or emotional bent, racial tradition and heritage, for it cannot be defined or conditioned by names. Human beings perforce always use names in order to express that which they sense, feel and know, both of the phenomenal and also of the intangible. Consciously or unconsciously, all men recognize God Transcendent and God Immanent. They sense God to be the Creator and the Inspiration of all that is.

The Eastern faiths have ever emphasized God Immanent, deep within the human heart, “nearer than hands and feet,” the Self, the One, the Atma, smaller than the small, yet all-comprehensive. The Western faiths have presented God Transcendent, outside His universe, an Onlooker. God transcendent, first of all, conditioned men’s concept of Deity, for the action of this transcendent God appeared in the processes of nature; later, in the Jewish dispensation, God appeared as the tribal Jehovah, as the soul (the rather unpleasant soul) of a nation. Next, God was seen as a perfected man, and the divine God-man walked the Earth in the Person of Christ. Today we have a rapidly growing emphasis upon God immanent in every human being and in every created form. Today, we should have the churches presenting a synthesis of these two ideas which have been summed up for us in the statement of Shri Krishna in The Bhagavad Gita: “Having pervaded this whole Universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain.” God, greater than the created whole, yet God present also in the part; God Transcendent guarantees the plan for our world and is the Purpose, conditioning all lives from the minutest atom, up through all the kingdoms of nature, to man.

2. Man’s Relationship to God

The second truth to which all give allegiance – no matter what the faith – is that of man’s essential relationship to God. Inherent in the human consciousness – inchoate often and undefined – is a sense of divinity. “We are all the children of God” (Gal., III, 26.); “One is our Father, even God,” says the Christ and so say all the world Teachers and Avatars down the ages. “As He is, so are we in this world” (I John IV, 17.) is another Biblical statement. “Closer is He than breathing, nearer than hands and feet,” chants the Hindu. “Christ in us, the hope of glory” is the triumphant affirmation of St. Paul.

3. The Fact of Immortality and of Eternal Persistence

Third, is the sense of persistence, of eternal life or of immortality. From this recognition, there seems to be no escape; it is as much a part of humanity’s reaction as is the instinct of self-preservation. With that inner conviction, we face death and we know that we shall live again, that we come and we go and that we persist because we are divine and the controllers of our own destiny. We know that we have set ourselves a goal and that the goal is “Life more abundantly” – somewhere, here, there, and eventually everywhere.

The spirit in man is undying; it forever endures, progressing from point to point and stage to stage upon the Path of Evolution, unfolding steadily and sequentially the divine attributes and aspects. This truth involves necessarily the recognition of two great natural laws; the Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect. The churches in the West have refused officially to recognize the Law of Rebirth and have thereby wandered into a theological impasse and into a cul-de-sac from which there is no possible exit. The churches in the East have over-emphasized these laws so that a negative, acquiescent attitude to life and its processes, based on continuously renewed opportunity, controls the people. Christianity has emphasized immortality but has made eternal happiness dependent upon the acceptance of a theological dogma: Be a true professing Christian and live in a somewhat fatuous heaven or refuse to be an accepting Christian, or a negative professional Christian, and go to an impossible hell – a hell growing out of the theology of The Old Testament and its presentation of a God, full of hate and jealousy. Both concepts are today repudiated by all sane, sincere, thinking people. No one of any true reasoning power or with any true belief in a God of love accepts the heaven of the churchmen or has any desire to go there. Still less do they accept the “lake that burneth with fire and brimstone” (Rev., XIX, 20.) or the everlasting torture to which a God of love is supposed to condemn all who do not believe in the theological interpretations of the Middle Ages, of the modern fundamentalists or of the unreasoning churchmen who seek – through doctrine, fear and threat – to keep people in line with the obsolete old teaching. The essential truth lies elsewhere. “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap” (Gal., VI, 7.) is a truth which needs re-emphasizing. In these words, St. Paul phrases for us the ancient and true teaching of the Law of Cause and Effect, called in the Orient the Law of Karma.

The immortality of the human soul, and the innate ability of the spiritual, inner man to work out his own salvation under the Law of Rebirth, in response to the Law of Cause and Effect, are the underlying factors governing all human conduct and all human aspiration. These two laws no man can evade. They condition him at all times until he has achieved the desired and the designed perfection and can manifest on earth as a rightly functioning son of God.

4. The Continuity of Revelation and the Divine Approaches

A fourth essential truth and one which clarifies all the planned work of the Christ is tied in with spiritual revelation and the need of man for God and of God for man. Never has Deity left Itself at any time without witness. Never has man demanded light that the light has not been forthcoming. Never has there been a time, cycle or world period when there was not the giving out of the teaching and spiritual help which human need demanded. Never did the hearts and minds of men go out towards God, but that divinity itself came nearer to man. The history of mankind is, in reality, the history of man’s demand for light and for contact with God, and then the giving of light and the approach of God to man. Always the Savior, the Avatar or the World Teacher issued forth from the secret place of the Most High and brought to man fresh revelation, fresh hope and a fresh incentive towards fuller spiritual living.

