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Tamar

David,
I wonder why we have to link our lonely walk to end suffering with a Buddha or any other person/divine entity? I think about this a lot. So much of what has been taught to me has been rigid and modular. Thinking for myself is such a difficult task. Can we not simply link our journey with others along the way? Other humans like ourselves. So many of us are leading quiet lives of desperation. It helps so much to link arms and walk it together at times. Why does some dominant male "God-figure" have to be the model for us?

I don't have answers and I know I need to really blog these thoughts more in-depth and yet I shy away from it. It's not so much that it's exhausting. It's perplexing.

david

Tamar: The unique thing about the Buddha was precisely that he was not, and did not want to be seen as, a "dominant male 'God figure'". He was exactly what you say you want -- someone struggling along the same path as everyone else, who thought he recognized some useful things.

While I, like you, want companionship and guidance, I don't know anyone whose guidance I trust sufficiently. I look for role models in history -- that's kind of what history, and religion, are (or should be) all about.

I don't think Judaism is rigid and modular -- certainly Zen is not -- it's the way these things have been presented to us that make them appear rigid and modular. I don't consider myself smart enough to be my own teacher, so I'm always on the lookout for as many as I can find.

Tamar

I guess I was finally inspired to start blogging about it! But there's more to come I'm sure. While I love rituals and celebrating everything that everyone celebrates - I find myself becoming more and more an observer in organized religions. Connection to humanity and life in general and holding still with the "mystery" seems more the way I'm taking. Which isn't to say that I don't enjoy reading what all sorts of people have to say about their personal searches for peace and harmony - including Jesus, Dalai Lama etc. - and even human beings in the blogosphere!

amba

I'd say it's more like suffocating to death in a warm place.

"the loneliness of rational thought and inquiry," "institutions that give direction to our days and choreography to our panicked flight from pain" -- piercing.

Richard Lawrence Cohen

I just want to say I've enjoyed this exchange a lot--have nothing particular to add to it -- and since none of us will ever solve these problems fully, maybe what we really should value in the quest is the discovery of two or three terrific metaphors along the way. "Choreography to our panicked attack from pain"--"freezing to death in a beautiful setting"--these pictures ring true and cut through the discourse (or do they only seem to...?)

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