May 8, 2019


A friend of mine is often worried about the injustice of this world. I'll try to have a look at this problem now.

Before the civilized world, was there injustice in the world, in the world of savages and animals? Let's have a look at a familiar scene in wildlife. A lion catches an antelope, or even worse, a baby antelope, and kills it. Is it OK to kill other beings? Or another example, dinosaurs. Dinosaurs disappeared from the world completely. Is that OK? Is that fair? How about various planets, there is no life on Jupiter. If you go there, you will die instantly. It is the most toxic thing ever. Then there is the Sun. Sooner or later, it will explode or whatever it is that it will happen to it. This world is never fair, it seems, everything dies and disappears, sooner or later. And most things or animals have very little power to do something about it. You could say that a lion has a lot of power, but oila, another lion appears and kills the first one. Why? Everything in the world of nature changes, the concept of justice does not exist before the civilization is born.

As the first civilizations were born, there were first ideals. Law, justice, truth, grace, hierarchy, education, culture, beauty... all these things were hitherto unknown in the universe. Civilized people came with these ideals only to destruct them through horrible actions. Injustice was born, born out of hunger for power, for sex, for money, for fame, more land. As soon as people came with the concept of truth, lie was born. As soon as people came up with the concept of justice, injustice came immediately. As soon as there was wealth, poverty appeared next to it. Ugly next to beautiful, success next to failure. Until then, pain was a natural part of a savage's life, but now pain was something to be avoided. Killing and dying was natural, before the fist civilizations, but now killing was established as wrong and dying as terrible. People began to fear pain, death, poverty, failure, shame, suffering. All these things were, up to then, natural part of the life of animals or primitive humans. But now it was clear these things were negative. Philosophy and religion was born. They were born as civilized people wanted to deal with these problems, this suffering, this pain and injustice.  

For example, there was Jesus Christ. And he came up with solutions to these things. And even before Jesus Christ, there was Buddha and he came up with solutions to these things. He talked about suffering and injustice and came up with some ideas and practice. He came up with a philosophical structure and practice of zazen.  But neither Jesus, nor Buddha changed the civilized world. Injustice is still here, suffering is still here, people still kill each other and die. Buddha did not expect to change the world. He maybe hoped people could be wiser and treat each other better. But he did not expect naively that everyone would change and turn into a perfectly wise and compassionate being.

Now we cannot revert to primitive humans and stop worrying about pain, killing and dying. We already are civilized and educated enough that we know it is great that there are laws, medicine, hospitals, charities, etc. We just cannot go back to the jungle. So what can we do about the injustice going on in this world?

There are three ways to deal with it. Objective, subjective and realistic. The objective attitude means that we go and help where we can. We participate in activities that deal with injustice. We can study law, help to point to those who cause injustice, tell the society who is unjust, we can become politicians, detectives, police officers, etc. It is great when people actively help. It is objective help. It is very good to help like this. Then there is subjective method. We focus on transforming our mind. We want to change the way we see this world. So we pray, we meditate, we read the Bible, we hug dogs and cats, we plant trees and play with kids. We decide to stop worrying about the suffering in this world and instead we just focus on our personal, intimately experienced life. We make tea, sip it slowly, close our eyes and go to bed calm. Because the injustice will never stop as long as there is this civilized world. This is a very nice way to deal with injustice, too.  Finally, there is a realistic approach, I am not saying that it is better or worse, just I would call it realistic, based on the teachings of Buddhism. Of course, there is the concept of compassion in Buddhism, and helping others is always great. There is also a concept of focused practice and transforming mind in Buddhism, practicing zazen even alone every day is great. But the most important thing in Buddhism is transcending the objective and subjective view and just do something every day sincerely. It is interesting, but it seems, objectively, living like this does not help the world much. Subjectively, living like this , does not help one much, we may still experience pain and suffering anyway, but realistically, living like this means to wake up over and over and over an over again and wake up together with the whole universe over and over and over again. Like this, living our everyday life, transcending objective and subjective, we transcend just and unjust, right and wrong, and just wake up with the whole world. At the moment of just doing something here and now, the whole universe is just what it is. Neither just, nor unjust, neither good, nor bad. Just what it is. And then, when we, in the world of culture and educated people, we notice something unfair, we cry. Or protest. Or go and help. But even going and helping will be just one action after another, without the concept of unjust.

Just going and helping, no concept, no right and wrong. Just go and help. So the action is important, more important than the concept of right or wrong, or the idea of justice and injustice. The action of here and now means the whole universe is liberated as there is no me or others, no separation between me and others, no separation between here and there, inside and outside. The action of here and now beyond concepts of right and wrong means to liberate and be liberated at the same time, not just one person, not many people, not everyone, not a few, not nobody. It is just liberation and it is just this universe before we think about it.


birch said...

Nice explanation for me. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thank you Roman. This is beautiful. ATT. A friend :)