Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Cl"... or maybe "ap"...

I’ve been reading an awful lot lately* about Buddhism. Frankly, I wish I had done it sooner; I find the general Buddhist approach towards the world, in particular its rejection of materialism as a means of promoting happiness, to be very appealing. I only wish that I had discovered it a few months ago, before moving house. Regarding the desire to acquire and retain material possessions as a cause of unhappiness would have made the labourious process of packing up all my stuff, loading it into my car, and unpacking it in my new apartment much less arduous. Although, perhaps I would have been inclined to reject my car along with most of my other material possessions, and so would have to carry the few that I had left on foot. Would that have worked out as more effort than moving many belongings by car? Hmm... Perhaps I need to study Buddhism some more...

One thing I do know about Buddhism is that it seems to be a popular religion for smug, self-satisfied know-it-alls. It seems to have an abundance of stories such as the one about a man who climbs some crazy big mountain to visit a Buddhist master (they always seem to live up mountains for some reason) and asks how long it will take him to achieve enlightenment, if he tries really, really hard. The master looks at him and says ten years. The man, understandably thinking that this sounds a bit much, says no, what if he REALLY dedicates himself to achieving enlightenment and tries super hard. The master thinks for a minute and then says in that case 20 years. The man is frustrated, and says what if he puts aside EVERYTHING else in his life, and dedicates himself solely to reaching enlightenment? Now, at this point in the story, it becomes quite clear to us, the readers, (if it hasn’t already) that the master’s point is that struggling towards enlightenment like this is never going to succeed; and sure enough the master tells the man with a small grin that in that case, 30 years. My question is, why? Why does he have to be so smug about it, smiling to himself and making his smarmy little pronouncements and generally acting like king of the fucking hill? He’s supposed to be some kind of enlightened jedi-type big shot! Being a prick is not my idea of enlightened! Why go out of your way to piss the poor man off? He came to you, climbing al the way up this bloody mountain, for help! Why not just say; “Look, struggling towards enlightenment like that is the wrong approach. If you deliberately try to become enlightened, you never will. Just let it happen.” But no. He has to be smug and smile, and spout some bull shit about the sound of one hand clapping in a forest, and trick the poor schmuck into waxing his car; a car he SHOULDN’T EVEN HAVE BECAUSE IT’S A MATERIAL POSSESSION!

Buddhists are assholes.

* Many books... A few books... One book... A small book... With the word “simple” in the title...


  1. Still, better than those bloody Taoists, am I right? Tch.

  2. Oooh, don't get me started on the fucking Taoists!!!