In this month's lesson I will go over the concept of the Ten Worlds. If understood correctly this concept can add great value to our lives in understanding conditions which affect us and those around us as well as pointing us to a path of liberation.
The Ten Worlds
The Ten Worlds are potential life conditions, inherent in everyone, and which we experience moment to moment. Each has, both positive and negative aspects, with the exception of Buddhahood, which is wholly positive. In the explanation below I will denote the negative aspects with the (-) symbol and the positive aspects with the (+) symbol.
- This is a condition of suffereing, devoid of freedom and with very little life force. One feels trapped by ones circumstances, dominated by frustrated rage and with an urge for destruction.
+ Hell enables one to identify with happiness, the suffering of others and a striving to ensure that one does not fall into this life condition.
- This is a condition charecterized by being under the sway of desires for materialistic possessions and excesses which do not abate even when one's desires are fullfilled.
+ Hunger is the driving force and ignites desire in one to get things done.
- This is a condition dominated by primal instinct,lack of morality & living for the moment.
+ Animality heightens our intuitive wisdom and our instincts to protect and nurture life, both our own and the lives of others around us.
- This is a condition dominated by arrogance, selfishness, unyielding competitiveness, conflicts & stubborness.
+ Anger heightens our passionate energy, pursuit of excellence and abhorrence of injustice.
5) Humanity (Tranquility)
- This is a condition of laziness & characterizes lack of efort to rise to meet any challenge, a nuetral state of peace & clam, a negative side of complacency.
+ Humanity enables one to make fair assessments, control instinctive desires and act in harmony with our surroundings.
6) Rapture (Heaven)
- This state is a temporary phase and is easily disrupted by any small change in circumstances. Even if things do not change the euphoria of rapture abates with the passage of time.
+ This is a condition of pleasure, as experienced when one's desires and wants are fulfilled.
MOST BEINGS SPEND THEIR TIME AND EXISTENCE MOVING BETWEEN THESE SIX LIFE CONDITIONS (WORLDS). THESE ARE ALSO KNOWN AS THE SIX LOWER WORLDS AND ARISE AUTOMATICALLY FROM WITHIN OUR LIVES IN RESPONSE TO EXTERNAL FACTORS IN OUR SURROUNDINGS.
+ This is a condition in which one seeks skill, lasting truth and self improvement, through the teachings of others.
- Realization & Learning are similar in their negative aspects and have the drawback that one can become supercilious and condescending.
+ This is a condition in which one discovers a partial truth akin to the opening of one's eyes and through one's own initiative, observations concentration and understanding.
- Negatively it may cause one to neglect one's own life and to act merely out of a sense of duty.
+ This is a condition in which one aspires for personal enlightenment AND devotes oneself to alleviate the sufferings of others through compassionate and altruistic actions.
This is the highest of the Ten Worlds and a condition of unparalleled pure and indestructible happiness, which is totally indepedent of one's circumstances. It is charecterized by boundless compassion, wisdom, courage and life force.
THE FOUR HIGHER WORLDS ARE ALSO KNOWN AS "THE FOUR NOBLE PATHS"
Since each of the Ten Worlds possesses all the Ten Worlds within itself, each has the potential to reveal any of the others at any given moment.