Friday, January 10, 2014

blemished and unblemished

Emailing this morning with a Zen Buddhist monk friend in Japan, it crossed my mind:

If someone supposed that because the practice of Zen Buddhism (or any other approach for that matter) was unblemished and that therefore the expositors of Zen Buddhism (or any other approach) were likewise, ipso facto, unblemished ... well, anyone with two brain cells to rub together would snicker.

But would the snickering be diminished if the proposition were turned around and someone supposed that because the expositors of Zen Buddhism (or any other) were blemished, then therefore Zen Buddhism itself was blemished?

I guess "blemished" and "unblemished" boil down to a willingness to shoulder personal responsibility and winkle out the truth. Either that, or endure the well-deserved snickers of others.


  1. I can take responsibility for my own practice, my own blemishes.

  2. Blemishes? Blemishes!! BLEMISHES!!!
    Come on! It not blemishes we are concerned about, are we?
    It's more like the deep character flaws that are of real concern.

    Leadership role or not It's one thing to talk "personal responsibility," it's quite another to really deal with deep personal flaws.

    But the authoritarian leadership models common to "spiritual groups" make the taking of responsibility harder because of the need of the leadership to project superiority, accomplishment and "impeccability."

    Simply put if one doesn't like cookies it's easy to stay out of the cookie jar but if one is addicted to sweets (or stealing) even if the cookie jar is locked up it's not is going to matter.