Sunday, February 3, 2019

my goodness ... whether you choke or not

Sometimes it confounds me that any of us lived long enough to learn how to tie our shoes. The blind spots of youth are just that staggering.

John Chau
Today, the Guardian has what appears to be a rewrite of a NYTimes story detailing the last days of John Chau, 26, who took it into his Christian-oriented mind to meet with the members of a tribe on a Pacific island in hopes of introducing them to the wonders of Jesus Christ... "the isolated Sentinelese people. The Sentinelese, hunter-gatherers who inhabit North Sentinel Island in the Andaman island chain, are considered one of the Earth’s last uncontacted peoples; their entire tribe is believed to number several dozen people." The Indian government had forbidden contact, but a Christian's mandate, among other things, is to spread the word.

And I have sympathy for this warrior for Christ -- his is the same mind set that used to find me sitting on the stoop of a New York Zen center, waiting for the doors to open for evening practice, wondering how all the rushing pedestrians could be passing by what I found so compelling -- spiritual life. Mine was just another bit of arrogant ignorance: If I've thought this through, how come you don't agree with me, see my point, and join my effort? It seldom if ever crossed my mind that it was I who was the odd man out -- the weirdo in a world of ordinary folks: I was right, right? I'm doing good so it must be good, right?

John Chau was apparently killed by those he planned to benefit with a dollop of God.

A good guy, no doubt, but an asshole ... just like me.

I guess everyone has to cross the mine fields of the narrow and upright. That the survival rate is as high as it is ranks as a marvel, I think. Christianity lines up as one of the more childish spiritual casts based on the order to go out and fight Satan. Not that Christianity is alone -- lots of persuasions say we-are-the-bestest-with-the-mostest -- but Christianity seems particularly given to treacle and a willingness to self-impute 'goodness.'

A smack upside-of-the-head is not always administered in cruelty.

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