Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sappy Spiritual Holiday Homily

I was going to keep this to myself, but, it being the holiday season, I thought I might get away with slipping in some embarrassingly sappy mysticism.

I was attending, god help me, an eight hour long Buddhist lecture (Dzogchen, for whatever it's worth ) and the teacher was going on about Love, as spiritual teachers often do. A student raised his hand, and overshared about how he loves his cat...and his girlfriend...and whatever...so much that sometimes he simply can't stand it. Sometimes, he feels just..... gaaaaaaahhh!!

He made a roaring noise in his throat, like he just couldn't quite let it out. Or in. Or whatever. And setting aside the fact that I despise cats, I'd suppose that's a feeling we can all relate to a little bit. "I love such-and-such so much, I feel like I'm going to explode or something" (for me, that might be the duck penang curry at Woodside's Ayada Restaurant).

The teacher, an eloquent fellow, tried to weave together an explanation. But it was late in the day, and he had trouble organizing his thoughts, and he petered out with some dry Buddhist jargon. I got up my nerve (I'm horribly shy with strangers) and piped up the following suggestion, which started out sounding like me, but veered off in a direction I had neither intended nor expected:
Love is infinite.

The cat? It's limited and finite.

You? You're limited and finite.

And "Gaaaaaaahhh!!" is the sound of something infinite trying to squeeze through limitation!

So...don't be so specific. Forget the cat. Forget you. Drop the whole scenario of you loving the cat and just let it be love loving love.
No idea where that came from. And I wouldn't blame you for dismissing that as cliched hippy spirituality. But, in any case...happy holidays. Thanks for slogging along with me this year!


Wayne said...

Despite your own sentiments, my cats would probably like you, Jim. But since they will never meet you, they will have to settle for reading the Slog.

Jim Leff said...

Oh, yeah, cat's love me (and their dander gives me asthma).

I'm mostly loved by things that are bad for me, alas! :)

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