Saturday, March 24, 2012


I probably should know better, but on the peace picket line this morning I got to chatting with a man who had been a Trappist monk. He maintained his spiritual interests, he said, but had moved away from a monkish format.

And after a while of chatting, he said to me, "You are very evasive. You don't address the question. Don't you ever think of others?" And of course I hadn't thought I was being evasive at all. I thought I had been addressing his questions. And what I thought I had been saying was very much on behalf of what he called "others."

Oh well ... it didn't work. But it did make me think: Kindness is good, but honesty is better. Real kindness grows out of honesty like crab grass in the lawn. Kindness to others is good, but the likelihood is that if employed as a constant diet, kindness will create a never-ending hell ... which is OK if you learn how to love hell, but otherwise is confusing and painful and unending.

It will be better to curb my chattering tongue and reserve my nutball noodlings to a space like this.


  1. FWIW - I agree
    Good on ya...



  2. Based on your account, the Trappist monk seems to have felt that your evasiveness was dishonest and therefore uncompassionate.

    I must agree that you are what could be called evasive, or at least largely stuck in a perpetual "devil's advocate" mode. If someone says "darkness is dark", you invariably go all zen on them with something like "Yes, darkness can be dark, but can't it also be light? Just noodling."

    I really don't know if that constitutes kindness, honesty, evasiveness, compassion, some combination thereof, or something else entirely, but the only possible purpose I can see it serving is to "snatch" the importance of a given issue from whoever expresses an attachment to it. Problem is, advocating a waffling neither-here-nor-their viewpoint verges on "everything is everything".

    The only topic on which you never show that sort of waffling is the Eido Shimano drama. Of course, in that regard, others are always at the ready with a variant of "don't judge Eido because there are two sides to every coin and there's always a bigger picture." You're certainly aware of how irritatingly namby-pamby that sort of argument is in that particular context, yet you do it all the time to people when your intensely-personal agendas are not involved.

  3. So much anonymousness, so little time. :)

    To anonymous number two, the one at 9:03 a.m., the nameless and unwaffling one, I appreciate your assessment and will plead guilty.

    One thing that makes me happy is that now you know precisely what NOT to do. How good a deal is that?