"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

November 8, 2011

A Buddhist Paraphrase of I Corinthians 13

Here's a "dharma" version I wrote of the much loved I Corinthians, 13, passage on love. In Buddhism, "wisdom" is typically seen as the highest attainment, but I feel that "love" can fill that bill too, if love is understood in its fullness and selflessness, that is, in its divine or fullest sense.

Beyond all fabrications and conditions, wisdom and love are one—indeed wisdom and love "inter-are"—for genuine love is always wise, and highest wisdom is always loving, though we may not always understand these as such with our present self-centered sense of wisdom and love.  Anyway, here's my paraphrase.  I think it rings true.  ~  Steve Goodheart

"If I speak in the tongues of gurus or of divas, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of samādhi and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge of the True Self, and if I have concentration that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. ..

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are samādhis, they will cease; where there are spiritual teachings, they will be stilled; where there is spiritual knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness, non-duality, appears, what is in part disappears.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face—our 'original face.' Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: wisdom, insight, and love. But the heart of these is love."
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