Is Greed A Good Thing? : On the Buddhist concept that desires equal enlightenment (bonno-soku-bodhi )
Outside of those who practice the insights of the Lotus Sutra, the vocalization of desires manifested
during "experiences" segments of community meetings has led to the impression that Nichiren followers
are highly attached to materialistic pursuits, as I'm sure you are all well aware. However, have not those of
you who have practiced even a short while consistently seen the manifestation of enlightenment derived from desire?
I have on countless occasions. Two experiences of others come to mind. In one instance, a newcomer, in this manifestation,
began to chant for a year's supply of disposible diapers. For another, the desire was for more marijuana than he
could think of smoking. Needless to say, by the mundane means through which desire, here and now, manifests as
realized event, there and then, when catalyzed by much daimoku, in between, each got what they desired.
But let us look beyond the superficial, and try to get a grasp of what myoho suggests. Several years before I became re-acquainted with my Gohonzon, I had a Physics teacher in college who introduced me to philosophic implications inherent in the laws of Physics. For example, at a moment in history when the clash over segregation vs. integration was the sharpest since the (un)Civil War, one of the questions on our final exam was, "How might the Second Law of Thermodynamics [i.e. 'All things tend to entropy.'] impinge upon the Civil Rights struggle?" The law mentioned, basically says, that if you don't expend a lot of energy keeping your socks together, sooner than later, one of them will end up behind the peanut butter in the pantry! (or to wherever those footsies wander) Conclusion, segregation requires more social energy than the social energy of sexually active, attractive, kids mixing together - it's doomed to obsolescence.
The real desire, for both of the practitioners mentioned previously, was to enter the realm of tranquility using the unpercieved intermediary of acquiring a material possesion. In linear logic the fulfillment of desire might be equated with triviality, in the first case, and diaster, in the second. Yet, because, the logic of the universe, certainly as derived from myoho, and expressed as ichinen sanzen, is dialectic, engaku transpired. Poison was turned into medicine. In the first instance, the recipient used his acquisition of diapers to springboard to the concept that he could accomplish more for his family than he had previously dreamt. He went from high school drop-out on the loading dock to a college graduate. In the second, the recipient of kilos of marijuana, discarded them all, when he realized that he could achieve tranquility, without the risk of incarceration, just by chanting.
Bonno-soku-bodhi, probably, is easier to observe as an everyday event inherent in myoho when one proceeds from Practice-Study-Faith, rather than by trying to use the logic of religious practice: Faith-more faith-blind faith-Aristotelian logic-Maybe!