“Know then that the body is merely a garment. Go seek the wearer, not the cloak.”
~ Rumi / Persian Mystic Poet ~
"The most dramatic, was one day in Saigon, when a Buddhist parade started off with a sort of a hypnotic chant, the yellow robe priests marching along... then there stepped forward a very a frail old man in his seventies, who turned out to be this priest; Quang Duc. He assumed the lotus posture, and another priest stepped forward and poured gasoline over him... then suddenly a towering flame. The priests and the nuns in the audience, moaned and prostrated themselves towards this burning figure... and he sat there unflinching. The smell of gasoline and burning flesh in the air for 10 minutes. People thought they saw he face of buddha in the clouds that night."
~ In The Year of The Pig (1968) ~
In reference to Thich Quang Duc Self-Immolation in Saigon, Vietnam (1963):
Not to diminish the value of what he did, but is dying for anything really worth it? Obviously people value their lives differently but isn't your experience of life the most valuable thing you've ever had? I don't think I'd die for anything or anyone. I could lose everyone I love and still want to live to see another sunset.
Study the deeper aspects of Zen, Buddhism and Hinduism if you really want to understand the NonDual mindset. The general concept is that through deep meditation practice (or a psychedelic journey) a personal experience of "the illusion of reality" is attained... a dialog with Divinity.
When you begin to cognize that the very roots of Life are an illusion… that “Reality” is a truly malleable Dream State. That we are here playing a game of lessons and emotional growth (hence the seemingly endless pain and suffering the world perpetually commits). Then you begin to understand the 'How' and 'Why' spiritual devotees try to nurture the level of Compassion needed to self-sacrifice in the worst way possible, for the benefit of their fellow man.
Life is a Cosmic Joke.
Though it’s no less Real while being experienced.
Dead serious, until it’s Not.
The atrocities of war compelled this man to feel compassion for these people, and in-turn take a stand for their benefit. Dead Serious.
Though he KNEW, through his meditation practice and personal experience with Divine Enlightenment, that his sacrifice was temporary… as temporary as his Life here is, and as temporary his time on the other side of this Life will be; before he returns to another Life… here, or in another Dimension of Consciousness.
He understood Infinity is Forever.
The story goes… before the match was lit, Duc made a prayer to “Infinite Light”. He did not once flinch or cry out while he burned; and when the flames died down, his body was burned to ash, with only his Heart left fully intact.
It takes a profound level of Wisdom and Courage to engage in a show of Compassion this direct. Many people will sacrifice themselves for the savior of others in times of duress, but to submit yourself to such a horrifying death is on another level completely.
This leads one to speculate that Thich Quang Duc’s Consciousness was not in his body while he was burning. He was practiced enough to remove his Senses from the actual burning event itself. If that sounds ludicrous or mystical, consider what Wim Hof is able to accomplish with his Method of resisting extremely cold temperatures. From his website:
“Tummo, which literally means ‘inner fire’, is an ancient meditation technique practiced by monks in Tibetan Buddhism. Tummo exists of a combination of breathing and visualization techniques, used to enter a deep state of meditation that is used to increase a person’s ‘inner heat’. This inner heat enables someone to control one's body temperature, for example keeping the body warm in cold conditions.”
The point here is this; there are aspects of this Reality which most people are not Aware of… simply because they don’t bother to look into it for themselves. That ignorance does not make these phenomena untrue, and to hold this viewpoint with staunch refusal and indignance is textbook "Blind Leading The Blind". Spiritual practices have been trying to share this insight and wisdom with mankind for as long as man has been at war with himself.
“Every man is two men; one is Awake in the Darkness, the other Asleep in the Light.”
~ Khalil Gibran ~
(Author: Sand and Foam / 1926)
Tao Te Ching - Chapter 16:
Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.
Watch the turmoil of beings,
but contemplate their return.
Each separate being in the universe
returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
If you don't realize the source,
you stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you naturally become tolerant,
kindhearted as a grandmother,
dignified as a king.
Immersed in the wonder of the Tao,
you can deal with whatever life brings you,
and when death comes, you are ready.
“Life itself is only a vision; a Dream. Nothing exists, save Empty Space and You. And you are but a Thought.”
~ Mark Twain ~