gatineau morning.

gatineau morning.
photo by douglas mcarthur.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Little-Known Facts.

The recent posting in which I ridiculed an age-old Vedanta analogy of the human condition proved to be quite popular.  So, of course, I wanted to build upon that popularity by mercilessly attacking another.  Unfortunately, I really couldn’t think of one that easily lent itself to base ridicule.  I began to consider making fun of certain religious groups.  However, I received death threats, like Salman Rushdie, or at least I thought I might.  You may think I’m flattering myself and that would be mean-spirited of you.  Be that as it may, I moved on to the possibility of at least including a few ethnic slurs but, being myself a member of several minority groups, it seemed disingenuous of me and possibly dangerous as well.   

I couldn’t come up with a really good iconic point to denigrate, decided against putting down a religious group or minority out of fear so I chose, while clearly jeopardizing reader approval, to let you in on a few little-known facts about ‘yours truly’ instead.  The reason these facts are little-known may become self-evident, but perhaps it’s a slow day for you.           
Firstly, I’ve been cutting my own hair for the past several months.  I use a beard trimmer.  It does a pretty drastic job, but I do enjoy the whole process.  I can barely wait for the stuff to grow in so that I can shear it all off again.  In fact, I haven’t actually been waiting long enough between cuts so my hair’s getting shorter and shorter while my ears seem to be getting larger and larger.  I let the hair tumble over my body as I buzz-cut it and then I usually sit in the garden grinning into my hand-mirror.  After a while I go inside, floss and take a shower. 
Secondly, people come to me with their problems.  Folks tend to feel comfortable letting me in on their strangest secrets.  That’s because of the great wisdom I have gained over the years or perhaps folks just know intuitively that I have had every bit of foolishness known to human-kind pass through my head at one time or another.  If I haven’t done it, I’ve certainly considered it or at least thought about it.  People know that, they can smell it on me.  I only hope that's all they're smelling on me.  Also, my social calendar has rather large gaps in it.  They know I’m happy for the company. 
Lastly, and most importantly, I’m turning into my dad.  I remember standing on the steps of the ashram, many years ago, looking at a photo of my father that I had received in the mail.  I had not seen him for a few years and was taken aback by how he had aged.  He did not look good to me.  At that precise moment, Swami walked up the stairs and asked what I was looking at.  I told him it was my dad, as I handed him the photo.  Swami took one long look, then handed it back saying; ‘It’s good to see the father to know what the son will look like later on.’  Then, he pranced on up the last few steps and entered the hall, leaving me standing there incredulous.
As the years roll along, however, I have to admit that I am indeed just beginning to look like the old guy in that photo.  People used to bring their problems to him too.  They had no choice.  He was a Judge.  He did not appreciate long hair.  And he ended up very much just like his dad and his dad’s dad.  It turns out that we can’t entirely escape our upbringing and conditions.  However, get this: it also turns out that we can indeed change the die that was cast at the moment of our births.  It turns out that we can in fact be pure and free right up to the end, and forever, even after that.  Think about it.
‘It is not all death to die, nor yet all of life to live.’  Edgar Casey. 

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