There is something satisfying about finding someone who is devoted to something, someone willing to follow the Yellow Brick Road of their love or interest, someone so devoted that s/he is willing to hit a hundred brick walls, make a hundred errors and still keep going. I guess I like it because such an effort contrasts so sharply with the willingness to sink back or rely on a judgment or opinion or belief that is based on mere smugness or grade-school research.
The topic in question may bore the socks off me, but the effort involved, the unwillingness to be distracted or sidetracked ... well, it may smack of megalomania, but the willingness to be wrong and correct one's own errors and then persevere ... I like it.
Today, The Washington Post carries a story of a Virginia man caught up in a kerfuffle with the Daughters of the American Revolution about whether a particular ancestor fought in the American Revolution and was thus qualified to be listed by the DAR. The researcher's evidence appears to be exhaustive (and exhausting), but the DAR continues to bar the gate. Does any of this matter? In a country with intractable economic problems and in the midst of two unexplainable and expensive wars, who could care?
Who could care?
I certainly don't. But I am pleased to see this researcher persisting ... falling down, getting up, researching the research that proved to be faulty, badgering and nagging and keepin' on keepin' on. Yes, the whole topic may strike me as being dumber than a box of rocks, but the effort...? Who will make a similar effort ... about anything?
Spiritual life requires a similar effort, I'd say: Dumber than a box of rocks, open to giggling and raging and swooning assessments on every side, finding hordes who agree and yet not relying on the agreement of others ... anyone can believe this shit and find books and temples and pious friends to support the outlook ... but who is devoted enough to see it through, never give up, refuse to be satisfied by some cotton-candy 'authenticity,' persist despite the fears and frustrations?
Sure, it's crazy.
But who isn't?