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The constituents of human life
Please bear in mind that the enlightenment of the Buddha is about his finding of a unique element in nature which was not known to anyone previously in our recorded history. Despite being beyond the reach of human’s thoughts and language, the Buddha had no choice but to call this ultimate element ‘Nirvana’ for the sake of communicating and leading his followers to it. This is the ultimate ‘missing link’ that once it is known, the whole picture of life can be in perspective too. The rest is all ‘the details’ that can be easily bypassed including all the conspiracy theories that have troubled so many people in the world. This wisdom is the very essence that Einstein wanted to achieve; he had no time for ‘details’. So, if we want to know what Nirvana or the innocent perception is, we must understand how our life form, body and mind, works. It is this life form after all which will experience the innocent perception/Nirvana. This chapter will be the main reference as I delve into the different topics in this book.1 The five aggregates (groups) Mind experts view the human life form as a body to which the brain belongs and the mind as being part of the brain, but the Buddha viewed it very differently.
A cartoon view of human life as a physical body in which the mind is within the brain.
Although I begin to use the term ‘ultimate element’ to represent Nirvana, one of the 28 terminologies mentioned in chapter one, please bear in mind that it doesn’t have any material form like those in the periodic table of elements. Nevertheless, this ultimate element is still classed as a natural element just like others, the difference is that it has a definite, ultimate and absolute quality, and also beyond human thoughts and language. That’s why it is extremely difficult to talk about it. I, however, want to use the term ‘ultimate element’ for Nirvana to depict the notion of being scientific and not some kind of religious dogmatic concoction for the purpose of building up faith for the public. All these will be elaborated in chapter nine of this book.
According to the Buddha, the human life form consists of five different groupings – one group is material or mass and the other four parts are of a formless nature which I would like to describe with the word ‘energy’ for now. They are shown in the illustration below.
The Buddha separates the human life form into five groupings: body (physical self) and thoughts, memories, feelings and consciousness (mental self). According to the Buddha’s approach, these five aggregates are his way to explain how the four natural mental elements work together. This nature of grouping is, of course, unfamiliar to the non-Buddhists especially those with scientific minds but they can clearly and splendidly explain how human mind work. Each group of element has its own quality and function. Let’s have a look. 1. The body (mass, rupa in Pali) is made up of earth, water, fire and wind which are the familiar basic common elements. Each element has its own quality and function: earth element is hard, water element flows, wind element blows and the fire element is hot. 2. The memory element (sanya, in Pali) is a formless element whose function is to accumulate data which come as ‘experience’ in the form of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures including mental events. This element appears in the head or the skull area. 3. The thought/thinking element (sankara, in Pali) is another formless element whose main function is to reason, elaborate, proliferate, expand, delude, including to simplify or complicate matters. This thinking element works hand in hand with the memory element. The former provides the data/information whereas the latter expands, creates, concocts and shuffles into ‘mental events/activities’. The thinking element is similar to a master chef who is capable of throwing a series of ingredients into a massive bowl of salad. This element is well known to Buddhists
as sankara – a very significant characteristic! It can be both creative and destructive – causing greatness and mayhem! This thinking element can turn a man into a saint or a world class murderer depending on whether he has the right or wrong view towards the ultimate goal of life. Whether a society has war or peace entirely depends on this element. It can transform a molehill into a gigantic mountain just as energy can expand itself faster than viruses. Concocting, deluding and expanding are what this particular element is very good at. Once concocted into mental events, thoughts appear as our ‘mental monologues’ some of which will be subsequently materialised into speeches and actions, good and bad alike. This group of element also appears in the head or the skull area. 4. The feeling element (vedana, in Pali) is yet another formless natural element whose main function is to feel or produce mental feelings and emotions. This element is a direct result of the other two groups, memories and thoughts. This group of element appears in the chest area in both positive and negative feelings. The negative feelings can be weighty as if carrying a mountain on our chest whereas some of the positive feelings can make one symbolically being on cloud nine. 5. The consciousness element (vinnana, in Pali, mental self) according to the Buddha, is also another natural element whose distinctive function is to know, to be aware or to be conscious. This element doesn’t produce any ‘monologue’ in our heads. Apart from the earth, water, fire and wind elements which make up our physical body, the other four (formless) natural elements – let’s regard them as energy – are unknown to physical scientists and therefore they do not appear on the periodic table of elements. Because of their intangible formless nature and being trapped in our life form, I shall use the universal cartoon characters of Tom and Jerry as a tool to demonstrate their functions. Therefore, from now on our mental self or consciousness element will be known as Tom, the cat and memories, thoughts and feelings will be rounded up and replaced as Jerry. By using the comparison as Tom and Jerry, I will have more flexibility to explain how human mind work, which also makes it easier for you to grasp the concept with better comprehension. Different groupings The intellectual world may place consciousness within the body to which the brain belongs. Mind experts tend to believe that consciousness has a direct connection with the brain, which connects with our nervous system and the functioning of the body. As a matter of fact, after two centuries of debating, mind experts haven’t really come up with any satisfying conclusions to the question of “what consciousness and the mind really are.” In contrast, the Buddha places the brain with the body grouping while consciousness is another separate independent entity, as are the other three formless elements. We must also admit that these five elements work very closely together in a mysterious manner. It is very true that the brain has something to do with human consciousness.
