Writing an email to an old friend in South Africa makes me aware of things I would like to share with you, dear reader.
We (Elizabeth and I) remain very lucky with our good health, funds, home and garden with lots of room, wonderful nearby country walks and access to good local shops. All things so many do not have both here and of course in SA where things for the poor sound really dire. So glad to hear Ramaphosa is leading well and hope that the end of this will see a strengthened position for him as he fights corruption.
Boris and his boys – almost all boys – have been tardy over testing unlike Deutchland which will cost us many lives, but we still have our Army able to lead in the building in two weeks the Nightingale Hospital for 4,000 beds. Also really heartening has been the huge response for volunteers, 250,00 asked for and 700,000 came forward to help with supporting our NHS. Wish I could.
Have just been reading Tom Holland’s book, Dominion. He is a most impressive historian and he takes an interesting line in his retelling and review of Christian history and the history of the Western mindset. He concludes that our habitual morality is not simply the product of the 18th century Enlightenment, but that in the face of Rome and Greek culture – Jesus backed by Paul introduced a revolutionary moral tradition which remains alive and well despite and within secularism – as the volunteers to help the NHS shows. Without himself accepting evidence for the supernatural, his depiction of both Jesus and Paul is brilliantly vivid and believable .
Sadly the book focuses only on the Western mind and he does not explore the similarities between the Buddha’s teaching and that of Jesus, both being revolutionary in their rejection of force and violence and in their promotion of compassion.
I also attach my notes on the next post of an excellent book I have read. I have summarised 9 chapters. It is entitled Why Buddhism is True – a deliberately provocative title. The book is by evolutionary psychologist Robert Wright.
We are using Whatsapp to keep in touch with our family and time is rushing past. This whole thing was predicted (see The Uninhabited Earth p111 ) but it is really appalling for only the far Eastern countries who had the experience of SARS were prepared.
I think this Buddhist blessing fits for where we all are now,
May you be well, happy and free from suffering,