XXIV. The ten more precious things

‘One momentary glimpse of Divine Wisdom … is more precious than any amount of knowledge …’ Buddhist meditation was intended to lead to samadhi, a state beyond ordinary thinking; if done properly, the resulting silence would enable a glimpse of divine wisdom. To experience continuous samadhi ‘wherein thought-processes are still present’ is of less value than a single moment of true samadhi. Many people who practise meditation are often merely wool-gathering when they think they have a silence. Feeling emotional and overintense about God can produce ‘sensual bliss’, a kind of high – this is one of the traps on the path. A state arrived at through the senses is not true samadhi, but could lead up to it. ‘Nirvanic bliss’, arising from a completely different source, is oneness with God, the highest state that can be achieved.

Precepts 8 and 9 again relate to the pairs of opposites, emphasising that discernment is needed to see though third-dimensional appearances. ‘The smallest good deed done unselfishly is more precious than innumerable good deeds done selfishly.’ Motive is everything. A conscious sacrifice, on no matter what scale, is of very high quality – it is a quality of God. A conscious sacrifice by just one person is worth more than the involuntary sacrifices and suffering of thousands of unconscious people. This is exemplified in the gospel story of Christ’s crucifixion.