There are certainly some connections between the brain and consciousness. When something is wrong with the brain – a blood clot for instance – we can become unconscious. Once the blood clot is removed, consciousness can return. The use of anaesthetics that can block the whole of our nervous system, allowing surgeons to perform surgery, also strongly supports the fact that the brain has something to do with human consciousness. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with the brain at all during a deep sleep, yet our consciousness becomes absent. People can faint and become unconscious without anything wrong with their brains. Similarly, those who are in a coma for a length of time can regain consciousness without having to rectify the brain. Not all dying people have problems with the brain; their brains can still be in good working order, so why does their consciousnesses still disappear? For those reasons, let’s admit first that there are a great number of mysteries about these fundamental elements which make up our body and mind. Let them be a secret of Heaven for now. My goal here is to merely present the Buddha’s teachings regarding this important topic of the human life form so that we can make connections with other relevant subjects I shall bring up in this book, i.e. the nature of our true self, the state of a normal mind, the final frontier, the tube of intellect and above all the ultimate truth as the absolute ruling point that Einstein wanted to locate. Without the existence of our life form, nothing would matter. For this reason, it is very important to see how the Buddha views this life form. Through his perspective, all the loose jigsaw puzzle pieces and the final missing link will easily and amazingly click into place. Only then will we be able to know our position in this gigantic cosmos, the subject with which I shall deal in chapter nine. Metaphoric language It is very difficult to explain our mental states due to their energy form. The only way I can communicate with you is by using metaphoric language and personifying their characteristics so that we can make better sense of all these natural elements, four of which are trapped in the physical body. I shall personify the term ‘consciousness element’ as a ‘mental self’ so that it can correspond to our body or physical self. But when this consciousness element interacts with our thinking and feeling faculties, I shall refer to it as Tom as opposed to Jerry. This will enable me to offer easy comparisons and allegorical examples, to give you a clearer perspective. The core of life Now, let’s look at the 1st and the 5th grouping first. A complete life form must have both the physical self and the mental self. There is a Thai saying that comes from the Buddhist influence: mind is the boss, body is the servant. For a clear image, I shall depict them by using these toy characters, which I have been using in my lectures.
A complete life form is made up of both a physical self and a mental self. To support the fact that the mental self is the true self, you have to see the difference between a birth of a predictably crying baby and a stillbirth. A crying baby has both a physical self and a mental self, whereas the stillbirth is similar to a glove/shell without a hand. Imagine the physical self as a glove and the mental self as a hand; you will see right away who the real captain of this ship is. The glove cannot function without the hand as without a captain, a ship is like an empty vessel.
A crying baby – hand in a glove – is a successful birth with both a physical self and a mental self, and a stillbirth is a physical self (shell) without a mental self. The following four incidents further support the notion that the mental self is the real self. They are:
When one falls into a deep sleep, is unconscious, either with or without anaesthetics, is in a coma, or when one dies.
