THE CONTAINER AND THE CONTENT

A local journalist called and asked me “ What would you do, Ajahn Brahm, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet?”
Without hesitation I answered “Sir, if someone took a Buddhist Holy Book and flushed it down the toilet, the first thing I would do is call a plumber!”
When the journalist finished laughing, he confided in me that that was the most sensible answer he had heard.
Source | Ajahn Brahm, Good? Bad? Who Knows?
CONSIDER THIS
You may flush a Holy Book down a toilet, but you will never flush forgiveness, peace and compassion – traits and characteristics that healthy religions, faith traditions and philosophies of life are made of – down a toilet.
Remember that the book is never the religion, nor is the statue, the building or the priest. These are only “containers.”
What does the book teach us? What does the statue represent? What qualities are the priests supposed to embody? This is the “content”.
When we recognize the difference between the container and the contents, then we will preserve the contents even when the container is being destroyed.
We can print more books, build more temples and statues and even train more monks and nuns, but when we lose our love and respect for others and ourselves and replace it with violence, then the whole religion has gone down the toilet.

THE MOON IN THE LAKE

A drunk was staggering across a bridge one night when he ran into a friend. The two of them leaned over the bridge and began chatting for a while.

“What’s that down there?” asked the drunk suddenly.

“That’s the moon,” said his friend.

The drunk looked again, shook his head in disbelief and said, “Okay, okay. But how the hell did I get way up here?”

__________

We almost never see reality. What we see is a reflection of it in the form of words and concepts which we then proceed to take for reality. The world we live in is mostly a mental construct. People feed on words, live by words, would fall apart without them.

Source  | Anthony de MelloTaking Flight
(Image, 1990) page 66

DOES YOUR GOD WORK MIRACLES?

Once upon a time, a seeker went from land to land to discover an authentic religion. Finally, the seeker found a group of extraordinary fame. They were known for the goodness of their lives and for the singleness of their hearts and for the sincerity of their service.

“I see everything you do,” the seeker said, “and I’m impressed by it. But, before I become your disciple, I have a question to ask: Does your God work miracles?”

“Well,” the disciples said to the seeker, “it all depends on what you mean by a miracle. Some people call it a miracle when God does the will of people. We call it a miracle when people do the will of God.”

Source | Joan Chittister, Transfiguration Story
Magazine article from National Catholic Reporter, Vol. 37, No. 18

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • How would you describe or define a miracle?
  • How would you describe or define the phrase “will of God”?