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The Buddha – Savior or Selfish Brat?

Walking back home from the Post Office a few minutes ago, I was passed by a car with a bumper sticker that read “Be here now”. Well, there I was. I was there, but I wasn’t here – at least not at the here suggested by the driver of the car. His here kept on moving down the street at about 35 miles per hour, and no matter how fast I ran, I could not be there now, and as for here, I wasn’t here until I went into the kitchen and got a cup of coffee first.

Every time someone says that Buddhist catch phrase “Be here now” to me, I think to myself, “Damn it, I just missed it. I was here a few seconds late. Can we try that again?” I picture two people, standing close together, and then one says to the other, “Okay, be here… now! and then they switch places as fast as they can.

Be here now? What if I don’t want to?

Buddhist devotees will shake their heads at me and explain that I’m missing the point. I’m not sure that I am. I already am where I am, when I am there. How useful a philosophy is it that tells me to do what I’ve already been doing?

As for mindfulness, I’m not sure that it’s a very good idea. I need room for my pancreas.

Perhaps I’m just at a low level of awareness of the dharma that flows all around us, invading our privacy. For that reason, I’d like to invite people to engage in an honest, catch-phrase-free discussion of Buddhism. Was the Buddha the savior of humanity, who showed us the way to escape suffering, or was he just a deadbeat who left his wife and baby son because he didn’t like his job?

Also, what changes to Buddhism would it require if it took as its motto “be there later” instead of “be here now”?

Discuss amongst yourselves… now!

4 comments to The Buddha – Savior or Selfish Brat?

  • Jim

    Inspired by your post:

    Be Over There Now Bumper Sticker

  • Oh. That took a while it load, and before it did, I thought that you had left the coment blank, in order to make a profound statement. I like the sticker, though.

  • Luke

    Aren’t they talking about being in the moment? Not anticipating or pre judging the future, and not regretting or living in the past, but experiencng the most out of each present moment we find ourselves in, and attempting to see the present for what it is: all that we have?

  • Iroquois

    Yes, I think they are talking about being in the “here and now”, rather than waiting for pie in the sky by and by when you die. An interesting message for us boomers who were brought up under the deferred gratification scheme. Of course it was the rejection of the be-here-now philosophy that helped us get through college without having to drop out for pregnancy, which was a lot harder to prevent in those days or fall into chemical dependency.

    But once you have developed the mental mind set to escape the tune in, turn on, drop out trap, do you face an entire lifetime of waiting for the future?

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