The Eastern Concept of Dharma and the Perversity of Western Uniformity
by sadh Friday, Mar 23 2012, 10:16pm
Dharma is a fundamental Eastern concept that separates it culturally and ideologically from the West – it doesn’t translate into any western language, however, we are able to render it in a round-about fashion and perhaps appreciate its Eastern meaning.
Roughly, and I use the term appropriately, dharma alludes to specificity, a particular direction/character/mode of being/’way’ – you see the difficulty in attempting a translation, it is a very foreign concept to West cultural consciousness.
In complete contrast to the ceaseless, some would say manic, western obsession to create a uniform formula by which we can explain everything and everyone, dharma ‘glorifies,’ by implication and inference, the ‘DIFFERENCE’ – no two objects in this infinite universe are exactly the same or have the same dharma (character), though they may share a specific genus – by illustration consider that no two leaves on a tree are the same, no two grains of sand on Bondi beach are identical – the nature of this infinite universe is DIFFERENCE, variety; every thing/object/entity therefore has its own specific dharma/character, ‘form or way’ (mode of being/direction/expression).
It is also important to consider dharma as a harmonious aspect/concept implying a specific yet harmonising influence with the overall flow of things – I am intentionally being liberal with the concept in order to offer as wide a range of allusions and descriptions as possible in the hope that it could lead to an intuitive understanding of this extremely important Eastern philosophical concept that continues to be widely misunderstood in the West.
Dharma suggests a specific course or direction that HARMONISES with the universal symphony of creation; dharma infers concordance not discordance; nevertheless, it maintains a singular unique ‘identity’ or ‘course’ that blends, without losing its necessary, intrinsic specificity (identity) with the harmonious, universal sea of difference, (phew!) I am attempting via the use of as many different signifiers to convey essential meaning and ‘you know it ain’t easy!’ However, I hope a measure of success has been achieved and we are better able to understand and identify those social forces that wish to force us into molds or formulated, UNIFORM thought patterns/ideologies that create disharmony, discord and distress. Any centralist government/authority, is anathema to the concept of Dharma and LIFE itself – we should not be blind to the perverse, marauding force of DESTRUCTION and MURDER that has plunged the WORLD into discord today and the ideology of PERMANENT WAR that it promulgates! Know it to be the aberrant and supremely destructive, discordant force that it is and endeavour to withdraw your active and/or inactive support from it.
Western ideologies unfortunately have no social ‘safety valve’ or philosophical equivalent to dharma to balance their manic pursuit of the ‘one size fits all’ mentality; dharma not only suggests it is good to be different, specifically YOU, but that it is absolutely imperative to be your own shining star in this amazing, EXPANSIVE universe (there is plenty of room ‘space’ for everyone/thing). Do not be deceived into thinking otherwise!
Always BE AWARE and beware of totalitarian forces that wish to extinguish your ‘difference’ the things that make YOU SPECIAL, LIKE NO OTHER! Glorify your difference in the huge pattern or matrix of this amazing universe.
Whether the forces of a stifling education system, constrictive theocracy, or authoritarian government seek to confine you in narrow ‘realities/fictions’ (hells) never forget who and what you are and that it’s the difference that counts!
Pursue your course; it is specific to you alone; you cannot hope to find peace or happiness pursuing the formulas of others.
Freedom is a UNIVERSAL RIGHT and no clown (Obama)/government or ‘authority’ alive or dead (scriptures) has the right to deny you that Freedom, under ANY circumstances whatsoever!
<< back to stories