Some of these Approaches have been of a major nature, affecting humanity as a whole and some of them are of less importance, affecting only a relatively small part of mankind – a nation or a group. Those Who come as the Revealers of the love of God come from that spiritual center to which the Christ gave the name “the Kingdom of God” (Matt., VI, 33.) Here dwell the “spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb., XII, 23.); here the spiritual Guides of the race are to be found and here the spiritual Executives of God’s plan live and work and oversee human and planetary affairs. It is called by many names by many people. It is spoken of as the Spiritual Hierarchy, as the Abode of Light, as the Center where the Masters of the Wisdom are to be found, as the Great White Lodge. From it come those who act as Messengers of the Wisdom of God, Custodians of the truth as it is in Christ, and Those Whose task is to save the world, to impart the next revelation, and to demonstrate divinity. All the world Scriptures bear witness to the existence of this center of spiritual energy. This spiritual Hierarchy has been steadily drawing nearer to humanity as men have become more conscious of divinity and more fitted for contact with the divine.

Another great Approach of divinity and another spiritual revelation are now possible. A new revelation is hovering over mankind and the One Who will bring it and implement it is drawing steadily nearer to us. What this great approach will bring to mankind, we do not yet know. It will surely bring us as definite results as did all the earlier revelations and the missions of Those Who came in response to humanity’s earlier demands. The World War has purified mankind. A new heaven and a new earth are on their way. What does the orthodox theologian and churchman mean when he uses the words “a new heaven”? May these words not signify something entirely new and a new conception as to the world of spiritual realities? May not the Coming One bring us a new revelation as to the very nature of God Himself? Do we yet know all that can be known about God? If so, God is very limited. May it not be possible that our present ideas of God, as the Universal Mind, as Love and as Will may be enriched by some new idea or quality for which we have as yet no name or word, and of which we have no slightest understanding. Each of the three present concepts of divinity – of the Trinity – were entirely new when first sequentially presented to the mind or consciousness of man.

For some years now the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet has been drawing nearer to humanity and its approach is responsible for the great concepts of freedom which are so close to the hearts of men everywhere. The dream of brotherhood, of fellowship, of world cooperation and of a peace, based on right human relations, is becoming clearer in our minds. We are also visioning a new and vital world religion, a universal faith which will have its roots in the past, but which will make clear the new dawning beauty and the coming vital revelation.

Of one thing we can be sure, this approach will, in some way – deeply spiritual, yet wholly factual – prove the truth of the immanence of God. The churches have emphasized and exploited the extra-territoriality of Deity and have posited the presence of a God Who is creating, sustaining and creatively active, but at the same time outside His Creation – an inscrutable onlooker. This type of transcendent Creator must be shown to be false and this doctrine must be countered by the manifestation of God in man, the hope of glory. It is this surely that the expected Approach will demonstrate; it will prove also the close relationship between God Transcendent and that in “Him we live and move and have our being,” because, “having pervaded this entire Universe with a fragment of Himself, He remains.” God is immanent in the forms of all created things; the glory which shall be revealed is the expression of that innate divinity in all its attributes and aspects, its qualities and powers, through the medium of humanity.

On the fact of God and of man’s relation to the divine, on the fact of immortality and of the continuity of divine revelation, and upon the fact of the constant emergence of Messengers from the divine center, the new world religion will be based. To these facts must be added man’s assured, instinctive knowledge of the existence of the Path to God and of his ability to tread it, when the evolutionary process has brought him to the point of a fresh orientation to divinity and to the acceptance of the fact of God Transcendent and of God Immanent within every form of life.

These are the foundational truths upon which the world religion of the future will rest. Its keynote will be Divine Approach. “Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you” (James IV, 8.) is the great injunction, emanating in new and clear tones from Christ and the spiritual Hierarchy at this time.

—————————————-

Excerpted from “The Reappearance of the Christ – Chapter VI – The New World Religion”

By Alice Bailey & Djwhal Kuhl

Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta

This is about the birth of Siddartha Gautama…partially in his own words…

Majjhima Nikaya 123

Acchariya-abbhuta Sutta

Discours sur le merveilleux et l’extraordinaire

Ainsi l’ai-je entendu:

Une fois le Béni du Ciel résidait au monastère du Jetavana d’Anathapindika à Sâvatthi. A cette occasion, la conversation suivante surgit entre les nombreux bhikkhus qui avaient reçu leur aumône de nourriture, avaient quitté l’endroit (des repas) et s’étaient assemblés dans la salle de réunion:

«Amis! Quelle merveille! Et, effectivement, qu’il sont extraordinaires, amis, le pouvoir et la grandeur du Tathagâta! Même par rapport aux bouddhas du passé qui avaient réalisé le Nibbâna, qui avaient retranché les facteurs qui prolongent le samsâra (1), qui avaient retranché la ronde des existences, qui avaient mis fin à la ronde des existences, qui avaient surmonté tout dukkha, le Tathagâta peut réfléchir et connaître ainsi: ‘Ces Bienheureux appartenaient à telle et telle castes; ces Bienheureux sur les connaissait par tel ou tel nom: ces Bienheureux ils étaient nés dans tel et tel clan; cces Bhagavas étaient dotés de telle et telle moralité; ces Bienheureux étaient dotés de telle et telle concentration; (2) ces Bienheureux étaient dotés de telle et telle sagesse (pañña); ces Bienheureux soulaient demeurer de telle façon (restant dans la réalisation soutenue de la cessation de la conscience); ces Bienheureux étaient dotés de telle et telle sorte d’émancipation (vimutti) (3). Lorsque ceci fut dit, le vénérable Ânanda parla ainsi à ces bhikkhus:

