A great many people who are exploring self development, NLP, personal psychologies, Hypnosis and other healing arts are often also attracted to what I will term as spirituality. Perhaps the most psychologically sophisticated and advanced spirituality on Earth is Buddhism.
As one story goes after plenty of other worldly experiences and adventures Buddha whilst sitting under a Bodhi tree at Bodh Gaya waiting for illumination got to meet a crabby old demon called Kama-Mara. Now some call Mara ( hear the drum role ) a lord of darkness, an evil lord and others say he was a tempter of the nascent Buddha with the temptations of lust, desire, fear and regrets.
Just before Kama-Mara arrived the soon to be enlightended Buddha was surrounded by his followers and hangers on who all sung his praises. But surprise surprise, when Kama-Mara arrived with his massive and terrible army all of the nascent Buddha’s entourage all did a runner and left him on his todd.
You see, Kama-Mara was responsible for, let us say ‘tempting’ Buddha or to put it another way testing, even creating the almost enlightened Buddha’s abilities so Kama-Mara was in fact a very necessary catalyst. This is similar to the anti hero having a very specific role to play, not unlike Judas Iscariot, but that is a different story. These temptations or tests were not like today’s driving test or GCSE’s or some written exam. Oh no dear reader, these were psychologically energetic, potentially destructive and of course if the story is true, physically, very real practical exams with no resit options.
The first temptation Kama sent, by proxy too, was his three daughters Regret, Fulfilment and Desire. He sent his children to do his dirty work. Like a politician sending in expendable soldiers. These, the nascent Buddha, being still on his immovable spot was so able to refute one at a time desire, regret and fulfilment.
Kama then transformed into Mara and with his army of ogres sent weapons of all description flying towards the sitting Buddha but when the weapons entered his ‘field of non-entity’ the weapons transformed into lotus flowers. Fear and belligerence was dissolved.
Enraged and thwarted ( don’t you just love that word! ) Mara transformed into Dharma, the lord of social duty and spoke to Buddha “You are a Prince of the realm man!, haven’t you seen the news? Looked at the internet? There is a global recession and the people need to have hope and a figure head, that is you my prince, to inspire trust and stability. Do you duty! You must do what is expected of you!”
But Buddha was completely unmoved by this appeal to social duty and called on the Goddess Mother Universe to bear witness that he, Buddha, has the right to be. And the Goddess gives her blessings and acknowledgement.
The elephant that Dharma ( the entity formally known as Karma-Mara ) is riding bows to Buddha, the army of ogres retreats and Dharma in Buddha’s light is dissolved. Buddha then becomes, as this story goes, enlightened.
The second part of this article will explore this story looking through a different lens and lead on to how you can apply this transformation of consciousness to yourself in our more modern world.