Must we be pure?
Whenever we confront the depths of our corruption we hear this whining plea. Ego deflates us,
How can I meet such a standard?
A false question. We are what we are. We will do what we feel we must do. What is in question is what do these questions mean?
Who are we?
What must we do?
We are all familiar with how we wish to slip-past our own shame after we’ve acted badly out of contingency. When we behave in a way we see as beneath our better natures.
We are lost without sincerity. To be immersed in lies; to constantly dissemble; to be treated as an object for someone else’s purposes; is to find our selves in the utmost precarity.
An apocryphal tale whose source I can no longer remember sticks with me. It’s of a moment of first encounter between a North American and some “Discoverer,” some hell-bent treasure-hunter arriving on these shores with visions of gold and spices and slaves to be had. The chief is summoned. He takes one look at this alien visitor and strikes him dead with his ceremonial club.
His only comment, “He was insane. Now he is at peace.”
Rufus T. Firefly scuttling center stage to make his pronouncement….
There’s always a hidden glee behind the crowd’s reaction. “Before, I had to hold it together. Now? I can let go. A free pass. No resort is too extreme. We’re at war.”
The next stage is the rush to, “Get in the fight!”
After all, “It’ll be over by Christmas.”
Attention is Compassion
One of the first things we encounter on beginning some form of meditation, any way for us to empty out the rush of unbidden thought and pause to see what might lie behind it all, is the question of compassion.
Does this come directly from our confrontation with attention in and of itself stripped of means and ends? Is it because we are led to the question by those from whom we seek counsel?
Peeling away layers of Ego I found anger and disappointment blocking the way to compassion. There’s another block hiding beneath them, contempt.
We see it all around us. This is a society choking on contempt. Every faction and group is held together by the contempt in which it holds the rest.
The path to anger, to disappointment, to hatred passes through contempt it seems.