An email note from a friend this morning was a bit cranky about a Zen Buddhist forum that was practicing what he called "proprietary Zen" in its efforts to head off certain discussions.
What a good word, "proprietary."
An Internet dictionary defines "proprietary" as meaning
-- owned by a person or company and sold under a trademark or patentWhat is treated in a proprietary manner is what can be owned or controlled ... meaning it is limited in some way.
-- relating to owning something
-- typical of an owner
I don't imagine anyone has been exempt from exercising proprietary behavior in his or her life, in little things or large. And perhaps that behavior is warranted.
But I do think, for those who take their spiritual adventures seriously, the exercise of proprietary behavior within that spiritual adventure is an excellent warning sign, a red flag that signals a wrong turn. It's just a mistake -- an oops -- and mistakes can be corrected. But perhaps you have to make a mistake before you can recognize it adequately.
Anyway ... how useful could a spiritual persuasion be if anyone could claim ownership of it or limit its applications? The sort of spiritual persuasion that can be controlled and limited strikes me a second class citizen ... comforting, perhaps, but really pretty thin ... and let's not mention, stupid.
Sorta like a fart in a wind storm.