The Buddhist Catechism, by Henry S. Olcott

106. Q. What is the meaning of the word Buddha?

A. The enlightened, or he who has the perfect wisdom.

107. Q. You have said that there were other Buddhas: before this one.

A. Yes; our belief is that, under the operation of eternal causation, a Buddha takes birth at intervals, when mankind have become plunged into misery through ignorance and need the wisdom which it is the function of a Buddha to teach (See also Q. 11).

108. Q. How is a Buddha developed?

A. A person, hearing and seeing one of the Buddhas on earth, becomes seized with the determination to so live that at some future time, when he shall become-fitted for it, he also will be a Buddha for the guiding-of mankind out of the cycle of re-birth.

109. Q. How does he proceed?

A. Throughout that birth and every succeeding one, he strives to subdue his passions, to gain wisdom by experience, and to develop his higher faculties. He thus grows by degrees wiser, nobler in character, and stronger in virtue, until, finally, after numberless rebirths he reaches the state when he can become Perfected, Enlightened, All-wise, the ideal Teacher of the human race.

110. Q. While this gradual development is going on throughout all these births, by what name do we call him?

A. Bodhisat, or Bodhisattva, Thus the Prince Siddhârtha Gautama was a Bodhisattva up to the moment when, under the blessed Bodhi tree at Gaya, he became Buddha.

111. Q. Have we any account of his various rebirths as a Bodhisattva?

A. In the Jâtakatthakathâ, a book containing stories of the Bodhisattva’s re-incarnations, there are several hundred tales of that kind.

113. Q. What lesson do these stories teach?

A. That a man can carry, throughout a long series of re-incarnations, one great, good purpose which enables him to conquer bad tendencies and develop virtuous ones.

113 Q. Can we fix the number of re-incarnations through which a Bodhisattva must pass before he can become a Buddha?

A. Of course not: that depends upon his natural character, the state of development to which he has arrived when he forms the resolution to become a. Buddha, and other things.

114. Q. Have we a way of classifying Bodhisattvas? If so, explain it.

A. Bodhisattvas—the future Buddhas—are divided into three classes.

115. Q. Proceed. How are these three kinds of Bodhisats called?

A. Pannâdhika, or Udghatitagnya—”he who attains least quickly;” Saddhâdhika, or Vipachitagnya—”he who attains less quickly;” and Vîriyâdhika, or Gneyya—”he who attains quickly.” The Pannâdhika Bodhisats take the course of Intelligence; the Saddhâdhika take the course of Faith; the Vîryâdhika take the course of energetic action. The first is guided by Intelligence and does not hasten; the second is full of Faith, and does not care to take the guidance of Wisdom; and the third never delays to do what is good. Regardless of the consequences to himself, he does it when he sees that it is best that it should be done.

116. Q. When our Bodhisattva became Buddha, what did he see was the cause of human misery? Tell me in one word.

A. Ignorance (Avidyâ).

117. Q. Can you tell me the remedy?

A To dispel Ignorance and become wise (Prajña).

118. Q. Why does ignorance cause suffering?

A. Because it makes us prize what is not worth prizing, grieve for what we should not grieve, consider real what is not real but only illusionary, and pass our lives in the pursuit of worthless objects, neglecting what is in reality most valuable.

119. Q. And what is that which is most valuable?

A. To know the whole secret of man’s existence and destiny, so that we may estimate at no more than their actual value this life and its relations; and so that we may live in a way to ensure the greatest happiness and the least suffering for our fellowmen and ourselves.

120. Q. What is the light that can dispel this ignorance of ours and remove all sorrows?

A. The knowledge of the “Four Noble Truths,” as Buddha called them.

121. Q. Name these Four Noble Truths.

A.

1. The miseries of evolutionary existence resulting in births and deaths, life after life.

2. The cause productive of misery, which is the selfish desire, ever renewed, of satisfying one’s self, without being able ever to secure that end.

3. The destruction of that desire, or the estranging of one’s self from it.

4, The means of obtaining this destruction of desire.

122. Q. Tell me some things that cause sorrow.

A. Birth, decay, illness, death, separation from objects we love, association with those who are repugnant, craving for what cannot be obtained.

123. Q. Do these differ with each individual?

A. Yes: but all men suffer from them in degree.

124. Q. How can we escape the sufferings which result from unsatisfied desires and ignorant cravings?

A. By complete conquest over, and destruction of, this eager thirst for life and its pleasures, which causes sorrow.

125. Q. How may we gain such a conquest?

A. By following in the Noble Eight-fold Path which Buddha discovered and pointed out.

126. Q. What do you mean by that word: what is this Noble Eight fold Path? (For Pâlî name see Q. 78).

A. The eight parts of this path are called aṅgas they are:

1. Right Belief (as to the law of Causation, or Karma);

2. Right Thought;

3. Right Speech;

4. Right Action;

5. Right Means of Livelihood;

6. Right Exertion;

7. Right Remembrance and Self-discipline;

8. Right Concentration of Thought.

The man who keeps these aligns in mind and follows them will be free from sorrow and ultimately reach salvation.

