FRIGHT TO LIFE
I also want to admit— now--I know these things are merely my own personal, picky desires, picked fresh from the fertile ground of my imagination, which produces more wants than
I want to add, maybe somebody at His Holiness’ teaching wanted me to get karma detention for wearing lipstick. I am not alone here on the planet, not the only human thing going. I know mine are dime a dozen pipe dreams because Buddhism reminds me every day that every other human being sharing the earth with me is juggling oodles more of their own. As the Dalai Lama likes to say, everybody is chasing down happiness one way or another. This is probably why we keep running into each other, with nasty headline results: everybody wants their wants uber alles and becomes such a sore loser when that doesn’t happen. Read all about it.
As the Dalai Lama will also tell you, when you don’t like something, it’s quite human to want to make it go away. I want the airlines to get rid of all those squalling babies the parents refuse to tame. Others put erasers on pencils, lasers on chin hair, prohibitions on gays, gas chambers at
If there are no forks left in the road and it’s all one way, that has to be the right way, (eh Sunnis and Shia?). That's why some folks are rejoicing that last week a medical procedure wanted as safe and useful in specific circumstances has been dispatched into the unwanted realm of heinous crime. They were not comfortable with the idea of it, so they wanted the reality of it to go away and got it shipped off, priority hail, to oblivion. Now these happy people don’t have to suffer doubt or negative thoughts about that sort of abortion any more. Even if women have been having abortions for thousands of years and will keep on having them like it or not, they forced on us all their preference to forget about it, to deny it.
The keenest analysis I read of the Supreme Court decision to make late term abortions a crime was that the anti-abortion mob had won the incremental war of chipping away at the right to life’s privacy, (make that: the right to female life’s privacy), by changing the dialogue and thus forever the way people picture abortion. They unleashed the tactic of making people actually see exactly what happens. Not seeing the operation as perhaps painfully wrought liberation from suffering for the mother but only as something wantonly gruesome, creates so much negativity, people do not want to think about it and thus want to do away with all abortion. The analyst said their next likely move is to force women to watch videos of actual procedures at every fetal stage to raise awareness about what really happens.
Well, nothing pleases a Buddhist more than anteing up awareness. Consciousness raising is us. We are continually training to follow our breath, watch every movement of our mind so as not to inflict our "shit" on others. We're urged to dig down to our depths to become mindful of what is actually happening as we pass through life, how much fear we have of getting what we don’t want, to wake up and smell the poses.
Naturally then, I want everyone to be more aware. And being American, I want that now. So going with the flow, I want all those folks who want to coerce others to watch videos of abortion to be forced to stand in front of the supermarket meat refrigeration bins and watch videos of animals caught in the apocalyptic horrors of factory farming. I want in their face close ups of the scare and feeding, the slaughterhouse vibe, the cellophane wrapping. I want them to see the whole antibiotic packed schmear, birth to death to barbeque.
I want them to go to sea to watch the dolphins die for their tuna fish sandwiches. After all, His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa recently exhorted all Tibetan Buddhists not to inflict suffering on other beings by eating them for dinner. It indicates we value ourselves above all others, disregarding the value of those others. Better for all karma concerned, he said, to eat vegetables. I want these people who so loudly proclaim the right to life to see how much life they’re lunching on.
I want these folks to be forced to see streaming videos of real time real war as it really kills, maims and upends real civilians, children, animals and young men dressed as soldiers. I want them to climb an oil rig to watch a wildcatter lose his fingers for the gasoline that powers their SUV to pizza glut. I want to know what is wrong with all these rights to life.
Forget last week’s outcry about Korean killer Cho. I want those who think doctors (whose credo is" First Do No Harm") kill but guns don’t to be force fed his video followed by pictures of NRA lobbyists (whose credo is "Show them the money") playing golf with Congressmen. I want them to see people being killed and the unquestioned profits of the manufacturers of the product that does it so niftily.
After all, if you are going to be pro life, it’s probably best to be a pro about life. I want these people to sit for ten years straight at the bedside of a human vegetable, to live on the streets with unwanted children thrown out there, to room with a woman pregnant from rape or incest or carrying a fetus she knows is fatally flawed. I want them to see life in living color because, despite how much they want it so, life is never black and white. The Buddha said: deal with it. Be aware that everything has consequences and, alas, they will never end up being pleasant, no matter how fervently you want them to. That is the truth of suffering.
Life is never as you like it. Nobody can really make that bad news, that bogeyman, go away --especially just by wanting it to or passing off their wants, their ideal, their panic, onto me. The Buddha said it’s better to reach out to others by example, by the disciplined perfection of your own life rather than by the fevered pitch of scattered sloganeering. Maybe this is because when you have your hands full minding your own business, you become aware of what tough stuff it is. You don't have the time or nerve to busybodily butt into that of strangers, wanting them to want to be exactly like you. You live and let live. That is my pro life ideal, my vision of world peace. So
"Wordsmithing to attest how the Dharma saved me from myself!"
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