Thursday, April 23, 2009

Odysseus Takes The Low Road

I'm 64. My life expectancy is another 20 years tops, and I can't even begin to imagine my life transcribed in the Calvinist ledgers of some spiritual bean counter at the Pearly Gates. Is God that bored — or boring? I've met demonic personalities that sarcastic, that maddeningly, sadistically tedious, yes. Those counters up, those jotters and totters! God gave Hell to Lucifer for a reason, one suspects. Some ungodly reason like double entry bookkeeping.

I can, all too easily, think in terms of Sunday School stories — after all, that was how my well-meaning parents brought me up. I had to train my own mind in the rigors of Buddhist logic (or illogic, or both, or neither, or not both and not neither), I had to teach myself to find the Tao.

Like a doubt, "The way you're going's not the way to go..."

In ancient Egypt, the dead came to a hellish place where they confronted a monstrous judge who ripped out your heart and weighed it on a scale, against a feather. If your heart soared light as a feather, you were allowed to pass the gates. If not, they threw your Ka to a fiery crocodile and not even a memory of you remained.

So which is true? None of them. But your question makes you a spiritual S & H Green Stamp; you've been saved and pasted in a book; you may be redeemed for an ashtray, or a dashboard hula girl. Would you be expecting something bigger, then, something better? Ah, I know what your problem is... You're an American!

You can't live in the moment either, can you? It slips away like water in your palm. You are not a Zen gong, sorry. At best a windchime. If the living is easy. If the zephyrs sway.

Sunlit butterflies
    like philosophers — or kings —
        dream in palindromes.

Like a whisper, "It'sh not the way you shay it, it's the what you shed..."




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