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7 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2007 - 1:13PM #1
fishcollector1
Posts: 2
Hi every one;
The quote below I saw in an office is below.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compaired to what lies within us.
Auther unknown.

Would someone comment about this quote in reference to Buddhism. Thanks everyone.
Mike
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 25, 2007 - 2:57PM #2
ronnewmexico
Posts: 490
HI

I am not qualified to post a other than personal response to this....."What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compaired to what lies within us", being neither a teacher, nor especially knowledgeable. I am but a layperson with a very limited small spiritual practice. But there are no other responses so I will venture a reply.

In conventional terms, any past action and any future action are all based upon one commonality; they have as their frame of reference the present state, or that which lies within us. Whatever may happen or has happened is all relevent to only one issue, our present state, what we may perceive as occuring right now. What is our present state.....is it the past occurances as memories, perhaps habitual formation, Is it the future..... our hopes fears perhaps what we wish will be.
Our present state is perhaps containing both or all of these. What better determination of both then is not to look outside at our past or our future but our present. What is lying within us is both our past and our future. From the past did our present arise, from the present will our future arise. It all comes down to what is within us, not some outside agency or agent but what we ourselves determine is a appropriate response to a situation. And what we ourselves have determined is appropriate or inappropriate response in our past.

So no past present or future are singular or stand alone. All is determined by what is within us.

It has been stated.....to see how you came to your present state(or situation), how your past occured, look to your present. Your inclinations, habits, predispositions, likes, dislikes, etc..( How these made you what, where, you are now).  To see how your future state will be, look to your present, your present habits predispositions, likes, dislikes, etc....  . That is where you will be. And it seems true. All revolves upon what is within us, presently. 

We have judge our past and will make our future  dependent upon what is within us right now.

Ultimately (to my limited understanding), every facet of our present situation is specifically determined by our past. What we see hear touch feel is all a stage set by our past inclinations and habits, our past choices. Our reality as we perceive it, is determined by the totality of all our lives work, the assumptions we have determined to be true. How we perceive our reality is completely, how we allow ourselves to perceive our reality, and thusly how we choose to be. This present being, but does serve to affirm the reality of our self concept. The reality we allow ourselves to see is but the reality that affirms this self concept. Our perhaps initial error of ignorance. 

So in ultimate consideration, since all(we may possibly know of) is essentially created  by ourselves what other determination of our past or future can there be, but ourselves or what is within us.

Perhaps ultimately however, past and future are but conceptual in nature and thusly not really existant. The present being what we are in a singular instant, the past and future being but representations of change, to what we perceive as a singular instant. As no singular instant can exist(we are always in a state of change) such measurement is arbitrary and thusly not really existant. So no future or past do exist ultimately and thusly all that may exist is present or perhaps what is within us.


Imagine perhaps we are in a river,(as a aware drop of water in that river) floating downstream. Within that river is a large log also floating downstream. We are floating ever so slightly faster than that large log. We can measure our progress or progression in relation to that large log.     
We are now at one end of that log. We now notice we are ever so slightly closer to the other end of that large log. And on and on. Our perception of past and future is our perception of progress in relationship to that large log. It in no way or manner serves to identify our real position, as floating down the river.
So we assign to changes that occur to us concepts of past and future. Realistically these are but change(as per example a measure of our relationship to the log also floating in the river), but not really past or future, not ultimate or real measurements. We are perceving neither, only perceiving change to ourselves and our perceptions of what is occuring around us. Not the real. We do not see the shore, nor know where that river is headed nor what state it is in. Yet we measure our progress to what is visable to us, and call that concept time. It is clear that measurement is arbitrary in the totality of things. All is but change, a characteristic of our environment. The river itself. We being a drop of water(but aware) within that river  flowing in relation to some other object. That that object is also flowing is not known by us. To know all is but river, threatens our assumption that we may measure what is occuring. We assume this measurement(log and drop of water relationship) means solidity, that which may be measured. Not knowing even for a instant both are floating in a river and thusly all our measurements are but arbitrary designations. Relationship determined only.  We do not allow that possibility, as that possibility threatens our existing perceptual experience, our long held determination that positions of log and us are valid and unchallengable assumptions. They are valid, but they are also quite limited. We misperceive relationship and abscribe solidity of nature to what is but relationship.  Why....it reinforces the most solid of our conceptions, that of self. But it is also perhaps easy to see how a aware drop of water with a frame of reference such as a log, could extend such thought.
Concludeing;  past and future then being conceptual in origin, thusly they are lacking reality. So in ultimate consideration no past nor future nor present, really exists. All is continually changing includeing our tool of measurement. All we may validily describe is change in relationship. We do not generally define time as such, our definitions of present and past are thusly lacking. So what can be looked at ultimately other than what is the change itself as known, or described for lack of a better term "within us".   

So in both considerations it seems the statement to be true. This to my very limited understandings.
Others here with greater understanding and ability to communicate may elucidate in more correct terms my sentiment expressed.
If they care to do so.
My response is provided as no others have chosen to do so.

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss this item.
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6 years ago  ::  Feb 07, 2008 - 4:48PM #3
sophrosyne
Posts: 37
[QUOTE=fishcollector1;92973]Hi every one;
The quote below I saw in an office is below.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compaired to what lies within us.
Auther unknown.

Would someone comment about this quote in reference to Buddhism. Thanks everyone.
Mike[/QUOTE]

Hi Mike,

The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I think it means that the things we've done and the things we've yet to accomplish pale in comparison to the depth to be found within us. He was very much an advocate of self-inquiry.

cheers,
B.
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