Monday, January 14, 2013

Eternal release, while living

"The most widely revered Oriental personification of such a world-affirming attitude, transcending opposites, is that figure of boundless compassion, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, known to China and Japan as Kuan Yin, Kwannon. For, in contrast to the Buddha, who at the conclusion of his lifetime of teaching passed away, never to return, this infinitely compassionate one, who renounced for himself eternal release to remain forever in this vortex of rebirths, represents through all time the mystery of a knowledge of eternal release while living.

The liberation thus taught is, paradoxically, not of escape from the vortex, but of full participation voluntarily in its sorrows, moved by compassion; for indeed, through selflessness one is released from self, and with release from self there is release from desire and fear. And as the Bodhisattva is thus released, so too are we, according to the measure of our experience of the perfection of compassion."

Page 155, 'The Mythology of Love', from 'Myths to Live By', Joseph Campbell

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