Suppose it's Friday night and time to part-ay!
Around a large table in a local pub sit a car mechanic, a stock broker, a secretary, a psychologist, a landscaper, a poet, a taxi driver, three hookers, a lawyer, an artist, a dentist with his wife, a woman CEO and her husband, a truck manufacturer, a politician, a homeless man, four members of an all-black band, and a piccolo player. Everyone's having a good time. It's Friday and professions or status don't matter ... it's time to enjoy the company and have some relaxed fun.
"Sorry I'm late," a late-comer announces with a smile. And she/he sits down, grabs a beer mug, pulls the peanut bowl a little closer to his/her location ... and joins in. Who is this person? It's just the local monk/nun, whose profession is no more or less interesting than anyone else's. Fun, after all, does not depend on profession. Fun is just ... well, fun. And why shouldn't a monk or nun have a little unfeigned fun ... not just playing at 'being one of the boys/girls' but just being one of the boys/girls ... allowing him-or herself and being allowed as others allowed each other ... to have fun.
Any monk or nun with some experience knows that what s/he does is just what s/he does. Left in the past is some notion that s/he is somehow different or capable of being higher or lower. The Dalai Lama says, "I am just a simple monk." And, whether he means it or not, ain't that just the truth? Except for the inexperienced, higher and lower stations are simply inaccurate. Life is just life ... enjoying itself on a Friday night.
Stockbroker, piccolo player, hooker or shrink ... the operative descriptive is, "it can't be helped." Monks and nuns can't help being monks and nuns. It just happens to be what they do. And penalizing them for it with adulation or scorn is not just unkind ... it also misses out on the fun of a perfectly pleasant Friday night. Perhaps a particular monk or nun is fucked up on some kind of virtue bender or some kind of neurotic impairment ... but so what ... who at the table isn't?
I feel sorry for those in the spiritual professions ... especially those who have put out their best energies to plumb their profession's depths ... being treated like the mirror image of 'niggers,' marginalized by others or themselves by what cannot be marginalizing. Of course there is a period when anyone might climb onto the cross in order to be seen from a greater distance (Camus) ... anyone might like to be 'special.' But with time, that approach is a sad state of affairs, in any line of work.
It can't be helped. That's all.
Stop hogging the nuts!