Sometimes I wonder if the whole of human existence doesn't boil down to the willingness to be a jerk -- to taking a risky or foolish course and stop looking over your shoulder.
Of course there is the risk that you too may end up believing the world is flat and then run around insisting others agree, but the willingness to be a jerk combined with a subsequent willingness to correct what errors become apparent ... well, isn't this the way of peace?
No one can outfox the jerk they have the potential to become. Planning for the future makes some sense -- right up to the moment in which you believe it is possible or reliable. Plan, foresee, analyze, plot your best course and then step off into action ... and the distinct possibility that the result will be "ohhh shit!" No matter how virtuous or disciplined or filled with good intentions ... "ohhh shit!"
Being willing to be the jerk you are is clouded by the fact that sometimes the best laid plans actually turn out the way you hoped ... at which point there is the tendency to believe that your planning and care and attention to detail made your wish come true... and therefore, if I plan hard enough, I can outfox the future. Alternatively, a recognition of how jerk-y anyone might become may lead to a willingness to stand very, very still and somehow sidestep being a jerk.
If you can't be a jerk, you certainly can't be a Buddha. The trick is, perhaps, to relax a little and not make a federal case out of it all. Yes, I can be a jerk. Yes, I can be a Buddha. These potentialities, taken as a whole, are sometimes referred to as "Buddha," though of course names never solved anything... jerk-faced Buddha, Buddha-faced Buddha -- what principle is this?
But before things get out of hand, before we segue into la-la land, I think it is important if not vital to work with the jerk at hand. Isn't being a jerk a matter of relying on others, of my longing to be approved and loved and, well, being on everyone else's A list? And isn't the same often true for spiritual endeavor ... accolades and applause from without assuring accolades and applause within? It's jerky, perhaps, but if this is the jerk you've got then this is the jerk you've got.
No one wants to be a jerk. Everyone wants to be a wise (wo)man. Perhaps this sort of jerky behavior is just a matter of time ... time to learn how to relax, time to watch the distinction evaporate, time to name enough names so that names lose their savor or credibility. If something doesn't work and we keep doing it over and over and expect a different result -- isn't that the definition of insanity? But calling it insanity is just another name.
Relax and observe and correct what needs correcting. The world may be flat or the world may be round. In either case, here you are.