A Buddhist and a Hindu walk into a church…
Paul says: My wife and I worked at the parish. My son went to school there. We were members of the church. People, who wished me peace on Sunday, compiled a dossier on my family on Monday. They ran a background check, called past employers, searched public records and contacted anyone that they saw as a questionable. When they were done, they produced a 110 page packet, complete with questions that they needed answered and accusations to scenarios that never happened, and gave it to the pastor, all without my knowledge. This was all done by parents, not employees, of the school. And, let me remind you, this job was at a church, not the CIA. This is the background that you need to follow me down the path of my unresolved anger. Let’s go take a walk.
Buddhist philosophy talks about transcending attachment to the material. I’m pretty good with this concept and try to diffuse it throughout my daily thought process. I am not attached to my house; it’s only concrete and I have insurance. Likewise, the car can be replaced. The place where the philosophy breaks down for me is with family. I am attached to my family. And these dickheads were fucking with my family.
At this point, you have read our stuff. You know that Lee and I are pretty progressive in our thinking but I must admit that down in my espiritu mundi consciousness, I see myself as the head of household, provider and daddy. Or in the vernacular of this week’s theme, I was attached to the role of alpha male. I was the pack leader of my family and this church was kicking my ass. At one point, I called my lawyer because, let’s face it, children punch and adults litigate. That really was not the path that I wanted to take but I needed to feel that I was doing something. In reality, Lee and I cried, raged and finally tucked tail and put our heads down.
Because of all the uproar that these squeaky wheels caused, all of our plans to generate new revenue streams stopped and, as a result, Lee and I were laid off, along with about a half dozen other people that should not have lost their jobs. It was after that that I found that shred of insight, that little indentation in the grass that showed that there may be a path coming up. We were meeting with the priest as a type of pastoral exit interview and, in a bout of unexplained vulnerability, I said, ‘the one thing that most bothers me about this is that I was looking for somewhere to belong and I thought that I had found it.’ The pastor just looked at me and, without saying a word, shook his head no.
It was then that I became a Buddhist. Not out of spite, though there is a part of me that would like to shave my head and roll up on that parish brandishing some well blessed middle fingers, but because I do believe that God speaks directly and concisely. I had an unhealthy attachment to the trappings of God, family, self and community. I would never find God in the bricks of man. I could not be part of a family while standing alone on the hill. I found that self and community are one when I stopped hearing the sounds of the people who claim to speak for the Divine and listened instead to the Divine Himself.
All of this fluffy talk aside, I do have one little thing to share. In the lovely freedom of nighttime sleep, there is one penis headed bitch that started it all that I dream of going Nancy Kerrigan on her ass. I told you I still had some unresolved anger.
Lee says: As a Hindu, I believe in karma. Paul and I are good people who trusted that a collar and cross could create a community that modeled the life of the son of God. We were wrong and those who wronged us will unfortunately experience the shock and gut wrenching pain of having a whole congregation turn their back on them. In the Christ Consciousness that I strive to attain, I am working hard not to point and laugh.