Sermon III

Ruthless Compassion

Fudo Myo-O, or Acala (literally, “immovable”) is a wrathful manifestation of Manjushri. He wields a sword to dispatch ignorance and a noose to snare disbelievers. His enflamed wide eyes and a facial grimace exposing teeth express his fearsome aspect.

Hail to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas!

Many confuse tolerance with compassion. To tolerate something is a guarantee you get more of it. For instance, if you tolerate being abused in a relationship, you will get more and more abuse. If you tolerate degeneracy in society, you will get it exponentially. If you tolerate bad habits, behaviors within yourself, your family, etc. you will have failure, misery and chaos. If you tolerate parasitical people, tyranny, predators, you will wake up in slavery or in dystopian reality. These are not abstractions and there is no way to coat them in sugar with New Age sweetness. It is Nature, the fundamental laws of this realm, of cause and effect, of our karmic exchanges. Many take the most superficial approaches to these problems, crisis, diseases and only want to try to suppress various symptoms and never address the root causes or take the deep responsibility in their role in such negative modes of being.

There are ideal standards of which all should aspire, even if we will fail to achieve in many ways. But we should never stop striving upwards for these ideals, to define and articulate them as the individual and collective goal, rubric and purpose of life. Even in failure there is upward evolution and refinement, there are skills and lessons learned. To acquiesce to any such circumstance is failure, is loss, is degeneracy. To tolerate one’s lifestyle, health choices, worldviews, etc. that are pernicious to healing, balance, and an affront to Nature is not Dharma, it is not compassion or empathy, it is enabling toxic and destructive behavior. Truly there are incompatible worldviews, and an insidious, parasitic force beyond mere human weakness that advances such degradation with the agenda of making reality the demonic antithesis of the Pure Land.

Some of the great masters were fierce, whipping and slapping their students out of the deepest compassion to shake them from the fascinated, spell cast delusional slumber that they drift through life under. They are sleepwalking, walking dead, hardly worthy of the acknowledgement of even being sentient in the deep sense of the world. It is such that some masters suggest they are just mere portals, vessels, with no true spark or essence of organic sentient consciousness. They become the vehicle of the anti-Dharma, the hive mind that forms and does the unspoken bidding of the dark adepts as the demon hordes spread chaos, misery and suffering on the earth.

It is not compassionate to indulge someone in their addiction, to pacify their withdrawal with pills or heroin. It is not empathy or altruistic to give someone struggling with drinking or weight loss or gambling situations to assuage their angst and cravings that subvert their greater good. It is not good parenting to give in to whining children for junk food, or dangerous antics and no discipline. Some must speak the truth even if it is brutal, hurts feelings, bruises egos. It is the most bitter medicine that often has the greatest healing, purging the deep hidden infections within body and Mind. There are the old sayings that a smart person learns from his own mistakes, a wise person learns from the mistakes of others. We can stand on the shoulders of giants, of ancestors who experimented and perfected the ways and means. To ignore these and have the hubris that we see displayed on every level is itself a bitter dose of this reality that should awaken one to the crisis of Being.

Yet, in the race to the bottom of this modern world, these values are being intentionally subverted. All notions of competition, of accountability, of responsibility are overturned for false, counter-evolutionary fake virtue that rewards weakness, deviance, abnormality and affronts to nature. These are pushed by heads in corporations, media, programmed incessantly. It is because a healthy, well-informed society, disciplined and focused is hard to manipulate and exploit. A society of fractured, broken, sick, tired and stunned people is easy to enslave. They poisoned the waters, the air, destroyed morality, decency and tradition every way and it was not only tolerated, but celebrated by so many. What was a provisional sense of freedom is just used as bait for an even deeper trap. All of the vampiric modes of living are convenient, exciting, and promising freedom and liberty but it is deeper ensnarement in a predatory system. Thus the collective karma births the decay of world ages, of Dharma, and squander precious incarnations and the ancestral gains and culture we have inherited.

