Wednesday, January 25, 2012

complex, subtle, profound ... give it a rest!

I suppose it's a complex issue, the issue of complexity, but one of the attributes of aging seems to be an increasing unwillingness to fiddle-faddle with complexity. It's not that the subtle profundities and interwoven strands are somehow wrong or unworthy ... on the contrary, the unwillingness to address and assess the particulars of a situation is the stuff of idiocy and bias.

But with age comes fatigue and complexity is tiring. How much of what is called complex is just the desire to elevate or shore up my own sense of importance?

For example, I find it harder and harder to have a long, serious conversation on the phone. On and on and on and on. OK, I get it: It's important. I wouldn't say it's unimportant, I would just say it tires me out. Or perhaps Buddhism is serious and profound. OK. But for my money Buddhism is just a matter of choosing an ego with care. Try saying that to a Buddhist and you are probably in for a long phone call.

In news reporting, the old adage used to run, "Stand up. Speak up. And shut up." As a friend, I am interested that you care. Perhaps I care too. Perhaps not. But we can still be friends.

Sometimes I think the reason so many elderly people are silent is that they don't want long and caring phone calls and they are willing to make a choice and be wrong. Why? Because making a choice is never wrong. It's a choice. If it's wrong, we just pray for the energy and ability to correct it in future. For the moment, no correction is necessary. Philosophy and religion, complexity and simplicity, have no dominion over a man who raises a spoonful of Cheerios to his mouth.

1 comment:

  1. Sparky The Acetylene BuddhistJanuary 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Poor Genkaku -

    Perhaps you are now suffering from the lack of training in the paramitas. A common weakness in some flavors of Japanese Zen.

    Recall, hopefully:

    Dana. (Generosity) The time and care often seen in this blog is an example of a kind of dana.

    Ethics. (Morality)

    Patience. It is true, anecdotally at least, that some people become less
    patient and increasingly cranky and intolerant with age. This is why one needs to train in the paramitas.

    Enthusiastic Determination. Another paramita vulnerable to the aging process.


    Wisdom. With enough intelligence and experience a person should be able to shut down that overlong converser, hopefully cheerfully and with grace, but certainly firmly and long before becoming exasperated personally. Hey you can always claim an age related condition. Also it's a good idea to have a telephone answering machine help screen your calls.