As humans, we selectively perceive only what we can see, only what is convenient to us.
And even though less than 1 percent of the world’s information is visible, we look only at what we want to see.
We don’t even recognize the world as it is, and we don’t understand that we don’t recognize this.
“Hope” also happens before we recognize it.
When do you think people despair? Or start to despair?
That’s right — it’s when someone is hopeless that they feel despair.
So, when do you think people begin to feel hope? Or start to hope?
It is interesting: hope is there before we recognize it.
There’s the famous story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the foundation of the Christian faith.
After Jesus was crucified on the hill at Golgotha on a Friday, his body was wrapped and placed in a tomb. On the third day, early Sunday morning, some women came to the tomb and found it empty. Two angels at the tomb told them that Jesus had risen.
When Jesus died, his disciples were in despair. They felt hopeless. The great teacher had died. Jesus had given powerful lessons, he made many miracles, he even raised his friend from the dead, but the Messiah had gone. Even though Jesus told them that he would rise on the third day, they didn’t believe it. They were filled with despair by what they could see.
On the third day, early Sunday morning before sunrise, the women went to the tomb and it was empty. So what was the exact time Jesus had resurrected? The Bible doesn’t give the exact time. But on the third day, in the early morning before sunrise, Jesus had already risen, which means it happened before the third day. (Back in those days, Jewish people considered the day to begin at sunrise.)
So, Hope (Jesus) was already there even before people noticed it.
And the Disciples, even when they saw Jesus standing before them, didn’t notice Him for a while. It took time for them to recognize that He was right in front of them.
Hope is there before you recognize it.
There’s the same kind of story in Buddhism.
It’s the story of Amida Buddha, who is the One, who is the Sun of the Spiritual world, and the Great Spirit of the Universe.
There is a myth … Dharmakara Bodhisattva, who became Amida Buddha, practiced for the lifetime of five universes to rescue all beings. He made forty-eight vows before becoming a Buddha. A simple way to say those vows is, “When I attain Buddhahood, all beings will be rescued,” which means that it already happened, so it has already been determined that we are all rescued.
Here is a poem by Honen (the founder of Pure Land Buddhism in Japan):
“Though the moon shines all over the world
Leaving no corner in darkness,
Only those who gaze upon the moon
Appreciate its serene light.”
Amida Buddha’s great love shines on everyone; if you seek it, it will always be there for you.
But as human beings, we are so blinded by and stubborn about what we think we know. We find it very difficult to admit our own mistakes.
Humbly accept your own mistakes. Without this, there is no growth of the spirit.
This is not a man-made rule or dogma, but a law of the universe. The same as water flows from high to low, you must recognize and accept your mistakes; that’s when your practice begins.
We are incomplete beings, we all make mistakes. But when we have an attitude of “I know,” “I got it,” or “I’m doing it,” this is a sign that we’ve stopped thinking.
There is a story of humbleness of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Anuruddha, one of the ten principal disciples of Shakyamuni, who gained the eyes to see the truth, the divine vision.
But he could not see the thread to pass through the needle
He was blind.
One day, sitting on the roadside, he said
“Is there anyone who would like to thread my needle to do the pious acts?
He called out.
At that time, one person came and said
“Let me make merit.
Someone took the needle and thread from Anuruddha’s hand.
It was Shakyamuni.
And He said
“There is no one who wants to pious acts as much as I do.
And he did the work.
What are the “pious acts” here? It is action to help others.
And what Shakyamuni showed here is the humbleness, as he put himself lower than his student and ask for help.
Let’s keep thinking and let’s be humble. Let’s follow a great life model like that of Jesus or Shakyamuni Buddha, living life the way they lived.
This is a way to recognize Hope and share it.
Hope is hidden, but we don’t have to be scared — anyway, we’ve already been rescued.