Having a chronic interest in self-improvement, by virtue of my own motivation and the advice of numerous so-called "friends", I have perpetually been on the prowl for the "holy grail of personal growth books". THE book. Both life transformer and spiritual awakener. Emitting a modest but confident aura of positive energy from its humble perch next to the latest Ortho "Garden Trellises and Gazebos" tome in the Costco hardcover section.
Here's where I'm at right now.
My current read is "The Art of Happiness", an introductory interpretation of the Dalai Lama's teachings for those of us whose were raised in the western hemisphere. I am enjoying it. And I WANT to believe. It certainly "appears" that converting the multitudes into new streams of revenue (other than through book royalties, perhaps) are unlikely motives.
I do think that a Buddist theme park could be the coolest - or possibly the lamest - new concept in family entertainment. "Make me one with everything" hot dog stands and those leashes for invisible dogs would be two of the more obvious offerings. Refunds would exist only if you believe that they do.
But then my alter ego (Mr. Cynical) puts in his unsolicited 2-cents: what if this is all part of an elaborate and unnecessary hoax, carefully crafted in order to justify wearing a robe and sitting around all day? Then it dawned on me: put a television (tuned to one of the ESPN channels) in front of him, add some facial hair and body odor, and you now are looking at my cousin Mike.
I don't mean to disparage the Dalai Lama.
What if we do have it all wrong? What if we've been conditioned to believe that change must first come from within, when in fact the opposite may be true?
What if we must first confront and eliminate the insanities that exist in our daily lives, so that our true selves can - for the first time - emerge into a congruent state with a just and sensible world?
Did the world morph over time from the ideal to the absurd? Or has it always been this way?
I wonder. Would Ernest Hemmingway be able to comprehend the intricacies and dramas of an indoor mega-mall?
What would F. Scott Fitzgerald think of eHarmony?
Would Herman Melville start a blog?
Would anyone continue to follow it after the first installment? How about after the post where he describes all of the different types of whales?
The possibilities are intriguing.
For your homework assignment, I would like your responses to the following (supporting pictures and/or links are welcomed) questions:
1) Which enlightenment books would you like Costco to offer? 2) Which attractions would lure you to a Buddist theme park? Why? 3) Which daily insanity bothers you the most? 4) Who are the famous authors, politicians (or other notables) from the past would you like to see coping with incongruent present-day situations? Please describe.
Thank you so much for being here with me as I attempt to get this baby "off the ground". I look forward to hearing from you.