Somewhere or other, I read that these are not times for seriousness. The implication seemed to be that with everything else that is going on, getting serious in politics or religious life or whatever other peripheral human pastime was just too much to expect. Economics, war, food, shelter and other uncertainties offered little or no room to rest and relax and reflect in a serious manner.
The sentiment, however wispy, seemed to strike a chord and reminded me of Sri Ramakrishna's observation that Bhakti was best in the kaliyuga ... that when times get hard (the kaliyuga is a Hindu configuration of moral decay and lack of understanding and a sense of collapse and destruction) then baby steps are best ... something easy like loving God. Bhakti Yoga provides that format: Everything is God, so relax and go with the loving flow.
Of course, loving God is not all that easy, assuming there is time or willingness to get serious about it. But before the seriousness and in the midst of the separations of solemnity, love is comforting and inviting and ... well, who doesn't respond well to kind words and a warm fire? Affection and attentiveness from whatever quarter ... it's an ahhh in the throes of ouch.
Having spent many years being wary of the warm-fuzzy approaches to God, these days it's not quite so insistent. As the Anglican Charles Williams once observed, "People believe what they want to believe," which does not, of course, mean that what is believed is worth believing. Individuals do what they want. If God is what anyone wants to do, then I favor it... at least insofar as it is credible to the believer. No need to convince anyone else.
But I remain hopeful that whatever anyone chooses to believe will lead them to a serious place -- a place that does not rely on something else, something solemn, something that is only praiseworthy or good.
It may be hard -- maybe impossible -- to serious up, but what's the alternative. If you don't see at least one thing through in your life, what kind of a life is that?
Don't know what kind of life i'm living. Probably finished some things, not others. Does it matter? Dunno.ReplyDelete
It may be hard -- maybe impossible -- to serious up, but what's the alternative. If you don't see at least one thing through in your life, what kind of a life is that?ReplyDelete
A pathetic life. A failed life. The life of an icchantika, who (Bodhidharma tells us) doesn't even deserve to live.
But you've lived a better life than that. You fixed the roof of your Zendo. You complained about former teachers who turned out to be psychopaths. So that's something!
Please pick up your framed certificate of appreciation at the security desk when you hand in your ID badge, and have a nice day!