Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Mystic Aspect Of Life

My girlfriend Ling's sister recently brought two hamsters. One is male while the other is female.

They are adorable at first sight; no one would turn his or her gaze away from them. Reason being that their sizes are small by nature - probably half the size of a child's palm. The male dons a grey fur and the female, white. With a short, tight but certainly soft fur, they attract virtually anyone who lays their eyes on them.

Coupled with their almost non-stop action, which sees them running around in the cage, sometimes twitching their noses for some sniffing action, sometimes digging and burying their entire bodies under the leave flakes, and other times scratching and biting lightly on each other, they are an utterly cute and lovely sight to behold! Such innocent, purely instinctive but yet totally heart-lightening activities have no other effect but bringing smiles on anyone who sees them.

Sitting beside me Ling says that when the lights are off, they would start their 'nightly' activity of burrowing around. The moment the lights are on they would cuddle around each other and quickly squeeze into each other's warmth and sleep in their 'wheel', a place they love to run in it too. Watching them intently, I couldn't help but think to myself: what is their objective in life? What are their goals in living in this world? Would it simply be a daily routine of eating, running around, sleeping and repeating the entire process in the next day? Would they not have any dissatisfaction or grievances against each other, matters which they take into their hearts that result into a irresolvable situation, something of what we humans encounter? Wouldn't they also have their own fair share of anger, sadness or even disappointment? I wouldn't know exactly, but perhaps not. However, one thing for certain is that they are endowed with 'life', something unseen, untouchable and definitely mystic.

In Book One of 'The Human Revolution', Dr. Daisaku Ikeda wrote about his mentor, Josei Toda, capturing a flea. Using his finger he gently pressed the insect and killed it in an instant. Through his thick glasses and under the light, he watched the flea as it transited from the realm of life to one of death. Undeniably the insect was endowed with a life, but where would this 'life' go, after the insect had died, Toda Sensei pondered. It is this simple yet the most fundamental question that humans failed to face it squarely and answer. Some say the 'life' would not enter 'heaven', as it does not qualify itself for the entry, while others say the life ends where it stops breathing. A third group declares that insects and plants are not endowed with the same 'life capacity' as us, the humans.

Regardless of which theory is most fittingly correct, it is vital for us, in the beginning of this new Millennium, to first take a step to ponder on the origin of not just our lives, but the million others which share the same planet as ours, namely the animals and insects. In Buddhism, they are collectively being referred to as the 'sentient beings', a group that we humans are included in as well. That first step will, I believe, come to lead humanity to understand and view their 'living counterparts' on this planet with a whole new perspective, thereby leading to a fresh approach of respecting and treasuring the existences of these interesting, lively and certainly amazing living beings.

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