It is to create an identity crisis, to demean and hate all of the past as held to some impossible ideal of the present and future. It is to denigrate all greatness, and to compel a forced equity by lowering the bar of achievement. It is not to transmute and bring people upward, but to lower all to the least common denominator. Tolerance is a key weaponized concept to achieve these goals. We are forced to tolerate much in this world, but for now, there is freedom to not abide so much within our own minds and bodies, our own families and homes. Therefore make vows to no longer tolerate failure in keeping vows, in honoring your own personal or Dharmic precepts, of working against your own self interest through deviant, apathetic and careless behaviors.

Another concept for refusing tolerance is having standards. Standards on what you ingest, consume, invest time, money, attention, energy into, from people, jobs, habits, interests, entertainment to food, medicine, tools, etc. There is an acceptable tolerance of error or deviation in many crafts, but there is a standard as well to be met. If this standard is not held in engineering, such as a bridge, brakes on a vehicle, the cooling tanks on nuclear reactors, the safety check on oil rigs, there is disaster. Thus there must be standards, merit-based levels of discerning what to exhaust precious lifeforce in pursuing.

We should have standards in relationships, in conduct, in etiquette, in lifestyle, and pursue higher refinement. It is thus that true art, beauty, strength and abundance spontaneously arise. It is earned, and it is achieved when it is able to be properly honored, maintained and appreciated. To those that do not do the work to obtain the highest treasures and teachings, they are like a thief who breaks into a master’s house and seeing no gold, seeks more lavish things to steal elsewhere. The thief’s unrefined eye missed the truly priceless items because they only have such a narrow definition of value and wealth.

It is not tolerance to allow violence or toxic behaviors because a person is unfit for society to prey upon others. For instance, to tolerate a homeless population that reaches a critical mass of drug needles, feces, crime in the name of compassion and allow an area to become diseased and unlivable is not wisdom. It is not wisdom to contravene natural laws of self-defense, and to disarm good, law-abiding people and create situations where only criminals have weapons. It is not true tolerance to impose superficial solutions on complex problems of human suffering by inflicting different types of suffering on others. There is no true compassion in weakness and desperation. Compassion comes from strength and power, or else it is commiseration or pity. Compassion is to care enough to have ‘tough love,’ to confront toxic sources of suffering and to seek their real solution.

One cannot be dragged down by others, no matter how much you love them. It is as if the drowning man fights the one saving him, exhausting the efforts and both slip into the abyss. As herbalists we find ourselves becoming emotionally and otherwise invested in some and come to clearly care more about their own well-being than themselves. You cannot force people to have that intrinsic yearning, striving, the energy that must participate in life in dynamic, profound ways. You cannot teach one to be devotional, to have that unwavering spirit that possesses them to study the herbs, the Way, the Dharma.

They do not live and breath the esoteric pursuit of a lifetime and nothing can force them to truly participate. They might go through the motions for a time but they cannot persist in any practice. Many barely have any mundane passions or zeal for life that translates and transmutes into the essential energy needed for the inner alchemy. They are walking dead, fleshly future hungry ghosts just satisfying the superficial cravings of biology. The worst are those exposed to the teachings, the techniques, all of the resources and have no excuse but their own inability to do anything of worth for any consistent time.

It is like one that hears of a famous doctor, buys his texts, moves to be close, takes the prescriptions, the advice and then proceeds to do nothing. They do not take the medicine, the advice, they persist in their illness no matter what excuses are taken away. They are their own obstacle and the obstacle of all who encounter them. They are worse than the ignorant masses in committing a true sin. They can be the worst drain on any spiritual community, enterprise, as they express all of the verbiage and outward modes but on a deep existential level they refuse any essential participation.

