Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Perfidius" an essay

I've been exploring my defensiveness, especially as I've felt it lately regarding my study of the world religions. Pondering it over and mirror meditating, I felt relieved to express the following words.





            Just as I am the perfect Idius, I am perfidious -- utterly faithless: I hate the world's religions. They torture me with their impositions; each claims the right, not to inspire me, but to command me, not to affirm me, but to conform me, not to impress me, but to demand praise, not to better me, but to belittle me, not to fill my heart and lungs with joy, but to insinuate that I don't have a right to my joy in life, that it is really a form of suffering, or if not, suffering will answer it. I toss all that off as so much baggage. What inspires me is true, what depresses me is false. The Wisdom on this matter Ama says: "You are right, but though you insist you are right, you don't yet fully believe it; you have what you need, but since you criticize everything else, you don't use what you have; you are perfect, but though you make defenses and justifications for your behavior and your bold differences in life, you don't truly know you are perfect."

            What to do? I have found a greater joy in the Greek Eureka than in the Jewish Hallelujah. I can arrogantly deny each religion, shoving down every attempt they have at hoisting bridges to my island, or can affirm my own divine, before which the gods melt away. What are God and the gods, after all, but puppets for Ama? The full divine is not obsessed with names and books; your innermost already knows what it needs to know.

            I can learn a trick from the Christians, a trick from the Buddhists, and be grateful that I was able to create their methods into my methods of my own: what is true gratitude but the joy of joint creativity? So the Buddhists teach me a lesson: detach. I learn to drop a thing, to fast from a given activity, a pleasure or duty, to try out a little abstinence on this or that, for the sure joy of exercising my will over the pricks of lesser pleasures and pains. I detach, I give up, I let go; I detach from Buddhism too, and Christianity, I let them all follow their own way. What have you to do with me? Less than you think.

            This nation takes her legal system from the Romans, her sciences and arts from the Greeks, but not enough spirituality from India. The allistic attitude takes a good from whatever tree it blooms; I can appreciate the efficacy and artistry of the martial arts without believing in the spiritual system that inspires them, just as I can revel in the verses of the Tao Te Jing while absolving myself from practicing Taoism; I can appreciate Islamic calligraphy or Gothic cathedrals, because whatever the absolute demands each of those ethical systems made upon their peoples, demands which inspired also their greatest artists, those metaphysical demands are nothing to me, weak as water, for I have discovered my own divine, my own absolute, and to give ear to what is not mine does an injustice to me, and it does an injustice to them.

            The world is full of types; each people has its types. The Zoroastrian magi's, the Hebrew prophets, the Hindu Brahmans give an example of many examples of the types that people was capable of creating. The Greeks created not prophets, but sages, sages and philosophers. The petulant philosopher intrigues, but the sage inspires. Emerson as sage is nobler than Emerson as pastor.

            Cannot I not cull the best types across the board to inspire the making of my own type, which as an individual expression will be unique and unprecedented? Is that not the variable type of the American self-made man? The individualism of my country is my type, an all-type, one that can find inspiration from any corner of the globe.

            Once I can overcome the deadly hatred I have for the world's religions, the resentment against their impositions, their moral condemnations of everything I see as beautiful, perfect, and divine, I can approach them with the eager eyes of a thinker open to possibilities. I am the student of life, and will study any thing, without being dominated by it. A student is grateful when a teacher inspires him, but he does not flatter his benefactors and he does not exaggerate the worth of things he did not himself create. "Do not exaggerate in your religion," is the wisest verse in Islam, but what are all the worlds but exaggerations, infinite exaggerations, taking some part and praising it to heaven, to infinity? I too will do the same, but not according to what another tells me, as if God would talk to priests, prophets, demigods, gods, angels, divines, and not me. I too am a man, and am equal to any and all of them.

            Frustration is a great appetizer. These timeless traditions frustrate me, they try to anticipate me, they wish to guard their pearls. But I come as a thief, am Hermes the trespasser of boundaries, and am welcome wherever I will. My paraphernalia will forever by the student's backpack and never the professional's brief case. One looks up in order to explore limits; eyes by seeking, express. What you admire is your limit.

            God, the gods, Karma, and Samsara can plot against me till their pale. It comes to nothing. What I am I eternally am. I am I. If there is a chink of doubt in my breast, let me best it, let me overcome it. What thunder tunnels through my brain as I reel from this trauma, that intense trauma I feel when I grapple you Gods and systems. I will not fall into the teeth of the world. I find my inner gravity and all my universe orbits that. The mirror always smiles, and a man is at home in his own body, for the body is the limit of the mind. Finity hopes for the infinite, morality for the immortal, but we in our empathy already resonate at our innermost with the innermost of the All. Our independence sings to hers. A man has the most time who is always busy, and the woman has the most who is always using it. We don't get even, we get ahead, and thank our enemies for what they taught us. We are student to learn from every experience, and therefore continually grateful to life. Until I graduate from this life, I will engross myself in pleasure of creating, expressing, I will immerse myself in the minutiae of Earth, and kiss her twice a day, as the sun kisses the earth twice a day, for engrossment is bliss. With a wink, our problems become games, and we the player so life.




\ ~@M@~ /


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