Thursday, May 29, 2014

Never the Twain Shall Meet: Buddha Meets a Leprechaun

An ancient, legendary document lost for centuries was recently stumbled upon by some unemployed, non-catholic archeologists, named Ole and Sven, excavating in the Vatican’s sub-terranean  dungeons. The auspicious, fragile manuscript reveals a prodigious confrontation between two irreconcilable world views. Unlike any dialogue ever known in religious scriptures or world mythologies, before or after, two unlikely opponents who represent these visions display their rhetorical skills with ideas that have echoed down the ages. Some of the chapters mention future events with errie accuracy.  It is rumored that the Knights of Camelot as well as the Magna Carta drew their inspiration from this colossal debate.
         A modern translation in essence follows:
         A wee fellow was strolling and whistling along his favorite moors when he came upon a clearing that slanted upward. At the hill top, to his surprise, sat a human creature next to an oak tree. The figure seemed to be lost in a trancelike stillness, sitting upon the grass knoll.
         “Could it be,” mused the little fellow, “why bless me soul, tis the Buddha himself…This bears investigating.”
         Walking briskly up the slope, still whistling, he spied the eyes of the seated, holy one slowly open.
          “Top of this fine morning to your sir. Finbarr’s me name, and ferociousness is me game.”
         He waited a decent interval.
          “Did I catch a worried glimmer in your eye? No fear, lad, me title comes from an appetite for the blessed grog and brook trout. I visit no mischief upon humans….most of the time.”
         He grinned with a slight curtsy and studied the new comer. Continuing, “Aye, your reputation, oh venerated one, precedes you, even amongst us wee folks.”
         The seated one slowly turned his head for nothing else but to get a full view of his unannounced visitor. And with the dazzling sun shinning upon them both,  the unsmiling new comer to the green Isle solemnly uttered:
“I’m here to remind you that all life is suffering.”
         Cocking his head, Finbarr retorted, “And a good morning to you, too. Hmmm, me apologies for disturbing your plight.”
         Then he couldn’t contain himself and added under his breath, “Wait till the Pookas  get wind of him.”
         Starring off in the distance, the holy one uttered, with a slight urgent tone, “Can you grasp the meaning of my words?
         Finbarr  raised an eyebrow but let the remark pass. Tilting his head slightly and jutting his jaw forward for emphasis, “You may not realize, of course, that your opening statement may put you up for canonization by an interesting religious group that attempted to banish us wee folk several decades ago.”
         “Really!” said the droll Buddha seemingly pleased with the prospect of canonization.
         “Yep, Laddie, no less than the Puritans. I knew something was wrong because we could never get them to sing or dance. After all, they endure the ever haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”
         Finbarr waited till his words hit their target and added, with a coy smile, “Can you grasp my drift?” Tit for Tat. Was that a suppressed scowl that flashed upon the Buddha’s undisturbed demeanor?
         On a role, Finbarr sallied forth. “Did you ever stop to think that your beginning statement is not in harmony with life? While you were lounging around in your castle, full of privilege and entitlement, with unrestricted opulence to peruse your latest whim, where did suffering come in then? Once you got outside of your protective venue, you came face to face with India’s Caste system. Would that not be a shock for any half way thinking rich boy?
 “Are you sure that your declaration on suffering is the right one to make?  Could you possibly view your summary as too broad of a generality?
         “Sounds to me more than a little like preaching. Is this supposed to be an inspiring launch for your philosophy? Do you suppose you could be leaving out a few pertinent factors? Truly, your devotion to suffering leaves me breathless. May I be so bold to say that anything you can say, I can say better.
         “It even reminds me of that peculiar nun, Mother Theresa, who espoused and enforced a similar strain in your country.  She attended society’s castaways by commandeering them to progress in their suffering, the more the better, supplementing her little sermonettes by forbidding any serious medical relief for their status, regardless. After all, that might relieve their plight. Aye, you two are like two peas in a pod.
         “Is the rumor not true that you think that wee creatures, along with the humans, do not possess a soul? Hmmm, methinks you might ramble over to the shade more when you sit.
         “If I may cast, in me compassionate way, a few parting words to your holy presence: somehow, sir, you have lost the talent for living in the real world and appreciating the damp rain and darkened clouds that but hide the basking, everlasting sunshine. If you would only look up at night and be astonished by the stars that foretell one’s dreams. You, sir, in your pitying manner have forgotten to stir what’s hidden in everyone’s heart: that life is the art of possibilities”
         And so our tale ends… with each going his own way.