Easter and Buddhism: Religion of Passion, i.e. Suffering…

img_1893Christianity is the only modern religion based on emotion, rather than reason, submission, devotion or some other. Christians apparently LIKE suffering—read: passion—and so don’t avoid it but seek it out, with daredevil stunts, extreme sports, torrid romances and hot hot bodies, buffed and tanned and laid in the sand, for hours at the time, until well-done…

Somewhere along the way we decided we liked all that and the word ‘passion’ took on new meaning, with a positive connotation, in life and in love. We’ll suffer for our art gladly, just like we’ll suffer for our sport, and we’ll suffer for love, just like Christ suffered for us, i.e. the ‘passion’, celebrated every year around this—Easter—time…

IMG_0379Passion and suffering once meant the same thing, so sometime in the last 2000 years we in the West apparently decided we like to feel pain, and fear: sky-diving, bungee-jumping, and mountain-climbing, things that a sane person would never do, like falling in love or riding a motorcycle, the things that define Western civilization. So what has it gotten us?

We’re drowning in titillation, washed up on the sand, don’t know what to do with our hands, body parts uncertain of their role in this world. Ancient religions all had emotion, of course, singing and dancing and banging drums to beat the band, as if those drumbeats were indeed our heartbeats, and those swinging hips and swaying bodies were the essence of fertility itself, as if the species just might not be reproduced without the visual stimulus to ensure its propagation…

Living in the material World: Sex is the paradigm…

…for this life in this dimension in this world of samsara, composed of yesterday today and tomorrow, solidity intuited by the rapid passing of individual frames through the mind’s eye, must be solid if they remain suspended in vision, our eyes and brains not quick enough to see the gaps in logic, the blinking-ness of existence, as it must look at the speed of light, thereby enabled to leap tall buildings in a single bound, able to walk through walls unbound, able to find new partners on the rebound…

Someone once called my writing ‘psycho-sexual’ and I plead guilty, though I hope it becomes less so as I grow older, and the testosterone in me takes its rightful place in the laboratory’s wastebaskets full of broken hearts and broken beakers, shattered test tubes, duct-tape lives and patchwork lies. As much as I hate to admit it, given my spiritual aspirations and my religious motivations…

We are a chemical people, testosterone seeking out estrogen in an endless struggle to bond and create new compounds. Big Pharma asks cute little Yoga Sutra out for a date, and they spend all their time running and talking in circles, he plying her with spurious cocktails and the latest date drugs while she plays hard to get by standing on her head, and balancing sexual accessories between her shoulder blades, none of which she really intends to use, not tonight anyway…

And so it goes, the eternal question of the chicken and the egg, which came first and why, consciousness or matter, spirit creating flesh or vice-versa, cats and dogs chasing their tails looking for fulfillment, when such is not the likely outcome of life in this world, reason enough to look for it elsewhere, light over gravity, Heaven over Hell, life at the speed of light preferable to a black hole from which no light can escape…

In life as in quantum physics, everything is the opposite of what it seems, so to be a winner in this world is the cruelest of fates, hence to lose in the next, by analogy if not factuality. “For the losers now will be later to win (Dylan),” and the meek will inherit the earth, my constant refrain, or even the Facebook quickie Buddhist nugget, something like: “In a battle of egos, the loser always wins…”

‘Like’ that, click… (and all without even mentioning the sword of Damocles, ever-present danger hanging by a hair over the heads of the rich and powerful, cruel fate). So that just leaves compassion as the only passion left to suffer alone, ironic since it means to suffer together, too heavy. Let’s call that ‘loving-kindness’, sounds more Christian. And from now on, if you want to suffer, then use the –pathy root, from the same Greek, since passion is for lovers… 

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