Postmodern Dialogue with Thailand

 

Maitriyana: Spiritual Challenge to Modern World

The Maitriyana is a spiritual movement that teaches people how to purify life, by liberating the human being from greed and attachment to material wealth. Thus the Buddhist Socialism defies modern capitalist culture, proposing a social, economic and political model based on the vision of the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) as a correct way to overcome the impurities of contemporary civilization. The spiritual master offers a practice of revolutionary transformation that is the libertarian meditation, not resorting to any intellectual bias because it rather transmits compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) in order to eradicate ignorance of humanity. This requires interpreting the Analytical Existential Libertarian Discourse (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha) as a spirituality that reaches the Truth, liberating the subject from misery through the ethics of Detachment. Thus, the practice of revolutionary contemplation (kakumeizen) aims to purify and transform the inner world in order to be a force of Awakening (Bodhi) in the external world, by uncovering the noblest possibilities of the apprentice. But this Cure (Nirvana) from alienation is really a new lifestyle, rather than being a special moment that is reached in a certain time. Thus the Maitriyana has the motivation of being a source of hope for everyone, by showing how the teachings of the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) can be applied to achieve a Pure Earth or Kingdom of Righteousness in this life.

In the capitalist civilization the people is oppressed by a lifestyle of selfishness, dualism and consumerism, which implies that the ordinary subject considers to the mundane possessions as the maximum achievement of existence. Even the traditional education does not help to question these social values, since it manifests that success means being an intellectual one and having power or money. Instead, the Buddhist Socialism is aware that the most important thing in life is achieving true happiness which is the peak knowledge (satori) that liberates the apprentince from the suffering generated by the continuous pursuit of material satisfaction. However, the spiritual master is not against wealth, rather being critical when the material greed is the only thing present in the subject. Therefore, the Maitriyana seeks to embrace the totality of happiness: material satisfaction together with Spiritual Awakening (Bodhi) for all beings.[1] Since the capitalist civilization converts the people of materialistic culture into a slave, the Buddhist Socialism shows to the apprentice he must be responsible for his decisions and choices, by being detached from the mundane guidelines that lead to dissatisfaction and deep misery. Therefore, the Maitriyana does not only have a metapsychological therapy, but it also provides a social and global therapy to achieve the Cure (Nirvana) from the suffering caused by contemporary culture. By boosting the Liberation of humanity through a lifestyle empty from oppression and full of true happiness, the vision of Buddhist Socialism is a genuine pathway for the Salvation of the world. Definitively, the teaching of the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) provides a possible solution so that the whole humanity can overcome the evils of capitalist civilization, by practicing libertarian meditation as a form of Awakening (Bodhi) facing the enormous problems of the contemporary  culture, economy and politics. But at the same time that it is presented a challenge to the modern era, the vision of Maitriyana is also a reinterpretation of Spirituality.

During 2600 years the Buddhist Spirituality has been a revolutionary force in many countries, by transmitting a Way of Life related to the metapsychology, metaphilosophy and metapolitics, which implies that it has also influenced the various fields of medicine, science, art and religion. Thus the spiritual master cooperates enormously with society by showing an exemplary life that benefits both himself and the whole of the people, since it provides ethical guidance facing the dilemmas of existence and contributes to world harmony and peace.

The Buddhist Socialism is a pathway of Maitriyana with a Purpose (Dharma) of ethically influencing the world, by devoting its existence to serve the mission of the Awakened One (Buddha).[2] Consequently, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) does not impart formal or traditional education for considering this source of knowledge as something useless for the Cure (Nirvana) from the evils of world, tending to prefer establishing schools in rural or forested areas in order to protect the compassionate wisdom (prajna-karuna) and provide the Liberation to the people through a humble lifestyle. In this way, in accordance with Master Buddhadasa, the Buddhist Socialism establishes three vows of Engaged Spirituality: first, teaching the principles of Spirituality so that everyone reachs Liberation;  second, creating an ecumenical dialogue between all religions; third, achieving detachment of human being facing the materialistic tyranny in order to establish a Pure Earth.[3] These vows of Maitriyana are an attempt to restore a Pure and Integrating Buddhism (Purnayana) able to benefit everyone, freeing the peoples from the shackles of selfishness, dualism and consumerism. This implies that Buddhist Socialism harmonizes and reinterprets the essential principles of the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, showing that the Awakening (Bodhi) of society can be achieved in the here and now through a practice of revolutionary contemplation (kakumeizen) which transforms the daily life into a healthy life.

