Richard: Contrary to popular belief, Buddhists are not
actively pursuing peace-on-earth per se.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘Ultimate
Reality’ in Buddhism is called ‘Parinirvana’ (Complete Nirvana) or the freedom of spirit (by whatever name) brought about by release from
the body. In the Buddhist analysis of the human condition, delusions of egocentricity and their resultant desires bind humans to a continuous
round of rebirths and its consequent ‘dukkha’. It is release from these bonds that constitutes ‘Nirvana’, or the experience of
Enlightenment. ‘Nirvana’ – in Buddhist religious thought and spiritual philosophy – is but the initial goal of the mindfulness
disciplines and practice in that it signifies the transcendent state of freedom achieved by the extinction of desire and of individual
consciousness. That this is only the inaugural objective is very clear to the discerning eye because – while liberation from rebirth does not
imply immediate death and thus release into the ‘Ultimate Reality’ – the physical death of a ‘Perfect One’ (an Arhat or a Buddha)
Thus while the immediate aim of the Buddhist path is release
from the round of phenomenal existence with its inherent suffering by attaining Nirvana (the enlightened state in which the fires of greed,
hatred, and ignorance have been quenched), Nirvana is not to be confused with total annihilation because, after attaining Nirvana, the
enlightened individual will continue to live, burning off any remaining karma until the state of ‘Final Nirvana’ (Parinirvana) is attained
at the moment of physical death. It may be noted that, during the early centuries of Buddhist history, not only were there the three major
pilgrimage centres – the place of Mr. Gotama the Sakyan’s birth at Lumbini, the place of his Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, the Deer Park in
Varanasi where he preached his first sermon – but particularly the village of Kusinara, (or Kushinagara) located in the eastern district of
Deoria, which is the place of his Parinirvana.
Quite obviously, this is a very self-seeking approach to life
on earth ... something that all metaphysical peoples are guilty of. The quest to secure one’s immortality (by whatever name) in some spurious
‘After-Life’ (by whatever name) is unambiguously selfish ... peace-on-earth is readily sacrificed for the supposed continuation of the
imagined spirit (by whatever name) after physical death. So much for their humanitarian ideals of peace, goodness, altruism, philanthropy and
humaneness. All religious and spiritual and mystical quests amount to nothing more than a self-centred urge to perpetuate oneself for ever and
a day. All metaphysicists fall foul of this existential dilemma. They pay lip-service to the notion of self-sacrifice – weeping crocodile
tears at noble martyrdom – whilst selfishly pursuing the timeless ‘State of Being’ ... the ‘Deathless State’. The root cause of all
the ills of humankind can be sheeted home to this single, basic fact: the overriding importance of the survival of ‘self’ by whatever name.
Richard: The actualist method is a far cry from the
Buddhist carefully cultivated ‘mindfulness’ ... the practice of ‘mindfulness’ is a further withdrawal from this actual world than what
‘normal’ people currently experience in the illusionary ‘reality’ of their ‘real world’. All Buddhists (just like Mr. Gotama the
Sakyan) do not want to be here – now – as this flesh and blood form, walking and talking and eating and drinking and urinating and
defecating and being the universes’ experience of its own infinitude as a reflective and sensate human being. They put immense effort into
bringing ‘samsara’ (the endless round of birth and death and rebirth) to an end ... if they liked being here now they would welcome rebirth
and delight in being able to be here now again and again as a human being. They just don’t wanna be here (not only not be here now but never,
ever again) ... is it not so blatantly obvious (that Mr. Gotama the Sakyan just did not like being here) that you wonder why you never saw his
anti-life stance before? How on earth can someone who hates being here so much ever be interested in bringing about peace-on-earth?
In this respect he was just like all the Gurus and God-Men down through the ages ... the whole lot of
them were/are anti-life to the core.