Power of Love VS Love of Power

A mind free of ignorance, greed, and hatred – peaceful and drama-free sounds nearly too good to be true. However, this state of being is amongst the ideals of Buddhism and basing my opinion simply on those standards, I see no wrong. A fair portion of the world has its qualms with religion – the concept in general, religions and philosophies which are not our own, and especially concepts we know little or nothing about.

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Buddha statue at Yungang Grottoes, Northern Wei Dynasty 686 (386-534).
Datong, Shanxi, China.

If you’re religious, so be it. I simply ask that you keep which ever God or gods you follow to yourself and leave me out of it. It’s a sensitive matter which falls amongst other taboo subjects including politics and the Great Pumpkin. I, perhaps naively, honestly believe that if the citizens of the world were able to put their religions aside, there would be less animosity between neighbours and nations. If instead we focussed our energy on learning more about one other, being humble and sharing our prosperity, as well as spreading more love than hate, we might really be able to get somewhere.

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Laughing Buddha, possibly Maitreya.
Date unknown, Lingyin-si Temple, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China.

Who was it that said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace”? It’s debatable and attributed to both William Gladstone and Jimi Hendrix, and the actual point is not who said it, but that it was said. Now, if only we made it happen – the Buddhists certainly cannot do it alone.

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Medicine Buddha, 15th century, China.
Red copper with gold, height: 32 cm.

Maybe I’m preaching socialism, or sound a bit crunchy-granola, and I can live with that. Check out the Chinese Buddhist Sculpture exhibit through 31 March at the Tokyo National Museum and try to learn about something you didn’t previously understand. Also, get a further look into Chinese Art with Stephen Bushell, including sculpture, architecture, and painting.

-Le Lorrain Andrews