The spiritual master is a figure that is positioned as one of the most important reformers in history, transmitting a libertarian tradition that goes beyond the intellectualism and the materialistic science. Therefore, the subject is encouraged to practice Mindfulness on the inner and outer world, by experiencing a new way of life. This is based on that, according to the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva), the True Buddhist Spirituality is a practical Way in which impurities of the mind, speech and action are partially or fully faded.[4] Just like the Master Buddhadasa, the Maitriyana reinterprets even the very meaning of Buddhism, which means the Way of the teachings of the Awakened One (Buddha),[5] and not the religion that worships Siddharta Gautama. In this way, the spiritual master considers that Buddhist Spirituality should not follow only to Gautama, but it also should study the teachings of all the Awakened Ones (Buddhas) in the history of the world, who have always known the Truth of existence and they have behaved properly and respectfully towards all beings.[6] In this sense, the Buddhist Socialism develops the right understanding (sammāditthi) and forms part of a higher practical and theoretical framework which is the Analytical Existential Libertarian Discourse (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha), which is centralized by the force of compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) as an essential form of spiritual praxis. Certainly, the Maitriyana follows the Path of Gautama, but it reinterprets the scriptures through a hermeneutic and demythologizing approach very similar to the heterodox technique of Master Buddhadasa, integrating the renunciation of materialistic world with the hope of reaching the Cure (Nirvana) in the here and now. This doctrinary innovation of the Buddhist Socialism is an abandonment of the religious conservative tradition, using the dharmic language (phasa tham) as an innovative method of interpretation and demythologization of the spiritual doctrine. Thus, the hermeneutical innovative reinterpretation conducted by the Maitriyana is deidentified from the ordinary language (phasa khon) of religion to orient the apprentice towards Truth and the Peak Knowledge (Satori) which embodies the dharmic language (phasa tham) of Spirituality.[7] This reinterpretation aims to lead a mutual understanding of the essence of the message of all traditions, which is profoundly beneficial for the contemporary society. In this sense, while Salvation is, according to the ordinary language (phasa khon) of religion, something essentially metaphysical and outside world, instead, according to the dharmic language (phasa tham) of Spirituality it is about the evanescence of suffering and misery in the here and now.[8]

In accordance with Master Buddhadasa, the Buddhist Socialism proposes the pathway of Liberation through wisdom (paññāvimutti) as an appropriate form of Waking up (Bodhi) the peoples of contemporary world. Only this can fade the suffering caused by greed, malice and delusion of the capitalist civilization. But this Cure (Nirvana) can be attained at any time of life provided that the subject becomes a wise one.[9] However, even the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) continue to have problems while he is still alive, because the only thing that changes is that he has liberated himself from the attachment to suffering, responding ethically facing every adverse circumstance which is presented to him. This implies that the spiritual master acts on behalf of the True Nature or Purpose (Dharma), by developing a Way of Libertarian Spirituality that reveals to the people the Suchness (tathatā) or knowing things just as they are (yathābhutanānadassana).[10] However, this apprentice’s access to the Dharmic Truth is not related to the concept of mundane truth, which often changes according to the circumstances of the moment, while the True Purpose (Dharma) never changes.[11] Therefore, according to the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva), everything that exists is imperfect, impermanent and insubstantial, while the trans-existing – which is the Empty Self – is the only thing that remains perennial in the world. In short, according to the spiritual master, the possibility of Awakening (Bodhi) is always present in every subject at a latency mode, reason why the Truth or Purpose (Dharma) is something perennial and immutable.

