According to Napoleon Hill the author of Think and grow Rich, the term ‘genius’ can be characterized simply by one’s ability to “increase the vibrations of thought to the point where one can freely communicate with sources of knowledge not available through the ordinary rate of vibration of thought”. He was not talking about financial gain, as much as, gaining spiritual insight. What can this mean except to embody both the human and divine. That we are more than our human body and there can be no separation between us as humans – and the universe. With this we learn to care about another person as much as we care about ourselves. This is not simply a religious concept, as much as, an expression of how everything is interconnected with everything else. That we travel as if we acknowledge that we are ageless, and are in fact noble beings. It is this concept that leads us to philosophical and religious precepts and understanding of our relationship with others. For Confucius 2500 years earlier, a similar teaching was that the key to “right relationships” were to be guided by virtue and benevolence. Together it is as if we are combining “Old Thought” from the East with “New Thought” from the West.
This understanding of our presence, our purpose, or place in the here and now – is as the ancient Chinese would say “that we are one with the ten thousand things” comes with the power to wake up to see that we are here to be replenished. To see beyond unrighteousness and return to our innate internal virtue. That “values” are not one in the same with virtues. Over thousands of years in China, from pre-history forward, the role of the shaman, sage, even the shaman ruler has evolved into a certain pragmatism. That dynasties and those wishing to rule must eventually wake up to right thought. As if a speech of the mind, where thinking becomes aligned with right consciousness becomes universal. Again, with the thought that having the right view will lead to the right action. Hill spent his entire life espousing this universal truth. As if knowing that we are all but pearls on a common thread. That common virtue leads to values that can be shared by all. That it is as if we are catching a wave, we attach our thoughts to these vibrations that carry us onward to our destiny. In the end, just as in the beginning, the ten thousand things simply all that exists under Heaven.
In China, the introduction of Buddhism during the Han dynasty and afterwards (200-600 AD) would provide the context for how this “right consciousness” would be put into practice with the existing concepts of shamanism, Taoism and Confucianism. An earlier post here on February 3rd, outlined the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and the introduction of Buddhist sutras (teachings) in Xian during this time. It would be the connection to Chuang Tzu and early Buddhist influence that would lead to the creation of Chan Buddhism in China and later Zen Buddhism in Japan.
It is in knowing the vibrations of our thoughts that we are led to the Four Noble Truths and Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism that ultimately show us the way. With this we learn that there is impermanence, that everything is fleeting or temporary, even life itself. Once known, we can begin our real life’s journey. That it is when we insist the world is something it is not that we suffer the consequences. That the end of suffering is possible when we stop clinging to our desires, learn that there is nothing to fear in death, and begin to see the world beyond ourselves. We in effect begin by taking our spiritual medicine with having dominion over our thoughts. Raising our consciousness incorporating this view in our association with like-minded people and becoming an example of right thought and action. I have found that most people want to do the right thing. Unfortunately, due to needless suffering, they become attached to their desires, cannot see beyond themselves and lose their way.
This seeming truism is not necessarily easy to leave behind and is epitomized by a famous painting from 1000 AD called “The Vinegar Tasters”. It depicts Lao Tzu, Confucius, and the Buddha tasting from a vat of vinegar. One interpretation of the painting is that, since the three men are gathered around one vat of vinegar, the “three teachings” are one. More recent depictions include Jesus in the picture. While there are differences, their vibrations point to the same source and seeing beyond their own desires… beyond the stars into eternity. (painting is from Wikipedia).