127. Q. Can you give a better word for salvation?

A. Yes, emancipation.

128. Q. Emancipation, then, from what?

A. Emancipation from the miseries of earthly existence and of re-births, all of which are due to. ignorance and impure lusts and cravings.

129. Q. And when this salvation or emancipation is attained, what do we reach?

A. Nirvâṇa.

130. Q. What is Nirvâṇa?

A. A condition of total cessation of changes, of perfect rest; of the absence of desire and illusion and sorrow; of the total obliteration of everything that goes to make up the physical man. Before reaching Nirvâṇa man is constantly being re-born: when he reaches Nirvâṇa he is re-born no more.

131. Q. Where can be found a learned discussion of the word Nirvâṇa, and a list of the other names by which the old Pâlî writers attempted to define it?

A. In the famous Dictionary of the Pâlî Language, by the late Mr. R. C. Childers, is a complete list.

132. Q. But some people imagine that Nirvâṇa is some sort of heavenly place, a Paradise. Does Buddhism teach that?

A. No. When Kûtadanta asked the Buddha “Where is Nirvâṇa,” he replied that it was “Wherever the precepts are obeyed.”

133. Q. What causes us to be re-born?

A. The unsatisfied selfish desire (Sk., trishna; Pâlî, tanha) for things that belong to the state of personal existence in the material world. This unquenched thirst for physical existence (bhâva) is a force, and has a creative power in itself so strong that it draws the being back into mundane life.

134. Q. Are our re-births in any way affected by the nature of our unsatisfied desires?

A. Yes; and by our individual merits or demerits.

135. Q. Does our merit or demerit control the state, condition or form in which we shall be re-born?

A. It does. The broad rule is that if we have an excess of merit we shall be well and happily born the next time; if an excess of demerit, our next birth will be wretched and full of suffering.

136. Q. One chief pillar of Buddhistic doctrine is, then, the idea that every effect is the result of an actual cause, is it not?

A. It is; of a cause either immediate or remote.

137. Q. What do we call this causation?

A. Applied to individuals, it is Karma, that is, action. It means that our own actions or deeds bring upon us whatever of joy or misery we experience.

138. Q. Can a bad man escape from the out-workings of his Karma?

A. The Dhammapada says: “There exists no spot on the earth, or in the sky, or in the sea, neither is there any in the mountain-clefts, where an (evil) deed does not bring trouble (to the doer).”

139. Q. Can a good man escape?

A. As the result of deeds of peculiar merit, a man may attain certain advantages of place, body, environment and teaching in his next stage of progress, which ward off the effects of bad Karma and help his higher evolution.

140.   What are they called?

A. Gati Sampatti, Upâdhi Sampatti, Kâla Sampatti and Payoga Sampatti.

141. Q. Is that consistent or inconsistent with common sense and the teachings of modern science?

A. Perfectly consistent: there can be no doubt of it.

142. Q. May all men become Buddhas?

A. It is not in the nature of every man to become a Buddha; for a Buddha is developed only at long intervals of time, and seemingly, when the state of humanity absolutely requires such a teacher to show it the forgotten Path to Nirvâṇa. But every being may equally reach Nirvâṇa, by conquering Ignorance and: gaining Wisdom.

143. Q. Does Buddhism teach that man is re-born, only upon our earth?

A. As a general rule that would be the case, until he had evolved beyond its level; but the inhabited worlds are numberless. The world upon which a person is to have his next birth, as well as the nature of the re-birth itself, is decided by the preponderance-of the individual’s merit or demerit. In other words, it will be controlled by his attractions, as science would describe it; or by his Karma, as we, Buddhists, would say.

144. Q. Are there worlds more perfect and developed, and others less so than our Earth?

A. Buddhism teaches that there are whole Sakwalas or systems of worlds, of various kinds, higher: and lower, and also that the inhabitants of each world correspond in development with itself.

145. Q. Has not the Buddha summed up his whole doctrine in one gâthâ, or verse?

146 A. Yes.

146. Q. Repeat it.

A.Sabba pâpassa akaranam
Kusalassa upasampadâ
Sachita pariyo dapanam—
Etam Buddhânusâsanam:

“To cease from all evil actions,
To generate all that is good,
To cleanse one’s mind:
This is the constant advice of the Buddhas.”

Chunda, The Smith

Excerpted from “Buddha the Gospel ” by Paul Carus.

THE Blessed One went to Pava. When Chunda, the worker in metals, heard that the Blessed One had come to Pava and was staying in his mango grove, he came to the Buddha and respectfully invited him and the brethren to take their meal at his house. And Chunda prepared rice-cakes and a dish of dried boar’s meat.

When the Blessed One had eaten the food prepared by Chunda, the worker in metals, there fell upon him a dire sickness, and sharp pain came upon him even unto death. But the Blessed One, mindful and self-possessed, bore it without complaint. And the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda, and said: “Come, Ananda, let us go on to Kusinara.”