Just like the teachings of Master Buddhadasa, the Maitriyana searches that the members of the community (sangha) learn the Truth of Existence, which has been widely worked by Siddharta Gautama in his Four Noble Truths (Ariyasacca) and with the Noble Eightfold Path (dukkha-nirodha-gāminī).[12] Thus the Buddhist Socialism is a profound social analysis that shows the reality as it is, transforming the basis of the senses (ayatana-kusalatā) in order to achieve reconciliation with the vacuum (Suñña) or order of nature (idappaccaytā). Upon the foundation of Mindfulness (Satipatthana) the apprentice can practice an intuitive method of Liberation through wisdom (paññāvimutti), which is the supreme guide for humanity to reach true health and happiness. In this sense, the event of the hidden possibilities of Being is the state of the Liberation from attachment, by converting himself into someone who perceives the Real.[13] Just like Master Buddhadasa, the Maitriyana reinterprets the pure doctrine of Buddhist Spirituality by expressing it in the best possible way for the contemporary era so that the peoples act appropriately and respect the nature of reality, since this is the One Way (Ekayana) towards serenity and compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) in the here and now.

Buddhist Socialism is an ethical defiance in the face of capitalist civilization based on selfish, dualistic and consumerist values, which often exploits an attitude of greed for gaining economic and political power. Thus, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) teaches the apprentice to detach himself from the materialistic insatiable thirst for accumulation of money and possessions in order to focus his Attention around the Sense of Purpose (Dharma) of life. Consequently, the Maitriyana shows how to achieve Cure (Nirvana) from the problems that emerge from disorder, confusion and social degeneration.[14] Precisely the school of Buddhist Socialism provides Mindfulness to the suffering of society, seeking the cessation of the main evils of the world which are war, injustice, ignorance and contamination. Thus, the Maitriyana develops universities that teach this kind of peak knowledge (satori) to all humanity, differing from traditional education centred on intellectualism and monetary success. In accordance with Master Buddhadasa, the Buddhist Socialism criticizes the traditional education as incomplete and inefficient because it ignores the most basic issues of life, such as teaching the subject to be a free human being and to reach the evanescence of the suffering caused by the attachment (tanha). However, the spiritual master claims that Desire is completely natural, although it certainly can vary according to individual circumstances, being a real problem when the Desire is associated with materialistic objectives which are self-destructive. In fact, when the Desire is led by the Ego or I, the apprentice often develops serious physical illnesses.[15] Therefore, the enormous repertoire of strategies of Maitriyana aims at the Sublimation (Nirodh) of Desire in order to avoid unnecessary suffering, because the great problems of life that derive from dissatisfaction, impermanence and insubstantiality cannot be avoided or repressed satisfactorily, being rather the true features of the Real. When trying to achieve the Awakening (Bodhi) of all humanity, the vision of the Buddhist Socialism benefits the deep levels of society, by leading it towards the Path of Cure (Nirvana) which is a lifestyle of world peace, social justice peak knowledge (satori) and ecological harmony. Thus, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) is a postmodern subject who demithologizes Spirituality, by providing a perspective adapted to the future of human being, but without losing the Essential Truth or Purpose (Dharma). In the same way as Master Buddhadasa, the Maitriyana reinterprets Spirituality as a pathway towards the transformation of the whole society, fading the current way of life based on ignorance (avijja) for transmitting a wise and compassionate way of life that is no more than the authentic Way of Siddharta Gautama which consists of self-analysis, self-transcendence and self-liberation. Consequently, the libertarian meditation provides to the apprentice the ability to be disidentified from attachment (tanha) to the accumulation of material possessions,  liberating himself from selfishness, dualism and consumerism which characterize the capitalist civilization.[16]

