Saturday, March 04, 2006

Follow the Leader, Lead the Follower

If one was without a belief system, without a religious identity - what would one do? If there was no belief in a savior or holy book or guru - no church, temple, mosque or synagogue to attend - no belief in god or gods to worship - no system of rituals to perform to prove our piety - no stories of reincarnation or resurrection - no souls or angels. What would one do? How would one live day to day - Sunday, Monday, Tuesday...week after week, year after year?

When this question is asked - when we ask 'how' - what is involved?

Naturally, if something mechanical breaks down - the car, the washing machine, the computer - I seek a specialist if need be. If I'm struck by an unknown illness, I seek a doctor's advice. In these contexts, I do not know how to resolve my problem. It therefore makes perfect sense to seek someone who has the know-how to aid me. But when I'm confronted with the challenges of life itself, what shall I do?

When we ask 'how' in regards to living life itself, the very question implies a search which in turn, implies a seeker. That is, when I ask another "How am I to live?", I am looking for some method or system to depend upon - to dampen my fear of facing the immensity of life as it actually is. I have not understood myself - my fear, my joy, my desire, my hope, my pain, my pleasure - and because I have not understood myself, I am willing to follow. Or I've put the yoke on so long ago - have learned and refined its dogma so well, that now I'm willing to lead.

The followers create the leaders and the leaders create the followers. When we avoid our fear rather than watch our fear - see it in action and therefore see it for what it actually is, we create this mutually destructive relationship. Human beings need not belief to come together. Belief is divisive thinking though it often wears the cloak of companionship and camaraderie. There is no system, no savior, no guru, no prophet, no book to hold onto - that will act as a blueprint, a formula for day-to-day living. Life itself tells us 'how'. We simply need to listen.


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