I remember why the Buddha laughed.
I was thinking about dharma today. The Path, the Way. The "Why me, oh Lord?" of it all. I suppose anybody more or less my age would have heard of the use and misuse of "karma", but not understanding is understandable. Dharma, I feel is more difficult to come to terms with or even to recognize, yet each step we take is a step of dharma. The Path is to tread, to stand upon, to feel beneath ones feet. Each step, each misstep is trod upon that earth. To be truly human one must take that step and move forth in a field of dharma. So, I suppose that to be Lord of Man one would have to also tread upon that Path, at least on some level.
This mistaking the symbol for the Thing is a quality of youth, and is part of the Path, but still, it gets tiring to hear of time and time again and again we have people hurting people.
Then you have a young man caught in some dim world of in and out and pain and sometimes dreamy awareness. My son. Like a Greek myth-time story we are all of us shouting in a mist, trying to be heard above a wave of sorrows and in the middle of it you have people reaching out to people in the dark, but fearfully and in a daze. I have friends whose dear one has become frightful and angry and damaged by Fate. They do self destructive things and violent things or sometimes they are so sweet and appreciative. So, I am sure, must God have felt when he looked down on that crowd of people staring up at that tortured, dead, healer.
I'm sure they must be old enough by now to understand that it just isn't right to kill your brothers or sisters......and that would include fire-bombing a civilian population, or shooting into a crowd of demonstrators. It just isn't right.
So the father tries to understand the son, tries to hear what is not being said. It can stagger the father to see what has become of the son, how crippled and weak... But still, no father can long listen to the cries of their son, so, in time they are gathered up. In my case... there is no gathering up. The boy stays and breathes through a hose in his throat.
Now, the Greek drama writer would have thrown in a dying grandfather and grandmother, but that might border on comedy-tragedy... and drama is very much like dharma, not just in the writing of it, but the living it. So when people ask me how I "deal with it", as in laying out the tarot deck...maybe?.....Deal with it? It's just dharma, just the Path playing, laying, me out. So, diving down the deck analogy, things get shuffled in and played out many times over. Lots of paradigms to hang on to. I just think of it not so much "karma" as dharma and I'm on the same path as the one thru the highways of California with a stick and a pack. I still have a stick and I'm sure i could find a pack, so I'm still on that path, which makes sense because all paths lead to the center....Hard to imagine another Way.
Greek plays were handled with masks sometimes, so that the symbol for theatre is two masks, showing comedy and tragedy. Life is both, and is a theatre and is a path. You just remember that the show must go on.... You really have no choice. As I think about dharma I recognize that any such paradigm has elements which seem to work against "free will". You don't always have a choice, you just plow ahead. So, no matter what I attempt to do, my son will do what he can by plowing ahead on his own Path, and it is somewhat unreasonable to imagine that I can very much influence his path when I find it so hard to really get a handle on my own.
We all have a certain amount of choice, sure, but not so's it makes a difference, because Dharma trumps Free Will. And that is so like a tarot image that you just have to figure it makes sense. Cards on the table....you got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them.....and now we're talking about a Muppet movie. God has to be ADD....The universe is just too distracting. I can't imagine being All-Knowing and not just sometimes sitting by the wayside, doing Bubbuh-bubbuh on my holy lip. Or Buddha-Buddha.
I have carrots growing in my houseplants and a potato is sprouting in my kitchen. I get so impatient for Spring. I just love Persephone, she's my favorite goddess because she kicks ass, goes away and comes back even better than before, stronger, a true goddess of rebirth, no longer in Her mother's shadow as simple Spring. Marianne Faithful is a good example of her Priestess. I just know she rocks. And I have no choice.