The Buddhist Socialism states that every individual has the hidden potentiality for being spiritually developed, by evolving from an ordinary state of consciousness (OSC) towards a higher and amplified state of consciousness (H-ASC) which is inherent in the holistic mind of the spiritual master and his Path of Serenity-in-the-world. However, according to the doctrine of Maitriyana, there are three different types of human beings in the spiritual realm: the apprentice, the teacher and the master. Unlike the ordinary subject (Puggala) who has mundane goals (Lokiya Dhamma), an incorrect perception (micchaditthi) and attachment to pride, doubt, superstition, lust, ill will, mania, depression, hopelessness and unconsciousness, instead, the apprentice (sekha) is someone who is in a spiritual process to empty himself from these mental contaminations, entering into the current (sotapanna) of the Purpose (Dharma). At the same time, the teacher or instructor is someone who has already done several purifications although his transformation is not complete (Sakadāgāmi), so that he is still exposed to return to old habits. Thus, the transformation process ends in a Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) or spiritual master, who is a subject with a Supramundane Purpose (Lokuttara Dhamma) and a correct perception (Sammāditthi) of Truth. This Libertarian Spirituality of the supramundane state is not about an access to a metaphysical reality, but rather it is the Awakening (Bodhi) or Liberation of the world. When the human being enters into this spiritual state he becomes detached from things, acquiring the mastery of compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) for guiding the whole humanity towards the development and evolution of mind. Indeed, every apprentice has the hidden capacity for the Cure (Nirvana), by developing the spiritual and supra-intellectual potentiality of seeing the Real as it is: unsatisfactory, impermanent and insubstantial. Therefore, like Master Buddhadasa, the Buddhist Socialism suggests that every human being should become a spiritual guide, acquiring peak knowledge (satori) about the phenomenal reality not just to become a Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) but also to work towards the building of a Pure Earth or Kingdom of Righteousness. The metapolitics of Maitriyana is then the statement that the Pathway of the Awakened Being (Buddhayana) is the supreme lifestyle for the entire humanity, by achieving the evanescence of the world evils through the vision and insight of the revolutionary contemplation (kakumeizen). Therefore, the spiritual master brings the ultimate guide to reconcile humanity with its Truth or Purpose (Dharma).

In accordance with the Master Buddhadasa, the Buddhist Socialism reinterprets the Noble Truths of existence, by considering that life is intrinsically unsatisfactory, impermanent and insubstantial, so that the real causes of suffering (Dukkha-Samudaya) are attachment, aversion and unconsciousness that shape the identification with the I or Ego, which is the source of affliction and misery.[17] Thus, attachment and greed are at the very root of frustration and suffering, simultaneously ending in the social field with the form of selfishness, dualism and consumerism. Just like Lacan and the Master Buddhadasa, the Maitriyana considers that the birth of mental illness is caused by the idea of I (je) or Me (moi), which are attachments and identifications with lust, stereotypes, rite and self-representation. Thus, the Evanescence (Nirvana) of suffering and misery is the transformation through the ethics of Detachment from said attachment.[18] From the perspective of Buddhist Socialism the Awakening (Bodhi) is not a supernatural miracle that is reached in a life after death, but rather it is the natural condition of mind, which can be produced in any time of the subject’s life provided that the mind is freed from its filters or illusions (Maya). When the apprentice practices revolutionary contemplation (kakumeizen) he departs from the notion of Ego and consequently becomes a transpersonal force in the world. However, some practitioners are confused and they consider that Liberation is the temporary absence of attachment, when in fact the Pathway of Cure (Nirvanayana) from suffering is the permanent cessation of avidity in the here and now,[19] being something that is developed through the compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) and the emptiness from an I (Anatman) as self-realization of the Truth. In this regard, the Way of Awakening (Bodhiyana) of the True Self is righteousness in vision, thought, speech, action, lifestyle, work, attention and concentration.[20]

