The Types of Fame & Complete Love Worth Finding
- Fame and Obscurity are one of the four pairs in the "eight worldly dhammas". The drawbacks of the Eight Worldly Concerns include wasting the finest years of lifetimes longing for worldly fame and attention, even it is only from one person. Usually it is taught categorically to practice equanimity, not wishing for fame instead of obscurity. However I think this question warrants an analytical answer because there are different types of fame some of which are worth seeking.
There is a type of fame I'm calling "gratitude fame". A person skilled in gratitude is quick to cite a large number of people as factors in their success. In the age of the InterNet one can have "anonymous fame", getting lots of advice and support from blogs and websites, in contrast to the pre-InterNet obscurity of being isolated from sources of Dharma. "Inner fame" is doing great things in the world with the faith that they would be praised by the wise (see Kalama Sutta), in particular the Buddha and his Noble Disciples even if one is unlikely to meet one in this lifetime.
The Buddha noted that one suffers if dwelling without reverence. Not finding any person he could be a devotee of, he decided to revere the Dhamma that he had awakened to. In the Vakkali Sutta (SN22:87) a sick monk tells the Buddha his only regret was not having seen the Buddha more. The Buddha responded with his famous phrase "He who sees Dhamma sees me". So wise practice in seclusion is actually in the spiritual presence of the Buddha himself and his Noble Disciples which is the type of fame and complete love worth finding.
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With metta / Antony.
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