Friday, October 17, 2008


Watching the comedy relief to the rancorous, divisive presidential race tonight at the Annual Al Smith memorial dinner I was relaxed enough by the self deprecating humor of Obama’s admission that he wasn’t born in a manger, but on Krypton sent by Jorel to save the planet Earth that, when he wound up his speech and I heard him use the term god, he conveyed the sense of preexisting connectedness I feel when I think of the tao. I first felt that sense of the word, “god,” in reading Buddhist literature when speaking of the godhead within each being, which my love of the natural curve has translated into the eternal theme to the infinite variations that are the life of the universe, the tao — the resolution to all duality when seen as a dynamic.

This makes me especially happy because, for me, it resolves not quite understanding my repulsion at use of the concept of god as some divine division between his idolaters and we indifferent or antagonistic atheists, not to mention the idolaters of other gods. Of course my discomfort peaked at having that line be drawn between my daughter and I — by my daughter — in her attempt to be honest with me in our mutual struggle to pierce the fog of memory since our estrangement these thirty-eight years.

The one great difference between Buddhism and all religions (Buddhism is not a religion) is the exceptionality, by their own narrow standards, claimed by religious believers to be above the non-believers. Buddhism warns against belief as the veil distracting us from finding the eternal oneness that exists at our deepest essence despite external debilitating divisiveness.

I don’t particularly consider myself a Buddhist in so far as that is a qualification for anything. Tonight I heard Barak Obama use the word, god, and I knew what he meant and agree with him. I think he communicates above the level of common arguments and will change more than anyone ever dreamed one man could do for this broke down country because he is acknowledging our preexisting oneness to each of us beyond our preconditions. May the circle be unbroken and nonexclusive. This is not a political endorsement. Take it for what it is worth.

All I know is a great cloud has dissipated above my head by realizing that my abhorrence of making an isolating wall of exclusivity out of the concept of god was in honor of a deeper meaning rather that the dismissal of the concept altogether.

Religion puts qualifications on brotherhood
In nature, there is no "other",
though none the same.


Anonymous said...

Buddhism is not a religion, though? I consider it a form of Advaita Hinduism, all variants of which recognize "the godhead within each being".

Personally, I find sat-cit-ananda preferable to anitam-anatta-dukkha, but you may of course choose your own metaphors.

red dirt mule said...

i love this ...

you express my 'god' thoughts with more eloquence and sensitivity than I.


Anonymous said...

So I've decided to call my current practice Ganjika Yoga, it can be considered a type of Kundalini Maha Yoga.

Insofar as most people do not identify Yoga as religious, then this might be an interesting approach for common agreement. In truth, Yoga is union with God.

Yodood said...

Hi Mike, I consider religion to be that which denies the universal connection to any of its parts. My reality is ganjava yoga as the sun rises all over the world forever. You may practice all you want, I just hope you'll be ready when whatever you're practicing for shows up. Sounds like a test no one is qualified to grade.

rdm, i love you …

Anonymous said...

Practice is simply that which we do, and not preparation for anything. There is nothing to achieve because it is already achieved -- union does not need to be found or obtained, it is always present.

Yodood said...

lighten up buddy, I was pulling your metaphorical leg ;.p

Anonymous said...

Defining religion as "that which denies the universal connection to any of its parts" doesn't make sense to me. It's like saying that religion is unbelief, that God is not all-pervading, that God is limited to some things and not other things. In all forms of Advaita, God (as Brahman or as Shiva) is all things.

Anonymous said...

You can pull my metaphorical leg and I'm not upset or offended at all, I just thought it's worth clarifying.

red dirt mule said...


Yodood said...

Your misunderstanding of what I said is an example of why I have refrained from discussing what god means to me. Religion only has opinions about god. Because I say religion is exclusionary DOES NOT mean I think god is. God is, religion kibitzes. That is my main point and somehow you insist on missing it.

Anonymous said...

I agree that all descriptions of God are necessarily limited and incomplete, including this discussion. God is beyond all knowledge or representation, which is why for instance in the Jewish tradition no idols are to be made.

Certainly, we are kibitzing, but I don't think we are necessarily exclusionary. Some religions (mainly Western) seem to feel it is important to deny the validity of others, but an Eastern (e.g. Hindu or Buddhist) perspective encompasses all views, leading some people to claim that these traditions are not religions.

Yoga, of course, does not compel you to believe anything. But mastery of yoga leads to understanding of the unity of the self and God. This, to me, is necessarily religious, but non-exclusionary.

Yodood said...

Okay, I can agree that what you call yoga and what I call, for want of a better word for it, tao are free of religion.

Would you agree with me that, if religion is supposed to be necessary and not an artificial mutation of human evolution, at the least, religions give your inclusive definition of religion a bad name. It is for this reason that I can hear Lil'wave speak of her beholding the immensity of the seed within her, the godhead, while lacking the words to describe it any other terms than the Christian litany of creation and original sin.

While we're on this: even using the word "connectedness" reinforces the idea of basic separateness. I like the idea of fractal identity, variations in scale of the same thing. Are our cells not just variations on us, we on earth, it on the milky way?

Anonymous said...

Well, like I said, I don't agree that yoga is free of religion: it is essentially Hinduism. Likewise, I think Taoism is a perfectly valid religion. Also, I am still a Jew, and still Christian, and anything else that I might choose to study and identify myself with.

What religion is God supposed to be, anyhow?

We are all God.

India is one of the most religious countries in the world, and this is broadly understood there.

America in particular has a very debased religious culture, owing to what I would have to consider willful misinterpretations of scripture by apologists for slavery and discrimination. Sadly, this causes many people to turn away from religion itself, to deny the existence of God altogether, because if the Southern Baptist Convention has anything to do with Christianity, what reasonable person would want anything to do with it?

Nor does original Christianity much resemble Roman Catholicism.

The number of people who actually follow the teachings and path established by Y'shva is small, as contrasted with those who never even knew him while he was living as a man, like Saul of Tarsus, who claimed to be an apostle, but was not, unlike Didymus Thomas, or Mary Magdalene herself.

Those who oppressed Christians for centuries, and who themselves were responsible for the murder of God, they are the very ones who claimed the mantle of Christianity for themselves and proclaimed themselves my church. I do not know them.

But now that we've got that out of the way, I think fractals are a nice way of understanding how complexity arises. All of this, everything is manifestation of one thing, and we are all that.