When any of the four events happen, the mental self is not with the physical self – just like the hand is not with the glove. You may ask where the mental self goes during those events? I am afraid your guess is as good as mine. Knowing too much can complicate matters at this stage. As long as this approach can lead us to an effective cure for reducing mental turmoil and restoring inner peace, that is all that matters for now. We can bypass this question, and leave it in the mystery list for the time being. Let’s focus first on the more urgent matter by piecing together the loose jigsaw puzzles to form a perfect understanding of life in relation to the universe. We can do this without having to answer that out-of-range question yet. The important point you must know is that the physical self cannot function without the presence of your mental self or consciousness element. Although all the sense organs are there, they cannot perform their usual tasks of perceiving or sensing. When one falls into a deep sleep, one might not be conscious even if a marching band is trooping through the bedroom. When that happens, it would be like eyes that can’t see, ears that can’t hear, a nose that can’t smell, a tongue that can’t taste and a body that can’t feel texture. But as soon as the mental self (consciousness element) returns to the body, the awakening happens, only then can all sensory organs function normally again.
When a person is in a deep sleep, unconscious or in a coma, the sensory organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin cease to work as usual. To confirm the existence of your mental self/consciousness element as the true/real self, here is another example. Suppose a husband had an accident and he suffered a period of amnesia – having no memory of his wife! Under such circumstances, although they both are physically together, there is no difference from being with a total stranger. To the wife, it is the husband’s true self (Tom) with his memory (Jerry) whom she misses most. In other words, it is ‘the mind’(Tom and Jerry) of her husband that she want it to return. So, when she cuddles his physical body, she would feel like she is cuddling a shell. Her feelings are incomplete due to the absence of her husband’s true self (mind). But when the husband’s memory returns, she is very happy because she can now relate to his
true/inner self. The details of losing and retrieving memories is also another secret to add to the mystery list. From these examples, we can then draw a conclusion that the mental self is the true/real self or the core of life. Therefore, I shall also substitute the consciousness element with true/real self depending on the context. Understanding Rupa Now, let’s explore the first group/aggregate – the body or the mass. The Buddha used the Pali term: rupa. Many Buddhists tend to think that rupa means only the physical body, but in fact, rupa covers significantly much more than just the physical body. According to the Buddha, rupa not only refers to the physical body but also includes everything in the universe as one single entity or singularity! It is because the physical body has sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin) which act like bridges corresponding to perceived sense objects of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Therefore, without the existence of the physical body means the perceptions are absent and consequently the entire external universe is accordingly absent too. That’s why the Buddha swept the entire universe under just one word ‘rupa’. Please take your time to digest this profound concept. Sometimes the Buddha replaced the word rupa with the words: ocean or universe. He says that the ocean does not just mean water and the universe does not mean just stars in the sky. Water in the ocean is just one sight and stars in the sky are yet another sight. The genuine ocean here is profoundly abstract and staggeringly colossal. It is the ocean of sights, ocean of sounds, smells and so forth. The real universe is also the universe of sights, sounds, odours and so on. No matter how much we know about this cosmos, our solar system and earth, including everything that is happening on the surface of this blue planet from domestic to global affairs – yes, plus our precious intellectual knowledge – this colossal entirety is referred to as a singular noun and is swept into the first group, rupa!
Rupa, the first aggregate, covers the ocean of sights, the ocean of sounds, the ocean of smells, the ocean of tastes and the ocean of textures.
Rupa includes absolutely everything from our physical body to the edge of the universe. It covers the universe of sights, the universe of sounds, the universe of odours, the universe of tastes and the universe of textures.
After describing the diversity in the external world as rupa, the Buddha then breaks all this external data/rupa into the categories of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures. Therefore, every piece of collective knowledge about our solar system all the way to the edge of the universe is narrowed down to mere sense perceptions in the Buddha’s terms. These sensual data of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures next make their journey through the sensory organs (bridges) of eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. You must try to digest this piece of knowledge very carefully so that you can realise how insightful and ingenious the Buddha’s description is.
