Monday, December 24, 2012

If You Meet Him On The Road - Reprise

I have a little problem with authority. The bumper sticker, years old, was made for me: Question Authority

There is an old Buddhist saying that comes from the heart of the teaching. Most of that saying is the title of this poem and the poem is a story that describes the last two words of the title. This also I like very much. Buddhism insists that in the most basic analysis, I am to be my own authority even to this point, that before I actually achieve my highest potential, I will have to kill all residual forms of devotion to any master or any belief, any dogma and any rule, because they will at the last be hindrances. They will stand in my way.

Thus, even though I must accept guidance and community along my way, because there is utterly no hope of my journey's success without that, and even though because I must accept guidance and community, there must be authorities, I am called also to remember that these are all TEMPORARY and they cannot take dogmatic position in my life if my journey is truly spiritual. If I meet the Buddha on the road, at the last I must kill him.

This is the spiritualizing of a human tendency to fail, a shortcoming. The shortcoming is a failure in the maturation of the adolescent in us all. It is natural for adolescents to rebel against authority. In the spirit life this rebelliousness transforms rather than disappears. That is the point. To outgrow adolescent rebelliousness as most societies prefer is to lose something divine. But to stay in that rebellion is to fall far short of the divine. To transform adolescent rebelliousness first into self-actualized, socialized, other centered living, and then to lift that socialized being into the spirit realms is the purpose of all true religion. If that path is lacking, if the religion cannot act as the mother does letting the adolescent go into adulthood, letting the child truly go, letting the spiritual traveler move beyond the childhood home, then it cannot be a true religion.

We tend to not understand.

If You Meet Him On The Road

Why is it like this?
I see some serious man
Have his earnest say,
Speak as deeply as
He knows, perhaps deeper than
I ever would go,
Demonstrate his grace,
His position in God's world
If not in my own,
And what do I do?
Sling snowballs, or mud
Right between his hazel eyes,
Down his gray suede coat.

Written December 17, 2008 10:14 AM
First Posted March 28, 2009

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The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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