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By Marco Pallis

Essays distilling a life of idea and perform via one of many earliest explorers of either the actual panorama of Tibet in addition to it Vajrayana culture.

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Extra resources for A Buddhist Spectrum: Contributions to the Christian-Buddhist Dialogue (Perennial Philosophy)

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It is a commonplace with Buddhist controversialists, out to criticize what they look on as the arbitrary explanations offered by the theistic religions, to argue that the doctrine of karma, by accounting for the apparent irregularities of fate in terms of antecedent action leading to present sanction, is ‘more just’ than other views relating to the same facts. It is well to point out that once such an argument becomes clothed in a moral form it becomes every bit as anthropomorphic as the teachings about ‘the will of God’ in relation to sin current in the Christian and kindred religions.

One may well ask oneself whether such restraint in the face of brutal persecution could really be the outcome, not of some heroic exercise of human self-restraint, but of an apparently cold-blooded consideration of the data concerning the matter at issue. Could it be, as the Dalai Lama’s remarks suggested, that an act of focused attention was enough in itself to charm away vindictive impulses which, for most people the world over, would seem almost excusable under the circumstances and in any case wellnigh irresistible?

It is the ambivalent character of the relative that is the root of change, for where there is more than one pole of attraction (or repulsion) there instability will prevail in some degree. What is wholly free from internal tensions cannot die, for what should there be to make it die? Whatever is liable to death, therefore, implies a dualism, the presence of forces pulling different ways, a composition of things partly incompatible, and this, by definition, is other than selfhood. It is the sharpening, in the course of becoming, of its internal contradictions that eventually causes a thing to fall apart, at the moment we call death.

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