I'll Never be a Saint

One of the character traits I'll continue to keep battling, regardless of how many lives I live, is indignance, which actually boils down to ego, which in turn boils down to fear. It doesn't matter how I try to combat it, or for how many years, it pops up its nasty little head every time I feel slighted, not taken seriously, scolded, or mocked. Meditation helps for a while, but I'm just not one of those serene types who can spend hours in it in an attempt to keep the real world at bay. I used to think that I could be like those who appear to live in a New Age trance enjoying the vegan lifestyle and somehow being above mere mortals, but I quickly discovered that I didn't want to live like that...

But I've gotten a bit off-topic here. I really wanted to talk about the hell day that was yesterday. It was one of those that started off badly and only got worse. Then I got unfairly jumped on by someone I've always admired. It hurt my feelings and that's where my indignance jumped in. In an effort to turn my hurt into something positive, I read an essay Paramahansa Yogananda wrote about getting one's feelings hurt, and how to shut that off.

I love Yoganandaji. In the early 80s I studied his teachings and was initiated into his Self-Realization Fellowship. George Harrison was a member, as well as Dennis Weaver, who spoke once a month at Lake Shrine, where George's funeral service was held. I learned a lot of good things from the SRF, but I didn't keep up with it, although it continues to call to me. As a hedonist it's impossible for me to be Zen about anything either, or any of those other Hippie chic things that I used to work so hard at. As Al Stewart said in his hit, If It Doesn't Come Naturally, Leave It.

So I'm telling all of you "Do-Gooders" who feel the need to preach at me:
  • I like being human. I didn't come into life to deny it and refuse to enjoy its fullness. There's plenty of time for denying my humanity after I leave it.
  • I don't like soy products. They're not good for you, besides.
  • I don't believe in homeopathy.
  • I like meat and I have no problem eating it.
  • I enjoy my beer and my wine, and yes, I like a good buzz.
  • I refuse to spend my time on this planet feeling like I don't belong here. I am of the earth; I'm not some nebulous vapor floating around inside of some sadhu's begging bowl.
  • I'm in charge of my own karma, damn it, not you, and I'll deal with it myself.
  • I get sick of every.little.thing being a moral issue. YOUR moral issue.
  • I'm not a child.
  • My cholesterol levels are my business. If I give myself a heart attack, that's my business.
  • No one here gets out alive so I choose to live till I die, not live in a constant state of fear of dying.
  • I really don't want to wear fur, but I do defend my right to make that choice for myself.
  • My soul is my business; I don't remember you being set up as my Holy Spirit.
  • If you're so bloody spiritual, why are you so judgmental and insensitive?
  • If you really dislike it that much, don't look.
Part of my getting older is learning to accept myself just as I am, to realize that as noble and lofty my personal and spiritual aspirations were when I was young, they weren't that as much as they were an effort to invent myself. That, I think, is true wisdom that comes with age. I'll close this with one of my favorite quotes.
"I'm not Ted Nugent. My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature. I would never hunt. I would never wear fur. I would never go to a bullfight. I'm not really a meat and potatoes guy. But the world is a big place, and this sort of nonsense smacks of elitism, contempt, and fear — and those are all things I struggle against." Anthony Bourdain