HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY? IS THAT REALLY IMPORTANT?
I drank from that cup. Now, the cup could be described as half full or half empty. Is that really important? The cup that I drink from gives me pain and I experience suffering. What would be the right question if I have to drink from that cup? What I truly experience from my life, the reality of my condition is more important than my attitude towards my existence. The issue is not about optimism or pessimism. I need to focus on knowing the reality and I need to face the reality about what I experience when I drink from that cup of my life.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THIS CUP TO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM ME ?
I would answer this question from a reading from The New Testament of The Holy Bible. I would like to quote verses 36 to 44, chapter 26, The Gospel According to MATTHEW.
36. Then Jesus came with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane and said to them, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”
37. And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed.
38. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless not as I will, but as You will.”
40. Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour?
41.”Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42. Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”
43. And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy.
44. So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
Jesus had prayed three times, saying the same words. It was not possible for the cup to pass away and Jesus had to drink from the cup.
THE TEACHINGS OF GAUTAMA BUDDHA:
At age 29, Prince Siddhartha realized that humans are subject to old age, sickness, disability and death. He became aware of the suffering implicit in human existence. Buddha described the nature of reality and Dharma (“true law”) as the Four Noble Truths (1) life is fundamentally disappointment and suffering; (2) suffering is a result of one’s desires for pleasure, power, and continued existence; (3) to stop disappointment and suffering one must stop desiring and (4) the way to stop desiring and thus suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path- right views, intention, speech, conduct, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.
From the hymns popularly known as BHAJA GOVINDAM, while I drink from the cup of my life, I will keep this advice in my mind:
“KASYA SUKHAM NA KAROTI VIRAGAHA”
There is a verse in Shankaracharya’s composition Bhaja Govindam: Kasya sukham na karoti viragaha?, which means, “What pleasure cannot be given by dispassion?” It gives all the pleasures because you are so totally living in the moment.
The man has no hope to find happiness until and unless he renounces all desires including the desire to find happiness. The man has no choice other than that of living in the moment without concern for formulating an attitude of either pessimism or optimism. The attitude of dispassion automatically excludes both pessimism and optimism.