August 26, 2015 (Toronto). Chroniker Press has published the first comprehensive commentary on the Digha Nikaya since Buddhaghosa’s Sumangala-vilasini, entitled Conversations with the Buddha: A Reader’s Guide to the Digha Nikaya, by Tseten Thokmey, the Buddhist name of Alexander Duncan. Conversations is written from a modern, non-sectarian, universalist point of view. Unlike many sectarian exegetes, Conversations does not try to “second guess” the Pali Canon, but takes the Pali Canon itself “at its word,” disregarding nothing, to establish a basis for the Dharma Transmission to the West. The hermeneutic is non-historicist and phenomenological. This is Duncan’s seventh book.
The people don’t fear death.
What a burden is the fear of death.
But even if people were to fear death
And an executioner were willing
Who would dare
To execute such a criminal plan.
Yet the state has always punished murder with murder,
Assuming responsibility for killing from death itself.
Trying to supplant nature is like trying to supplant the master carpenter.
The man who tries to supplant the master carpenter
Is unlikely not to hurt his hand!
While those who avoid rashness prosper.
Both of these may do good or do harm.
The world eliminates evil. Who understands the reason of it?
Nature follows the path of least resistance, but the good carries the victory:
Silent yet responsive;
Aloof yet cooperative;
Righteous yet cunning.
The cosmic web is vast,
All-encompassing, self-perpetuating; everything is accounted for.