Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An Endlessly Rotating Wheel

I'm not a particularly religious guy. I was raised by a non-practicing protestant and a non-practicing catholic, both of whom decided that if they were going to hell they might as well make sure that's where their kids ended up too.

Actually, they wanted us to be raised open minded instead of brainwashed, which essentially meant that none of us kids are religious at all. As we got older we viewed the people who made the trip to church each weekend as a special kind of nuts. The weirder the religion, the more crazy it's participants seemed.

As many of us do, when we're approaching middle age at what seems like light-speed, I've discovered a sudden interest in what happens when I die. In my younger years I scoffed at the idea of an afterlife, quoting Nabokov to anyone who'd listen:

"Life is but a brief flash of light between two infinite periods of blackness" (poorly quoted from memory because I can't remember the text it originally came from)

Now, I'm a little more introspective because frankly I don't really want to ponder the possibility of slipping back into an infinite period of blackness. I mean, maybe it's only a temporary period of blackness between this life and being reincarnated as a pair of lacy black panties (to anyone up there listening a small size would be preferable but really any pair is better than a set of boxers). There could be anything after this, who really knows?

My recent addiction has been Buddhism, which is only ironic because they basically strive to eliminate the id from conscious beings. Here's a quote I particularly like from The Teachings Of Buddha:

"From desire action follows; from action suffering follows; desire, action and suffering are like a wheel rotating endlessly."

From desire a lunch date with Nikky is made (I work nights so my 'lunch' is at about 2 a.m.); from action follows long periods of picking sand out of random and awkward places (we 'ate' at the beach); desire, action and suffering are like a wheel rotating endlessly. Possibly not endlessly, there was a strict time frame involved since I had to be back to work and she had to be home before the hubby woke up for work. You get the idea.

Buddhism is all about eliminating desires, I'm all about exploiting desires (in myself and others), so you'd think this would be a futile interest. However, I've found some interesting things during my research. Much like Christians, there are magic words that you recite when you approach Buddha at the pearly gates (Ahem!) to gain admittance. After all, we can't all be as good as Buddha at resisting the temptation of humanly desires. Nikky on the beach at night, lunches can be so nice... scratches and sand a small price to pay, long as I don't die and go to hell the next day. Hey, that rhymes!

So as long as I can remember "I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior..." and "Namu-Amida-Butsu" I'm pretty well covered for Western and Eastern religions.

These are important things to know, people! And not just for me! St. Paul/Buddha is going to look up from the tablet and mention that party a couple years ago or that YouTube video of the retards you laughed at, you'd better know the password!

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