Before Rutherford and Isadora can actually reach that ideal state of being, they still have to cross "countless seas of suffering" (209) generated by the temptation to adhere to samsaric
illusions concerning selfhood and the world.
In contrast with the traditional assertion of a rigid substantial dualism--which appears to originate far more in Cartesianism than in any religion (even Christianity)--this gradual acquaintance with oneself as an integrated mind/body unit has been exemplarily defined as a long difficult process within two main religious traditions, through the Incarnation of Christ, and through the Buddhist samsaric
Transcending the samsaric
limitations of the "trance of ordinary life" is quite another.
In light of this, we might modify the Nirodha View slightly to reflect that, although the cessation of suffering is still the only intrinsic good, we can pursue that good in two different ways: the first is by seeking nirvana, which is ultimate nirodha or what we might call spiritual value, while the second is by seeking to eliminate suffering in the world by any means, which is samsaric
nirodha or what we might call moral value.
The term 'great' (ch'en) refers to the fact that from the realisation of the non-independent existence of all things comes the Great Liberation from samsaric
existence and its suffering.
At its most advanced stages Hindu and Buddhist meditation is based on evoking before oneself a spiritual figure, most often an anthropomorphic one, with which one enters into empathetic communion by acquiring powers and virtues through detachment from an illusory (samsaric
) sensory reality.
The Buddhist addition is that first, embodiment in this life allows for the further accumulation of merit (punya), and second, remaining in the samsaric
world allows for further charity in the forms of compassion and wisdom extended to suffering sentient beings.
The main focus of the text is the samsaric
repercussions of one's actions through rebirth in heaven or hells, rather than activity directly relating to the path to nibbana.
But people do not naturally have this incentive; they must be convinced that samsaric
existence is inherently unsatisfactory, which is one of the preliminary goals of Buddhist practice.
And if they are designated as living, sentient beings, then they should, concomitantly, be a part of the samsaric
world and in some way subject to the laws of kamma.
Further, as traditional Buddhism argues, rebirth as a human with this sort of awareness places us in a valuable and fortunate position relative to attaining liberation, a stance reflected by interpretations of the doctrine of the six levels of samsaric
There is renunciation, repudiation and denial, but these are generally denials of the self from the pitfalls of samsaric