Thursday, April 5, 2018
Finding the Way Forward
It seems that real growth in ethics, justice, and other sorts of human advancement comes like a forest fire. First there’s an initial spark--not more stirring of cold, dead ashes of past events and forms--
and then a patch of ethical flames, and finally, a roaring forest fire of change--of a new movement toward truth.
To whimsy this profound reality versus the conservative tendency to hideout in past achievements:
That was then,
zen is now:-)
Consider this adapted Zen story:
A well-known professor from George Fox University went to visit a Quaker human rights activist. As the friendly activist got out a bottle of spiced rum2 and a large glass for the tired traveler, the brilliant Professor Kno described his ideas of what Quakerism was,
and ought to be. He explained its treasured historical forms, committees, and meetings. But then rung his hands, as he spoke, because Friends as a movement was seriously declining in attenders, and experiencing a severe loss of adherents. Kno pulled out charts and statistical analyses and waved them, considerably upset.
Yet the activist remained quiet so Professor Kno spoke on and on with more erudition and vast knowledge. Meanwhile, the activist poured more liquor into Kno’s untouched glass.
Even when rum reached the brim of the Professor's glass, the activist kept pouring. Alcohol overflowed, spilling onto the tray, table, and down onto the carpet and their shoes, until the professor could no longer stand it.
“Stop!” Kno almost shouted. “Can’t you see my glass is too full?”
“This is you,” said the activist. “How can you find new insights, new truths, until you first decant some of that glut and surfeit in your glass--your own excessive assumed opinions, speculations, and conclusions?
“How can we find new ethical insight, more clarity and Light unless we first clear our rigid forms from our glutted, surfeited, stained glass?”
Side Note: 2See the video: Quaker Speaks
Did the early Quakers drink alcohol?
In the Light,