On his way the Blessed One grew tired, and he went aside from the road to rest at the foot of a tree, and said: “Fold the robe, I pray thee, Ananda, and spread it out for me. I am weary, Ananda, and must rest awhile!” “Be it so, Lord!” said the venerable Ananda; and he spread out the robe folded fourfold. The Blessed One seated himself, and when he was seated he addressed the venerable Ananda, and said: “Fetch me some water, I pray thee, Ananda. I am thirsty, Ananda, and would drink.”

When he had thus spoken, the venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One: “But just now, Lord, five hundred carts have gone across the brook and have stirred the water; but a river, O Lord, is not far off. Its water is clear and pleasant, cool and transparent, and it is easy to get down to it. the Blessed One may both drink water and cool his limbs.”

A second time the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda, saying: “Fetch me some water, I pray thee, Ananda, I am thirsty, Ananda, and would drink.”

And a second time the venerable Ananda said: “Let us go to the river.”

Then the third time the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda, and said: “Fetch me some water, I pray thee, Ananda, I am thirsty, Ananda and would drink.” “Be it so, Lord!” said the venerable Ananda in assent to the Blessed One; and, taking a bowl, he went down to the streamlet. And lo! the streamlet, which, stirred up by wheels, had become muddy, when the venerable Ananda came up to it, flowed clear and bright and free from all turbidity. And he thought: “How wonderful, how marvelous is the great might and power of the Tathagata!”

Ananda brought the water in the bowl to the Lord, saying: “Let the Blessed One take the bowl. Let the Happy One drink the water. Let the Teacher of men and gods quench his thirst. Then the Blessed One drank of the water.

Now, at that time a man of low caste, named Pukkusa, a young Malla, a disciple of Alara Kalama, was passing along the high road from Kusinara to Pava. Pukkusa, the young Malla, saw the Blessed One seated at the foot of a tree. On seeing him he went up to the place where the Blessed One was, and when he had come there, he saluted the Blessed One and took his seat respectfully on one side. Then the Blessed One instructed, edified, and gladdened Kukkusa, the young Malla, with religious discourse.

Aroused and gladdened by the words of the Blessed One, Pukkusa, the young Malla, addressed a certain man who happened to pass by, and said: “Fetch me, I pray thee, my good man, two robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear.”

“Be it so, sir!” said that man in assent to Pukkusa, the young Malla; and he brought two robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear.

The Malla Pukkusa presented the two robes of cloth of gold, burnished and ready for wear, to the Blessed One, saying: “Lord, these two robes of burnished cloth of gold are ready for wear. May the Blessed One show me favor and accept them at my hands!”

The Blessed One said: “Pukkusa, robe me in one, and Ananda in the other one.” And the Tathagata’s body appeared shining like a flame, and he was beautiful above all expression.

The venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One: “How wonderful a thing is it, Lord, and how marvelous, that the color of the skin of the Blessed One should be so clear, so exceedingly bright! When I placed this robe of burnished cloth of gold on the body of the Blessed One, lo! it seemed as if it had lost its splendor!”

The Blessed One said: “There are two occasions on which a Tathagata’s appearance becomes clear and exceeding bright. In the night, Ananda, in which a Tathagata attains to the supreme and perfect insight, and in the night in which he passes finally away in that utter passing away which leaves nothing whatever of his earthly existence to remain.

And the Blessed One addressed the venerable Ananda, and said: “Now it may happen, Ananda, that some one should stir up remorse in Chunda, the smith, by saying: ‘It is evil to thee, Chunda, and loss to thee, that the Tathagata died, having eaten his last meal from thy provision.’ Any such remorse, Ananda, in Chunda, the smith, should be checked by saying: ‘It is good to thee, Chunda, and gain to thee, that the Tathagata died, having eaten his last meal from thy provision. From the very mouth of the Blessed One, O Chunda, have I heard, from his own mouth have I received this saying, “These two offerings of food are of equal fruit and of much greater profit than any other: the offerings of food which a Tathagata accepts when he has attained perfect enlightenment and when he passes away by the utter passing away in which nothing whatever of his earthly existence remains behind-these two offerings of food are of equal fruit and of equal profit, and of much greater fruit and much greater profit than any other. There has been laid up by Chunda, the smith, a karma redounding to length of life, redounding to good birth, redounding to good fortune, redounding to good fame, redounding to the inheritance of heaven and of great power.”‘ In this way, Ananda, should be checked any remorse in Chunda, the smith.”

Then the Blessed One, perceiving that death was near, uttered these words: “He who gives away shall have real gain. He who subdues himself shall be free, he shall cease to be a slave of passions. The righteous man casts off evil; and by rooting out lust, bitterness, and illusion, do we reach Nirvana.”

Buddha Twirls a Flower

When Buddha was in Grdhrakuta mountain he turned a flower in his fingers and held it before his listeners. Every one was silent. Only Maha-Kashapa smiled at this revelation, although he tried to control the lines of his face.

Buddha said: “I have the eye of the true teaching, the heart of Nirvana, the true aspect of non-form, and the ineffable stride of Dharma. It is not expressed by words, but especially transmitted beyond teaching. This teaching I have given to Maha-Kashapa.”

