How Buddhism Can Save the World…

I think the human species is worth saving; so call me old-fashioned. But that’s the deal in this day and age, whether your predilection is politics or religion, or New Age philosophy. Because the clock is ticking, and everyone knows it, even if they prefer to keep it hidden, out of consideration for their wide-screen TV, or their breakfast nook, or their three-car garage, complete with convertible and pickup truck and maybe a Harley or two for good measure on weekends. But the elephant in this room is not rebirth, but birth itself, and an ever-crowded planet, likely ten billion within my lifetime, depending more on my life than the planet’s, because the growth bug is in the predetermined fix, ever since China relaxed its prohibitions, and now Sichuan streets look almost like the Catholic Philippines, with every eligible matron followed by a gaggle of little goslings, each one precious in and of itself, but more like a murder of crows when multiplied exponentially across the breadth of the vast Chinese underbelly, bulging wide over the South Chinese Sea, and ready to give birth somewhere in the lower archipelago. But this is the paradigm we created for ourselves, more more bigger bigger, torpedoes be damned and rivers be dammed, as if resources were unlimited and hope springs eternal in the human breast, with infinite milk and unlimited succor. And that is a matter of faith, for many Christians, especially, full of the fruits of capitalism and ersatz freedom, i.e. freedom to screw up and much much more, full of religion and science and peace and war, that our big juicy smiles are based on more than economic inequality, first come first served, but on inviolable principles of the invisible hand, dollar in the hand is always worth at least ten in the bush, as long as the day of reckoning never comes and past loans can always be repaid with future ones. But guess what? The day of reckoning will come, when confidence crumbles and somebody smells a rat in the recipe, and that’s when doors start closing in succession, like Agent 86 remembering that he almost forgot something, but the doors are already closing, so it’s too late to go back before the show ends unceremoniously as doors slam in our faces. But that’s Christianity for you, full of big-a$$ smiles and frequent flyer miles, when the reality is that our dimension of existence is defined by profound limits, such that we are doomed to die, no matter how hard we try, and the only challenge is to realize that is cool, and this is school, and we are so much the wiser for our study of it. And this is implicit in Buddhism, if not explicit, and thus a social paradigm as much as a philosophical or psychological one, for me at least, and that is all I know: do the right thing, don’t be a jerk, and don’t place yourself above all others. Outcomes are more important than incomes…