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Character Change and Natural Processes
A caterpillar forms a protective chrysalis around itself. In the protection and isolation of the chrysalis, a transformation occurs.
After being cut a protective scab forms over the area. As the wound heals the scab gets smaller and eventually drops off. Sometimes a scar is left which fades slowly over time. Wounds heal best when kept clean and when the body does not lack essential nutrients.
When moulding metal into a new shape it must be heated to a high temperature. When it is liquified it is poured into the chosen mould. When it cools it retains the new shape.
To purify gold it is heated to a high temperature. The impurities burn away in the fire and only pure gold remains.
A dirty pot is soaked in water to loosen the dirt. Persistant rubbing reduces and then removes the dirt, leaving the pot clean and shiny. If the pot is cleaned as soon as it becomes dirty it does not need to be soaked and is easier to rub clean.
Metaphors for ViceThe greater our understanding of something, the greater our power over it. By contemplating the nature of vice through analogy with other concepts we will deepen our understanding and thus empower ourselves to become truly virtuous.
How Does Character Change Naturally?By understanding how character changes naturally/randomly through the normal course of life we can mimic the proccesses and apply them in a contolled way to improve character.
By seeing a good example.
By experiencing sorrow for the results of non-virtuous behavior.
"For the attainment of any Dharma or virtues like non- violence, forgiveness and truthfulness, first the seeds of the respective Dharma must be sown. In other words, before we attain those virtues, we should enjoy praising them; and we should be fascinated by them. This is called the sowing of the seed of Dharma. Later, the seed of Dharma sprouts in the form of a taste for Dharma, a desire for Dharma and thus the tree of Dharma grows and puts forth finally the fruits of Dharma."
"Divide the egg of the philosophers into four parts of which each will have one nature, then bring together equally and proportionately, so that it has no inconsistency, and you will achieve that which was proposed, the Lord willing. This is a universal method."
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