    Mumon’s comment: Golden-faced Gautama thought he could cheat anyone. He made the good listeners as bad, and sold dog meat under the sign of mutton. And he himself thought it was wonderful. What if all the audience had laughed together? How could he have transmitted the teaching? And again, if Maha-Kashapa had not smiled, how could he have transmitted the teaching? If he says that realization can be transmitted, he is like the city slicker that cheats the country dub, and if he says it cannot be transmitted, why does he approve of Maha-Kashapa?

 

        At the turning of a flower

        His disguise was exposed.

        No one in heaven or earth can surpass

        Maha-Kashapa’s wrinkled face.

THE JEALOUSY OF DEVADATTA

WHEN Devadatta, the son of Suprabuddha and a brother of Yasodhara, became a disciple, he cherished the hope of attaining the same distinctions and honors as Gotama Siddhattha. Being disappointed in his ambitions, he conceived in his heart a jealous hatred, and, attempting to excel the Perfect One in virtue, he found fault with his regulations and reproved them as too lenient.

Devadatta went to Rajagaha and gained the ear of Ajatasattu, the son of King Bimbisara. And Ajatasattu built a new vihara for Devadatta, and founded a sect whose disciples were pledged to severe rules and self-mortification.

Soon afterwards the Blessed One himself came to Rajagaha and stayed at the Veluvana vihara. Devadatta called on the Blessed One, requesting him to sanction his rules of greater stringency, by which a greater holiness might be procured. “The body,” he said, consists of its thirty-two parts and has no divine attributes. It is conceived in sin and born in corruption. Its attributes are liability to pain and dissolution, for it is impermanent. It is the receptacle of karma which is the curse of our former existences; it is the dwelling place of sin and diseases and its organs constantly discharge disgusting secretions. Its end is death and its goal the charnel house. Such being the condition of the body it behooves us to treat it as a carcass full of abomination and to clothe it in such rags only as have been gathered in cemeteries or upon dung-hills.”

The Blessed One said: “Truly, the body is full of impurity and its end is the charnel house, for it is impermanent and destined to be dissolved into its elements. But being the receptacle of karma, it lies in our power to make it a vessel of truth and not of evil. It is not good to indulge in the pleasures of the body, but neither is it good to neglect our bodily needs and to heap filth upon impurities. The lamp that is not cleansed and not filled with oil will be extinguished, and a body that is unkempt, unwashed, and weakened by penance will not be a fit receptacle for the light of truth. Attend to your body and its needs as you would treat a wound which you care for without loving it. Severe rules will not lead the disciples on the middle path which I have taught. Certainly, no one can be prevented from keeping more stringent rules, if he sees fit to do so but they should not be imposed upon any one, for they are unnecessary.”

Thus the Tathagata refused Devadatta’s proposal; and Devadatta left the Buddha and went into the vihara speaking evil of the Lord’s path of salvation as too lenient and altogether insufficient. When the Blessed One heard of Devadatta’s intrigues, he said: “Among men there is no one who is not blamed. People blame him who sits silent and him who speaks, they also blame the man who preaches the middle path.”

Devadatta instigated Ajatasattu to plot against his father Bimbisara, the king, so that the prince would no longer be subject to him. Bimbisara was imprisoned by his son in a tower, where he died, leaving the kingdom of Magadha to his son Ajatasattu.

The new king listened to the evil advice of Devadatta, and he gave orders to take the life of the Tathagata. However, the murderers sent out to kill the Lord could not perform their wicked deed, and became converted as soon as they saw him and listened to his preaching. The rock hurled down from a precipice upon the great Master split in twain, and the two pieces passed by on either side without doing any harm. Nalagiri, the wild elephant let loose to destroy the Lord, became gentle in his presence; and Ajatasattu, suffering greatly from the pangs of his conscience, went to the Blessed One and sought peace in his distress.

The Blessed One received Ajatasattu kindly and taught him the way of salvation; but Devadatta still tried to become the founder of a religious school of his own. Devadatta did not succeed in his plans and having been abandoned by many of his disciples, he fell sick, and then repented. He entreated those who had remained with him to carry his litter to the Buddha, saying: “Take me, children, take me to him; though I have done evil to him, I am his brother-in-law. For the sake of our relationship the Buddha will save me.” And they obeyed, although reluctantly.

And Devadatta in his impatience to see the Blessed One rose from his litter while his carriers were washing their hands. But his feet burned under him; he sank to the ground; and, having chanted a hymn on the Buddha, died.


BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL

By Paul Carus

Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,

[1894]

Windy Day “Haiku”

Storm Bella is passing by and I am reminded of another Windy Day

———————————————————-

Christmas lights tap

the bedroom window

with a breezy urgency

 

wet weather gear on

many layers in an onion,

the fresh smell of rain

 

two rivers on a road

brown muddy streams

they carry the stuff of dreams

 

the pylons play

their Aeolian harps

while consulting oracles

 

soft leafy carpets

so tender underfoot

hush the urgency out the world

 

the tenacious mud sucks

at the soles of boots

what a squelch!

 

white wool on a fence

a startled deer runs!

Tufty, the rain-deer

 

a squall blows water

into the hair

better than any shampoo

 

ruddy cheeks glow

now fresher than any mint

a hot soothing bath

 

Nature is Buddha

and it is we who sleep

or, do we?

