My apologies if anyone finds this post politically incorrect, but we are heading for the most important full moon of the year, the one celebrating the birth, enlightenment, and entry into Nirvana of the Buddha. Whether Buddhism is a religion or a philosophy is not for me to say, but the Buddha's teaching revolved around the relief of suffering through overcoming of ignorance. You might say, it does not matter at all how we transcend our lack of awareness, merely that we somehow succeed. Thus, whether we are naive or misinformed or complacent with our take on reality is not the issue so much as whether or not we will make the effort to know the truth and then align with it. To help us, the Buddha gave discourses in which He explained that "Right Understanding" — the first of the precepts of the Eightfold Noble Path — means, among other things, not believing things that are not true. In a world of mass indoctrination, this means stepping out of the clutter and seeing things as they are. We could suggest that the various forms of meditation that awaken intuition, insight, and knowing are just tools for extricating ourselves from disinformation, misunderstanding, and false beliefs and becoming one with the truth. Thus, to reiterate my intent, I would propose that to the extent that we are able to achieve correct awareness, the name of the Path does not matter. In short, from a personal perspective, I can honor any and all attempts that are sincere, unbiased, and worthy. This means that I can appreciate and accept all conclusions from the minds of persons who are balanced and honest regardless of whether their attainments occurred within the context of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, or some indigenous belief system. I even respect the attainments when they were achieved in ritual or perhaps through use of entheogens. In short, while these are not my personal choices, I respect whatever has integrity and coherence.
In my facetious moments, I have said that we live on the Entertainment Planet of the Universe. So, whether we are looking at historic gladiator games or the current circus on Earth, these are all distractions that keep us from knowing our true selves and our destinies. In the modern world, everything is managed: our curriculum in school, our television programs, our politics and economics, and most of what we call religion. Worse, with the advent of mass media communications, more and more traditional areas of endeavor have come under the aegis of Hollywood and its counterparts in other parts of the world. Our politicians are concocted more or less out of nothingness and projected onto screens as the fictions they are. Then, when we discover they have no intention of living up to their promises, we "vote" them out instead of asking who the puppet masters are and what their agenda is.
Many years ago, I met a renegade from the film industry. He said there are two types of entertainment, comedy and tragedy. Many would agree. Certainly in my operatic world, we have opera buffa and opera seria. I would like to take an enormous risk and propose that both these literary and artistic forms depend on the second chakra. Obviously, the inspiration, elaboration, and artistic expression utilize more facets of our totality, but comedy is believed by many to arise from suppressed sexuality. It might explain why Dharma jokes can be particularly funny as well as why much humor seems to speak to some level of frustration, irritation, or objectification that often does not feel good to everyone listening. Tragedy is, of course, much more complicated but ultimately it deals with issues of loss and the grief one feels over such loss. It is therefore not funny, but this strange and circuitous essay does have some scenes worth viewing.
Back in my grad school days, someone said that Don Giovanni was a tragedy. I argued that it is a comic opera. He said, "but Don Giovanni dies." I said, "Don Giovanni goes to hell and that is what he deserved so it's not a tragedy." I was, of course, right, but the issue came up again some months ago when someone sent a link to a Lyndon LaRouche whatever. The author made the same mistake, but from what I am reading in email, countless people regard the White House announcement of the death of bin Laden as "justice served" when in reality, it is just more "splash" and distraction. It is neither comedy nor tragedy, just abuse of the power of speech. I have been deleting mail almost as fast as it arrives because people have no cause for celebration or even for hope IF they listen to script writers rather than search for truth. It is important that we extricate ourselves from the manipulative powers that would conceal facts and supplant them with gobblety gook.
So, while I am on this kick, let's add the Elenin. This comet will not usher in the End of Times but if someone wants to escape, there are countless ways to do so, just be sure that extricating yourself from danger isn't just another way to die and watch things from the other side of the veil. In the meantime, I might weigh in and suggest that once the comet goes behind the Sun, it will lose a major amount of mass, but there are those who like to promote a constant state of fear because they have figured out how to keep us endlessly distracted so we fail to see the real game.
War is a very profitable industry and nuclear power plants, like Daiichi #3, are capable of producing by-products that make very dangerous weapons with lasting global implications. We wouldn't want to hurt our economy or ding the bottom line, would we?
Then, let's see, the death of my lavender plants was due to global warming or the excessive zeal of geoengineering to forestall loss of ice?
Some people complain about the length of my essays. My mind isn't able to work in sound bytes so sometimes I need more words . . . but since Wesak isn't here yet, there might be a sequel to this, maybe something like, "Of Penguins and Polar Bears!"