#Buddhism and #Politics, in Defense of post-Millennials:

img_1987Yes, this is a dimension of suffering, more than the sum of your life, more than the breadth of this world, an entire dimension, or two, length width depth time and biology chemistry physics, at the very least, all conspiring to keep you within limits, physical limits, by a margin of maybe 51 to 49, you’re doomed, to a life sentence, paragraph, chapter and verse, complete with death, guaranteed, and there’s not much you can do about that, no matter what some sweet-talking New Age guru with his most articulate drugstore Buddhism tells you…

And then there are the joys, too, to be fair, to be honest, the joys of family, and communion, and art and culture and sex and first love, but still there will be last rites, and that is the point, and the Buddha knew that, fully and well, he not some party-pooper intent on spoiling the fun, just quite aware that for every count of fun there would be two of misery, in some cause-effect relationship, you can plot it on a graph, and call it the Four Aryan Truths, if you want, to be mitigated by the Eight-Part Path (please do not fold), which will not solve all your problems, but it’s a good place to start…

Nothing will solve all our problems, but Buddhism is a good place to start, because at least it’s honest, when it’s made comprehensible. This is a world subject to suffering, and nothing can change that. We have all the Science in the world now, and yet our lives do not seem to be getting any better, after a long run in which it seems they would, indeed, get better, and even did. Now what?

Large swaths of the world now have material plenitude for the first time, and still the dangers are only increasing, to the point that it may or may not be safe to walk out of your home at night, so you have to buy a car, whether you like it or not. Yuk. This is all new. This is all happening for the first time, despite all the rap about ‘history repeats’…

…’cause we haven’t even had time for that yet, we a species barely a few millennia old, and civilization even less, making it up as we go along, with duct tape and a pocket full of tissues, one million messiahs in search of a complex, blind man’s bluff, and our greatest crime is our arrogance, we the greatest species ever existent imagining that we are the greatest species imaginable…

I feel bad for most of my friends of my own generation…

…not because we’ll never see each other again, which is likely the case, but that is just a fact of life, according to the lay of the land. It comes with the the turf. Do the math. No, I feel sorry for my same-generation friends because we can’t see each other even now, because they can’t see their way to get their little selves on social media, which is pretty much a world-wide-web unto itself these days, and an easy way to keep up…

But they don’t avoid Facebook because it’s silly as sh*t, what with stupid pet tricks and dumb-down politics and puffed-up egos and all that nostalgia. No, they avoid it because it threatens their precious privacy, their mole-holes, their picket fences, their sacred turf, their fluffy hand-stitched and hand-crafted quilts, handed down from generation to generation. Is it warm in there? I hope so. It’s brisk out here…

That’s why I like the ‘Millennial’ generation. I got to know a few, and I like them. I think they like me, too, or at least as much as they could like anyone thrice their age. I attribute it to my general lack of maturity, but there could be other reasons, also. Most importantly they don’t seem to like suburbs—fingers crossed—and cars are optional: yes! This is huge!

So what if they don’t hang out in garages playing guitars? They hang out in abandoned warehouses playing computers. So what if they don’t call you on the phone or write you long flowing letters full of platitudes and sh*t. Who writes letters any more anyway, or e-mail FTM? Ironically in my generation it’s the old hipsters who are slow or not-at-all to get on social media. I guess they have everything they need already—must be nice…

But ‘Millennials’ have taken a lot of flack for being the ‘me me me’ generation, and if the post-Millenials are the ones in school now, then it seems like they’ll be painted with the same brush, already branded by Marco Rubio as ‘arrogant’ just because they don’t want to populate the killing fields of America, sacrificial lambs and cannon fodder for a bunch of rednecks too lame to get real lives, whose only joy in life comes from making things go ‘boom!’ and watching sentient beings fall to their deaths in obedience…

So should the ‘post-Millennial’ generation simply roll over and play dead in obeisance to the Road-Kill generation, simply because there seems to be little choice in the matter? No, they should not, and the fact that they are organizing to do what a bunch of fat-cat politicians in Washington, D.C. can’t do is extraordinary. The USA is bought and sold on street corners and carnival midways by cheap hustlers, barkers with balloons and fast-talkers. If democracy is so corrupt that it can’t protect its children, then let the children rule…

But don’t think for a moment that Buddhism is a political movement, either leftist or right. Anyone can be a Buddhist, and Myanmar proves that even monks could use some refresher courses on the ‘right thought’ and ‘right actions’ of the Eight-fold path. First you save yourself, then you save the world. That’s why meditation is designed to block discursive thought altogether. It’s easier that way. Buddhism doesn’t have to be gloomy, either. That’s a bum rap…

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