Rupa = sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures = external Jerry (data)
Rupa represents the five external Jerrys: sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures plus the physical self which has eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Einstein two, Buddha one! If you understand the term rupa correctly, you will know that Einstein’s energy and mass equivalence is within the rupa grouping because it involves light, movements, electrical waves, electro-magnetic fields and so on, which are all parts of the material (external) world. It means that while Einstein uses two words to represent the material world – mass (m) and energy (e), the Buddha uses only one word – rupa. E Rupa = M Therefore, it isn’t wrong to say that the Buddha knew about the mass and energy equivalence nearly 2500 years before Einstein! Who is the centre of the universe? By using the Buddha’s approach of the five aggregates, it isn’t wrong to place yourself as the centre of the universe because without your senses, the cosmos does not exist for you. When you are sleeping, being unconscious or in a coma, your senses cease to function as usual due to the absence of your mental self/consciousness element. At that moment, your very own private universe disappears too, although it very much exists for others who are fully conscious. This makes each and every one of us become the centre of our own universe. The co-existence of the two selves
The two selves (mental and physical) have to rely on each other to make a perfect lifeform. One cannot function without the other. The mental self (real self) can access the outside (material) world only through the five bodily senses. If you are blind or deaf, which means these bridges of perception are broken, the result is your mental self will not have access to the ocean of sights or sounds (data). Your real self will have no experience of sight, shapes, colour and sounds. For those reasons, the mental self can fully experience the external universe only when the five bridges of perception (eyes, ears…) are in good working order. External Jerry becomes internal Jerry Once these vast diversities of sense objects travel over the bridges of perception and enter your inner world, the five sense objects (external Jerry or rupa) have no choice but to abandon their material forms and turn into the non-material entities (energy): memories, thoughts and feelings (internal Jerry). Therefore, external Jerry dematerialises into internal Jerry both of which carry exactly the same information (data) and details. However, please note that the energy form of the three internal Jerry has nothing to do with Einstein’s mass and energy equivalence (e=m) because Einstein did not analyze the human mind.
The external Jerry travel through the sensory organs of eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin, and turn into the internal Jerry of memories, thoughts and feelings.
When you are watching a football match, no matter how diverse those exciting events on the football field are, those awesome happenings of the match begin their journey into your inner world as sights, sounds, odours, tastes and touch. The five mice would then sprint through the five bridges (eyes, ears, …), and instantaneously transform into the formless energetic Jerry (memories, thoughts and feelings), which are perceived by your mental self. As a result, your mental self (the big boss) receives the facts and information about the match and knows directly what’s going on. Only then, will the whole
experience of the football match be completed. This whole network of sending data from the external world to the inside world happens at a staggering speed from start to finish. This explanation breaks up the sequence in slow motion for clear understanding. Should a completely blind man sit in the match, he would know everything but the facts about sights. Should a completely deaf man sit in the match, he would know everything but the facts about sounds. Domestic problems Likewise, the various problems that you have with your partners, your children, your colleagues and your pet or even with the environment, no matter how diverse they are, are reduced to the five metaphoric mice (sights, sounds...) who always have to run through the five bridges and turn into three internal Jerry for the acknowledgement by your true self. To break it down in slow motion, the memory Jerry will record the event/data in his memory box, which is its function. The thinking Jerry (sankara/the master chef) will then process the data by spicing and adding more ingredients into the salad bowl – proliferation! As for how many more ingredients this master chef will add into our mental salad bowl is subject to the situations and the moral quality of that person, i.e. empathetic, forgiving, loving, compassionate, reciprocate and so forth. The adding of the mental ingredients varies in different events and situations, influenced by how close a link the perceiver has towards the people they perceive, or how much financially gain and loss and the status quo will be affected. If the events involve your loved ones, more ingredients will surely be added. These are all good examples for relativity.
For example, you find a loving text message on your husband’s mobile phone (sight). You call the number and hear a woman’s voice (sound). You smell perfume on your husband’s jacket that you know doesn’t belong to you (smell). Your assessment of these objects as clues, of your husband’s affair, absorbs into your inner world and turns into internal Jerry, with whom your mental self (Tom) will deal.
From the moment that you find the text message, your master chef/thinking Jerry has already begun his ingenious work in elaborating, crafting and expanding the perceived data. Finally, the feeling Jerry will complete the mental proliferation by scratching and punching your mental self causing an excruciating pain in your heart. This full cycle from finding the text to the pain happens at a staggering speed; it is so fast that no material tool can measure its speed. Just at the snap of our fingers, the cycle has already repeated itself countless times....so the Buddha said. All you can experience is that you have already felt the pain in your heart at the moment you found the text message. If you feel that the pain doesn’t change at all, it means that the cycle keeps on repeating itself over and over just like the way a film is made. That is, the individual frame of picture keeps on running through the projector and subsequently turns into a film (in our head). The master chef has been very busy in concocting this huge bowl of salad. This makes Jerrys proliferate themselves so rapidly that your mind turns into a huge mental jungle with your mental self trapped in it.
