David Loy

A Quote by David Loy on ethics, buddhism, bodhisattvas, nondual, anatta, self, and no-self

When I discover that i am you - that I am the trace of your traces - the ethical problem of how to relate to you is transformed. Loss of self-preoccupation entails the ability to response to others without an ulterior motive that needs to gain something, material or symbolic, from that encounter. Of course, the danger of abuse remains, if my nondual experience is not deep enough to root out those dualistic tendencies that incline me to manipulate others. As long as there is sense of self, therefore, there will be a need to inculcate morality, just as infants need training wheels on their bicycles. In Buddhism, however, ethical principles approximate the way of relating to others that nondual experience reveals; as in Christianity, I should love neighbor as myself - in this case because the neighbor is myself. This makes ethical responsibility for Buddhism not the means to salvation but natural to the expression of genuine enlightenment. It is what might be called the "nonmoral morality" of the Bodhisattva, who, having nothing to gain or lost - because he or she has no self to do the gaining or losting - is devoted to the welfare of others. The Bodhisattva knows that no one is fully saved until everyone is save. When I am the universe, to help others is to help myself. To become enlightened is to forget one's own dukkha, only to wake up in - or rather at one with - a world of dukkha. The career of the Bodhisattva is helping others, not because one ought to, for traditionally the Bodhisattva is not bound by dogma or morality, because one is the situation and through oneself that situation draws forth a response to meet its needs.

David Loy

Source: The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory, Pages: 184..185

Contributed by: Ryan

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