Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jesus Called. He Says He Just Wants To Be Friends

I'm going to meet with a very kind woman this morning who happens to be a pastor of a church. She can counsel people for three sessions before she has to hand them off to someone with a degree in crazy.

Not having health insurance and swinging from vine to vine through this bureaucratic jungle, I've been grasping at free counseling anywhere I can find it. Next week, I start a ten week group therapy gig through PAVSA which, they warned me, can bring up intense feelings from my past. I told her that it will be ok, they can join with the intense feelings from my present and perhaps, we'll discover a new kind of psychic energy. If I find that I can hold a light bulb and have it turn on using just the power of my mind, I am getting in the car and driving to the White House.

But for the present, I will be visiting with a pastor this morning. I actually went to her church a couple Sundays ago and while it was nice to be out amongst adults, all the Jesus hoo-ha left me a little sad. Absolutely loving Black gospel music, the hymns left me wondering who on earth wrote them and could they actually hear a bunch of white Minnesotans singing them as they scribbled it down? The modern stuff was just dreadful. They sang the old stuff too, like Amazing Grace, which always chokes me up. Amazing Grace was my mom's favorite hymn and I think about her when I hear it. But that's not the spirit of Jesus...that's just mental flotsam and jetsam.

As I've stated before, I come from a Buddhist ideology. I can listen to Bible stories all day and understand the moral point that is being stated but I don't feel that it really happened. To me, it's just a story that is trying to illustrate a point.

Conversely, Buddhism comes from the idea that we all suffer. Suffering is a condition brought on by our wants and desires. We cannot control what is done to us, but we can control how we react to it. We cannot find happiness in buying things, but rather we have to find happiness within ourselves. We must extend our hands to help other people because when we relieve suffering for others, we relieve it for ourselves as well. We are all on this big wheel together and only occasionally does someone earn enough gold stars to get off. (As stated word for word by the Buddha).

It's all just a matter of what set of stories "does it" for you. It's all where you're coming from and where you're going.

So perhaps I'll hear some scripture today, perhaps I won't.

Maybe I'll just make a new friend.

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