Malcolm wrote: bob wrote:
As much as I respect your acumen, I would offer as a rough analogy that the beings who build the zoo are not of the same class as the beings who occupy the cages.
So too with the physical 3-D realm we take to be "the world", which is a stage with props provided for the training and edifying adventures of beings in a less advanced class by beings in a far more advanced class.
Of course, if we were to consider the matter from the absolute point of view, there are no beings, but that is skipping ahead a bit.
We build our own cage together, no one does it for us.
Yes, I understand that line of thinking, and at one time would have agreed. In a certain limited sense, there is even some truth to that, especially in regard to karma. We are all creators and creatures of each other, causing and bearing each other's burden within the sphere of our relations and so forth.
However, what I am referring to is the actual mechanics of this current manifestation which we are enjoying, known generally as "this world", which we as human beings have little hand in creating or maintaining (but are doing a pretty good job nevertheless of spoiling). We did not make the mountains, the rivers, or the tigers and elephants, or even our own bodies (which we think of as our own, at least).
In that sense, it is the work of another class of beings, just as is the sun, the moon, and the planets. Nor am I referring to some God-creator (although to most of us, these beings would appear god-like). In other words, there is a hierarchy, or ascending and descending classes of beings.
Now, I realize this comment might not align with the popular understanding of Buddhism, but nevertheless, it is the case. I am not trying to convince anyone of this, btw, but felt moved to insert it as a consideration. There is more to this world than meets the eye, or necessarily tallies with human philosophies or current scientific understanding.