The Lessons of Life and the Lessons of Buddhism 

Sometimes the worst disasters teach the best lessons. And this itself is one of the most sublime lessons of Buddhism, if never the easiest to embrace, that all of our most elaborate plans will certainly fall apart, sooner or later, in part if not wholly. We will be left with whatever remains, and we should be prepared to deal with it. That doesn’t mean elaborate rituals to be done or the best insurance to be had, simply a willingness to move on with whatever life brings and letting go of any pretense to authority over things we can’t control. 

Now, I certainly won’t go as far as many ‘non-dualists,’ and neither would the Buddha, in asserting that, essentially, we are nothing, neither doer nor actor nor creator, simply witnesses to that over which we have no control, which is almost everything. I won’t go that far. I’d only say that it’s limited, and all pretenses otherwise are extremely il-advised. The Buddha made it clear that we are composite beings on the best of days, however intelligent, and much less than that quite often. We are not Gods nor even masters of our own domains.  

As a firm follower of science, but not necessarily a believer, I give us all the credits due any featherless biped, and much more, since it’s not yet proven that there are any more of us ‘out there,’ unless they are related to us, or until we find at least one. The Drake Equation is logic, not evidence. No, I believe that this species is unique, as are each and every one of us, with our own DNA and fingerprints. But that doesn’t give us any special rights to command others and the universe. We are children of this universe. Enjoy.