Some Thoughts on the Nature of Beauty and Desire
[PureInsight.org] There is a girl that is so beautiful that both men and women are in awe when looking at her, admiring her looks. Although I don't usually pay attention to such things, but sometimes I would look at pictures of her too, since she is in my “friend’s list” on a certain website. Initially, I added her as a “friend” in order to clarify the truth to her, but I too could not stay impartial to her beauty.
Every time I would look at her, a whole bunch of feelings would arise in me. Yesterday, I sat down quietly in my room to observe those feelings, to look inwards for the root cause of what it was. I saw that I admired beauty. I saw that looking at her pictures gave me pleasure. I saw how that feeling was intensified and pleasure turned into desire to own her, to possess her, to become her. I am rather a loner by nature, so I asked myself: “If you were to become her, what would be the purpose? You shy away from people, you don't care about matters of lust or men, you enjoy your solitude, so why would you want to have that beauty?” Somewhere deep inside, I saw a desire. I saw that pleasure leads to desire. A desire does not only exist on the most coarse material plane, it exists in subtle planes too. A desire (a “want”) is an illusion of wanting something external. In the cultivation circles, it is said that the eyes are windows for desire.
Master said: “In qigong practice, however, going awry and following an evil way simply refer to people searching for external help. With Buddhism in particular, if you search for external help, you are said to have taken a demonic way.”
As I understand it, the Divine is found within. It is our intrinsic nature. It is already there, hidden inside us, like a pearl inside a sea shell.
Because matter and mind are one and the same, the Divine is not separate from the illusion (material existence), it permeates it. The illusion can never penetrate the Divine, but the Divine penetrates all illusion, it is everywhere. Since it is everywhere, it is reflected everywhere.
Master said that different Fa exist at different levels. Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truth-Compassion-Forbearance) manifests itself differently at each level, and “these fundamental qualities, Zhen Shan Ren are found in all substances – particles of the air, stone, wood, earth, iron and steel, the human body” (Lecture 1, Zhuan Falun). Shan, for instance, at the highest level of it's manifestation, is Compassion. But at the lower levels, it manifests as kindness towards our fellow men, love for siblings, love between a man and a woman, and even when a tiger chases a deer to devour it, it too is a manifestation of Shan at a very low level. A practitioner's longing for Consummation is also a manifestation of Shan at a certain level.
In ancient Sanskrit, God sometimes is referred to as: Satyam Shivam Sundaram (meaning, "Truth is God and God is beautiful"). Master tells us that at higher levels, everything is very beautiful and beings there are beautiful as well. The higher the level, the younger and more beautiful the beings are. Beauty is a divine quality. And since the Divine penetrates everything, we see its manifestation at this level too. Why is beauty so attractive to people? Because it is a reflection of Divine Beauty, the Source (Origin), we are all part of. But if we keep on staring at the reflection, we will never find the source.
Master said: “...Groping blindly, walking in darkness,
they try to scoop the moon’s reflection from water.”
(Hong Yin, “Acting with Intent”)
Slowly, like peeling away the skin of an onion, we are approaching our True Nature. We must reach beyond the realm of imagination, beyond desire, beyond the senses and the mind. We must sever all desires and attachments of ordinary people.
“Abiding in the Dao
Present, but the heart elsewhere—
Perfectly reconciled with the world.
Looking, but caring not to see—
Free of delusion and doubt.
Listening, but caring not to hear—
A mind so hard to disturb.
Eating, but caring not to taste—
The palate’s attachments severed.
Doing, but without pursuit—
So constant, abiding in the Dao.
Calm, but without strain of thought—
The truly wondrous can be seen.”
(Hong Yin, “Abiding in the Dao”)
I sat silently, reflecting and going deeper within. I saw that what I truly want is found within myself, it is already there. One simply has to turn their attention inward.
As I was writing this sharing, a poetic line was born in my heart:
“In the sound of silence, a full moon rose.”
Please point out anything incorrect.