It’s a bit of a downer, philosophically. Now, mind you, my mood isn’t really down. For reasons probably easily guessed, I woke up this morning in a state of ebullience that has pretty much lasted all day. And the work week has been wondrously productive. My boss and coworkers couldn’t be happier.
But then I see evidence on recent news that we’re still making headlines by fighting hate with hate. We still think it’s okay to walk metaphorically into a room crowded with innocent people, stop in front of some tangled knot of them, point our fingers at someone who we know might be carrying a gun because, well, ain’t it likely?, and yell at them, “YOU STUPID HATEMONGERS! Stop teaching people to kill and destroy in the name of your high ideals! Those ideals should be burned because they specifically encourage you to be assholes! AND THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE! ASSHOLES! AAAASSSSHOOOOOOLES!!!!!” It’s a majestic game of Thud where everybody plays. We fight ideologies rather than terrorists. We conk your God on the head in the name of our God. And we promote and publicize only those lifestyles and spiritualities that emphasize Being Right and Getting Rewarded in the End, rather than enlightenment, or ending suffering from within, or seeking the divine that lives at our center (“Seek ye first”…?)
And someone gets paid. Someone always gets paid. Not us. We’re in debt. And prices are going up. And saying it’s a recession would be bad for business so we’re going to put off going there as long as we can. While things are worse and worse for those in debt.
I want a change in the White House. I want someone who’s not been there before. I want to hear cheering in the streets to the tune of “Yes!!! In our lifetime!!!” And yet I know that after this election is decided, it will be business as usual. Because we think something as simple as a different-colored or different-gendered Democrat will bring about the change we seek, while we leave the great machine, the much-maligned System, intact and connected to our very arteries, its tubes down our throats.
I’m reading “The Roaring Stream: A New Zen Reader” and puzzling over the words and actions of the Ancestors, the Masters. I’ve not sat zazen with any faithfulness in years, who am I kidding that I can crack this coconut with my soft head? With my soft self? We can only deal with challenges that have all their sharp edges removed these days. We have to blunt each other’s instruments of instruction, out of fear that some ideologue will use his/hers for more than instruction. I have to lift my hands in the meditation hall to give the monitor permission to whack me with the kyosaku… everyone seems to have forgotten that part of that noisy stick’s effectiveness is in the possible surprise of it. But we’ve decided as a culture that Hitting Is Wrong. Just another way to make someone the enemy, another method for punishing the whole class, angering the whole troop against Private Pyle.
I don’t know anymore. Is any cause worth pursuing? Or is it only worth it if I’m willing to blow someone else’s head off for it if my God or my Government tells me to, or to let my children go and do it while I soak up toxins somewhere?
I’d say I need two or three stiff drinks, if only my digestive system would tolerate it anymore. Or a long, leisurely talk with an honest friend, if I knew whom to bug and how to fit it into my schedule.
Fuck it. All wrong. My life itself is very good, my therapy and medication are going great, but the future of the human race, of this planet? Buggered beyond belief. Sentient beings can go hang themselves. One of the old teachings is right, someday the Dharma will die out completely. We’re poisoning its kool-aid.
Anybody wanna go cheesing? It’s Fon to due.