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  • Writer's pictureLama Jigme Gyatso

Stress, Buddha, and Literalism

“This is some victim blaming, patriarchal, bull shit!” roared Fran; chest heaving and tears welling.

“What is?” asked Velma.

“My fucking humanities teacher is making us read the four truths, and the second one claims that we suffer because we crave. That is some fucked up shit! Janice wasn’t sexually assaulted because she desired the wrong thing! My brother wasn’t born crippled because he was greedy!”

“You’re right, he does suck. He should have explained that humans evolved to think symbolically, how all language is prone to figures of speech, and that is true for novels, as well as philosophy.”

“Yeah?” Fran responded.

“Dim bulb should have explained, how our stressors are made worse by our survival instincts; the ones that make us shove, reach, cling, and scheme. The seat of those drives is older than our over-brain, and undermines its intentions.”

“I don’t get it.” sighed Fran.

“It’s like Darth Vader. He’s strong, and resourceful, and very bad ass, but can you imagine him on a date, holding hands?”

“Naw, he’s too hard for that.”

“Yeah, his heart is a crater where love and peace are missing. All he has is cunning, vigilance, and fierceness.”

“Yeah, but if our survival instincts make sucky things worse then we’re boned, right?”

“Well, actually” prefaced Velma (tapping into her inner Poindexter) “our job isn’t to stop having drives, or even feeling them…”

“Then what is it?” demanded Fran.

“We defy them, just like the rebellion. Only instead of X-wings and light sabers we use meditation, contemplation, and kindness.”

“Fuck! Why didn’t he explain that?”

“He’s a shit head.”

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