By William Markiewicz

I recently saw a poster from the London Theatre Company, "Siddhartha becomes The Buddha", which brought to mind the two fundamental and opposite human tendencies toward Samsara and Satori. Sooner or later in the course of our life we take one path or the other. The majority of concrete oriented people choose Samsara, meaning the best material life possible. The minority, spiritually oriented, choose the way more or less leading toward Satori. Is there any way for an objective judgment of one or the other or is this a matter of following our deep nature?

A variety of paths lead to one or the other. Both extremes remain irreconcilable; Samsara gives the most value to the joy of five senses and social importance. The extreme spiritualists follow their beliefs while their goals remain impossible and unnecessary to prove. They know their truth and thatís it.

In Samsara, perhaps in a more sophisticated one, other than purely sensory pleasures enter into life: the pleasures of creativity, which can't be understood, and so we don't have an immediate explanation for them. We intuitively understand creative existences and values; in this way we enter somehow into the domain reserved to spiritualists. We understand the joy of poets, writers, musicians, etc., giving them deserved respect. What maintains those tendencies in the domain of Samsara is that, contrary to spiritualists, they don't enclose themselves in glorious solitude. Even a collective spiritual drive has individual salvation as a goal. The creator, on the contrary, needs a receiving, admiring, crowd. Musicians and actors need admirers while some literary and plastic creators can work in solitude, and in this they join the spiritual solitary seekers. So we see that the two different ways are not necessarily irreconcilable. The same goes for some spiritualists, the Gurus, who propagate their ideas to the crowd of believers. Both are socially oriented; their intentions are not the same but both give themselves to humanity.

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