Why so angry?
I wish I had the guts to say that to my next door neighbour. Or, better still, I wish I could turn into the Hulk and leap up to the window from which she periodically leans to screech ‘Shut up!!!”, and jump up and down on her until she was nothing more than an unpleasant stain on the carpet. Why so angry? You really WANNA KNOW why so angry??? I’ll TELL you why so ANGRY!!!!!!
Only, Volya Rinpoche wouldn’t approve of that kind of thing. In case you don’t know, Volya Rinpoche is the suspect sage in Breakfast with Buddha, by Roland Merullo. I bought this book on King Midget’s recommendation and it was a damn well spent $6.
Along with Otto Ringling, the gluttonous, slightly priggish hero, the book prods you to ask yourself some of the more interesting of life’s questions. Like…
Why do you bother being good? (good-ish, decent, not positively evil)
Why do you bother doing anything at all? I mean, you can’t take it with you. You’re just going to die, right?
Why (do people get) so angry?
Breakfast with Buddha is about a guy who goes on a road trip with an annoyingly ineffable guru his long haired loopy sister foists on him, and ends up being converted. Apart from being a lesson on the risks of hanging around with those bald guys in orange dresses, reading this book had me thinking more deeply about life as I walked the dogs. Or really, just about the actual part of life that I was walking through – black sky, cool air on my face, gums with their bark peeling off like snake-skin, skitterings in bushes, dead branches against the stars.
Like the hero, I don’t like chanting Omm. I once went to a pregnancy yoga class, and flatly refused to sing to my unformed baby as he sat stolidly in my womb. Probably that’s why he’s recently joined a conservative political party’s youth wing.
Like the hero, I don’t believe in reincarnation, or love as the animating force of the universe. Unlike the hero, I’ve yet to meet a guru who’s going to convince me of all this. Still…
I used to think that faith is what you have when you want to believe in something – say, life after death – but can’t find any facts to back it up. I used to think that people should only believe in the rational – that anything else was a betrayal of truth.
Now, I see that the things I really, really believe – that good and evil are real forces, or perhaps directions, which we humans need to consciously move towards or oppose – that these things are not really based on anything but an unsupported hunch. If we really get down to why, there is no why. I just feel it. I don’t feel anything about the existence of god, or gods. I’m sceptical about reincarnation. I’m not sure I even have a soul. But I feel that the fight between good and evil, for those of us who know what it is – us human animals – is a real one, with real consequences, somewhere.
It’s as loopy as knocking on wood, or as the book’s ‘Spanakopita Cecelia’. Still, that’s faith!
Do you have groundless faith in anything? Is there a place for faith, if you’re not religious? Why?
And now for something completely different – a CREEPY PASTA! And I’m not talking mouldy spaghetti (google it).