Saturday, May 30, 2009
Trying to earn a good gig in the afterlife.
Here's a cute picture I found of John and me in Kyoto. That's our tour guide Yui, and her pet monkey. That little primate knew all the hottest spots in town.
So, I'm not too familiar with Buddhism - but isn't there some tenant that says that each time you are reincarnated, you are born to specific parents and put in specific life situations that really test a certain part of your personality that needs improvement? Like if you are a soul that latches on to very materialistic possessions, you will be born to a pauper. I haven't quite figured out the specific purpose of being born to my parents or my family - perhaps in a past life I was an attention-seeker, so in this life I was born as the oldest of 10 children, so as to put me in my place? Perhaps I was a lazy soul in a past life and therefore born to two incredible over-achieving parents so as to get my derrière in gear? Not sure, I'm still trying to figure it all out. I like the idea though.
One flaw I have started to discern in myself is an unfailing need to convince and persuade someone to my point of view. I don't like this tendency, as it always makes me feel really irritated for days after a confrontational conversation. What good does that do me? My most recent example was my (8 hour long) lecture today. By the end of the lecture, I was literally shaking with anger at about 9-10 things the professor had to say. Clearly we came from different view points, this is not unheard of - I have some unorthodox opinions. But I just couldn't wrap my head around (nor could I be quiet about) so much of what he was spouting (something about the innate beauty of a bomb when is is dropped from a B2, about Nixon being the best president of the 20th Century, Gandhi being a moron who destroyed India, and Sadam having somehow caused 9/11, among other pronouncements). Yet, something must be wrong with me that I cannot just let this person exist, in harmony with me, and accept that these are his opinions. They just... make me a little insane.
What do I know? I'm young and have not lived in the world half as long. It's absurd really - what makes me think that I could have any affect on this person's opinions? I just don't get how we could look at the same set of events and come to totally opposite conclusions. I should be able to learn, live and let live. But I can't, and it makes me crazy. See now I'm getting angry just writing about it. I really need to work on this. I should be doing homework, and instead I'm venting in the blogosphere. Ugh, that makes me even more mad.
So yes, my point: I think (or I would if I were Buddhist) that the Universe plucked me out of my Southern California pool house and plunked me right down on to an Air force base in the middle of Kansans and Arizonians and Nebraskans and Texans (oh so many Texans) to remind me that I do not have the monopoly on wisdom - not even close.
Oh it's hard, so very hard for me to get down off my high horse. But I'm going to sit through my second 8 hours of class tomorrow (I should get reincarnation bonus points) and meditate on the cushy gig I'm working towards in the next life.