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By Christmas Humphreys

Comprehensible evaluation of the 3 major faculties of Buddhism: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.

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He preferred to point to suffering, and the cause of suffering, and the Way to remove that cause. Meanwhile we struggle, each a batde-field of forces warring within, burning with hatred, lust and illusion, and yet in our nobler moments looking up to the light, now dimly seen, of a Beyond of consciousness which, though thought can never achieve it, will one day be achieved. How can we slay the self which stands in the way, and develop the faculty which awaits its ending? We cannot pray; there is no Saviour to hear our call.

Merely to talk of abstract principles, of first beginnings and ultimate ends avails us little until the self is purged, the mind perfected as a first-class instrument, and the intuition wakened to function freely on this, to us, divinely illum ined plane. Both Wisdom and Compassion are needed. A man does not know the truth until he has applied it; we cannot apply intelli­ gently, helpfully, a truth we do not truly know. And the Way is laid down in the greatest detail, with the Buddha as the guide and visible example of a man who reached its end.

As to the complex ingredients of the sense of right, walk on, and you will learn. Muscles to be strengthened must be used; faculties to be developed must be likewise used, and the sense of rightness is no exception to the rule. But the duty to be decided is always one’s own. As the Gita itself provides: ‘It is better to do one’s own duty, even though devoid of excellence, than to perform another’s duty well’. By removing from another his choice of action you have robbed him of the oppor­ tunity to learn and so to grow.

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