 

the taste of rain

lingers on the tongue,

a drop of eternity

 

I love the rain

its water cleanses

a superlative most superb.


Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) (1951 – 2 May, 1998) was a British witch, the eldest daughter of Cygnus and Druella Black, cousin of Regulus and Sirius Black, and the elder sister of Andromeda Tonks and Narcissa Malfoy. She was a member of the House of Black, an old wizarding family and one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight. Bellatrix started her education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the early sixties (either 1962 or 1963), and was Sorted into Slytherin House.

THE BODHISATTVAS RENUNCIATION

IT was night. The prince found no rest on his soft pillow; he arose and went out into the garden. “Alas!” he cried “all the world is full of darkness and ignorance; there is no one who knows how to cure the ills of existence.” And he groaned with pain.

Siddhattha sat down beneath the great jambu-tree and gave himself to thought, pondering on life and death and the evils of decay. Concentrating his mind he became free from confusion. All low desires vanished from his heart and perfect tranquility came over him.

In this state of ecstasy he saw with his mental eye all the misery and sorrow of the world; he saw the pains of pleasure and the inevitable certainty of death that hovers over every being; yet men are not awakened to the truth. And a deep compassion seized his heart.

While the prince was pondering on the problem of evil, he beheld with his mind’s eye under the jambu tree a lofty figure endowed with majesty, calm and dignified. “Whence comest thou, and who mayst thou be asked the prince.

In reply the vision said: “I am a samana. Troubled at the thought of old age, disease, and death I have left my home to seek the path of salvation. All things hasten to decay; only the truth abideth forever. Everything changes, and there is no permanency; yet the words of the Buddhas are immutable. I long for the happiness that does not decay; the treasure that will never perish; the life that knows of no beginning and no end. Therefore, I have destroyed all worldly thought. I have retired into an unfrequented dell to live in solitude; and, begging for food, I devote myself to the one thing needful.

Siddhattha asked: “Can peace be gained in this world of unrest? I am struck with the emptiness of pleasure and have become disgusted with lust. All oppresses me, and existence itself seems intolerable.”

The samana replied: “Where heat is, there is also a possibility of cold; creatures subject to pain possess the faculty of pleasure; the origin of evil indicates that good can be developed. For these things are correlatives. Thus where there is much suffering, there will be much bliss, if thou but open thine eyes to behold it. Just as a man who has fallen into a heap of filth ought to seek the great pond of water covered with lotuses, which is near by: even so seek thou for the great deathless lake of Nirvana to wash off the defilement of wrong. If the lake is not sought, it is not the fault of the lake. Even so when there is a blessed road leading the man held fast by wrong to the salvation of Nirvana, if the road is not walked upon, it is not the fault of the road, but of the person. And when a man who is oppressed with sickness, there being a physician who can heal him, does not avail himself of the physician’s help, that is not the fault of the physician. Even so when a man oppressed by the malady of wrong-doing does not seek the spiritual guide of enlightenment, that is no fault of the evil-destroying guide.”

The prince listened to the noble words of his visitor and said: “Thou bringest good tidings, for now I know that my purpose will be accomplished. My father advises me to enjoy life and to undertake worldly duties, such as will bring honor to me and to our house. He tells me that I am too young still, that my pulse beats too full to lead a religious life.”

The venerable figure shook his head and replied: “Thou shouldst know that for seeking a religious life no time can be inopportune.”

A thrill of joy passed through Siddhattha’s heart. “Now is the time to seek religion,” he said; “now is the time to sever all ties that would prevent me from attaining perfect enlightenment; now is the time to wander into homelessness and, leading a mendicant’s life, to find the path of deliverance.”

The celestial messenger heard the resolution of Siddhattha with approval. “Now, indeed he added, is the time to seek religion. Go, Siddhattha, and accomplish thy purpose. For thou art Bodhisatta, the Buddha-elect; thou art destined to enlighten the world. Thou art the Tathagata, the great master, for thou wilt fulfill all righteousness and be Dharmaraja, the king of truth. Thou art Bhagavat, the Blessed One, for thou art called upon to become the savior and redeemer of the world. Fulfill thou the perfection of truth. Though the thunderbolt descend upon thy head, yield thou never to the allurements that beguile men from the path of truth. As the sun at all seasons pursues his own course, nor ever goes on another, even so if thou forsake not the straight path of righteousness, thou shalt become a Buddha. Persevere in thy quest and thou shalt find what thou seekest. Pursue thy aim unswervingly and thou shalt gain the prize. Struggle earnestly and thou shalt conquer. The benediction of all deities, of all saints of all that seek light is upon thee, and heavenly wisdom guides thy steps. Thou shalt be the Buddha, our Master, and our Lord; thou shalt enlighten the world and save mankind from perdition.

Having thus spoken, the vision vanished, and Siddhattha’s heart was filled with peace. He said to himself: “I have awakened to the truth and I am resolved to accomplish my purpose. I will sever all the ties that bind me to the world, and I will go out from my home to seek the way of salvation. The Buddhas are beings whose words cannot fail: there is no departure from truth in their speech. For as the fall of a stone thrown into the air, as the death of a mortal, as the sunrise at dawn, as the lion’s roar when he leaves his lair, as the delivery of a woman with child, as all these things are sure and certain-even so the word of the Buddhas is sure and cannot fail. Verily I shall become a Buddha.”

