Saturday, November 9, 2013

curious proclivities

Writing an email to a Zen monk friend this morning, the words popped off my keyboard fingers:
What a curious proclivity -- rounding up some quite useful thought realm and then spending so much time trying to assure that no flaw or blemish should ever mar the scene. "Thankless" is hardly the least of it.
In the specific instance, I was referring to spiritual life, but I imagine that the observation might serve in other arenas as well ... a good idea that, because it is a good idea, must somehow be construed as flawless. How the hell can anyone expect to get a decent cup of coffee if they can't/won't cope with the grounds?

And in another 'curious proclivity,' I wonder how many people have ever banged a thumb while driving a nail and then looked around for someone else to say "ouch!" Anyone might concede that this would be completely out of synch with reality ... or, put another way, dumber than a box of rocks. Pain, like pleasure, does not accede to the cozening of words like "we."

And yet how many enter their chosen sacred confines with the unspoken hope that those confines -- temple or text or teacher or ritual -- will relieve them of the ouch's of their lives; that somehow there will be a transference and solution to the immediate and indubitable result of a hammer hitting the thumb?

I think of such proclivities as curious. Not bad or naughty or somehow screwball -- just curious. Lord knows I have indulged ... and been badly disappointed.

But that doesn't mean I have to keep on indulging, that I cannot reconsider and reassess and revise. 

The hammer of life seems to demand no less.

No comments:

Post a Comment