Thursday, June 11, 2015

"did you ever meet him?"

I can't find it now*, but I know it's there/here somewhere -- the video tale/book of a man who joins a jungle tribe (in the Amazon, I think) with the intent, among other things, of introducing them/converting them to Christianity ... he joins and is then himself converted.

Floating around in my half-burned memory banks is the one question I believe members of the tribe asked this man with his metaphorical Bible tucked under his arm. Mind you, they were willing to listen to his tales of Christianity. But their willingness was the willingness they might extend to any individual ... or perhaps a child. Everyone's got a tale to tell and they have the right to tell it and be heard.

But, if I remember the video correctly, the one question the tribal members asked was whether this man who praised the realm of Christianity and its chief expositor, Jesus, was, "Did you ever meet him [Jesus]?" And when the man said he had not, there was a not-unkind unwillingness to take this man seriously. How true could tales be without personal knowledge and acquaintance? A wet dream may be compelling, but that doesn't make it either true or worthy of serious consideration. Dreams deserve attention, perhaps, but they are just dreams and as such do not partake of the verifiable present.

The tribal question is like a sword to the heart -- not painful exactly, but pointed and precise and inescapable in its aptness. A life of belief is a life in the past. To ignore the past is as foolish as to rely on it. Inspiration can be found in the past, but relaxation and an absence of doubt cannot.

Living in the past -- living on a diet of belief -- really can be inspiring. But it throws up a constant state of doubt ... trying to live in the past while inescapably living in the present. If there ever were an example of what Buddhists call "unsatisfactoriness" (dukkha), this strikes me as an example that supersedes Buddhism or Christianity or any other spiritual cage.

Did you ever meet him?

What a blessing of a question.

What a curse.

But if this life were based on nothing but blessings and curses ... well, hell, what sort of a life would that be?

*A helpful friend passed along the video I could not find. 


  1. I am sorry Mr Adam, i just found it, an report in a brazilian newspaper and a video on youtube from a guy from Brazil, my country.

    so you will need for the newspaper report, to put your portuguese language up, smile.

    Marcelo Rosa Job

  2. Thanks Marcelo -- As in the footnote above, the video was pointed out to me. I am grateful for your effort, however.

  3. Sorry, was this the one you were looking for?

  4. Tnx Charlie ... as above, that's the one.