To Be Perfect

According to Buddhism for a man to be perfect there are two qualities that he should develop equally: compassion on one side, and wisdom on the other. Here compassion represents love, charity, kindness, tolerance and such noble qualities on the emotional side, or qualities of the heart, while wisdom would stand for the intellectual side or the qualities of the mind. If one develops only the emotional neglecting the intellectual, one may become a good-hearted fool; while to develop only the intellectual side neglecting the emotional may turn one into a hardhearted intellect without feelings for others. Therefore, to be perfect one has to develop both equally. That is the aim of the Buddhist way of life: in it wisdom and compassion are inseparably linked together.

Walpola Rahula
What the Buddha Taught

1 comment:

Andy Rand said...

About what Aynie Rand thought:


Cult of Selfishness: Most disturbing is Rand's disdain for altruism. To Ayn, altruism is evil incarnate. Her hatred of weakness is a libertarianism gone bad, a naked selfishness that may work if you're a have, but will not if you are a have-not. Commentators have made much of the hypocrisy of a woman who owed her life to the altruism of others in effecting her escape from the Soviet Union, disavowing the kindness of strangers when she no longer needed it. It seems that there is something within Ayn Rand which could not tolerate weakness in others, and herself. This something leveraged itself into a broader economic nihilism that only recognized the self interest of the individual. It is difficult to imagine with any desire a Randian world of greed and insularity, a world without charity and lacking in compassion. It is clear why so many high school and college kids have a fling with Randism. In the most selfish period of one's life, what is more natural than exploring a "philosophical" system built around selfishness?

Is this a philosophy? Not really. It is more of a set of rules-of-thumb to rationalize greed and pathological sef-interest. Is it morally bankrupt? No more so than fundamentalist religions, with their narrow-minded interpretations of ambiguous fabalistic parables. It is more of an intellectual bankruptcy, a shrill reaction to a complex world informed by a burning desire for money and a pathological "me first" worldview that disdains the weak. It is not a better-world vision, but a worse.