The thinking element/Jerrys can proliferate itself so rapidly!
With the functioning of the thinking element (sankara), the three inner Jerrys weave a dense mental jungle in which our mental self is trapped. There is no way to stop this excessive thinking element from working in our heads, not without the help of the Buddha. Due to this natural thinking element (sankara/master chef) in our head, the Buddha at one time compared the human being to a crumb of dust being trapped in a cart’s wheels and thrown back and forth, unable to set itself free. That’s why our thinking has become our own inner enemy causing humanity endless pain and subsequent havoc. A blessing in disguise! If you are blind and/or deaf, you will have fewer matters to worry about than those with good eyes and good ears because you can’t read the newspaper or hear news ranging from terrorism, diseases, stock market crashes and wars, to the alarming climate disasters. As long as the information about the outside world cannot reach your true self, you have no mental reaction to it whatsoever despite living in the middle of mayhem. In one of my books2, I told the story of Yee Gow who was deaf. She was forgotten and left alone in a temple in Shanghai while there was a fierce war going on. The shooting and bomb-shelling went on right outside her temple, but she wasn’t aware of the frightful political upheaval outside her temple wall. Sticking with her daily routine in her quiet quarter, Yee Gow had escaped a potential nervous breakdown only because she was utterly deaf! Consequently, the turmoil of the outside world – mainly sound in Yee Gow’s case – could not travel through her broken bridge (deafness) and reach her true self, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise!
The User Guide to Life – The Law of Karma, in the appendix.
So pensioners, please feel blessed in having poor eye-sight and weak hearing. These conditions offer the benefit of providing the opportunity for less grief and to live in peace! Knowing the 6th sense By using the five groups (aggregates) approach, outlined at the beginning of this chapter, the Buddha has placed the consciousness element (mental self/Tom) as an additional sense, the 6th sense. The Buddha always described humans as a life form with six senses, whereas intellectuals view it with five senses only. The 6th sense is the mental eye belonging to the mental self. If this is true, what then are the sense objects of the 6th sense? The answer is: internal Jerry (memories, thoughts and feelings). Every sense must correspond to its own sense object. They cannot cross perceive. You cannot use eyes to perceive odours; neither can you use ears to perceive thoughts, memories and feelings. Internal Jerry must be perceived by Tom only. They must work together in pairs: Eyes perceive sights Ears perceive sounds Nose perceives odours Tongue perceives tastes Skin perceives physical textures, sensations Mental eye (5th group) perceives thoughts, memories and feelings (2nd, 3rd, 4th groups) or Tom perceives Jerry
Unlike the five pairs of sense organs, both the 6th sense (Tom) and its sense objects (Jerry) are in non-material forms or energy. The Buddha calls these non-material forms nama, and the term ‘energy’, in my opinion, is a good translation for it, because it sounds modern, is definitely more familiar to the ears and, to say the least, is a nonreligious term.