The prince returned to the bedroom of his wife to take a last farewell glance at those whom he dearly loved above all the treasures of the earth. He longed to take the infant once more into his arms and kiss him with a parting kiss. But the child lay in the arms of his mother, and the prince could not lift him without awakening both. There Siddhattha stood gazing at his beautiful wife and his beloved son, and his heart grieved. The pain of parting overcame him powerfully. Although his mind was determined, so that nothing, be it good or evil, could shake his resolution, the tears flowed freely from his eyes, and it was beyond his power to check their stream. But the prince tore himself away with a manly heart, suppressing his feelings but not extinguishing his memory.

The Bodhisattva mounted his noble steed Kanthaka, and when he left the palace, Mara stood in the gate and stopped him: “Depart not, O my Lord,” exclaimed Mara. “In seven days from now the wheel of empire will appear, and will make thee sovereign over the four continents and the two thousand adjacent islands. Therefore, stay, my Lord.”

The Bodhisattva replied: “Well do I know that the wheel of empire will appear to me; but it is not sovereignty that I desire. I will become a Buddha and make all the world shout for joy.”

Thus Siddhattha, the prince, renounced power and worldly pleasures, gave up his kingdom, severed all ties, and went into homelessness. He rode out into the silent night, accompanied only by his faithful charioteer Channa. Darkness lay upon the earth, but the stars shone brightly in the heavens.

 

excerpted from:

BUDDHA, THE GOSPEL

By Paul Carus

Chicago, The Open Court Publishing Company,

[1894]

River-Buddha-Key Dream 24-11-19

This morning I woke up at 5am and got up for some coffee. I was contemplating that some people are very intractable and insistent. I had the visual image of two armies entrenched as per the first world war. It was an image that portrayed the utter futility which human beings are capable of, they dig in and fire at each other. I went back to bed just before 7am and had this dream.

The dream starts here in Brittany. I get in my car and drive onto the quatre voies heading south. I take the first exit which leads up a hill to vast expanse of pristine tarmac. I get out of my car on my crutches and walk around the tarmac which I understand to be a car park for busses. It has only just been built and is entirely empty. I am at one edge of the tarmac and I can see a path leading off into a housing estate of sorts. At the other side of the car park a group of men appear with large dogs. They are heading towards me. I decide that I had better take the path, which I do.

The men are mildly threatening and one of the dogs is let off the leash. I am now part of the way down the path, the dog catches up with me and instead of growling it is playful and happy. It is a kind of Labrador based mongrel and is extremely friendly towards me. When the men see this, they relax and pass me saying “bonjour”. I carry on along the path and come to a crossroads of paths. There two men there say to me that I should take the path to the right, but I know I must take the path to the left because it heads towards the river. If I follow the river it will lead me home.

I follow the left path through the housing estate which is made of small stone cottages with tiny but immaculate gardens. The path leads me down some steps to a paved path next to the river which is flowing gently. I follow the river upstream. Soon the path is blocked by a school. I decide to walk through the school to find the path which I can see leads away on the other side. I enter the school and am at first nervous because schools don’t like strange men walking in off the street. Inside I can see that it is a school partially dedicated to the handicapped, so being on crutches is OK there are provisions for wheelchairs.

Inside the school hall everyone is sat down for Christmas lunch. There are Christmas decorations and the staff and students are jolly and eating. I approach the head teacher who is at a table with some disabled students, one with Polio callipers and another young girl who has the exact same crutches as I do. They are speaking in Welsh accents and somehow, I am now in Wales and I know the river very well. I say to the head teacher that I am following the river and have taken the short cut through the school. I motion towards the door leading from the school hall which leads out onto the path. The door is chained shut and has a padlock. I ask If she might open it. She searches everywhere on her person for the key.  The little girl say that “Mavis” has the key and that she is in the office. She points me in the general direction.

On the way to the office I come across a quiet secluded waiting area with chairs. I sit down and begin to meditate. I generate a visual image of a Thai style seated golden buddha which is very shiny and complete with aura. I hold the image in my mind and then let it permeate me. I then project this thought form via my ajna centre into the minds of people from my past. Again, and again I pulse out this thought form. Next, I generate a golden reclining buddha. In the dream I lie on the floor and let this permeate. I then project this reclining image as before. 

I then get up and go to them office, where I find “Mavis”. She is a tall, young welsh woman with dark hair and her identity badge on a lanyard. Around her neck is string with a bunch of keys. I explain the situation to her, and she is very chatty and welcoming. We progress to the hall and to the door. She goes to open the padlock. It is now open. She is somewhat surprised that it did not need to be unlocked. She pushes open the doors and I go out onto the path. I say goodbye and the girl with the crutches waves at me.

The path along the river is now wet and it is starting to snow, which makes the scene more Christmas like. I continue along the river taking extra care with my steps on the snowy path. Around me the world is busy Christmas shopping, but I am focussed solely on the river path.

 

The dream ends.