Sunday, January 06, 2008

Confidence In the Deity

Sometimes, we tend to harden into the belief that the deity needs our help to make decisions. We think that the deity has to be presented precisely thus and so, or that the deity requires our intermediate assistance. First, we become like bodyguards for the deity, and later, we become like traffic police. Later still, we start exercising a kind of ownership over the deity: this deity belongs to that school/lama/terma, etc., etc. As we go along, we start investing the deity with all sorts of abstract notions, preconditions, and even personality traits.

Think what you like, but I tend to believe that this sort of thing bespeaks a certain lack of confidence in the deity... a certain failure to appreciate what actually arises when one stops regarding the deity as external, perhaps.... but I think basic confidence is really the issue.

The deity arises impartially, whether one is an ABC Buddhist, an XYZ Buddhist, or no kind of Buddhist at all. The deity does not belong to Buddhism; rather, Buddhism belongs to the deity, if you want to look at it that way. The deity's activity is perfect: I don't believe that it requires any engineering, or further specification from any direction.

This impartially arising perfection is spontaneous and without requirement. What do we add, and what do we take away, when we fall into a loss of confidence surrounding such matters?

Does the continuous stream of compassion become angry, or withhold favor, like a jealous lover? If we sincerely address this continuous stream from a naked heart, do you think there will be no response? Do you think this continuous stream cares who we are, or what we are, other than we are bewildered, suffering, and ignorant of our own-face?

Do you think epistemology, dialectics, or priestcraft play any useful role at the feet of the deity's orb of influence?

In the places where great temples lie in ruin, sick old men collect tickets from tourists, and spend obsessive hours with chipped cups of poor tea. The currency of many nations adheres to the statues, in supplication and in negotiation. But, these temples are not the deity. These statues are not the deity. These are just gates, and it is my idea that no gatekeeper is required.

Does organized religion own the deity?

Just my idea.

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