It is not wisdom or tolerance to teach people to hate their past, their ancestors, when the trajectory of their culture has always bent towards the beneficent ideal of human potential. It is not wisdom to judge the past from the vantage point of the present worldviews and to cast aside all Tradition for whatever abominations to natural law that becomes protected or enshrined as better than ‘normal.’ All of these are just superficial examples in society.

The same can be in behaviors within one’s life, or in families, in relationships. There is a Russian sentiment, and they know much suffering, that is expressed in the ways of sadness and life. It is “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Meaning that hells are infinite and personal, unique, specialized to each person’s own psychic disease. Each family’s depression is some special, like a snowflake, tragic consequence of their aggregated miseries. But a happy, harmonious family, no matter where or when, have the same common visible expressions of their love and peace.

The attainment of harmony, of domestic bliss and true peace is essentially the same, universal and expressed the world over in the same ways of true unconditional love, respect and nobility of spirit. It is expressed in competing in good works and gestures to express and presence love, gratitude and calm abiding. Such love and true humanity is written in the hearth and home, in the faces and eyes, it permeates, infuses and protects itself. Our deeds are the signature of our thoughts and words.

But the misery also loves company, becoming the hordes of angry, wretched victims that will never be satisfied, never take any accountability, and each one fragments and turns diseased. Such toxic views metastasize, and sicken the totality of the world. Those that stick to the practices become the immune system, the healing response of universal self-correction of the macrocosm. This is why the microcosm must be rectified and corrected, but the exoteric skillful means of lifestyle cannot be neglected. One must immanentize the Pure Land within every aspect of Being. Every action is saturated in mantra, which is Mindfulness. Let the domestic space become a temple and refuge, the center of the world and sacred space of practice, the mandala all that one beholds. It is seeing the innate Buddhahood within all whom we encounter yet understanding the characteristics that are the antithesis of this nature are not authentic and thus not to be accepted as normal.

Another wrong view is selective outrage, situational ethics, and an inconsistent application of standards and morality. This is to tolerate and accept things based on conditioning, social programming, and not Tradition that arose from nature. There are fundamental realities that nature expresses as traits to cultivate, and promote for healthy people, society, and world. When these were followed humanity produced apex cultures of near perfection, where they decline it is ruin and decay. The decline always begins with the intrusions that are tolerated, like a few bad habits that aggregate to make one a miserable, sick degenerate that wastes their precious incarnation.

So it is not simply to endure, to escape, to numb or work through symptoms of depression and kindred conditions, but to reconcile and truly enable their cessation. The very notion of karma is intertwined with taking responsibility for actions, for one’s own condition, and being accountable. How many troubles and problems are truly self-created? From laziness, taking the easy way out, to having no type of pride, to not sink to certain actions, to becoming a person of low habits, seeking always the most comfortable, selfish and luxury option. How much debt, karmic, wealth, health is incurred by oblivious, careless, unmeasured moments? How much chaos is seeded by a few momentary lapses of impulse control? When we tolerate such destructive behaviors en masse it is the death blow to life as we know it and a truly dark age.

Therefore one is taught to tolerate almost everything except Traditional teachings. Some values, especially those enshrined in warrior ethics and martial arts are now denigrated as aspects of some evil oppressive worldview of superiority. It is just that nature itself rewards these behaviors. Nature rewards planning, strength, discipline. Nature selects what behaviors and traits are propagated through their ability to survive the aggregated conditions. The ancestors shed endless blood to preserve a basic liberty to pursue life and the Way, and each generation must be worthy of maintaining and preserving this glorious inheritance. Yet its destruction is tolerated not only on the mass scale that is outsides one’s power, but within, like a parasite that infests their very essence.

