Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Imagine if politicians took the Bodhisattva vow.

K: What would it be like if politicians took the Bodhisattva vow?

L: How about if husbands took the "be quiet when your wife is asleep" vow?

K: Unless you are talking in your sleep... you're awake!

L: Okay, what is the Bo-whoever vow?

K: To save all sentient beings.

L: And you really want a politician in office who wants to do that. I'm going to hide out.

K: Don't you want to be saved?

L: If I was drowning, I wouldn't be able to pick and choose my savior. But most of life is more subtle. Who knows what I need?

K: But you're drowning just the same, even on dry land.

L: Maybe, but tell me this... and then can we finish this discussion tomorrow?

K: Shoot.

L: If my suffering is caused by my trying to make things permanent, what could a politician do besides taking away all that I adore?

K: I'm not sure that would cure your suffering. In fact, the suffering would become more visible.

L: So what could this politician do?

K: I think the question about politicians taking the vow referred to a mindset.

L: That's one of your typically ambiguous answers.

K: Well, for one, the politician would not do things to appease certain special interest groups or for popularity.

L: Though he might rationalize appeasement as "skillful means." If he's not in office he can't relieve suffering. Therefore anything he does is justified.

K: Yea, or at least he might say that. Good night.

Next morning...

K: Are you up yet?

L: It is still dark.

K: But you aren't talking in your sleep, are you?

L: No, but one day... pow... right in the kisser.

K: A bodhisattva politician wouldn't do that. Would she?

L: Maybe... remember what you said about "skillful means."

K: You know, it is sounding like politicians are bodhisattvas, and everything they do could at least be interpreted as an attempt to save all beings.

L: I, for one, am thankful that they aren't more skillful. What fun would it be if we just walked around smiling?

K: Yea, Martians would assume that we had just legalized drugs.

L: What are you going to do today?

K: Just mostly suffer. And you...

L: Same...

1 comment:

Kate Freeman said...

I vow to save all sentient beings. . . from my desire to save them.


Making art is like making life. My teacher told us, “take care of your life and your art will take care of itself.” Alois Senefelder, the ...