Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A call to arms!

The world wants you.
With what’s happening now in the U.S. I think it’s time to repost a message I wrote awhile back. This post is not going to be one of cozy satisfaction or insular “I’ve got mine, get your own.” No, instead it is going to be one of those, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” posts. If you haven’t yet noticed, the world in which we live is quite literally going to Hell in a hand basket, and fast. The entire Middle East is a blazing inferno, causing immigrations so massive as to resemble rats fleeing a burning ship; our nation has gone from the most admired in the world to a miserable excuse of squawking cat fights, immobilized by the dogmas of inflexible, political ideologues who’ve been sold to the highest bidder; religious bigotry and blame continue to sprout their self-righteous ugliness; wars have now become routine, perpetuated by the same people who whine about a balanced budget, and unthinkingly slash support for the very people who risked all to defend our way of life, yet give no consideration for the fact that waging war is THE MOST COSTLY human endeavor there is, while at the same time conducting economic policies of slashing and burning institutions that took decades to build; violence everywhere is sky-rocketing and causing massive tides of immigrants to flee to temporary havens; diseases (long considered to be eradicated) are returning and joining plagues with the potential to kill us all; the gap between the super wealthy and the burgeoning poor is becoming ever wider (world-wide); those who could or would care for the less fortunate have stopped; we incarcerate more people in the U.S. than any other nation on earth, and there are more guns in the hands of “ordinary citizens” here who slaughter more ordinary citizens each week than all those killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars put together, yet mouth banalities that guns don’t kill people; and worst of all the climate is getting hotter, whole regions of our country are experiencing environmental meltdown and becoming more unstable and threatening every moment of every day…on and on.

I’ve been writing this blog for eight years now with messages that are admittedly inadequate but are intended to accomplish one single thing: promote peace, unity and brotherhood. I have done so under the rubric of Zen because that is what saved my life, changed my perspectives from greed to gratitude and implanted genuine compassion in my heart. And you want to know what I’ve experienced over those eight years? Two things of significance: an audience that grew from nothing to over 44,000 readers world-wide AND the continuation of small-minded, self-righteous nitpicking by esoteric experts who express their platitudes yet do nothing themselves to foster unity and peace. Nevertheless they seem to have an abundance of time to criticize me for doing what I can, albeit insufficiently. My patience with, and tolerance of such “head-in-the-sand-do-nothing” people has grown paper thin, and yes, “I’m mad as Hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” 

Legalists are everywhere: Buddhists castigate me for not being a purist (never mind there is no such thing as a Buddhism but rather different sects who argue amongst themselves just as much as any other religion), Christians demean me for not being in their exclusive flock, atheists reject anything spiritual and Zen folk elevate themselves to the status of being superior to everyone else not like them. Nobody seems to embrace the essential spirit, but instead can quote chapter and verse of their own sacred texts. Famous Zen Master Bassui said, “If you truly want to read the sutras, you first have to awaken the mind that does the reading. All formal readings from the sutras can be destructive. The wonderful dharma of one’s mind does not change through successive eons; it is the essence of all the sutras.” 

Perhaps if people who think to themselves, as I used to, (“Oh I know so little or can not do very much”) would just support and encourage those who are trying to make a difference (instead of snipping) we would live in a much better world. If only a small number of those 44,000 would merely forward on messages of hope and peace it would make a huge difference. Wake up folks. The world is burning, act now or be prepared to roast along with everyone else (me included) and then say, “gee maybe we should have done something after all to insure that our children live in a better world.” 

Undoubtedly Ill lose a few readers with this post but thats OK. Obviously my critique doesnt apply to everyone. There are many dedicated, people striving to be selfless servants and attempting to make our world a better place. You know who you are and I greatly admire you. I would suggest you watch this and then do some serious reflection.
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