Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On Asking the "Right" Question

Only that day dawns to which we are awake. - Thoreau, Walden 
Watch, for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning, lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. - Mark 13:35, 36 
When the Buddha started to wander around India shortly after his enlightenment, he encountered several men who recognized him to be a very extraordinary being. They asked him: "Are you a god?" "No," he replied. "Are you a reincarnation of god?" "No," he replied."Are you a wizard, then?" "No.""Well, are you a man?" "No." "So what are you?" They asked, being very perplexed.  Buddha simply replied: "I am awake."
For many years I worried about whether or not I was saved.  Now, I try to notice whether or not I am awake.  One day (one moment? eternity?), I will neither notice, nor be asleep.  

The good news: if Thoreau is right, I'm much younger than I appear!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness

Once again, Chris Hedges serves as a prophetic voice that we ignore at our peril. In a recent Truthdig commentary, Hedges called upon mainline churches, including Trinity Church, Wall Street, to be renewed by the Occupy Wall Street movement's embodiment of the values of the Beatitudes:

The Occupy movement is the force that will revitalize traditional Christianity in the United States or signal its moral, social and political irrelevance. The mainstream church, battered by declining numbers and a failure to defiantly condemn the crimes and cruelty of the corporate state, as well as a refusal to vigorously attack the charlatans of the Christian right, whose misuse of the Gospel to champion unfettered capitalism, bigotry and imperialism is heretical, has become a marginal force in the life of most Americans, especially the young. 

Is anybody listening?