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I'm back to thinking about Buddhism — a sudden shift from my exploration of Christianity Celtic-style.
I like the idea of St. Patrick's religion. I like St. Patrick. He understood the Irish culture. His religion managed to bring some peace to a tormented warrior people. He was one of the first people known to speak out against slavery. Good guy.
But then the Irish became warriors in the name of their new hero Jesus. Their new God, the Holy Trinity, had their backs. The fighting Irish... forever fierce in the name of the Lord.
I do like the idea of a religion/philosophy/spiritual tradition to grapple with. As I get older and as the world falls into the hands of whackos and zealots, it's good to know that wiser people than me have tried to make sense of the issues. But Christianity and its demands to worship and adore and become emotionally attached to a manly Supreme Being — not doing it for me.
Anyway, I was grumbling to myself. I was taking a look at what I've been doing for the past six months. I was having distracting and unproductive mental conversations with myself. I was having a fit of post-adventure restlessness.
Then I remembered how much I enjoyed immersing myself in the study of Buddhism last February. It provides a nonviolent ethical code. It discourages whiney self-preoccupation. It demands intellectual inquiry and the discipline of meditation. And, bonus points, also has an incredibly rich artistic tradition.
So... I'm back on that track.
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As I was walking up the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish that man would go away.
[Hughes Mearns, "Antigonish"]
Four Noble Truths. Print and audio