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Tolerance, Seperation, And A Zen Moment


The Sage Nabooru
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I was working the cigarette cash register last night while the regular cashier went on her break. Standing in line was a young fresh-faced Christian teenager and his quiet, church-youth-group attending girlfriend. Obviously no touching, of course.

 

They bought a copy of WOW Hits 2007, and the boy struck up a conversation with the guy behind him, saccharine-style friendly, and then was sweet to me as well. I guess my demeanor (it was late at night and I work a shit job) might have put him off slightly, but he was still in a good mood and full of the spirit and all that. He gave a hearty good-bye to the guy behind him and then me, with a loud "Lord's blessings!" to each of us.

 

I cynically rolled my eyes, and when the next guy's turn came around, I dropped his change into his hand with, "May Zeus shower you with blessings." He didn't seem very enthusiastic about my smartassedness.

 

I started thinking about what I had done, and regretted it. (Not for long, of course, seeing that regret is, for extended periods of time, a useless emotion.) After all, the kid was harmless, and meant well. He's obviously enjoying himself, and why am I letting that be my problem?

 

I remembered something I'd read about in a New Age book - that the feeling of hate, war, us-vs.them, is brought about by the illusion of seperation. As long as I see everyone as seperate from myself, I will consider them my competitors and my enemies, even. So even though a friendly kid who just happened to be into a particular religious sect and having a good time in it gave me a greeting, I was determined to judge him, view him as part of a vast conspiracy against me, and even refused him common respect.

 

It then occured to me as to why this seperation illusion is so damaging: If I fight others, if I pick fights, I am effectively picking fights with myself, and will never be happy with the outcome. Although he did nothing to injure me personally, I had decided that he was an enemy and I should challenge him. But I could never win. It would always be a losing battle, because in the illusion of seperation, there is only one of me and millions of them. It's a losing battle for everyone.

 

And I was fighting against myself, as we so often do. We fight intolerance with intolerance, and hate with hate, and prejudice with prejudice. I saw myself in him - both in his fervor and, as far as his religion was concerned, myself at another time, a part of myself I had decided was "shameful" and wanted nothing to do with. Here this kid was, on the same path I was on - which could take any of a number of ways, including my own - and I was criticizing him for it. I was criticizing myself.

 

I decided from now on to not be so eager to press judgements on others, especially judgements concerning their alliance for or against me. Perhaps instead of constantly making myself to be the competitor against others - a war without end - perhaps I should look at the whole picture: this person is part of a whole, as am I, and is going on a different path than I am, just as I am going on a different path than they. There is nothing wrong with that, because we're all part of the Machine, and we all play our role. In twenty years he may be an atheist or a Christian or a Hindu or a Buddhist - but does it really matter? We all come back to the same source. And how boring life would be if every part of the whole lived exactly the same.

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I found that quite touching Sage Nabooru. That seemed to be rather different from your normal posts. I liked it. Thanks.

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Good post, Sage. It does stand as a reminder to not assume every Xian is out to shove their religion down our throats or that they realize they preach a religion of lies and yet are deliberately trying to control us.

 

Indeed, unless someone tries shoving tracts in your face or otherwise does something rude towards you with their religion as the obvious excuse, the best thing to do is just live and let live. There's no hell for them to burn in for being Xians or being wrong in their religious outlook, so to just chill and live life is always the best policy.

 

Besides, with Xian radicals making such a big deal out of religion, someone has to be a good example to them ;)

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I'm guilty of the same things all the time, Sage. Thanks for helping me realise what I've been doing. It'll help me correct my behaviour.

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