Practical Companion – 18

Human beings

Previously, we have explored the 3 lower realms and how we can relate to them in our human experience. The human realm is like a balanced existence whereby we can easily relate to the other realms of existence. According to great masters, this balanced existence makes it the most conducive realm for enlightenment.

The mechanism of rebirth is not a divine judgement system but simply a transition from one state of being to another. That means we come into existence in accordance to how we habitually condition ourselves. In that manner, a habitually violent mind will manifest in a violent environment and we name that kind of environment, hell. Likewise a craving mind transit into hungry ghost and a mind that is shrouded by ignorance and besotted by lust take rebirth as an animal.

If we wish to be reborn as human again, then we should refrain from the 5 non virtuous deeds. Habitual performance of these 5 non virtuous deeds will condition our mental energy towards negativities.

The 5 non virtuous deeds are, killing, stealing, sexual misconduct (lustfulness), lying (deception), and consuming intoxicant (non clarity). If we ponder deeply, it is easy to correlate these negative actions to the lower realms.

By refraining from these actions we condition our minds away from the lower state of existences. Unfortunately, not all people have the opportunity to learn this. That is why we say it takes a lot of merits for one to encounter Dharma. It is even rarer to practice dharma correctly without misunderstanding it. Therefore, Buddhists are not taught to aim for rebirth as a human being. The risk of losing our way in Samsara is simply too high.

When we contemplate the realm of humans in Samsara; We have to focus on the rarity of practicing Dharma and the immense risk of losing our ways in Samsara. (Ie the risk of falling into the lower realms)

Therefore, this way of contemplation will motivate us to treasure our current existence and not blindly believe that we will have a second chance in our next life if we do not become enlightened in this one.

In summary, human existence is conducive for enlightenment but we cannot assume that we will be reborn as a human again if we miss our current opportunity. Even if we were to observe the 5 precepts and be reborn a human again in our next life, there is no guarantee that we will encounter Dharma, Even if we encounter Dharma in our next life, there is no guarantee that we will still be interested in it. This can go on and on. Therefore, the best goal we can have in this life is to stop coming back into Samsara again.

Thus, we have covered 4 realms of existence out of 6, and we continue to try and develop a sense of dread or tiredness for rebirth in Samsara; even though we are contemplating the higher realms now.

May all be well and happy.

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