<center><b>Hinduism Part Two</b></center> Before proceeding to the other two wants of man it would be well to summarize the ones considered so far. Pleasure and success are described by the Hindus as the Path of Desire. They use this phrase because the personal desires of the individual have thus far been uppermost in charting life's course. Nothing can be gained by suppressing these desires or pretending that they do not matter. These two desires are a stage of development that must be experienced before the next phase develops. In short, the Hindus view the objects of desire as if they were toys. Necessary in our youth, to delight us, fill us with wonder and to teach us the worldly ways. But as with all growth, the individual whose development is not arrested will work his way through full delight in success and senses to the point where all these pulls have been outgrown. This brings us to a point where the next stage of wholeness arrives. <center><b>The Path of Renunciation</b></center> The word renunciation can have a negative connotation and though it can be prompted by despair and disillusionment it can represent life's foreclosure or a closing of the book of childhood. The pleasures of the senses have become inadequate to fulfill our private needs.There becomes a yearning for something more than the private satisfaction of self. This path, therefore, becomes a transition in perspective from the momentary now self indulgence to a momentous value beyond the self. In this category comes discipline in all its forms; the sacrifice of the trivial now for a momentous then, the turning away from the easy toward a beckoning yet-to-be. When man loses faith in the values of the finite, he will believe in the infinite. This marks the first step out of our mortal core to a thought process that must expand to encompass more than self. When this condition is reached, man realizes that his troubles lies in the fact that his satisfactions are limited by the smallness of self that he has been scrambling to serve. What if the focus of his concerns were shifted to a larger more significant whole that would relieve his life of the oppressive triviality? 3. This is the third aspect of the wants of man. The first great step of Religion. It produces the religion of duty. It's power over those who have matured enough to feel it's pull is enormous. One passes beyond the wish to win, into a wish to give or to be of service. Not to triumph, as that is still self, but rather to do their best in whatever task life puts before them. Therefore, a movement out of self to a larger whole is accomplished. Unfortunately, though it contains notable rewards, such as praise from peers and the self-respect that comes from doing one's part it still fails to satisfy the human heart completely. For in the end, even this realization cannot provide joy adequate to man's desiring. The human community, as long as it stands alone, remains both finite and tragic.Finite in the fact that it must eventually come to an end and tragic in the sense of it's implacable resistance to perfection. The final want of man must still lie elsewhere. A summation and the introduction of a new element is perhaps necessary to fully value the tenets stated in this synopsis on Hinduism. First, this is not an attempt to explain the religion itself, but merely to give an overview to a world religion that seems to have very little foothold on the Western world, yet was perhaps one of the first basic religion from which many have come forth. Many of the parables stated in the bible and utilized in more modern religions can be found in the old books of the Bagavad Gita and the Vedic books of yore. Second, it is the belief that the wants of man can encompass many lifetimes to be fulfilled. I hope to touch upon that remarkable statement that turns off so many in the Western world later in this purview. Third, I must admit that although this information has been painstakingly paraphrased from Huston Smith's <u>"The Religions of Man"</u> much of it is my personal interpretation of said material. That said, I wish to use a wonderful example from Huston Smith to explain where we are in relation to the wants of man prior to the last element on the Path to Renunciation. Hinduism does not say that everyone in this present life will find the Path of Desire inadequate. It draws a distinction between chronological and psychological ages. Two men, both 46 years of age are the same age chronologically but psychologically one may be a child whereas the other is a mature adult. One may play the game of desire with all the zest of a nine year old playing cops and robbers and having lived to the full will leave as their verdict that life is good. Others find the laurels inadequate. Why the difference? The difference lies in the fact that the enthusiasts are caught in the flush of novelty. It is the first time they have played the game. The other has played the game many, many times and the novelty has worn off and is found wanting. We can describe the typical experience of this second type. The world's visible rewards still attract him strongly. He throws himself into enjoyment building up his standings and advancing his status. But neither the pursuit, nor the attainment of these things brings him true happiness. Some of the things he wants, he fails to get. Some he gets and holds for awhile only to have them snatched from him and again he is miserable. Some he gets and keeps only to find that what thrilled on first encounter pall on the hundredth. Each attainment fosters another desire and none satisfy completely. Eventually there come a time when he is feeling he is on a never-ending treadmill having to race faster and faster for rewards that mean less and less. This brings us to the final want of man. 4. Liberation. There comes a time when one asks, " Is this all there is'? This is the moment that Hinduism has been waiting for. Thus far, Hinduism will say that we have been answering this question too superficially. Pleasure, success and duty are never man's ultimate goals: at best they are means which we assume will take us in the direction of what we really want. What we really want are things which lie at a deeper level. 1st. We want being. Everyone wants to be rather than not be. Normally, no one wants to die. 2nd We want to know, to be aware. People are endlessly curious. 3rd. Men seek joy, a resolution of feelings whose basic motives are the opposite of frustration, futility and boredom. What is more profound, is the fact that we want each of them in infinite degree. One of the most significant features of man is the fact that he can conceive the idea of infinity. To state the full truth, then, we must say that what man would really like is infinite being, infinite knowledge and infinite joy. What man seeks is liberation and complete release from the countless limitations that press so closely upon his present existence. And thus we come back to Hinduism's staggering conclusion with which we first began; what man most wants...he can have! Infinite being, infinite awareness and infinite joy are within his reach. The most startling statement however comes next. Not only are they within his reach, they are already his!!! This is the end of my second installment. It was predicated upon a response to the first. Although it only had one reply, one reply is sufficient. I hope to finish this synopsis next weekend. I do hate to leave anyone hanging as the excitement within me remains unabated and I do wish to share with those who's curiosity has been aroused as to how one can get off the treadmill of life and realize a deeper meaning to one's existence. It is a path that I myself travel. Perhaps I am still a child, but the glimpse of the future holds sway over me. I will gladly take one step at a time.