Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Live 8 and Dharma

The most powerful moment of the concerts for me was when Madonna brought on the Ethiopian woman who had last been seen as a blighted, starving child in a video shown at the Live Aid concerts 20 years ago.

It seemed inconceivable that the terrible wretch in the video was now the radiant and stunningly beautiful woman who seemed to glide across the stage. She truly seemed to appear as an angelic vision.

How emotional to know that at least one being had been rescued from that intense suffering by the caring and kind actions of beings on that day 20 years ago. If only one being was helped to this degree, then it was all worth it, but how many more were helped? It was extraordinary to know that yes, good things do happen in the world, (despite the news), and that the mass of people out there do act from generosity and kindness at least some of the time. Compassion is alive and well in the most unpromising of sources, perhaps.

For myself, I was struck afterwards that this moment was the conjunction of many things. The powerful effect seeing this woman had on me was the result of many causes and conditions coming together - dependent origination. Why it sparked so much off in me, (and seemingly not in others) was the direct result of all that which came together in the moment between me and the TV set. For others, different conditions obtained.

So there isn't an inherent existence in anything. No two people will respond alike to any one thing, as there isn't anything solid and final in what they watch, or in themselves. Just an infinity of conditions, ebbing and flowing, coming together and then dissipating, and perhaps unique conjunctions in a moment of time.

So where did my extraordinary response come from? My floods of tears on seeing her radiance, and her previously pitiful condition? What were the conditions that brought that about?

I don't really know what they were, just that an infinity of conditions there must be. And that that is true in all situations in life, at all times. All that appears to arise is compounded, is it not? And all of it is empty of enduring substance.

Live 8 brought out compassion, and also some small glimpse of the nature of how things are. And it "changed the world", as they say ....

1 comment:

"James" said...

I watched the Live 8 concerts as well and felt the same feelings of joy and compassion. It was so wonderful to see so many people united for the same cause to change the world in a positive way. I am watching the rebroadcast today and it is just as moving.