Buddhism, taming the wild beast within…

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Buddhism in Sri Lanka

The zoo is one of my favorite analogies and metaphor for the human species, such that we tame ourselves and our worst impulses, in order to make of ourselves one great human zoo, a petting zoo, properly fed and cared for, so that the need to compete and the struggles with predators should be reduced to little or nothing…

I know for a fact that two unrelated mammal species raised together from infancy can easily learn to accept each other for the mutual benefit of all, so cats’ and dogs’ need to fight is only learned behavior. Even in the savannas of Africa, at least in the protected areas, many if not most species have symbiotic relationships, such that none are subject to the regular predations of any one specific species–except man. So we are the main problem of violence on this planet, as much or more than any lions, tigers or bears…

And I guess it’s not surprising that we want to maintain that wilderness, even those of us who have no desire to hunt, for we worship that wildness as an act of passion, and a rite of passage from our own not-so-distant past, the likes of which we have little desire to forget: Man the Great Hunter, Tamer of Species and Seducer of Women! Ha! What a laugh. But the act of preserving wilderness is probably proof of misguided human effort, and the act of artificially restoring wilderness even more absurd…

Why would you want to preserve violence and hunger, ferocity and scarcity, in the first place? Preserve nature? Definitely. Preserve species? Yes, of course, absolutely and unreservedly! So why not shoot these animals with the same dose of love and religion that we humans once received in the womb? Man is part of Nature, too, and an active participant, not silent observer…

That is: to receive a mother’s love with or without the mother, a brotherhood of man and a brotherhood of beast. Anything else is human arrogance and cheap entertainment, that we will second-guess nature as quickly as we destroy it. The epiphany comes when all species are raised together, from birth, in the same environment with the same rights and restrictions. Then the lion truly lies down with the lamb and the hippos become our friends…

But first we have to tame ourselves, our own human selves, and that is the hard part, because it goes right to our sexuality, our animal pride, our masculinity, and that’s a hard thing for most men to give up, whether the ‘type A’ ‘Alpha male’ or the strong silent type, either one, as most men take their reproductive rights quite seriously, even when they’re only going through the motions…

If Buddhist Enlightenment is defined as conquering all lust, then…

Maybe we men should all take the pill: no, not the red one, since this is not the Matrix, and not the blue one, since that’s Viagra, but that other one that kills all testosterone, and the urges that come with it, specifically the urge to merge and the need to breed. Wouldn’t that solve all problems for monks and others for whom sex is the primary kilesha that must be overcome in the quest for Enlightenment? Sure, there are hatred and greed, too, but that’s nothing compared to the Big L…

On second thought, given the role that overpopulation plays in the current Earth Apocalypse, maybe we should all take that pill, simply for sustainability of the over-stressed planet. But that’s not what we do, is it? No, we are surrounded by advertising to ‘increase our T-levels’, ‘have better sex’, ‘have sex more often’ and so forth, and so on (who needs sleep?), so that we can pretend to be super-studs and winners, masters of the universe, when in reality we’re only master haters, trollers and baiters, pointing and clicking to our hearts’ content, all to exert our supremacy over the competition…

But that’s exactly what the nice lady doctor wanted me to do, only weeks after treatment for borderline Stage 3 prostate cancer, during which I received heavy doses of radiation and ‘hormone treatment’, which did me the favor of killing my testosterone and sex drive entirely for a period of almost a year, in the course of subduing my cancer. Wow! Instant bodhisattva! So lust is no defilement, no sin, not even a grin upon the chinny-chin-chin. It’s just a chemical, just a drug…

So all the love songs, all the late nights, all the confessions, all the long drawn-out negotiations, are just the machinations of a couple of chemicals deciding to mix, and mingle, and possibly bond–or not. There’s no problem is dealing with chemical dependencies. Just take another chemical to counter-act it! Wham! Bam! it’s Bodhisattva time! So why would anyone want to fight the fight and face the struggle everyday if a little pill can solve all the problems?

Pride of ego is pride of birth is pride of lineage is pride of inheritance. But remember that it’s not like you still have urges but can’t do anything about it. No, you don’t even have the urges. That’s what a Bodhisattva trains all his life for, available in pill form, or injection, if you prefer. No, it’s not cheap, but that’s just the American insurance scam. There’s only one catch: you gotta’ keep taking it, or it’ll all come back…

And, of course, that’s what your doctor might suggest anyway, just so you won’t have to feel all alone, when a backyard full of babies could be awaiting you. Now that’s the real attachment, attachment to your offspring, your own DNA, when the planet is already full to bursting with too many half-thought reproductions. But isn’t that one of the main functions of religion, to make family of us all, without the need to reproduce? Too bad they don’t have a pill for attachment, greed and anger…