Circle of Joy and Sorrow

Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be. -Marcus Aurelius

Monday, May 08, 2006

Thich Nhat Hanh

Now I have this old good friend (hi you) who won't get herself a Blogger identity so she can be perhaps my one and only regular commentor. I shall have to intervene and give her a name like one of those D.C. sex bloggers who nickname their conquests. So what's on the table? Hardcouch. Or else something to reflect the single life. No, the first has nothing to do with my current drought and her flood. Blah. ;)

So in her honor, I'm going to blog about something that happened during my day. (Just because you mentioned that's what you hate about bloggers.) I'm sitting in the waiting area, which they don't even bother to call the waiting room anymore, thankfully. Reading Thich Nhat Hanh. And there's a 16ish unmarried teen mom with her year old boy and her very fat cousin. In their very loud Young Life shirts. La la la. So I'm reading about anger, and this fat girl's engaging in about every act of cruelty towards this baby she's learned in her short life. Which may actually be about half mine.

Buddhism helps me to understand evangicals. Crazy I know. Saved girl took the pacifier from the baby so she could toss it across the room, pinched the baby to make him cry, told him he was ugly in front of his mother, and mentioned that men who have only daughters aren't real men. Rounded off with loud complaints that he wasn't fat yet like the both of them. The mother assured her that her son had just had his first fast food. Saved girl also mentioned the sacrifice this was, missing a day of work and having to let everyone in 300 square feet of office space know this interesting fact. At the top of her lungs. This.

So I get a little closer to the idea where some people are willing to denounce other members of their own religion as not being true believers. Although I may rely in this case on the evidence of grace over the profession of faith. Why can't Hardcouch make a better poster child for who gets to be a member of the eternals club?

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At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it doesn't sound crazy.

And don't mistake regular commentators as being your only readers. I currently get over 100 hits a day and, as you know, there is a beautiful hardcore of wonderful people who leave comments and contribute to the discussions thereon. Then there are folks who pop up out of the blue and say they've been reading your stuff for years but this is their first comment...

I don't understand that but I welcome the readers as much as the comments.

I was, many moons ago - decades, actually - an evangelical Christian. Hard to believe? I hope so, my friend but what it taught me was a life-long dislike of fundamentalism and extremism. It also gave me understanding of where they come from, having been one - and they come from fear. Absolutely terrible, life-crippling, soul-warping fear.

I've met many other LGBT souls down the years who, understandably enough, loathe fundies of the Lord. I don't. And I'm glad I don't. They're people who, while thinking the rest of us at best deluded or lost and at worst evil, are themselves as lost as a blind dog in a strange country when the fog's coming down...

And re: comments again, please - make it so you don't have to be a Blogger blogger (ahem) to comment. I hate referencing my old account...

Love and blessings to you,

Andy xx

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Sojourner said...

I had just learned about Thich Nhat Hanh in one of my psychology classes a few weeks ago. I love that TNH teaches that we shouldn't ignore the feeling of being angery but that we embrace it (but not act on it), learn from it and move on.

As for the situation that you witnessed - I would have had a difficult time seeing that as well. Try to see it as an act of one person, though, and not as an example of that religion. Everyone is a hypocrite at some point in their lives. It's human nature.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger olive said...

Hi Andy! I'll go see if I'm technically literate enough to figure that out... :)

Hi Sojouner! The thing about what I witnessed is that the fat girl was engaging in habitual cruelty, which hadn't so much been taught her by evangelism, but that evangelism isn't by and large concerned with training it out of its members. There is not a framework inside evangelism as there is in Buddhism that insists people have to actually learn to be good people. Which is of course, part and parcel to its allure. Thanks again, though, for stopping by!! :)


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