Kids will be kids…..right?

Posted: September 28, 2009 in buddhism, christianity, faith
Tags: , , , , , ,

Dear Jesus,
I was at the grocery store the other day heading over to the dairy aisle, when I saw two boys, both around 5 or so, pushing their parents shopping carts towards each other like on a two lane road. The boys had steered their carts a little too close to each other and slightly bumped each others carts. The boys looked at each other and then began trying to push the other’s cart to the side and it basically devolved into a pissing match between two 5 year olds whose parents had to come and force the kids to stop. Funny thing is that, when you think of it, we, as a species, never really outgrow that mindset of aggression and confrontation. Yes we may learn to curb it, or channel it differently, but mankind is still trying to smash his neighbor with a shopping cart in one way or another. Literally and figuratively. Yes, folks, for those of you who think that people are born naturally good, filled with goodwill towards his brother, think again. Don’t call me a pessimist, call me a realist. And while people are not born innately good, they are however not born innately evil.

It’s funny. Without getting into the semantics of defining “good” and “evil”, I think we are born with the capacity for both good and evil, and most of us spend our lives teetering back and forth between the two. I’m not afraid to say that I have done some pretty evil shit in my time, but I have also done some pretty decent stuff too. Now evil doesn’t necessarily have to be killing someone with an axe. It can be as simple as lying about something to affect a different outcome of a situation, or any number of things. I prefer to call a spade a spade, and can recognize my capacity for wrongdoing, and the struggle within to stay on the straight and narrow, and my often pathetic failure to do so. I recognize the comical condition we are born into for what it is. Our flesh vs. our spirit. Or the Id and the Super-Ego. I love how Buddhism recognizes that this is the eternal struggle, and that only by shedding the Id, or letting go of these desires within ones self, can one truly become enlightened or free. I think that this is what modern Christianity has lost or forgotten. There are parallels between Biblical Christianity and Buddhism that I think many would be surprised to find. Not just in the teachings of Jesus (who I think is the great Buddha), but also even in the old testament. In fact a very Buddhist like saying is attributed to God himself in Genesis in the story of Cain and Abel, when Cain gets angry because Abel’s sacrifice is deemed more acceptable to God. The verse goes “Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

You can easily find more parallels. You just gotta look. But I digress. Back to the discussion of being born good or evil. Sadly, like most things in life, it’s not so black and white. we are born into the grey area, and it’s the choices we make in life that either gradually turn that grey into white or black. Or it just stays grey. As for me, I wont pretend to be something I’m not. I’m a stumbling fool, who, like a dog returning to it’s vomit, has a terrible tendency to repeat the same mistakes over and over, which I guess brings me to my point here. See Jesus, without you I think I’d be fu…… er.. screwed. Knowing the things I do WITH your presence in my life, scares me to think of what kind of shit I would do WITHOUT you in my life. I often think that when I first met you at 7 years old, it was really out of your mercy that I was so young because you saw what and who i would become without you. So much has happened since then too. I have been through times of great doubt, and times of spiritual discovery, and I feel you have walked with me every step of the way, and carried me for much of it. And it is in this knowledge and understanding that I see your existence and work as the gift that it is, because without you i’m lost, and i dont mean lost in some silly, feel-good superficial, churchy way, but lost in an “I’m sooooooo fucked” metaphysical, quantum mechanical, sub-atomic way. Knowing I’m such a screwup, I’m banking on you, and your mercy in the end. Because honestly, that is all i have to stand on. Nothing I do can undo the wrong I’ve done. But because you forgave for once and for all, for all time, I am free, because i’m not bound to my sin. And while I continue to walk with you and get to know you even better, I will continue to grow and change, and slowly my grey will not be so grey, and over time, the mastery of self, the letting go of the Id, will get easier and easier. And Christ will be in me, and I in Him.

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