Buddhism vs Christianity for Beginners by Alan Watts

Because you see you don't get the idea of law until you move to a culture where order is based on the idea of obedience or in in the west you see are the origins of law spring from where the laws of the medes and the persians the laws of hammurabi the laws of moses and later roman law the only healthy legal tradition we have in the west is british common law which proceeds in an entirely different way from code law because you see the difference between code law and common law is that code law is laid down by the wisdom of an all-powerful ruler who tells everybody how they must behave and they must obey him but common law is evolved by discussion of particular cases rather than referring all the time to abstract principles which are put down in words and the judge the good judge is a wise man the man with a sense of equity and fairplay who arbitrates an issue which is debated in front of him

and from the precedent which he creates by his decision common law evolves you see that's a more organic way of producing law the code law system which we inherit from our most ancient theological backgrounds is a tyrannical method of law by imposition and so you must understand that in both hinduism and buddhism there is really no fundamental idea of obedience to a personal ruler certainly not in buddhism a little bit sometimes in hinduism but even then we get terribly mixed up because for example I was talking with a bhagavad-gita this is often translated the lord's fung now for bhagava or bhagavad in sanskrit lord error is an english equivalent is quite inappropriate because the lord is one who lords it over you bhagavan is a title of reverence and respect and love of the bill the song of beloved would be much better in a way although it's not quite correct from a

strict point of view we don't really have an equivalent for this word the bhagavad so the although you see their hair that has been in india itself tyrannical rule and although the arthashastra as a manual of politics gives directions to a current as to how to govern by absolute power going along with this exposition arvest very machiavellian point of view to government is the constant advice of the sage yes this is what you have to do in order to fulfill your office as a ruler but never forget that you'll never succeed the more you try to rule things by force the more you will stir up violence against you and so you can never hold on to your power in your possessions it will always flow away from you so there was one of those great rogers of ancient india who asked the jeweler to make him a ring that would restrain him in prosperity and support him in adversity and the jeweler wrote

on the ring it will pass but when we come to the deep cosmological and metaphysical ideas we don't have law in the western sense and therefore nature is not looked upon as something which is an orderly system because it is obeying a commandment in the west we inherit the idea of law from those ancient conceptions of god and it is even passed down into science where we discuss laws of nature but one recognizes more and more in the sciences that what we call laws of nature how simply observed regularities and the way things behave and you in order to observe regularities you must look at things through something regular there is to say you must lay a ruler alongside them or compare their behavior with the regular behavior of a clock the cocks and rulers are human inventions they are regular measures which we use for comparing the rates of change say a clock is a measure of the rate of change

it's quite arbitrary but we very easily compare our regulation measuring devices with what makes things happen as if the sun rises because it 6: 00 in the morning i left being completely backwards in one's thinking and we get into the same confusion when we imagine for example that money is wealth here we have fantastic wealth you know and we have the technological possibility of making everybody on earth the enjoyer of an independent income we can't do it because people say where's the money going to come from because they think money makes prosperity it's the other way around it's it's it's physical problem prosperity which has money as a way of measuring it but people think money has to come from somewhere like a hydroelectric power or lumber or iron and it doesn't money is something we invent like inches

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