For all these years, my certain Zen:The intuition was good. Surely there is a God, it said, who knows, loves, and serves. So should we.
Neither I nor the world exist.
The sutras neat within the box,
My staff hooked upon the wall,
I lie at peace in moonlight
Or, hearing water plashing on the rock,
Sit up. None can purchase pleasure such as this:
Spangled across the step-moss, a million coins!
- Ryushu Shutaku (1308–1388)
But the institutions of religion -- they tend to get a little too full of themselves. Much like the institutions of government. Even clubs which have to do the hard work of deciding who's in and who's to be kept out. There's an ossification that forms at the edges of institutions and structures. It happens to individuals too.
Plot Summary, Part OneIn the end, Thomas Becket is murdered.
The action of Murder in the Cathedral occurs in and around Canterbury Cathedral; Part One takes place on December 2,1170, the day that Archbishop Thomas Becket returned to England and twenty-seven days before his murder by four knights of King Henry II.
When the play begins, a Chorus comprised of the Women of Canterbury huddle outside the cathedral, certain that something is about to happen but unable to articulate any details: "Some presage of an act Which our eyes are compelled to witness, has forced our feet Towards the cathedral." They then describe their lives to the audience and these descriptions mark them as common people who fear any threat of change:"We try to keep our households in order," they explain, but "Some malady is coming upon us." Ultimately, they decide that"For us, the poor, there is no action,But only to wait and witness."
(--from Murder in the Cathedral Study Guide, by T. S. Eliot,
The individual is easy to betray. So are countries. Betrayal is easy. It requires a hard exterior.
A professional football team in New England wins 16 games without a loss this season. This news pleases many. Crowds cheer and celebrate.
It doesn't matter, really, who dominates and who is defeated in sports.
It doesn't matter which denomination or religion claims upper hand and victory in possessing truth at the one yard line.
I'd rather hear a poem to its end or listen to a good short story come to thought provoking period.
Humanity, yes, humanity over religion.
You take belief. I'll stay with the stumbling path of longing and inquiry. Answers seldom satisfy.
But questions -- they interest.
Eh? N'est-pas? Do you think?