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Raoul’s Two Cents: May 31, 2024

Balancing World Views

I watched a short video of a Buddhist monk explaining the cycle of success and failure. At the outset it sounded so accurate and profound but something bothered me. It was missing something.

The monk said that there is a perpetual balance. The sun goes up, the sun goes down. We inhale 50% of the time and we exhale the other 50% of the time. Our heart sucks in the blood 50% of the time and releases the blood 50% of the time. It’s always 50/50. There is ALWAYS the exchange — up and down, right and left, bright and dark, in and out, success and failure. It’s about giving and receiving. It’s about relaxing and doing. It’s about constant change. Exchange coming from the word “change” means there is a transformation.

What I realized is the difference of world views. (Yup! Here we go again with world views.) His world view reminds me of life in an ecosphere. Everything is self-contained and goes in a cycle: the plant is eaten by the animal, the animal poops, the poop feeds the plant — hakuna matata! Everything is balanced. Perhaps this explains why Buddhist monks (at least the stereotypes that I know) rarely show much emotion. They live a life of constant meditation that leads to contentment. Even keeled Mr. Spock would have made an excellent Buddhist. Have you ever heard of a Buddhist standup comedian? A Buddhist drama queen? Neither have I.

So I ask myself, how do you explain miracles? Where is the exuberant joy of receiving a gift or a blessing that keeps on giving? How do you account for a mother’s love that has no bounds? Life is full of spikes that spill out of the balance scales. How do you explain that?

Something about world views — two people may look at the same situation but their difference in attitude determines their joy in life. Life is either half empty or half full. Life is confined or life shatters the glass ceiling. It’s Eeyore vs. Tigger.

The Christian world view is so different. Christians are supposed to give and not expect anything in return. We make mistakes but through Christ, we enjoy grace and blessings we do not deserve. And we are supposed to extend grace as well — we are to forgive and not expect an apology. We love with no limits. As a friend who studied Buddhism told me — “In Buddhist literature, the absence of love is striking.” Yeah, yeah, most of us struggle to do these thankless good deeds but that’s our goal because Jesus told us to follow his example. Instead of meditation we pray and strive for attainment. The best among us never reach perfection but the beautiful adventure is towards the maturity of our faith. We are encouraged to climb that mountain of faith because there is a hope of an indescribable heavenly final destination.

I admit I’m no expert when it comes to Buddhism but these are just my simple observations and I welcome your corrections. Did I miss something?

Again. this is just me. TGIF people!

Raoul


“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.” — Jim Lovell

“From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It’s not a miracle; we just decided to go.” – Jim Lovell

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” — Isaiah 40:31

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre

Original art by Raoul Pascual.

Parting Shots

Thanks to Benny of Chicago

Thanks to Bob of Placentia, CA

Thanks to Thomas of Australia

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Drew of Anaheim, CA

I found these:

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with this.

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2 Comments

  1. Tom of Pasadena

    May 31, 2024 at 8:23 am

    Great Issue Raoul! Loved your comments on the contrast between Christian and Buddhist Philosophy. I went to a Religious Convention where a Buddhist spoke and it was very interesting. Someone asked if He believed in God and His response was,” Let me reflect first on a field of wheat being blown by a breeze, do not disturb me and in time I will give you my answer”. This response floored those in attendance and caused quite a stir.
    The beliefs in different parts of the World are fascinating but I really like what Jesus did , His Life and Teachings . The World would be better if we all followed
    His Scriptures and Example.

    Tom of Pasadena

    Reply

  2. Heather

    May 31, 2024 at 8:24 am

    And then there are people who live their lives and those who we are lucky to cross paths with and some of them make it look so easy! Those people give of themselves and do not look for anything in return and are joyful and count their blessings.

    All of humanity has and is going through some crazy times. You’re fortunate if you intersect with people who just keep on going and are grateful for their many blessings and give of themselves and look for nothing in return.

    I start each day with gratitude and take joy in each day and love walking up to my front door at the end of my day.

    Reply

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