To also create tyrannical, artificial safe spaces is anti-Dharma, The Buddha’s awakening was despite all efforts to hide the reality of the world from him. He was awakened by seeing poverty, misery, old age and death. These awakened the Original Mind of the temporal nature. All of the betrayal, abuse, bullying, the sickness, the pain, the alienation, exile. It will turn you to a Buddha or Demon. They are not One, but they are not two either. But be thankful as much to the trials and suffering as to the Masters for awakening. The enemies, the sickness, the pain is the Guru to test the heart’s ability to hold true compassion, the mind to hold true concentration. We must accept life as a fleeting dream and to stop seeking security, context, and to cease grasping at the gap between what appears to be reality and the potential ideal. This does not mean we do nothing for others or that we destroy ourselves in lost causes. It is the balance of the Middle Way in all things.

It is about fitness, not superiority. There are traits, worldviews, lifestyles that maximize one’s fitness to survive and thrive. It is not that might is right, it is not of brute force, but of a balance between cunning and boldness, of discipline and planning, the ability to cooperate, sustain goals and actions over long periods of time. These are the essential components to healthy people, healthy community and cultures. These are the traits of the most dynamic masters who left their deepest teachings enshrined outside of corruptible systems and writings. Their very lives are their deepest teaching, where they put their energy, their studies, their resources, what they built, created. Their vision is their teaching.

Tolerating mundane behaviors in self, such as being careless, lazy, are detrimental and add up quickly and exponentially. Convenience, excuses, etc. cause one to not even cook their own food, take care to source healthy ingredients, to stick to healing protocols, to invest in medicines and stick to their use. To drill down on training, spiritual practices, refining one’s craft. All these yield harvests of abundance, and most that complain do not make even the slightest use of their resources. They tread water, in stagnant, boring, red dust infused lives. They are slave to habits, patterns, and can never break free by asserting mastery over what is within their means to effect or control.

So it is a lazy, dead, unproductive, creative misery of critical theories of the past, of victimization, blaming. We see the tolerated addictions of outrage and anger from most who produce nothing of real worth. They do not produce food, medicine, tools, they do not create beauty, abundance. They are truly parasites, feeding on the wave of ancestral achievements and those that grind and work to provide, produce and create. It is a false compassion to let these predators and misfits prey upon the salt of the earth, the decent people that produce all of the necessities for life.

The pursuit of a personal code of honor, of having a standard of excellence, of having disciplined, focused micro and macro goals is essential for one’s psychology. There is the inner narrative of one’s life, their circumstances, karma, what they can reasonably do within the context of their microcosm. There is the master narrative, the ancestral understanding of life’s meaning and purpose within their folk soul, their dominant genetics and how they incarnated into this world. There is the meta-narrative, that is the all encompassing Dharmic truth of this reality, All of these are being assaulted, attempted to be weaponized and diseased by dark forces,

To tolerate such conditions leads to an inner crisis. Here one just avoids symptoms, either from the body, or the societal symptoms. They are all similar. Symptoms are cues and become more acute of deeper problems, but as in large or small situations many refuse to confront these issues. It is easier to tolerate a bad diet, poor habits, and make excuses than to force oneself to train, take medicines, meditate and cross the threshold. It is easier to blame others, be a victim, to find reasons for failure than to be sick of being sick. Take the Medicines, change the habits and worldview and the original purity spontaneously arises. One must learn to ‘calm down the heart’ with the preliminary practices, to subdue the raging angst and restless mind by whatever means necessary to have that true silence, and quiet for the ultimate clarity and purity to arise.

To suppress anxiety, depression, and nervous energy with pharmaceuticals is another example or to try and contort reality and nature to bend to one’s fantasies. Rather one must heed these symptoms as part of underlying conditions, that there is a diseased society and thus a decaying reality and world age and that to try to assimilate to such sickness is to willingly poison oneself. The pain, the yearning, the suffering it must awaken True Humanity within. It is not simply a condition to be numbed with artificial methods of escape. The more extreme the sensitivity to this world is, the more extreme the training, protocols and Dharmic or Tantric remedies must be to give deep remedy.

