A BURMESE ENCHANTMENT.
The traditions of nations arise from springs deep down in their past. Behind the most trifling sentiment, beneath a quaintly expressed comment, there may be, and often is, an age of accumulated, inherited experience. We do not understand the sentiment, because our own tradition is of a very different kind. Our views on most points seem queer to the Burmese, just as theirs do to us. Each is the product of the long-ago past of our respective histories.
Brought up ourselves to other beliefs, inheriting very different ideals, we cannot easily comprehend the true inwardness of all that springs from Buddhist philosophy. All this gaiety, happiness, and freedom, this contentment to live from hand to mouth, to live and let live, to spend lavishly on thoughtless charity, does not seem to be what it really is, the natural fruit of the law of Universal Sorrow. To us it seems all contradictory. The God-like Buddha himself was not a God, but only a man. Yet he ranks higher than all the Gods ! And Destiny, which by Karma leads inexorably to its pre-destined end, is yet all the time under our own control ! It is only slow research which shows that these things are not really contradictions at all. And as we proceed we learn that our own standards are not, after all, the only lofty ones in this world of men.
It is necessary to observe the facts of Nature about us. To note how everything around us is changing. The mountainous white clouds evaporate. TheIt is necessary to observe the facts of Nature about us. To note how everything around us is changing. The mountainous white clouds evaporate. The