Happy Mother's Day, one and all!
Good mother, bad mother, sweet mother, sour mother, nourishing mother, withholding mother ... it's Mother's Day and a time to recall -- if there's nothing better to do -- who brought us all forth... who cared and who didn't ... whose magic was magic, however it was dressed.
My mind has been off on other tangents ... not especially relevant, I suppose ... dancing around a friend's draft piece about military chaplains and noodling without much thought to explication or logic ... anyway, I emailed in part:
One of the tendrils your piece waves across my mind: The evidence suggests a disconnect between principle and practice [the no-killing principle faced with the killing-zone fact]. The disconnect is surprising only to the extent that anyone might imagine principle could be perfectly realized. Principle entices, but practice tells the tale. Claiming that one is more important than the other is a fool's errand, life being as scrumptious as it is.
I think of the anguished man -- perhaps wounded on the battlefield, perhaps not -- crying out for some relief, some succor, some human companionship. Would I be willing to lie to such a man -- to tell him tales in a language he found credible ... the language of "Buddhism," perhaps? You bet I would. Why? Because I too am human and humanity trumps all principle in times of anguish. And, if any of this seems relevant, I guess I see something humane in the Buddhist "chaplain," however disconnected such a post may be in principle. Not that the disconnect doesn't deserve to be pointed out, not that the corruption doesn't need to be noticed, but isn't the circumstance much like Buddhism itself ... telling principled tales that are bound to disconnect from the people they affect?
Not sure that that has much to do with Mother's Day.The old line, "wishing to entice the blind/the Buddha has playfully let words/escape his golden mouth --/Heaven and earth have ever since been filled/with entangling briars" pops up on my radar. "Playfully:" Perhaps another word for that is "in principle." I'm not trying to elevate the briars when I say I think that everyone chooses his way into the briars ... and from there, god willing, out. If a little lying will grease the skids, who am I to deny anyone a bit of grease?