Monday, January 01, 2007

First of New Year

The holidays are gone, Saddam has been hung & buried, as many Americans have died in Iraq as died in the Trade Center, and the first inhabited island has succumbed to rising sea levels – Global warming has disposed 10,000 people, with many more ahead.

We have no reason to be in Iraq, no reason to have our troops in the bull’s-eye of a sectarian civil war. In that regard, one in four Americans believe Jesus shall return soon; and that can only mean they believe that the horrors of Armageddon are eminent.

One in four believe it will be a year of more famine, flood, pestilence and war – and they will standby, allowing it to reach the critical proportions necessary to justify arrival of a biblical messiah.

It is a new year, what is it that YOU want? What do you dream of? What do you wish for yourself, your children, your neighbors? Are you taking steps to achieve the best for all, or are you among those who look forward to desolation – as if it was inescapable?

These are not frivolous questions; rather we can look upon them as the things of thought, wonder, and the building blocks of the society yet to come. Remember: “Ask and ye shall receive.” What befalls us is of our own making, of our own desires – it is what we want.

We step toward a new year; but carry with us dreams of years gone by, and the ideas which were instilled by those who preceded us. It is, we are told, within our power to shape our destiny. There are too many who want someone else to be responsible – that is the essence of the messianic dream.

The dream is for an all wise, all knowing dictator – a king – who is to free mankind from choice and subject them to an existence of devoted obligation and obedience. That is not what was intended by those who, thousands of years ago, set their dream to paper; but it is the dream of those who blindly, foolishly, seek the coming of a messiah

Looking at what is to be achieved, what the outcome can be, has been an underlying theme in this column. Also present is the idea that we should, like water, follow the path of least resistance – wearing down anything foolish enough to obstruct that path.

Often, the path of least resistence is the one which challenges beliefs affirmed by neither wisdom, knowledge nor understanding. Just such an challenge is leveled at those who pray for a savior’s coming, who pray for their Armageddon to begin, who pray for the four horseman to ride and inflict unspeakable hardship on humanity.

We have the Elmer Gantry’s who preach a rapture in which all the faithful will be scooped up to safety. It is a doctrine that encourages good, but unthinking, people to look forward to a world in which there is war, plague, famine and flood – a world their doctrine asserts must exist so that they can be saved from it. They will not be.

Within the logic of belief systems these Elmer Gantry types promote, it is self evident that to wish harm on others is the road to purgatory and not salvation.

To want pray for a savior, allow wars of choice, allow those guilty of murder (such as Bin Laden) freedom to kill again while causing the destabilization of a nation (Iraq) and setting forces of sectarian war free – these are things which violate all religious mandate.

First, and, maybe, last sermon of the year – the world is now your problem.

Not reliant on the written word,
A special transmission separate from the scriptures;
Direct pointing at one's mind,
Seeing one's nature, becoming a Buddha.
-- Bodhidharma (?-526 A.D.)

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