It does not mean to simply sit in smug judgement, nor to go against the grain in obnoxious or dogmatic, extreme ways. It is rather to draw a line of one’s own conduct that decides that this far, and no further. Then our work is to deprogram wrong thoughts, to decouple from toxic relationships both personal and societal. To abstain and withdraw from as much as possible from pop culture (which is the psycho-spiritual equivalent of toxic junk food or poison), the corporate narrative wars for reality, the group think, the insidious trends and seeding of anti-nature, anti-Dharma thought streams.

There is the balance between being compassionate and enabling worse behaviors. To have such standards within ourselves requires an inner Guru that is fierce, resolved and brutal, especially when no one else is looking. Here is the true accountability, what we do in secret, alone. How we spend our time, energy, resources. Do we tolerate laziness, sloth, distraction within ourselves? We must be, for the most part, gentle and kind with others, but strict with the self. We must be worthy of the blessings and sacrifices of ancestors, of receiving blessings and teachings. This begins with understanding and defining a True Human and Master and seeking this refinement relentlessly.

But we cannot abide intrusions of malicious mischief into our world from others in the guise of being tolerant or liberal. One must guard the one, be vigilant from degenerate people, thoughts, systems. We want the pure font, the undiluted source, not the tributaries that flow through toxic urban systems, accruing all the filth and nonsense of people divorced from nature and true reality. Like the wrathful deities that protect Dharma, we must not abide the type of tolerance that is just weakening systemic vulnerabilities. If we have no standards, nothing is sacred, holy, revered. Many have heard the highest teachings and become demons instantly because they see the emptiness inherent in all as a license to do what they will and want.

We must not enable the behaviors that negate our ancestral sacrifices to be free and strive to a great nobility and refinement. We must not tolerate degrading, abnormal and deviant behaviors simply because it is some corporate trend that is designed to alienate people from Tradition and into abstraction, chaos and an ultimate nihilism. All of these are calculated to seed pure toxic results in the Mind, instilling the worst worldview possible for a healthy, strong society composed of healthy, discerning individuals. These energies must not be fed with our attention and energy. Once one grasps the Three Treasures of thought word and deed, then there is deep implications on how we conduct ourselves on the deepest level.

To take personal vows, from marriage, to precepts of a monk, or to healing protocols, to gain abundance, lose weight, to break a habit, and to break it over and over again is to lose all personal integrity and trust of self. If you cannot trust yourself, you are not trustworthy to others, not able to even be honorable. To tolerate lapses or quitting, violating promises, vows and so forth is to work a dark magic against your Being. There can be no excuses in tolerating breaking a vow or practice. If you commit to a mantra recitation of certain number or practices over certain days and fail with no real external reason but your own weakness. It is better to abandon all spiritual practices and just do good charity.

So many bring children into the world, and where there is selfish egos in the families rip the family apart, for their cravings and desires, their inability to compromise and cooperate, to put aside personal sentiments for the greater good of the innocent ones they chose to bring into this world either on purpose or through careless actions. But all this is tolerated in a society, that nothing is sacred. Marriage vows are easily divorced, relationships and practices abandoned because this accountability is tolerated. It is the precedent for every other decay of culture, when men and women cannot be taken at their word, when honor means nothing. It translates into everything from instant gratification to ‘throw away culture.’

The True masters are hermits because they abide in fiery bliss. It is hard to tolerate low energy, slumbering people. They are like the fat house cats around a tiger. Likewise the aura of a master is hard to handle, their attention, gaze and aspect is like staring into the sun. Even the most kind, gentle and compassionate in every aspect, their authenticity, sincerity, creates such a field of resonance around them that you must either harmonize with or it repels one like the reverse of a magnetic force.

