"Don’t concentrate on the finger or else you’ll miss all the heavenly glory" - Bruce Lee
All religions have the same exact message: Compassion, kindness, and peace towards anybody and everybody. It is the mode of practice that causes the separation, and furthermore the people who feel their religion is better, who feel as if they need to kill others or shun others who do not agree (which is ironically against most religious commandments). As well as condemning those who sin. A sinner is only a man who has missed the point of life, he shouldn’t be looked down upon, but rather shown the same finger, pointing to the same moon. Who are we to judge?
When you’ve awakened to the truth: The wholeness of the Universe, you can abandon the scriptures, metaphors, allegories, prayers, and fables that lead you to where you need to be. Just never forget how you got there, and you shall remain.
(link for closer inspection: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RVCPPyfYGuo/TjsPhuk5z1I/AAAAAAAAAuY/MYFrNQ4yqmo/s1600/10+cube+dekeract.PNG )This is a ten dimensional shape. Some scientific theories (including string theory) claim that there may be upwards to ten dimensions in our physical universe. If this is so, than this ten dimensional shape may be a model of our universe in strictly mathematical terms. Imagine being inside of this object, and looking outward. This is very hard to imagine. I like to picture it more like a tunnel, or a well, with the very center being the bottom.
Now in Buddhism, they speak of 10 directions where the Buddhas reside, willing to guide you into Nirvana (or, for humanly definition, cessation of suffering). They also speak of 31 planes of existence. Also, in Buddhist thought, life is thought of as a cycle or a wheel, continuing endlessly until realization of Nirvana. Now imagine this tunnel being the essence of all life, from demons to humans to gods and so forth. Imagine the bottom of that tunnel being Hell and the outer edges being the realm in which the Buddhas reside, and anywhere beyond being Nirvana. Let me show you a diagram to make my point a little bit clearer:
(link for closer inspection: http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/663/31planes10directions.jpg ) If this is a bit hard to understand, it’s okay, I’ll explain. Here I’ve drawn a circle connecting every point of common intersection within this dekeract. There are a total of 32 circles. If this is supposed to be a mathematical representation of theoretical ten dimensional universe, you can apply the 31 planes theory of Buddhism into this shape. “But there’s 32 circles!” Now I said there were 31 planes of existence in Buddhism, but the 31st is not where the Buddhas reside, this is only the plane of neither perception nor non-perception (reached when the fourth formless jhana is attained). Nirvana is beyond this point, therefore the 32nd “plane” is just a theoretical plane in which the Buddhas reside, to guide you towards Nirvana, which is outside of this diagram. I’ve also put arrows, representing the ten directions (Zenith being the top, Nadir being the bottom, North West being to the right of Zenith, North being the to the right of NW, etc, West being to the left of Zenith [this may not be an accurate description, I’ve never been there!]).
When speaking of near death experiences, there’s always talk of the “tunnel with the light at the end.” If this theory is correct, could this ten dimensional object be the tunnel? When you die, does the energy that leaves you go into the space of emptiness that is beyond the realms, lost if it does not know where to go, and rebirthed into a realm that seems karmically fit? If you die with the realization of Nirvana, do you extend out of the tunnel into the nothingness of Nirvana? This is just food for thought, just a little theory, but if it holds true, then there is truly a lot we do not know. Til then, I’ll just meditate and see for myself….