Last week we talked about ten conditions of life, which we experience each day. These are important to us because through chanting Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo, we can shift from negativity to positivity. I’ll describe them from the lowest to the highest.
The Six Lower Paths
Hell – A person feels there is no way out, where living is misery, suffering and despair. They can be filled with rage and exhibit self-destructive behaviors.
Hunger – A person is at the mercy of their cravings for things such as food, drugs, money, pleasure, power, and recognition. Never satisfied.
Animality – A person is amoral, ruled by the “law of the jungle,” fearing stronger people and despising and preying on the weak. Can’t make long term judgments.
Anger – A person is determined to best others in everything, sees everything as a threat, values themselves as superior and holds other in contempt.
Humanity – A person is generally humane, highly vulnerable to outside influences, and can easily fall into the four lower worlds.
Heaven– A person experiences intense joy resulting from the fulfillment of a desire, inner contentment, physical well-being but short lived.
These are the six lower paths. They respond to changing circumstances in our lives. In these worlds we are basing our happiness and identity on circumstances outside of ourselves.
How These Lower Worlds Work
Let’s say Jerry wants a girlfriend (Hunger). He courts her and wins her, (Heaven). Other rivals appear on the scene, jealousy. (Anger) He loses the girl, despair. (Hell).
These internal life conditions react to the changing circumstances in Jerry’s life.
The Four Noble Paths
Learning – Seeking the truth through learning from others.
Realization – Seeking the truth through direct perception. No longer just reacting to circumstances.
Bodhisattva – Has an aspiration to achieve enlightenment, and also enable others to do the same. Satisfaction in altruistic behavior.
Buddhahood – A state of perfect freedom, infinite compassion, deep wisdom and unshakeable happiness no matter what is going on in life. Freed of karmic bonds and illusion, Buddhahood is expressed in the bodhisattva way of life.
These paths are not reactive to circumstances but require the person to be self- motivated from the inside, out.
Let’s say you are depressed, anxious, fearful etc. Sit and chant until you feel better