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Friday, May 26, 2017

Ancient and Inexhaustible

Path of Truth

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.”
The Dhammapada: The Sayings of the Buddha

These words were probably first gathered in the south of India in the 3rd century before the birth of Jesus. Dhamma means law, justice, discipline, or truth; pada means path, step, foot, or foundation. It could be translated, “the true path,” or "the just path." Very similar words to the ones above were spoken by Jesus centuries later and are recorded in Matthew 5:43-45: “You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven...” Jesus goes on to point out that the sun shines and the rain falls on the good and the evil alike. This, too, is ancient and inexhaustible wisdom, especially considering the fact that none of us is completely good or completely evil.

Walking the “path of truth” does not allow us to condemn others for what we justify in ourselves. Each of us looks at the world through a very particular lens—one of our own making. We believe that what is good for us is good, and what is bad for us is evil, no matter where we live on planet Earth. What happens, then, if that which is good for me creates an unlivable condition for you? Who is “right” and who is “wrong?”

We have one planet. We can choose to be ruled by hate, and power-over one another as we have always done, or we can choose to be ruled by love and mutual respect. Free will is, after all, free will. Powering over others is the easy, deadly way of hate. Acting through love and mutual respect is much harder, and doesn't always end as we would choose. It means we have to share the pie—equally. What about you? Will you walk the path of truth today?

                                                            In the Spirit,


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