Friday, October 24, 2008

Philosophical Musings - Part XIV

The Roots of Wisdom

Deeds committed in the Past cannot be changed, so why dwell on it? One should not rest on one’s own laurels nor regret one’s mistakes. It is best to be mindful and stay in the present moment, for it is in the Present where you can make a difference. Here is what Hong Yingming has to say on reflecting one's past actions.

Right Action

Even if one has performed
Herculean meritorious deeds

If their value is not to be negated
The word ‘Pride’ does not apply

Even if one has committed a crime
Frowned upon by even the Heavens

If one has truly repented
The word ‘Regret’ does not apply



They say mortals fear the "fruit" of their acts, while Boddhisatva fear the "seeds"...


Dear YT,

Good point. We mortals prefer to do unskillful acts as we do not truly comprehend the fruits of our acts.

On the other hand, a Boddhisatva understands the dangers of unskillful acts. Being forever mindful of the seeds or causes of unskillful acts is a sign of a very wise person, indeed. Something we should all strive for.


Small Potato

Hi Friend, has been a while didn't visit your blog, it seems very FULL. I think I need to catch up a bit. Thanks for your valuable sharing & take care...

Your Ex-Colleague


Dear Small Potato,

Thanks for commenting. Hope you find the posts useful.


Damien Tan

"If one has truly repented
The word ‘Regret’ does not apply"

I hear the words "no regret" a lot but to be honest I have no idea what it means. Is it humanly possible not to regret a foolish gamble after one has lost his entire wealth and family?


Dear Damien,

In simple terms, I think 'regret' here means feeling remorse over one's unskillful action in the past. Contemplation is good, but there is no point continually thinking about something that has happened in the past.

If one has done something unskillful, one should realize that and move on. By remaining in the present, we can avoid repeating such acts in the future.

In your example, if one has lost his entire wealth, he should contemplate on how that happened and how to avoid it in the future. Having done that, he should move on and perhaps, rebuild his life. If he goes on thinking, 'Woe is me!' and 'If only', he will forever be stuck in the past. Such would be a waste of life in the present.

Do not throw away the living future for the dead past!


Yours Truly

Difficult for some to live in the present, too many live in the past.... others on the hand anticipate the future too eagerly, e.g. hopin' they'd strike the lottery. Enjoy the present moment, for a second later, it's gone.


Dear Yours Truly,

A good observation! Enjoying the present moment makes perfect sense and yet, is a most difficult thing to do.


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