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Clearing The Mud From The Water

I would like to clear up some tragic misunderstandings that a few people have had with me, both on Facebook from afar and in face-to-face conversations. When I say tragic, I don't mean that anyone died during our conversations. But if you expand these misunderstandings to the global level…well, read on and you'll see what I mean. There have been two major sets of glitches in reality and communication that I'd like to set straight here. The first is military, and addressed to the woman in America who mistakenly said that I am specifically against the US troops and to the fellow from Asia who said that I don't understand how admirable the total dedication of the ISIS military forces are. ***I am not specifically anti anything or anyone! I am specifically pro peace and sanity among human beings. This is inspired more by my simple status as a human being than by any complex spiritual ordinations and affiliations. The concept of war is an aberration to those of us who hold this pro-peace stance. I remind you both that if Jesus and Mohammed were here today, they would agree and stand united with me on these points. Folks often misunderstand me because my language can be crude, as is the language of many people from Brooklyn, New York. But make no mistake about it. The psychotic dick waving and criminal economic aggression that maims and kills young men and women all over the world would be viewed as a form of mental illness by Jesus, as well as by Mohammed and any other right-thinking humane human. Sure, like a bunch of little kids we can go into all the, “he hit me first” and “he took my toy, so I punched him” and (the famous Brooklyn one) “he said something about my mother” and so on. But we aren't talking about, and can’t be acting like, little kids anymore. We're way overdue in realizing that we are now too big to hit each other, and that we must find sane, common sense, peaceful solutions to our aberrations before they destroy us. So to wrap up this point and address my accusers, I am not specifically against American soldiers, Iraqi, Saudi, or Irani soldiers, soldiers from the armies of Iceland, Borneo, Finland, Mozambique, Tahiti, or anywhere else. I am for peace, justice, human compassion, and common sense as well as common decency—all of which are destroyed by war. Therefore, I do not place on a heroic pedestal those who take part in such events no matter what side they are on, how dedicated and courageous they are, or whose economic or ideological interests they represent. My heroes are Gandhi, Martin Luther King, The Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Sadhguru, Deepak Chopra, Bernie Siegel, and other such people who have realized that there is only one side, the human side, and then worked with great dedication and courage to help others find that side within themselves. There certainly are some twisted people still attacking, and doing all sorts of evil things, to other people. Something certainly has to be done about that! I’m not saying I have all the answers. I’m just saying we need to find those answers. Economic cooperation is one possibility. It has worked in the past. Germany and France had been killing each other for a long time. Now that they are part of the same economic union, it is more likely you’ll see a flying saucer than see those two at war again. Part Two. Religion. In spite of my being an Interfaith Minister and Celtic Buddhist Lama, I have been misunderstood by some to be anti-Islam, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu, anti-Bible, anti-Koran, and anti-everything else you can think of! Again, my Brooklynese way of speaking may have caused a few of these misconceptions, but mostly the accusations are a big steaming pile of nonsense caused by the defensive small-mindedness, the tunnel vision, of certain factions that exist in any and every religion. Once again, I am not specifically anti- anything! I would rather understand something than blindly believe, but I certainly have no animosity or disrespect towards anyone just because they have a different imaginary friend than I do. I have a degree in comparative religion and have read and been lifted up by a lot of different religious texts. There are many very deep and beautiful truths within the symbols and metaphor of nearly every spiritual volume (when those volumes can be found in their original and unmolested form). So when any person or force twists the meaning of these texts to justify their own brutality and greed, I have to disagree with that. I grew up in a Mafia neighborhood where people murdered on Saturday and thought they were exonerated on Sunday because of their beliefs. Those ISIS folks have confused and mistranslated the words of Mohammed so badly that they think giving children guns to kill people who disagree with them is a good idea. There are some Buddhists who think they can be assholes if they like because a holy deity with a thousand arms who lives in the sky will do the job of being compassionate for them. Throughout the ages, religions have all too often been misinterpreted, mistranslated, and misunderstood as well as intentionally perverted—sometimes by the mentally ill but more often by a lot of very well-meaning and wonderful but tragically misinformed people. Although the actual compassionate words and best sentiments of Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, and all the rest of humanity’s wisest and most loving incarnations were golden, many modern day mistranslations, misconceptions, and miscommunications of their ideas have been responsible for making life on Earth a living hell for a lot of people. So to summarize Part Two, I would have to answer to my accusers that I am not anti- your religion or holy book. I am, again, pro- peace, justice, and human decency. So were the founders of your religion. To anyone whose God has told them that it is okay to harm other people and assorted living things for your own personal benefit because God made you such a special creature, or because you smoke the right brand of God, please rethink that. If anyone’s God wants them to kill another human anywhere; if anyone’s God wants them to think of and treat some of “His” children as lesser beings because, as an afterthought, God decided “He” didn't like that color of Creation any more, may I respectfully suggest that you keep looking for your God—because you haven’t met The Holy Union yet. It already ain’t pretty on this planet in a lot of ways, folks, and if we don’t straighten these aberrations out now, it will certainly get uglier. Unfortunately no deity and obviously no government will save us if we refuse to save ourselves. There is no magic pill the Earth can take to get better. The only way it can happen is one person at a time. Please be part of the solution, not part of the problem. I’m sorry if I didn’t previously speak clearly enough to avoid misunderstandings, and will try to do so in the future. Be well y’all, Tenzin/Doug “Ten” Rose, Fearless Puppy) “You can tell you created God in your image when it turns out God hates the same people you do.” Anne Lamott

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