People Want the World to be Safe, by Ajahn Sumedho

People want the world to be safe. Why do people want to get rid of foreigners? Or feel threatened by the possibility of aliens and strange things or things that they can’t predict? The more insular you are, the more your world is like that, so even people from the next county, ‘Well, you can’t trust them; they’re not like us.’ You are limited to a very small group of people. When those boundaries start to fall away, people get into wanting to get rid of the foreigners, kill the enemy, put up the barriers. There is a kind of reaction to the fear of what is unknown, alien and uncertain.

The Buddha, on the other hand, takes down all the barriers and leaves an empty space. As you let go of your emotional habits you find it is very peaceful, it’s universal, it’s what you really are; you’re not the limitations that you identify with. You are not the human body. What does that mean? If you think you are a human body, then the thought of the body being dead is rather frightening; your identities are limited to a physical body which is going to die. So then you begin to realize that your true nature is deathless rather than something that you are going to lose when the body goes.

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