By oneself the evil is not done and by one's self one becomes Pure.
The pure and and the impure come from one self: no man can purify another."
- the Buddha, from his work 'The Dhammapada'
I got to this point when reading The Dhammapada, and ended up reading the paragraph over again a number of times. It struck me as a clear teaching on Responsibility.
Responsibility is a KEY distinction to having clean energy, effectiveness and integrity in our lives. Lack of responsibility is a common cause of suffering. Taking responsibility can however be hard when our ego has vested interests to keep the lack of responsibility in place - almost always in the form of beliefs that reinforce the irresponsibility (and suffering).
Here are some simple questions that can help to act as a responsibility-check:
- Do you have a victim mentality in life and where does it surface? Clues include energised reactions such as blame, anger, frustration, disempowerment, etc.
- Do you have a clear vision of what you want? If not, why not?
- Do you complain to yourself or others about why you are not achieving more in your life?
So, back to the Buddha's quote above, here are some lessons I got from it:
- Firstly, "oneself" can be interpreted to be the oneness at the source of all things. Whether you experience suffering, evil, or purity, it is all experienced by only oneself. That this is 'done' by one person to another is an illusion, since both come from the one self of God.
- "By oneself the evil is done and it is oneself who suffers". Each of us are ultimately responsible for any suffering that we may experience. It is I that experiences suffering, or not. It is I that becomes pure, free of suffering, or not. It is my choice, and my responsibility for the consequences of whether my energy (thoughts and feelings) are pure, or dwell on suffering.
- "By oneself the evil is not done and by one's self one becomes Pure." The same as above, but reversed into the positive. The Buddha is providing an access here to escape suffering by highlighting that we also have a choice to live a pure life, with pure energy.
- "The pure and and the impure come from one self: no man can purify another." My (and your) self is of the one self and therefore whole, complete and perfect. Because we are already whole, it is not for someone else to make us feel whole. It is for each of us to love ourselves (Love, another key word) until we sense and come to know the innate wholeness within us.
So it is a good practice to balance at least as much time for yourself (in silence, meditation, yoga, whatever works for you) as the time that you spend seeking answers from other people.
Time for ourselves also allows to get into our energetic heart-space, and out of the head. Learning to be aware of your heart/energy space is important to making heart led choices.
Beware of spending a lot of time seeking solutions or gratification from other people. This might be a sign that you are in your head, While mental stimulation has its place, seeking it all of the time might be a sign that you are stuck 'in your head' trying to solve a problem (with all its complexities) at the cost of missing the energetic signals and solutions that already exist within you.