The method of Maitriyana is not repressive, but rather it seeks the ethical Sublimation (Nirodh) of Desire, by orienting the life force towards the right understanding or adequate vision of the Real, which emphasizes the Liberation through knowledge (Paññāvimutti). This transintelectual method requires a profound observation, by experiencing a kind of superior and intuitive thinking. The guidance of the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) is then a direct Way towards fulfilling of human potentialities of the Cure (Nirvana) within the contemporary era. In fact, the spiritual master declares that it is possible to overcome suffering through the right perception of the Real (Sammā-diṭṭhi),[21] which is structurally unsatisfactory, impermanent and insubstantial. However, most of humanity has a noxious lifestyle due to their wrong perception of reality, so that their mind produces attachment, aversion and unconsciousness, increasing the selfish greed, dualistic hatred and consumerist delusion. Consequently, the communities are sick for having an inadequate vision of the world, so that the Buddhist Socialism seeks the Liberation of people through the acceptance of traumatic features of the Real, in order to be able to courageously confront the problems suffered by society. But just like Master Buddhadasa, Maitriyana considers that the Awakening (Bodhi) of Truth will only happen when the subject is emptied from any concept of I or Ego, by being capable of achieving compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) in the here and now . Ultimately, there is never an individual who experiences suffering, but rather there is the experience of suffering,[22] showing that the mind is nothing more than an impersonal set of thoughts without a thinker. This understanding of psychic Vacuity allows depersonalizing the everyday life, by deidentifying the apprentice from the ordinary state of consciousness that generates so much harm to others, since the false idea or sense of Ego leads to selfishness, material accumulation and capitalist civilization. However, the Free and Enlightened Being (Arhat-Bodhisattva) states that the Cure (Nirvana) is reached when the mind is liberated from psychological and social masochism.[23]

The Buddhist Socialism postulates notions which are identical to the teachings of Gautama and Buddhadasa, by developing a practice of libertarian meditation in order to achieve the Salvation of all humanity in the contemporary world and not in a possible metaphysical or postmortal existence. In the Maitriyana, the individual is fully responsible for developing the mental skill of compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna), being able to become an Awakened One (Buddha) if he transforms his life into a spiritual practice. Indeed, the libertarian perspective of the Buddhist Socialism does not deviate from the revolutionary core of the teachings of Gautama and Buddhadasa, which are completely suitable for the contemporary world. Thus the spiritual master devotes all his time to build a Pure Earth or Kingdom of Righteousness based on the pillars of peace, justice, education and ecology by teaching at all times that the evolution of human being depends on the compassionate wisdom (karuna-prajna) as a direct Pathway towards Truth, eradicating all the illusions that governments and religions transmit. According to the Analytical Existential Libertarian Discourse (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha), the requirement for Salvation is then the abandonment of attachments, developing a free mind and an awakened society.

 

 

[1] Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness: A Hand Book for Living.

[2] Peter A Jackson, Buddhadāsa: Theravāda Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand.

[3] Piyadee Prasertsom, Challenge of Modern Age to Thai Buddhism: In the View of Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu.

[4] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Handbook for Mankind.

[5] Piyadee Prasertsom, Challenge of Modern Age to Thai Buddhism: In the View of Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu.

[6] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Handbook for Mankind.

[7] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Two Kinds of Language.

[8] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Keys to Natural Truth.

[9] Siddharta Gautama, Anguttara Nikāya.

[10] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Handbook for Mankind.

[11] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Keys to Natural Truth.

[12] Piyadee Prasertsom, Challenge of Modern Age to Thai Buddhism: In the View of Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu.

[13] Siddharta Gautama, Dhammapada.

[14] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Barom tham.

[15] Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living

[16] Piyadee Prasertsom, Challenge of Modern Age to Thai Buddhism: In the View of Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu.

[17] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Handbook for Mankind.

[18] The Book of Analysis: Vibhanga from Abhidhamma Pitaka.

[19] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Handbook for Mankind.

[20] The Book of Analysis: Vibhanga from Abhidhamma Pitaka.

[21] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, A Handbook for a Perfect Form of Ānāpānasati Bhāvanā Meditation.

[22] Gerald Roscoe, The Good Life: Guide to Buddhism for the Westerner.

[23] Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Handbook for Mankind.

 

 

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