09 July 2006
The Sunday Sermon: Asteya from Che to Cheney
First, if you are looking for a funny post, today ain't it. Second, its Sunday so as I often do, I had to write a sermon. You've been warned.
I've been studying the yama of Asteya (or non-stealing) this week. I've always thought of stealing in the Judeo-Christian sense; i.e., taking a physical object that doesn't belong to me, and doing so without permission. But Asteya is apparently much more than that - one can steal someone's reputation, for example, by gossiping. I can even steal from myself - by giving into my ego's view of the world. But more on that in a moment.
I was in San Francisco a few days ago, and was reminded of the following innocent song; innocent at least from this distance in time and space. I think my parents were vaguely threatened by it at the time however:
ÂIf you're going to San Francisco/Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair *** For those who come to San Francisco/Summertime will be a love-in there *** All across the nation such a strange vibration...Â
The love-ins are gone; the distance from Woodstock to Altamont was short indeed. As for the Âstrange vibrationsÂ Â instead of Alan Ginsberg, its Anne Coulter. Instead of Che, its Cheney.
Now Che was not a nice guy by any stretch of the imagination but he did believe that there was enough food, medicine and other tools for everyone (there still is) Â he just had an unacceptable way of trying cure the situation. But at least he did not believe in scarcity, he knew there was enough ÂstuffÂ for everyone. He just couldnÂt figure out the distribution system.
But Dick Cheney just believes in scarcity. Period. He doesnÂt want to share, because he doesnÂt think there is enough to go around. HeÂs scared. So he hoards it for his friends. Certain friends at least...
And that ladies and gentlemen is where blogger.com burped, and the rest of my post disappeared, perhaps for the best. Most certainly it was an abrupt and fruitful lesson in thimpermanenceimpermenance.
Do click on Alan Ginsberg above and read HOWL.
Om Shanti ya'll.