Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Reply...

Yesterday I received a query from a reader puzzled by the inconsistencies in some of the thoughts and beliefs expressed here in The Buddha Diaries. I hoped that a response would help me understand them a little better myself. I don't feel free to post the original questions, since they were sent to me personally, offline, but I thought I would post my own thoughts on the matter this morning. At least the poem, if you don't already know it, might amuse you, and I do think it says something about The Buddha Diaries. Here goes:

I'm not sure why my inconsistencies and ambivalences are such a worry to you. They aren't, particularly, to me. More of a curiosity, really. I can't explain myself, can't justify my thinking, even--perhaps especially--when it fits no rational pattern or philosophical truth. I'm a poet, for God's sake. Always have been. I just put down words, one after the other, without trying to deal out wisdom, even when they contradict each other. You ask questions for which I have no answers, with references that are beyond my understanding. I have no way of satisfying the hunger you project to corral me into some convenient cattle chute. If I seem to be clueless, it's because I am! Sorry! Here's a poem for you. Consider it the source of all the wisdom you mistakenly ascribe to me! I have always loved it. Perhaps you're familiar with it. If not, enjoy.

It was sent with admiration and affection for a mind quite different from my own. Sometimes I wish I could understand all this. Mostly, though, I'm just caught in the muddle of it all, and do my best to pay attention to the experiences that come my way. Best to all...!


robin andrea said...

Ah, you remind me of Walt Whitman's Song of Myself:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

MandT said...

Love that particular poem. Robin knows well, as for self contradiction---of course: Not two---always take the fork in the road. LOL still LOL peace!

TaraDharma said...

beautifully, truthfully said. and, from Lao-Tsu,

"The Tao is what happens of itself."

Go figure.

Paul said...


I can only guess the question, but by the strength of your reply it appears your reader felt some entitlement from you. If the reader no longer enjoys your thoughts as expressed through your writing of them, well, it's a big world.

We write what we write as a means of self expression. All creative acts are that way, don't you agree? Yet we also appreciate positive recognition for our efforts, and it's especially nice when others agree with or reinforce our points of view. But not everyone will. At times, maybe no one will.

Apparently you were criticized for inconsistency of thought. Doesn't everyone - including your critic - experience such inconsistencies? Or... perhaps your thoughts are much clearer and consistent than your critic understands them to be.

Anyway, I liked your response, and I appreciate your posting it.

I'll leave off with one of my own favorites from Alice in Wonderland:

‘When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'