The challenge of maturity
Alistair Shearer says that things are done when they are practiced and that the great resigning of the followers of the original Buddhism is not a model that ought to be followed literally. It could rather be considered to be a metaphor of the will to overcome old fights and to initiate a journey towards the discovery of ourselves and of the world.
Since Buddhism respects all religions and rejects none of them, it has a privileged position to face the challenge of the future with the scientific and technological revolution. A new world is emerging. Like new wine, it cannot stand the touch of an old wineskin.
The importance that contemplation and self-knowledge have in the life of the Buddhist reduces the possibility that personal fantasies project themselves like the indications of a divine being and provoke the disasters of the religious fundamentalists.
What could have seemed like a trend affirms itself today with reflections and important achievements. Buddhism undergoes a full expansion in the West.
Once the temptation of New Age is overcome, the discrimination of Buddhism gained strength through realism full of simplicity, of adaptation and of a profound experience that opens up unlimited horizons.
The laicism that emerges from the Protestant Reformation supported the individualistic doctrine that gave way to progress, but it also conducted people to an experience of growing solitude in the solidification of an unsustainable social injustice that drowns the future.
Alistair affirms that the greatest human resource that hasn’t been exploited yet, his own conscience, has been ignored for a long period of time, as the possibility of diverse levels of reality different from those related to objectivity, has been ignored. It is no longer possible to keep considering manipulation and the restructuring of the external order –political, social, and economic – as the only possible solution and ignore the accessibility to other levels of reality.
But since knowledge implies action, it perceives a change of attitude in all fields – medical, ecological, spiritual – that points towards a wider vision of the possibilities of a human being.
Culture has been determined by perspectives belonging to the first two stages in life: childhood, characterized by dependence, and adolescence, characterized by the reaction towards independence. A stage of maturity, characterized by our own transcendence still awaits us. It wouldn’t be prudent to ignore this path along with other alternatives.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez
This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 11/02/2004