1. What socially-driven, pre-conditioned ideas might a person have to give up in order to have faith in nirvana?
Faith in nirvana is natural for a true Buddhist. Someone in the second or third stage of evolution would have to focus on the later half of the barriers to experiencing enlightenment. There is an irony here; whereby the barriers to achieving nirvana become a pre-conditioned idea in themselves. the duality of nirvana is also such that there is a tendency to believe nirvana has been reached only to realize that true nirvana is neither a "snuffing out" or a "cooling down" it is a state which is only characterized by annihilation of the self and obtaining detachment from suffering resulting in "bliss". I use quotations because the is no word is English which adequately describes the fulfillment of nirvana
2. As we have said, the lotus flower is frequently used as a comparison to enlightenment. Can you think of another image that could be compared, metaphorically?
I tend to gravitate towards the idea of the Aztec mythology of Quezacotl or the Phoenix. The Phoenix to me is an apt comparison a bird which burns with the flame of realization and reincarnates from its own demise to obtain an existence of growing in resolve each time it falls, eventually achieving mystical strength beyond this world.
3. If so, write a small poem about the comparison realized sight burns bright ascending suffering now flying in nirvana.
Rev. Scott Luxon
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