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.

Joshua, 1980