Saturday, June 5, 2010

believe it!

To my right along the peace picket line that was sweltering this morning, a grey-haired man with a guitar was talking to a white-haired woman who was clearly a pretty good friend. And I caught a snippet of conversation:

He: How can he say he does not believe in God. Saying you don't believe in God is like a fish saying it does not believe in water.

She: Nods with an appreciative smile.

It was a cozy little exchange -- friendly, agreeable.

But later, after the man with the guitar had moved on to an appointment and as I was about to head home for lunch, I couldn't stop myself from commenting to the white-haired woman: "You might tell your friend to consider: A fish that does not believe in water is precisely the same as a fish that DOES believe in water."

Belief -- so inviting, so convincing, so agreeable. And yet what is it that belief and disbelief accomplish beyond all doubt? Belief and disbelief separate one thing from the next. From the get-go, separation is the DNA of belief/disbelief.

And is separation the sort of peace that is A. True or B. Most healing?

I know, I know ... it's not something to point out ... it's too contrary to what anyone might just know to be true.

One day I'll learn to hold my tongue.


  1. Even though you do it while being smitten with yourself (who has a blog who isn't?), you fully understand belief. But you don't even know it. How wonderful.

  2. Hi Genkaku

    I regularly enjoy reading your blog. Whilst reading the associated post, I thought about what might happen when "the opposites arise" as mentioned in Doden's Rules for Meditation. Then, whilst reading Chris's comments and their possible meaning(s), there was an immediate sense of opposition arising!. The transition from a kind of wise head-nodding to falling right into the very trap I thought I understood took less than a minute. I guess that this zen malarky really is a lifelong, moment-by-moment practice. Anyhow, I hope that it is a long time before you learn to hold your tongue. In gassho, Andy

  3. oops, typo meant to say Dogen, Andy

  4. on reflection, think that wise, should have read "wise" also.

  5. I understand nothing, but I experience much. I am smitten by such a variety of things, that ultimately are all pretty much the same. Why would a fish need to believe in water?

  6. Thank you Charlie. Why would a fish need to believe in water? You all make me smile. I love this stuff...