Tuesday, March 29, 2016

the little stuff

Whether it's true or not makes no difference. There is stuff I like so much that it might as well be true ... or, if you prefer, false. It's like chocolate -- who cares what anyone else says?

-- Once upon a time, when I was largely in the throes of spiritual clouds, I read a lot about the Vedanta Hindu Sri Ramakrishna, a 19th century (1836-1886) holy man considered by some to be an avatar ... of Vishnu, I think. I purely gobbled the tales about him and the words attributed to him. Doubt was not my companion: I was in thrall.

And one tale was this ... that one day as Ramakrishna was walking down the road, he ran into Jesus. Obviously it as a mystical tale since Jesus had predeceased Ramakrishna by a number of years. I basked and soaked in the story as it rose up off the page. They met on the road before Jesus passed into Ramakrishna. And what made it convincing to me was the very, very small factoid that Ramakrishna noticed the tip of Jesus' nose was flattened.

Grigori Rasputin
--  I once took an interest in the Russian Revolution. In pursuit of the topic, I read what I once estimatedwas something like 200 books on the topic. And, although I could not then or now give a coherent dissertation on the chain of events that led to the overthrow of the tsar by Lenin and others (I have a lousy memory so history is not my strong suit), still there was one very small fact that came from one, fairly flimsy book that premised itself on the idea that it was the tsarevich's (prince) hemophilia that led the tsarina (queen) to trust in the wiles of the mystic Rasputin (1869-1916) and from there to convince her husband. Not a very good book, but popular since Rasputin, like Hitler or Lincoln, is always a juicy topic.

Anyway, it was in the midst of this book there was a truncated reference to a six-plus-foot, American black man who opened and closed the doors to the tsar's throne room.  There was no further information, but this small, unverified bit of information seemed to mysterious and good to disbelieve and so I guess I have always believed it.

There have been other, similar, little things that somehow gave me proof of what I cannot in all honesty prove and yet I do love the 'proven' nature of them. I have forgotten the others at the moment. Write me off as another slob thinker.

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