I was having a lengthy and somewhat reclined conversation with Miss Fight Club last week about beliefs and all things metaphysical. She said she believes in past lives but not in future ones. She contended that “the only life you’re conscious of is your last one. It is only in our last life that we get to reach for the brass ring called Nirvana. Then we die and step off the wheel, whether we attain said Nirvana or not.”
Further quizzing brought out her belief that humans are the only ones allowed on this wheel, and that other sentient beings aren’t privy to the attainment of Absolute Enlightenment, because they are not capable of comprehending their quest for said. I contended that this was an arrogant belief held by humans, to assume that our brains are the only ones capable of envisioning the ascent to Buddhahood once our Buddhawork is done, amen & amen.
I suggested that those other sentient beings think the same way about themselves. Isn’t it inherent in every species that they think they are at the top, and are inclined to laugh at us humans? To take an example a bit too new-agey for my taste, but apt: Imagine dolphins or whales swimming in the blue ocean, intent on raising their children in a peaceful way and inflicting as little harm on the world as possible; watching this human race chasing after every fish in the sea, every big boat they can buy, every better job, every material gain, every flawed human relationship…. which exactly is the more spiritual of the two groups? A brain is a brain, a soul is a soul, even the worms probably think they have it over humans, and i gotta give that to them.
So in the end we agreed to disagree; and i certainly took this new point of view into perspective. Maybe there IS something special about humans. But our petty endeavors make me suspect otherwise, and make me question exactly what forms of Buddhahood are attainable to whom. Don’t the Tibetans give the sacred incarnation to a llama? Kidding. But you know what i mean.