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Diamond Sutra - Part 17 Unchecked

by Sangharakshita

DISCLAIMER - This transcript has not been checked, and may contain mistakes and mishearings.

are quite affected by the general sort of psycho io~g~ca~ social, economic~ climate
prevailing. Even changes of government seem to
affect the moo+f the mover~t to some extent. Do you see what I mean? Actually that should
not be the case. Maybe one needs to -take certain changes into account for purely practical
reasons but -one shouldn't be either elated or depressed by anv changes that happen to take
place, just watch them~just see them as clouds, adopt emotionally speaking an attitude of deta
chment towards them. I certainly have noticed the difference in atmosphere broadly speaking
I was going to say in England, perhaps I should say in London, perhap~I shouldn't even say in
London, perhaps I should say in Bethnal Green~onLnotices the difference of atmosphere
coming from India. There's a difference of economic climate, because India is a developing
country, that is to say the economy is expanding. That does create a defin'te sort of -
atmosphere is the only word I suppose. People look forward to increased opportunities. They
definltely feel things can be expected to get better, , materially speaking. But in E~gland,
certainly in London, the economy isn't expanding, so there isn't that same sort of expect- ancy
that One had for instance throughout the Victorian period, and perhaps much later than that.
Do you see the sort of thing I mean? So it's as if - so if something as basic as the
economy/Lsn't expanding, it was ex~nding during the Elizabethan period and dur- ing the
Victorian period, perhaps it's been expanding until quite recently for hundreds of years, when
it isn't expanding~the economy is sort of running down, it seems to communicate a general
sense, a general air, a general feeling of things running down, which can communicate itself
to~ even infect, at least affect a spiritual movement. Do you see what I mean? But we
shouldn't allow ourselves to be affected by it, after all samsara rises and falls; sometimes
things are better, sometimes worse, that shouldn't affect our basic ~ttitude~ our fundamental
spiritual optimism at all. In other words our spiritual attitude~our spiritual condition,our
spiritual state shouldn't be dependent upon mundane contingencies.
___________ - - '(here's no way out of it. Say the economy starts running down and that
affects you psychologica11~ it's an ongoing process.. (unclear)
Yes, the only way to work out of it is to go and emigrate to a country where the
economy is expanding, which seems pretty drastic, also in a way pretty useless because you
still remain depend nt on the state of the economy. 'That which is supported has no support' as
we know.
'b~~. - --
31Q. A voice:
It affects such things as businesses.
It affects such things as businesses, yes, or some businesses.
It doesn't have to, does it? I mean this is in the short
term it will do. It's up to a business to try and find some scope.
Right, yes. You don't have to peg away at a business which in the existing
circumstances cannot be anything else except a failure. That is not -"'%!-~ya paramita, that's
just stv~&~~y. (Laughter) Vt~~~ must be conjoined with if not transcendental wisdom at
least wisdom in a more mundane form.
But no doubt there are certain areas of the economy which are expanding and no
doubt some of our friends are involved in th se but on the whole the economy isn't expanding,
is it? In Britain?
It's quite a good time to actually get really involved in the economy, because in a
sense there isn't a lot of real competition, because most o4 the economy is either static or
going down. So its a good chance to go in and try and develop something.
-S.: That sounds fine in theory, but how does it work out in practice?
I think to start with you've actually got to find a project which is really quite new and
something which can be taken
in a completely diffe~t way.
Presumably there's lots of other people doing that too? And presumably even that
would need capital too?
~:N~ ~~~ there is~1- Capital available
I don't know.LIt's expensive.
Yes, after observing at very close quarters the operation of our own tiny co-operative
business at Padmaloka, I've developed a scepticism as regards to business which will be quite
difficult to di~odge. Or maybe not so much business but business men, peop e who run
In theory in a recession the co-op business should be able to pull in it's belt a
lot tighter than the average ordinary business where people need wages. So -co1O~s should
be able to ride out a recession -.
. and increase their business because they should move in where others are having to
move out because of the~greater production costs. Once you've captured that little bit of extra
market you usually manage to hang on to it once you've got it.
~Q~. Vessantara:
Then when the recession comes to an end your compet-
ition has been thinned out.
And you're well established and can expand perhaps. Again
that sounds very good in theory perhaps.
It does!
There are equal and opposite factors working against it probably. In~so far as a
coop usually sta~rts off with it's belt ~eII
pulled in
its actually running around with it S trousers down. (Laughter)
Well in this reces s~on there are no trousres even. I mean some coops could be
run%b'y a team o4&ilarepas. And even they'd
jb very successful. With a very limited supply of nettles and C','
Lno clot es at all and certainly no holidays or any shelter or heat- -ing. Maybe the slogan or
motto should be ' Join our coop and be a Mil~repa' or ' Do you want to be Milarepa? Join
our coop.' 'Do you want a beautiful Tara-like complexion, join our co-op' (Laughter) Do you
want to look as though you are -co-~vc~ OU~ ~ green
(unclear) and fall flat on your face every time you stand up.
There's no fear of th~~ves and robbers whatever! They'd
p~ably leave something for you afterwards. (laughter) ~~LoLLt~ I think it's very
easy~for people to allow themselves to be
-caught up and influenced by the current atmosphere outside the moveir~t. I think one
needs to watch that and not allow oneself just to go along with it. Perhaps it's a bit difficult in
Bethnal Green sometimes not to be affected by the surroundings. One shouldn't be - one
should, you know, allow oneself to be much more affected by one 5 immediate
surroundings, especially by the surroundings so to speak, within one's own mind W1,~v~one
meditates and studies ~ 0"% . Anyway let's read the last section of the very last chapter.
32b. Thus spoke the Lord. Enraptured, the Elder Sub- huti, the monks and nuns, the pious
laymen and lay- women, and the Bodhlsattvas, and the whole world with its Gods, men,
Asuras and Gandharvas rejoiced in the Lord's teaching. This is the traditional ending of a
Mahayana Sutra.
_ 'b-,~'~.
We seem to have a larger audience now that was mentioned at the beginning. Perhaps
they've just been quietly sort of gathering all this time, perhaps they realised that something's
going on
somethin~s happening,and didn't want to miss out.
____ ,'-'o~.
--~~ ~\mJA~~%~~ tt'r~~\oQ~L~~~ pp~~p~
~~ L\~tt
v'Mt ,'-'-~ -
S-.~L\\aQ .~ ~
Anyway that is the Diamond Sutra. Conze's got, by the way, quite a useful table of
contents at the very beginning which will enable one to see at a glance the topics covered. Of
course some of the mqre important topics are not actually listed here, because -they come in
as it were incidentally. It might be a question of humbl~g and humiliation.
In the frontispiece there's a picture of Subhuti, as well as the Buddha and the rest of
them and he looks a very old man in the illustration.

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