Wednesday, July 17, 2013

outwitting the unknown

One perspective:

The wise die and the unwise die, but only the wise flog the dead horse of wisdom, consoling themselves with words like "understanding" and "compassion." How wise could anyone be, flogging a dead horse?

In the Buddhist book called "The Dhammapada," Gautama is said to have said,
All fear dying.
All fear death.
And surely that is one way to hit the nail on the head ... wise and unwise alike scrambling to outwit the unknown. It never works, but that doesn't reduce the scrambling. Maybe it is like a man determined to return home when all the while he has never gone out the front door ... scrambling... please-please-please ...

These days, around here, it is ferociously and oppressively hot -- a good time, perhaps, to wonder, "Which is more important -- to believe I am hot or to be hot?" As the Christians might say, "God hates a coward," and there comes a time to confess ... what the wise and unwise believe cannot hold a candle to a hot day and living a life of belief-prone fear is worse than the hot sun.


Except of course, some fool will believe it and pen another soaring sutra or veda or whatever else will hold back the night and outflank the unknown. Fear and cowardice seems a bit much, even for a believer, but ... well, to each his own.

Today, summoning what courage I may ... finding a place for healthy, wholesome beginning, a place that can be anywhere and anywhen, I think of the threadbare joke:

A man on the prowl is sitting at a bar one night when he looks across the room and sees an absolutely stunning woman. He can't take his eyes off her. He crosses his legs in a vain attempt to conceal his attraction. Suddenly, he realizes the woman is walking across the room, threading her way through the crowd ... and headed directly at him. Each step seems to confirm her beauty and desirability in the man's eye. And finally, she is standing right beside him. She leans over and whispers in his ear, "I would do absolutely anything for $100." The man thinks a minute, then pulls out his wallet and lays five twenties on the bar. Looking deeply into her eyes, he replies, "Paint ... my ... house."

The wise die and the unwise die, but a freshly-painted house is incomparably unafraid.

No comments:

Post a Comment