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On Miracles And Confessions In ‘Sister Death’

How do you know if a ‘miracle’ was divine, a trick of the mind, or that of a demon? The Buddhist answer is that it should inspire greater goodness and purity in thought, word and deed. If it leads to better upholding of the precepts, and less of the three poisons (of greed, hatred and delusion), that experienced should be more holy than not. Even if actually unholy, it should all the more spur greater holiness.

And is it adequate to pray and confess to the most ‘divine’ believed in? No, if there can still be much remedial action to undo or make up for mistakes done to those dead and alive, be they grave or trivial. It is actually not so difficult to have ‘bad faith’, to thus trick yourself into thinking you are sincere enough with tearful confessions to someone who is mostly silent, if that someone exists at all.

It is more challenging to humbly bow, truly apologise and seek forgiveness from those wronged. Such direct confessions are more urgently needed. To really relieve guilt, this is the primary repentance practice, that even self-flagellation (which is extreme asceticism in the Buddhist perspective) cannot equal. The immediate spiritual path to take is often before your eyes now, neither unseen nor imagined.

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