What do you do if your duty is to save your people against tyranny, while being wanted, and with little support? The titular (but somewhat fictionalised) ‘Outlaw King’ who was Robert the Bruce (1274-1329) sacked his own land’s usurped castles in Scotland with calculated surprise attacks, while gathering more support from the oppressed. Being the most familiar with the terrain, ambushes were set in anticipation of English attacks… 300 years later, his descendant James VI inherits the English crown to become King of both Scotland and England.
Tear it ‘all’ down and start again. That was part of the circular strategy. And history tends to repeat itself in slightly different ways when conditions change. Regimes come and go. Lands unite and divide. Such is the law of worldly impermanence. In 2018, at the time of writing, many Scots in UK are still debating on Brexit, on whether to leave the European Union. What is a truly ‘united kingdom’, if also divided? Surely, unity cannot be by definition, law or politics only. The primary unification should be the people’s overall motivation, path and goal. Without this, forced unity might bring about more divisive friction?
The Buddhist teachings speak of Wheel-turning Kings (Cakravartin Rajas), who are able to unite and rule entire world-systems (think galaxies) by their virtues and the essence of the Dharma, inspiring the people with their personal conduct. They must be the ‘legendary’ philosopher-kings. There are even greater kings though – Dharma Wheel-turning Dharma Kings (Cakravartin Dharmarajas) – Buddhas. Showing the complete path to Buddhahood after renouncing political affiliations (which are worldly and potentially divisive), he turns the Dharma wheel completely. Although not kings of worldly lands, they are spiritual kings of minds, capable even of shaping permanent physical Pure Lands – though this might take a long time!