Friday, August 31, 2012

Sputtering

Scott Bradley


On several occasions I have told Trey that I think my well of words is about to run dry, only for it to flow anew. Eventually, it will run dry, no doubt. (Note: This is Scott's 1000th post at The Rambling Taoists!) Hopefully, that will be because the exercise will have accomplished its purpose and I will have learned silence. More likely, it will be because I finally drowned in my own bullshit. But maybe they are the same.

There are many reasons why the well sometimes seems about to run dry. One is that I figure I've said all I have to say. Apart from "Eureka!", this is pretty much the case, but I keep on finding new ways to say the same thing.

Another reason is that I quite simply do tire of my own bullshit. And not just mine, but everyone else's who presumes to speak on things 'spiritual'.

Closely related to this is the hypocrisy factor. Talk is cheap. Or, more to the point, talk is easy. Living the blabber is incredibly more difficult.

I sometimes wonder if, having found or created another blog-spot where 'no one knows my name', and none of my disclaimers and self-denigrations are on record, I could successfully play the enlightened guru. I think I could, though I have no desire to do so. It's so easy, once you learn the words.

What this really makes me ask, given my exposure to so many other voices that know the words much better than I, is if they are not, in fact, doing just that, playing the guru. Some, no doubt, are. Perhaps some are for real. But most, I would guess, are so sufficiently self-deceived as to be unaware that they are merely playing. This is little different than the preachers behind their pulpits. Many probably know they are living a lie; most manage to fool themselves; a few remain honest. Are there any to whom the biblical God actually speaks? You know the One, the God who murdered all the firstborn of Egypt because he had a beef with the Pharaoh. That One.

I would unreservedly recommend Stephen Mitchells' The Second Book of the Tao to anyone interested in our shared interest in 'spirituality'. His words are often quite wonderful. He's got it. Or does he? He never actually says he does. But he either does or he is utterly full of shit — just like me. No, more so than me, because there are no disclaimers.

Is there an unwritten law that those who've got it shouldn’t say so? "Those who know do not speak." They all speak, but few are those who say they know; they simply imply that they do. Is this honesty? Perhaps. Certainly, we instinctively know to shy away from those who proclaim they do know.

I once wrote to a self-proclaimed enlightened one (someone who had realized 'no-self') asking if he really ‘had it’. His response was to say he didn’t need to prove himself to anyone, held me up as an example of the misguided, and shut down his blog. I won’t ask that again!

You can check out Scott's other miscellaneous writings here.

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