Jeffrey’s attitude toward “where we’re from”
1. Since we’re here already, there’s no need to ask “why” because it’s too late anyway.
2. I’m here and this is my life. I wanna live a meaningful life as I want to live it using my own style, in this life time.
3. He quoted the 14 “undeclared questions” in the āgama that a set of common philosophical questions that Buddha refused to answer. Such as “Is the world eternal? Or not? Does Buddha exist after death? Or not?
4. Buddha refused to answer those kind of questions but got a metaphor. A person got shot by a poisonous arrow. When people tried to save his life, he stopped them. He wanted the answers before being treated for his life. What kind of poison was used on the arrow head. What materials the arrow was made of. Why he was shot… Of course you guess the result right? He died without the answers. The point is, we’d also be long gone before finding and being satisfied with the answers.
5. Jeffrey considers a person’s life as a piece of canvas. It’s yours and you get to decide what to draw and how to paint it.
Jeffrey also invited us to consider the followings
1. The so called ideal or ambition in our mind, is it ours? Or is it from someone else?
2. When we don’t agree with the ambition or goals of other people, how can we find our own?
3. He shared the suggestion from Zen, a school of Mahayana Buddhism. Doubt. Doubt what we read or are told. Find what we can accept that coincides with our inner voice and value. Then we can bring that belief to full play and develop the ideal of our own.
4. He used the 4 sufferings “being born, aging, getting sick, and death” as an example. In this modern world with the advanced medical development, are the 4 sufferings remain truth as they were in 2,000 years ago?
5. So how do we modify it when needed I asked him. He suggested that we hold on to the marrow of whichever argument that philosophy is and examine how it works in the present time. For example, “rid of the suffering and gain the happiness”
Jeffrey’s view toward “Origin of Human Being”
1. Dao, God, the Absolute, Truth, the Only, and the Nature are all the same as in the ontology. It’s like the story we once shared about several blind people feeling out an elephant. Put every part each blind touched together and we’d get the whole elephant.
2. It’s not in the sky or in any part of the world far away. It’s in our mind, inside us. Since it’s inside us, we would be able to get beyond it.
3. As how to transcend it, “tolerate” is the word Jeffrey used. Enlarge our heart. Let us surpass the difference of the peoples, cultures, and religions.
4. All of us consist of the buddha-nature. Bring the body, the heart, and the mind together. Heaven is inside us. Do what Buddha would do. Voice what Buddha would speak. Think Buddha would think. And that make us a buddha.
Suggestions from Jeffrey to people interested in philosophy and/or religions
1. Be yourself. Pursue what inspires you. Enlarge your heart. And you’re not afar from Dao.
2. Allow the difference. Elevate your own cultivation as suggested in the Perfection of Wisdom and love from Bible.