This metaphoric Tom and Jerry are the pair that mind-experts have great difficulty understanding due to the lack of Buddhist wisdom. The Buddha is, so far, the only great teacher who talks seriously about the 6th sense and its sense objects in a scientific manner.3 To understand mental activities or the working of the mind – the interactions between memories, thoughts and feelings – you must first have a basic tool: sense! Without the eyes, you cannot possibly learn anything about the visible world in front of you. Likewise, without your mental eye (Tom), you cannot possibly know how your inner world works – it is as simple as this! By calling both Tom (the sense) and Jerry (the sense object) with just one word: ‘mind’, scientists subsequently categorise the mind under the bodily grouping (rupa) by associating it with the brain so that the mind can be perceived scientifically by our five senses. By doing this, scientists have to leave ‘consciousness’ dangling in limbo, not knowing where to place this curious but most significant piece of the jigsaw puzzle. It is then difficult for them to form a clear picture of life in relation to the universe. Associating the mind with the brain is taking a wrong turn, as far as the Buddha’s wisdom is concerned. That’s why, after two centuries of research and debate, mind experts are still divided and unable to come up with a definite conclusion about what the mind and the consciousness really are. The ambiguity regarding the human mind and consciousness is so muddy that it has become harmful. By squeezing both the metaphoric Tom and Jerry into the skull, mind experts think they have no choice but to use medication to cure mental imbalances stretching from stress and depression to breakdowns and potential suicide. This mental illness has made prescribed drugs become a huge industry. It may look good for the economy, boosting the GDP, but certainly a disaster for humanity. While many individuals believe the anti-depression drugs work for them, researchers from Hull University, UK, claim that this could be just a placebo effect – people feel better by assuming a medication would help them! Alternatively, the Buddha simply uses meditation and vipassana (BMSBH) to keep the mischievous, wandering Jerry at bay. Simply engaging in the BMSBH practice, practitioners will be equipped with the right tool (the 6th sense); they will subsequently understand their mental weakness and the strength by just watching the coming and going of Jerry – a real scientific observation on mental level. With some guided wisdom – i.e. the subject like the host mind and mental guests, the illusive Jerry and the nature of the
The scientific manner will be revealed once you engage in the practice of “bringing the mental self back home” a meditation practice described in part II of my book, Bringing Your Mental Self Back Home currently near the printing stage.
ultimate truth – BMSBH practitioners will be able to be one step ahead of illusive Jerry and will finally defeat their inner enemy.4 The illustration below clearly shows the contrast difference between the cause and effect of mental illnesses and the cure, which can make a huge difference to one’s life too.
Without a scientific means for observing the mind or having the right tool for the right job – the 6th sense – mind-experts cannot possibly find out how Jerry works in human minds. One has no way of knowing that Jerry is the real culprit who carries all the problems in the material world into the inner world and subsequently uses the mental self as a punching bag all the time. Jerry is the root cause for our social, economic, political and environmental imbalance, which results in the global injustice, inequality and endless suffering among humankind. Comparatively speaking, Jerry has bullied Tom ever since the beginning of humankind, yet we have not realized this – not even now!
My book titled: Bringing Your Mental Self Back Home, which consists of two volumes: theory and practice, cover all the significant subjects, the guided wisdom, that you need to know.
On the physical level (external world), the 1% wealthiest known as the plutonomy (banking cartel) is the real ruling class of the world – doing nothing but robbing from the poor through the greedy and distorted banking system – but on the mental level, Jerry is the one and only ruler who governs the entire humanity all along, always has and always will. All crime scenes initially happen in the mind before being materialised into actions. That small handful wealthiest (the plutonomy) still have to use their ‘Jerry’ to plan their strategy to steal from ‘the rest’, which causes corruptions on every level from the top to the bottom of the society. Consequently a great number of humanity struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis and live in perpetual misery, not to mention the one billion people on this planet starve to death every day. This is how ‘powerful’ Jerry really is.
Nothing left dangling! I hope you now have a clearer picture about your life form in relation to the universe we live in. You can easily distinguish between the two equal worlds this way: Physical self (five senses) relates to the external world of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch (the world of mass, rupa). Mental self (with mental eye, the 6th sense or Tom) relates to the inner world of thoughts, memories and feelings (Jerry).
These two worlds are actually equal but in different forms. Summary By using the five aggregates approach, the Buddha covers every aspect of life. There is absolutely nothing about life that is left dangling without any classification or grouping. This will subsequently give us a much better understanding about life in relation to the cosmos as well as help us find long lasting solutions for international harmony. One can easily imagine a huge loss when a person is blind. Not recognising the existence of the 6th sense in global education, means the entire human race is sharing a profound mental/spiritual blindness. The catastrophe is inconceivable. Hence, the ignorance towards the existence and the function of the 6th sense is the fundamental causality of every problem on earth. Empathy and evil happen in the mind first! Without the perspective of this real wisdom, I cannot see how humanity can change for the better. We simply recycle our lives and problems. One of the greatest scientists mankind ever produced, Albert Einstein, had a glimpse of the wisdom in Buddhism; it’s high time we took his advice and listened to the wise – the Buddha!
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