Be a better whatever-you-already-are

“Do not try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are.” – H.H. the Dalai Lama XIV

I get accused from time to time of picking on Christians which, at least in my opinion, is not really a fair assessment. They are, given my location, environment and just how damn righteous some of them act, the easiest target for me to pick on. I suppose if I lived in India I would pick on the unethical Hindu’s. Believe me, I don’t think Christianity has the only over the top followers they are just what I am surrounded by.

“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.”

The thing is I consider myself to be somewhat Christian (I can’t wait for someone to challenge me on the “somewhat” moniker). I can recite the Apostle’s Creed with the best of them and I agree with 97.3% of what it prescribes. But here is where I differ with the vast majority of “good” Christians, I believe there are many more paths out there than just this one, there has to be. Where I run into issues with people is when they “claim”  their whatever-they-already-are is the only right-true-way and everyone else is wrong, or worse, headed for an eternal existence of damnation.

Think for a second about the mindset of a person who is absolutely convinced that they are right. That they have all the answers before the questions have even been asked. They can’t help you, they won’t help you unless you accept their whatever-they-already-are as the only path to redemption, atonement or salvation. If you live in a region that is just right of Attila the Hun as I do you probably know a hundred or so folks just like this and for me they just happen to all be Christian.

The Christian religious right believes with the election of Donald Trump that they have been given a voice, a mandate. I certainly find this ironic given that their “savior” is a crude rich man whose moral compass seems to point as far South away from the example of Jesus Christ as any man elected for President in the modern history. For those of you more moderate “flexible” Christians such as myself, I predict a very fruitful next four years. I think the shine on Mr. Trump will tarnish very quickly. I doubt the Christian right will gain any strength, in fact I believe their cause will lose both strength and steam. What will shine through is their hypocrisy, which will ultimately turn others away. Their attempt to homogenize this diversified country under one religious banner will fail as it always has.

Yes, there is a battle headed. Yes, it might get ugly at times. Yes, there could be a Supreme Court pick, or a policy change that sets us back but I am convinced there are more of us moderates than there are of the intolerant right. More of us in the middle-of-the-road types than the right wingers. Remember that you have voice, you have a choice and banded together you have the power of numbers with more to come. This very well could become our moment of enlightenment for the majority of us to be a better whatever-you-already-are.

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About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
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6 Responses to Be a better whatever-you-already-are

  1. Gina Marie says:

    Truthful and wise words. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ericstrong51 says:

    I would settle or be thrilled; to be Whatever-I-am. I don’t even know what I am, so, how can know how to be better at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well even though I don’t know you, or have never met I can still make this one assumption about you, you are human (unless of course you are an alien or a very intelligent chimpanzee with excellent typing skills) so with that assumption out of the way to answer your “I am” question, you am a human so the opportunity is there for you and I for that matter, to be better at it. If you needed a place to start, start with that then you could add be a better son, friend, husband, Dad, citizen, or you could go in a different direction, better sleeper, drinker, eater…….the list is endless, the world is your oyster if you like oysters. Aren’t you glad you asked? Or maybe you didn’t and I just felt compelled to answer, either way Happy New Year Eric, and as always, thanks for playing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • ericstrong51 says:

        There’s the age old question; What am I? People, monks, gurus, have meditated on this one question since the beginning. Philosophers debate it endlessly. Am I simply a human? That’s just a label someone assigned to this body-mind system. It will die and then what am I? Nothing? Am I already nothing acting out the follies of being human, which include father, citizen, sleeper, drinker…etc. So, if I’m actually ‘nothing’ I don’t think I can do it any better or worse. Am I spirit? If so, what is that and how can get better at being spirit or energy or..? Descarte said, “I think, therefore I am.” But what happens when I’m not thinking…you know, for those brief seconds? Go back to nothing, I guess. So, now that I’ve overthought the crap out of the What-am-I question the best answer I’ve heard is “Don’t know” They say to keep a ‘don’t know’ mind, which negates ‘better’ or ‘worse’. Takes it right out of the picture. I hate to argue with H.H.Lama, but I ‘don’t know’ what I am. Therefore I do whatever is in front of me at the moment.
        Glass of water; drink.
        Hungry man comes; give him food. Someone types a post; give a comment.
        Breath in, breath out.
        Only that…no better, no worse…just that.
        Thanks for letting me air this out. I was actually struggling for a moment before coming online. Cool.

        Liked by 2 people

        • “To be is to do – Socrates, To do is to be – Sartre, Do Be Do Be Do – Sinatra” – Kurt Vonnegut

          Just about sums it up for me, oh, and though I shouldn’t speak for H.H. I think he would be OK with you arguing with him, I would suspect that is just the kind of dude he is.

          Liked by 2 people

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