turned to ruins
a world it once was
that went unnamed
they knew no arts
knew no letters
they sensed with their notes
communicated with their music
They forged no weapons
they only assembled instruments
that gave birth to songs
peaceful they once were
until the men with the steel blades
stole away their melody
drew chaos to their harmony
and destroyed all that they had made
update: I washed over it and suddenly the colors just exploded with awesome. It looks smoother too.
Tonight was one of those rare nights that I got to see some real magic—I got to see a firefly in all its luminous glory. Sadly, fireflies don’t show off their ‘light’ all the time so I had to take a long exposure shot for this rare occasion. I didn’t edit this, their light really is that cheerful shade of yellow.
Buddhism: Enlightenment Over Salvation
What I particularly like about Buddhism is that it is nontheistic. It is a spiritual path without the necessity for a god and I believe that the lack thereof is why the philosophy comes across as a very peaceful one. Religious intolerance persists because people like to put their personal gods in a competition with that of others, to the point of waging wars in order to prove which one generates tenets that are supposedly more worth fighting for. I have a lot of respect for Buddhism for being purely spiritual and not overzealously religious, which in my opinion, is a very healthy combination for having faith.
Buddhism being nontheistic appeals to me greatly because I myself do not indulge in venerating images of any sort. I would like to believe that faith can be expressed even without having to make it manifest physically through statues, stampitas or scapulars. To me, a sense of faith is much stronger when it is being addressed to something you cannot perceive in the physical realm. Through the years I’ve seen myself to be detached from the concept of religion and eventually considered myself agnostic between the ages of seventeen and eighteen. Instead of investing myself entirely to just one form of religion or philosophy, I like to take my time and select certain parts from each without necessarily giving all my loyalty to a single one. I do not solely conform to any religion but Buddhism appeals to me as a very healthy philosophy that I would like to explore further. It is a philosophy with certain tenets that I would like to adapt for myself.
Singer-songwriter John Mayer once mentioned in his song “Belief” from the album Continuum that “belief is the chemical weapon for the war that’s raging on inside” and that “we’re never gonna win the war/we’re never gonna stop the war/we’re never gonna beat this if belief is what we’re fighting for”. For some reason, people think that what they accept as truth also has to be accepted by others in the exact same way without digression; otherwise, tension has to arise. Roman Catholics, for instance, have the tendency to brand non-believers as people who would perish in hell just because they choose not to believe in the existence of God or give love to Jesus, which I believe is a very coersive course of action. Overzealous believers are so fixated upon preaching instead of engaging in healthy discourse. Buddhists, on the other hand, have dispositions very much different from such, which is why I find myself gravitating towards them more than I do with other kinds of believers. So far I haven’t encountered any Buddhist who propagates his faith by forcing it upon others. Instead, they inspire people to embrace the concept of enlightenment in order to be fully happy. They don’t just pay attention to proving to the rest of the universe that Buddhism and the ways of Siddharta Gautama Buddha are the most ideal paths to take. Instead, they focus more on actually achieving the enlightenment that they so eagerly seek for themselves. In the process, they successfully inspire people - including myself - to “practice mindfulness” in their own non-violent ways without necessarily shoving it down their throats.
I’ve always viewed religion as coersive. In the same way, the concept of it has always seemed like a violent propaganda to me, considering the Philippines’ history with Spaniards taking over through the propagation of a religion that instilled a sense of fear in society; a fear which eventually caused our ancestors to give in to them. Aside from that, I went to an Opus Dei high school and found myself surrounded by people who forced you to share their beliefs even if you were uncomfortable with the very idea of it, and then condemned you when you refused to do so. Because of this I began to view religion as a divider instead of the unifying factor that it has always claimed to be. I find it ironic that religion supposedly exists to bring people together, but does the total opposite instead and hinders harmony altogether.
However, there is definitely something about Buddhism that makes it different from the way I typically view all the other systems of faith in general. I really appreciate Buddhists for being so peace-loving, unlike most believers I encounter who force their own beliefs upon others. I wouldn’t say that I myself could engage in practices of “persistence to the point of discomfort” such as long hours of meditation and fasting (especially the latter because I do enjoy McNuggets and Jollibee’s Coffee Float), but I do have a strong admiration for their willingness to do so. A life of asceticism and moderation is also something that, admittedly, I would not be able to conform to faithfully. With all that said, I’d like to say that I do have an ardent appreciation for the nature of Buddhism but do not necessarily see myself actually engaging in their practices.
At this point in my life, I appreciate the concept of enlightenment more than that of salvation. I really like that Buddhists seek nirvana, which is an attainable state of mind instead of a promised paradise with a location that no one can guarantee. To me there is really no way of knowing whether or not you would be saved at the end of your life. I don’t know if there really is an afterlife or if people even have a way to find that out to begin with. Whether or not heaven and hell really do exist, I have no way of knowing. Enlightenment to me, however, is something that I see to be attainable; I find that to be very comforting.
I like that Buddhism doesn’t put premium on the entrance into heaven or hell, but on achieving nirvana. The concept of a paradise is something that I naturally view with skepticism. I know a lot about the nature of it because I was baptized Roman Catholic, but it is something that I simply cannot embrace unquestionably. I feel like the idea of heaven and hell was only brought forth to instill fear in people. The concept of heaven is an incentive for believers to do good, for they have been made to believe that if they do follow the standards of God then there is, in fact, a promise of heaven waiting for them; otherwise, it would be eternal damnation. I always saw this as something not only archaic but also very violent, which is ironic to me because through my life God was painted to be someone very merciful and peace-loving. All this makes the concept of enlightenment appeal to me so much more than salvation, which is why I have a high liking for Buddhism. However, me not being certain about salvation also applies to me not being certain about nirvana. Similarly, I have no way of knowing if nirvana really does exist. I am just as clueless about nirvana as I am with heaven and hell, but I do indulge in the very concept of achieving enlightenment as the Buddhists say. I would like to believe that this enlightenment can be achieved not necessarily in the form of Buddhist nirvana, but also in a form of your own interpretation. At this point in my life - at the tender age of twenty turning twenty one - I believe that I am more looking forward to the “enlightenment” that I need to grow into the woman I want to be, over what kind of salvation might be waiting for me afterwards. Whatever this enlightenment might be, I am still on my way to finding out.
It’s a must read. Please.
This is really powerful.
Oh my god, this is such a perfect way to make a statement.
Reblogging this again because it’s so fucking good
this is fucking amazing
i’ll never not reblog
It is the civic duty of a female to reblog this, regardless of blog style.
This is incredible.
Tomorrow will not only embark change but it will also make visible the voices of the Filipino people. As a concerned Filipino citizen, I would like to remind each and every one of you to vote wisely. To reiterate, our vote can make a change, a difference, and this will only be possible through voting for a person who we think is deserving. Vote not only because of the candidate’s flawless intellectual capabilities but also because of his burning passion to serve the country. May we not be blinded by other candidates’ last names, and since we have all the means to research about these people—we should try our very best to make sure that we are voting the right people. Evil comes in many forms, but we should always remember that we should stick to our principles and make sure that we stand firm and be strong. Voting is both a privilege and a responsibility, so let us make sure that these wouldn’t be bought from us.
To everyone who’s going to vote tomorrow, let us make sure that our voices will be heard. Let’s vote wisely! Bangon Pilipinas.
Do not educate your child to be rich. Educate him to be happy so when he grows up, he’ll know the value of things, not the price.