“Do you have the patience to wait Till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving Till the right action arises by itself? The Master doesn’t seek fulfilment. Not seeking, not expecting, She is present, and can welcome all things.” – Dao De Jing, Chapter 15

To encounter such stillness, focus empowered in the flesh is to feel a true humility, and a sense of an energetic refinement and engagement of true cultivation. The Master does not tolerate wayward energies within their own kingdom. They are in the mountains because they have earned the mountains. They have fought the internal and external battles, hardened the mind, body and soul for the practices. They trekked through the forest as hunter, as survivor, as ascetic, shaman and yogi. They have earned the robes of sages, they have mastered the breath to inhale pure air from the highest altitudes. How humbling it is to even hear of such folk? How does it not move one to the deepest, sincere practices?

Never tolerate mediocrity. Never tolerate wasted potential. We are not to accept things as they are, but to transmute them to perfection. We work for refinement, and we should never tolerate all that is ugly, hideous, obnoxious, rude, base and vulgar as this is the anti-human, anti-Dharma, anti-Nature cancer upon the land, the mind, and the spirit. We must see the ideal standards of the adepts and strive to reach them and ache, bend, and break our old selves in pursuit of such perfection. One must transcend the mundane identities and external aspects of being and regain the true identity, the Original Mind. Creating beauty, abundance, healing arts is to ease suffering and to immanentize the Pure Land.

Again nearly all interpersonal situations, we must “tolerate” individuals even if we cannot condone their actions. Again, to have compassion for the addict does not mean to condone the concept of addiction, the drugs they use, or wish to enable the problems from which they are seeking to escape, numb and self-medicate. The true ruthless compassion must be turned within, and finding what binds us to base states of being. What are our subtle addictions, crutches, vulnerabilities, weak points in both exoteric and esoteric matters. What do participate in or condone within ourselves that brings the red dust into our inner world? What profane residues do we let intrude and defile our inner purity? This is why we must be private, anonymous, secret of all achievements and faults, to appear ordinary and mundane to those who do not follow the Way. To our fellow disciples, we must set examples of what we refuse to tolerate within ourselves.

“Look to your own faults, / What you have done or left undone. / Overlook the faults of others.”
–Buddha, The Dhammapada, Section 4

This is becoming a fully realized human being, truly awake, competent, capable, strong and measured. This is not to accept one’s station, condition, or to seek to express to the world one’s unique, special qualities and demanding attention, validation, acceptance and tolerance. These are simply more manufactured counter-cultures, solvents for Tradition and Dharma, to erode every standard of conduct into the free fall collapse of society. It is a complete war on the health, mind and spirit, through music, education, films, literature, media, politics, to saturate one in every evil and poison glazed in the sugar of virtue, progress, or tolerance.

What is coming, what is being planned for the world is intolerable on any level. The injections, injunctions, the absolute intentional collapse of all and the suffering that will ensue will be immense, with even the living envying the dead. Because all is so fragile, the systems refined over centuries to try to strike the balance have been imploded, so the demonic hordes will be like plagues upon the land and into reality itself. Our humanity, our basic rights from birth are not worth surrendering into the dark future to try to compromise with this sickness. It is intolerable and there are things much worse than death.

Like the masters hunted in the mountains and executed while in lotus position by the Red Guard, we will pursue our refinement and cultivation with strategic precautions but we will not acquiesce to the disease. We are seeing the emergence of the new religion of this decayed world age, where there is no atonement, no appeal, no mercy, or humanity. Unseen forces, artificial intelligence will make every decision as the human being is worse than cattle, culled, inoculated, tested upon, corralled, genetically modified and slaughtered. Let us work the aeonic rites to allow the correction in this realm, or if we must indeed meet this fate in upright purity, of a noble heart, one mind, and in the supreme state of refined Being.

How easy it is to see your brother’s faults, / How hard to face your own. / You winnow his in the wind like chaff, / But yours you hide, / Like a cheat covering up an unlucky throw. / Dwelling on your brother’s faults / Multiplies your own. / You are far from the end of your journey. / The way is not in the sky. / The way is in the heart.”
–Buddha, The Dhammapada, Section 18