“For yea, I say unto you verily, no lord can keepeth dry that person who piss-eth into the wind.” God
Everybody talks about truth as if it is Ramen noodles and they have a case of it in the kitchen cabinet, but what we tend to call truth is most often defined by whose truth it is. The mundane truth by which we usually judge the world is subjective. It is dependent upon the angle it is being seen from by the person who is seeing it.
Symbolic references are often used in spiritual teachings. That, in and of itself, is not a problem. The problems arise when interpreters and translators concretize those symbols into material “truth” or “fact,” and the followers then treat what was originally metaphorical information as unbendable law.
Many followers pay far more attention to the illusory benevolence of inherited superstition than they do to fostering a functional benevolence within themselves.
Buddha himself was not a member of any of the many schools of Buddhism. Jesus was neither Catholic nor Protestant. The following inscription was on the hilt of Mohammed’s sword: “Forgive him who wrongs thee. Join him who cuts thee off. Do good to him who does evil to thee, and speak truth although it be against thyself.” Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, and others like them were damn fine people and exceptional examples of productive spirituality. I have no quarrel with anyone’s God, teacher, or prophet—but followers can be fairly dangerous people at times. There are translators, presenters, and interpreters who can be even more dangerous than followers.
For the first five hundred years of Buddhism, there were no material images of the Buddha—no statues, no paintings. There were good reasons for this. Historical, literal, fundamentalist, concretized interpretations of symbols make it too easy for us to abuse spiritual mechanisms, and too easy to escape responsibility for our own development and the well being of the world. It always ends badly when folks turn gods into scapegoats that they can blame for problems. It means that they have not admitted, examined, and repaired their own compliance with and creation of the problem. This lack of learning from experience results in the same problem being repeated over and over again.
Translators, presenters, and interpreters often reconfigure great wisdom teachings to fit their own ignorance and selfish motives—or the ignorance and selfish motives of the political and economic forces that ally with and employ them. Darkness sometimes co-opts the light. What we have inherited as “the will of God” may have as little to do with any god’s will as Wall Street has to do with integrity in finance, or snack cakes have to do with nutrition.
The term spin doctors may be a recently invented one, but the concept of readjusting the truth is nearly as ancient as the wisdom these vipers disassemble—and then rebuild to fit their own purposes. Many of today’s interpretations of “The Way” and “The Truth” resemble the originals about as much as the bastardized Christianity of Hitler or the Spanish Inquisition resembled the original doctrine. Some of the people who know Christ is the answer must have forgotten what the question was. This forgetting-the-question syndrome is certainly not exclusive to Christians who have gone astray. Many followers of every faith on Earth have been way too trusting of the dogma presented to them and some of the people who present it.
Many of these presenters have re-packaged and then sold, rented, or imposed upon us artificially flavored and spectacularly colored illusions of salvation, enlightenment, and happiness that are built upon their goals. That twisted information and those errant goals are often very, very different than those of the great original teachers from whom these presenters borrow their moral authority.
Following our own inner guidance will yield better results than following either an evil manipulator or the village idiot.
Neither Buddha nor Jesus was waiting for a Buddha or a Jesus to come solve their personal problems or those of humanity. They looked for and found answers within. Whatever we need is within us. Our simple job is to uncover and then constructively utilize it.
Ripe for spiritual paths that fit neatly into our fast food/consumer mentalities, many members of our society are glad to pay the bills that our carnival barker prophets present them with. Many good hearted but misinformed people believe we can rent an available-on-demand and conveniently disposable synthetic substitute for decency and wisdom instead of working towards those qualities, earning them, sustaining them, and then constructively implementing them. The interpreting translators and presenters, the forces that ally with or employ them, and the enforcers that protect those interests continue to selfishly collect and hoard the rent while returning hollow benefits to us.
There are people who will tell you that they are on a fast track to Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, or Wherever. They may want you to pay for more information from them, buy certain products, fight “holy” wars at their request, or donate other parts of your mind and life to them. We all know of televangelists and politicians who make a robber baron’s fortune by convincing people that sending money to the address on the screen can buy love, peace, security, and happiness—but the few greedy clowns on TV are just the tip of the iceberg.
We are the iceberg.
This world might be full of Mother Teresas and Einsteins if the best of humanity’s notions were given proper attention by each of us. But it seems like the wrong folks are getting our attention, and our money. Many folks that wouldn’t trust an average stranger with a single dollar don’t mind trusting a politician or preacher who is full of vacuum packed false hope and bullshit with serious money, and even their lives.
Many people are too tired, misinformed, lazy, or heavily stressed to access their own psychospiritual experience. Others are convinced that their personal spiritual maintenance and growth is a job beyond their ability. Instead of working at it themselves, they trust badly motivated celebrities with manufactured personalities, many of whom they will never meet, with this greatest of all responsibilities. The results have not been pretty. Instead of a world full of Mother Teresas and Einsteins, we have an overabundance of dull, warped, frustrated spiritual slackers who never bothered to research where the road goes but are nonetheless pissed off about not reaching the destination! Go figure!
