Wednesday, January 27, 2010

wisdom and ignorance

Funny how those who long for or cling to wisdom of one kind or another are constantly confounded by ignorance. Where wisdom beckons, ignorance snickers.

In Buddhist practice, there are wondrous vows and sweat-drenched efforts. And still there's dog shit on the sidewalk and still there are hot flames of greed and lust and intellectual finery. And where dog shit stinks and the flames are hottest, anyone might seek a way out.

I honestly wonder which is more profoundly helpful: Wisdom or ignorance. No bullshit, which is more honestly useful?

If the principle, the home ground, is the same ... well, what principle is this? Don't daisies and roses and skunk cabbage alike grow out of this one nourishing earth?

Never mind any of the airy-fairy stuff -- the "Buddhist" stuff, the "wise" stuff, the "magical mystery tour" stuff, the "oneness" stuff ... how is it honestly in your life?

Don't we say "thank you" to what is wise and elevating? Don't we say "no thank you" to what is ignorant and painful?

But which is which? Seriously, check it out. Look it over. Which is or was more informative -- the wisdom with its invitations and wonder or the flat-out errors and mistakes, some of them very painful?

Surely we cannot devalue or dismiss the one or elevate and wax lyrical about the other. There is only one earth, right?

So ... which is which?

It may take some practice, but the best I can think of is ...

Thank you.

And I don't mean just some smarmy, goodie-two-shoes, philosophical "thank you," but rather a "thank you" in the heart.

Just, thank you very much.

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