Friday, October 24, 2014

I was wrong.

From Peter Hershock's Personal Zen, Private Zen         

I heard Peter talk about how the Buddhists made a great leap by changing from refutation to relegation. I imagined a bigger leap that they had done. I wanted to believe that they had come to accept others as both right and equal. Rather, they said that others were right, but that their teachings were inferior to their own.

And then, when A said that I was using the word “relegation” wrong, I dug for another meaning of the word. Why was it so hard to say, “A, you are right!”

I liked how a rabbi said the other day, “you know, nothing of what I teach is what I believe.” What a wild thing to say!

In the end, “teachings” are not very important. They don’t really make us wiser, do they? That’s why a book with the answers to koans would not help a confused student. Supposedly there is an answer book, but no one is interested in it, because it is the searching that is essential.

I think I was wrong because I wanted Peter to be saying this: that one belief is as good as another. We decide where to go on vacation. But we really can have a great time anywhere. So does it matter where we go? Does it matter where you decide to take pictures? If I had the choice of a picturesque spot or a dull spot, I’d take the dull. I like to defend the underdog. When I’m wrong, I’m the underdog.

The other day I was on the phone with my insurance company. I said, “I think you are wrong…could you check.” When she checked, she said what I had suggested. But did she say that she was wrong. No.

George Bernard Shaw said that you should make your first thousand mistakes as soon as you can, so you can start on your second thousand. Mistakes are how we grow. We misinterpret and then, with the help of friends, learn to interpret a little better. But not unless we open our mouths and make a fool of ourselves.

Which I do daily.

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