SAMESARA - In America, leaves are falling off the trees now at the rate that most Americans have changed their minds about the war, or not buying that elegant new SUV, or about sending their kids out of state to college. In fact, Americans, over the past 100 years, have changed their politics as much as they've changed hair styles, living residences, strategies for preventing super beetle, orders at drive-through windows and domestic partners.
An innovative and fugitive bunch, Americans are known to the world as the "McCulture," or modern day cowboy redneck nerds riding off into the western sunset, on their 350 horses by themselves and eating McDonald's french fries and sipping on a Coke, with a pony named western science in tow. But cultural ADD isn't such a bad thing argues author and pastor of Buddhism, Tic Not Run. It just is.
According to Not Run, Buddhism has four daughters of Enlightenment. This is the nature of reality. And to live in reality and become enlightened, you must have intercourse with all four:
Dukkha, the bride of the fact that nothing found in the physical or psychological worlds can ultimately bring satisfaction; Annata, the woman practicing non-self or egoless action; Nirvana the peace child; and Annica, dominatrix of impermanence. American culture has mastered Annica, dominatrix of impermanence, but has three more to master before it becomes enlightened.
Rest assured reality isn't a new thing. It has been around a lot longer than the GOP has been trying to invent it and has been traced to the roots of religious and political practices such as Buddhism or biblelism that date back to the 6th century BC and beyond, but not before then.
Before then (the back of beyond), man had very little to do with religion and politics. He was a victim of fate, and, in the scheme of things, was really egoless, very unorganized, hairy and had not developed the technology to compete with his gods and throw them out of power, or control them. It's a bit like the wizard at the end of the yellow brick road. So with the ego and technology, goes reality.
But critics ask the question if American culture is banging the hell out of Annica(impermanence), and giving her orgasms, how do you explain the fact that Americans hold on to the ideals of youth and beauty for so long, even into their senior years?
Look at American commercials and advertising the way they flout it, bounce it around and objectify it. Look at the way Americans treat their seniors citizens letting them go like that, no health care, no shoes or trimmed toe nails, never inviting them to dinner and leaving them to hang out unsupervised at places like McDonalds and The Rocking Chair. After you reach a certain age in America, you're an outsider and are thrown away like Styrofoam, or made into Solent Green.
Yes, of course they can be gross, make dirty, sexist jokes around the children and use the "N" word, but come on give them a brake. They grew up in the good old days when the enemy was easy to define and the difference between black and white was not gray, or yellow, or green, or red, but was actually black and white. Now we have televisions of color to reflect back our true differences.
American's lives are on Viagra and everyone's schedules are determined by some market in Tokyo opening in the middle of the night.
Yes, it is obvious that Americans need more time with the Buddha's other daughters, Dukkh, Annata and Nirvana. But give Americans a break. 250 years is nothing. Given time, I'm sure that they'll figure out a way to achieve enlightenment and still have the cookout, a Budweiser, a house in the "burbs" and time to watch the game.
Copywrited by David King