Monday, July 21, 2014

waste not, want not

Perhaps he said it, perhaps he did not: Either was Ben Franklin is often saddled with the bon mot, "Waste not, want not."

And wherever it came from, my father was a devotee: He never threw away a perfectly good gin bottle.

Instead, when his supply grew low, he would make a connection with a chemistry professor at the college where he taught, pour the gallon or so od 90+% alcohol in the bathtub, mix with water, add a little juniper juice brought at a local pharmacy, stir and decant into the old bottles. No one ever knew ... or if they did, they didn't complain.

Likewise, he had a walk in closet for his clothes. He never threw old ties away. Instead, against the entire six- or 8-foot-back wall was a wire on which he hung his ties, year after year. Sure enough, ties that had outlasted their fashion statement would be replaced shortly by ties whose new-and-novel became new and novel once more.

I wonder how many spiritual adventures are like that.

1 comment:

  1. Nice, well writen post, consistent with your current by and large implicitiy cautionary tone directed toward people making spiritual endeavors.

    Sure like your dad and his ties, some imagined folks interested in some kind of "spiritual things" might be swayed by the latest fad particularly when the practice du jour doesn't seem to 'measure up' or produce "results." Where is the error? Is it in the seeker or is it in the practice. In one or the other, perhaps. or both, perhaps, or perhaps neither.

    The question is entirely too speculative to even suggest an answer.

    However I think that there might be a self-correcting factor in spiritual seeking. But if one gives up, the self-correcting feature may not have had time to ever take effect.

    Let's never forget that we spiritual seeker usually start off with a great deal of ignorance, a great deal of hope, and often a great deal of suffering. Given such conditions seeing clearly may not come for a while, sometimes a long while, and, I'm afraid, for some it never comes. I think along the way I've een seen "disciples" of really bad teachers shut their eyes tight, plug up their ears, and adamantly refused to let any truth in to contradict a serene fantasy.

    I always liked the expression "March On Bravely," when it was applied to my Zen training. I still do.

    Just my 2 cents not adjusted for inflation.