Losing Religion, Learning Language: Contagion of Kindness Needed ASAP, pls…

IMG_0387We become so inured to modern violence that we assume it’s natural, the general air of belligerence and the general lack of politeness.  And that’s right I reckon—it IS natural, or WAS, anyway—in the beginning.  Imagine what it would be like it we hadn’t been inoculated by religion at birth, that vaccination by cultural collusion and linguistic license, immigrant immersion and religious righteousness.

We need a booster shot now, more than ever, we so far from God, and so close to Mexico, conveniently close to sacrificial lambs, artificial limbs and easy scapegoats for our worst trespasses and most hideous transgressions, things we should’ve said and things we should’ve done, too late now to start over, so must settle for walls and bridges, duct-tape solutions and anti-retroviral cocktails…

If you’re American, then the degree to which you’re awash in violence is a serious impediment to (y)our spiritual well-being. I don’t mean that you yourself have done anything necessarily wrong, except maybe being born in the wrong place.  Jesus Christ once said that a camel could go through the eye of a needle easier than a rich man could find his way to Heaven. And he was right, I’d say, though modern-era capitalists try to quickly change the narrative, something about ‘trespasses’…

IMG_0508I’d say that the odds are about equal for an American, though, not because we’re so rich, but because we’re so violent.  Violence doesn’t blend well with concepts of Heaven, regardless of your definition. To be sure, Heaven is mostly a metaphor, of course, a synonym and comparison to perceived divinity and the intuition of a higher realm to our earthly existence…

But our violence is not limited to the overt wars we fight, but is also embedded in the covert language we speak, particularly the subject-verb-object word order, all narrative literally predicated on somebody doing something to somebody else.  So there is the abhorrence of the passive voice and the lack of a true subjunctive mood and the preference for transitive verbs, subject always specified, as if nothing is intuited and nothing simply understood, but always involves the explicit actions of an actor on a stage.

Now this doesn’t necessarily imply violence, but that is usually nor far behind, particularly in the use of analogies and metaphors.  We love to “push each others’ buttons” and “get in each others’ faces” as a simple matter of normal intercourse.  This is quickly revealed in the ‘comments’ section of any internet forum, i.e. “f*ck you, f*ck it, f*ck them, f*ck what they think,” etc…

IMG_0515And our sporting events are hardly showcases of good sportsmanship.  Golf’s green grows notwithstanding, almost every sport in the Western world becomes a contact sport sooner or later, the more so the merrier for the sake of popularity.  People go to hockey games just for the fights!  “The best defense is a good offense”, of course, so “never give up” and “fight fight fight.”  Every high-school football team has a ‘fight song’, almost equal in importance to the national anthem…

That’s Christianity for you.  Buddhism is different.  There the best offense is a good defense—just like China swallowing countries that used to be their occupiers, e.g. Manchuria, Tibet, and almost Mongolia, but for the grace of Russia.  Who ultimately wins is a matter of conjecture and definition and amusement for the sake of the bet.

So when the going gets tough: I’d suggest you always give up, always hedge your bets, always change your mind, always pull your punches, all for the sake of contrition, and the right to play—read ‘play’ not fight—another day and in another way, with cooler heads in makeshift beds of rules and rights and long sweaty nights, reconciling ourselves with our own inner and outer demons gone viral…

I personally am at my worst on my wheels, in my car, tooling down the street in a road-rage frenzy, flipping off loony lead-foots and shooting birds with abandon, hurling epithets and using words as percussion, low keys and high, a symphony of fingers, artificial anger and superficial sad, never too late to repent and bury axes, since all behavior is learned and forgiveness is cheap.  I can change all that when the world gets back to Nature, when I get back to the Temple; that my first order of bizniz…

Advertisements