I have to say it again. Very diligently following our own inner guidance would certainly yield better results than following the clamor of our village idiots.
Yes, it does require less strength and courage to trust or blame something outside of one’s self than it takes to recognize one’s own human frailty, find one’s own faults, and change a detrimental emotional flaw within. Unfortunately this easy-road approach is bullshit. Whatever the Bigger Spiritual Something Else may be, if we are distracted by biased dogma, the hidden agendas of greedy interests, blatant lies, concretized symbols, and long-rusted metaphor, we will never get in touch with that divine Bigger Spiritual Something Else.
The initial move toward being at home with our own unstained intelligence may be as simple as making a clear-minded decision to do so. Making the effort to be much more consistently aware of what we do and don’t want our brains to absorb and act upon yields results. Anyone consistently moving in the direction of clarified intelligence (or anything else) must eventually reach it. Try it! Point yourself somewhere, anywhere, and then start moving. Don’t change direction. You will get to that somewhere. In the very same way, the mind will move us toward the destination we plan for it just as surely as our feet will move us, step by step, across a room.
The greatest purpose of our greatest teachers may be to show us how, in the long run, to be our own greatest teacher.
Does all this sound abstract, contradictory, weird, un-interpretable, obtuse, un-translatable, and maybe even a little absurd and bizarre? I hope so. I planned it that way.
I wouldn’t want to be mistaken for a fuggin interpreter, presenter, or translator myself!
I’d rather be a mad dog barking at empty space!
“The common error of ordinary religious practice is to mistake the symbol for the reality, to look at the finger pointing the way and then to suck it for comfort rather than follow it.” Alan Watts
“Having failed to distinguish thoughts from things, we then fail to distinguish words from thoughts. We think that if we can label a thing we have understood it.”
Maha Sthavira Sangarakshita
“You can tell you created God in your image when it turns out God hates the same people you do.” Anne Lamott
BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR
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“Once you accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” Albert Einstein
Fearless Puppy on American Road This amazing (mostly) true story reads like a fantasy. Fearless Puppy is a transfictional self-help book. It is both comedic and dramatic—a butt kicking, page-turning adventure story that makes deep spiritual impressions.
Within this book you will meet several saintly Tibetan Lamas. You will also meet a man who is his own uncle, specialists in smoke, mirrors, and invisibility, spirited sex, oxygen orgasms, heavenly Hell’s Angels, phony preachers, domestic violence/domestic solutions, racist killers in America, Canadian race wars, Native American wise men, a bit of Christian ethics and Jewish ritual, angelic witches, benevolent heroin addicts, magical birds, an all-lesbian band playing a rock concert for the deaf, the musician raised by multi-ethnic golden-hearted prostitutes, martial artists battling Neo-Nazis, the modern-day Robin Hood, and many other strangely wonderful people.
Buckle your seatbelt tightly, take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride. Fearless Puppy runs on rocket fuel!
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www.fearlesspuppy.info $21 in print e-book $5.75 ISBN#978--0615781181
Doug “Ten” Rose may be the biggest smartass as well as one of the wisest and most entertaining survivors of the hitchhiking adventurers that used to cover America’s highways. He has survived heroin addiction and death, and is a graduate of over a hundred thousand miles of travel without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account. Ten Rose and his work are a vibrant part of the present and future as well as an essential remnant of a vanishing breed.
Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a book of stripes and plaid in the most entertaining sense of Einstein’s words. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this true story.
The rural Buddhist Monks and Nuns of a forest temple in Asia adopt a very troubled soul from Brooklyn, New York. He can’t speak the language. No one there speaks English. He is penniless, has no intention of studying spiritual discipline, and is amusingly psychotic. This author is not a theology student! He is nonetheless given access to the ancient roots and spiritual wings that define the Wisdom Professionals who have rescued him. He redefines life and reports the details in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a barstool in the temple with him. You may laugh a lot on your way to Nirvana! You may say “Ouch!” a few times, too.
Magic is redefined as objective reality and common sense. Spirit is presented as a functional friend, without the fairy dust. Moods run from adventurous psychosis through enlightened bliss as writing styles run through ancient prose to sharp modern internal rhyme. The main character’s life runs through death into reincarnation without ever leaving his body—and he describes this process in vivid terms and living color.
This down to earth treatment gives a clear view in simple terms of truths that we more often find fossilized within concretized symbols beneath rusting metaphor. For an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity, buy and read Reincarnation Through Common Sense.
www.fearlesspuppy.info $21 in print e-book $5.75
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