I fully admit that I have a very non-traditional view of the universe. For example, a while back one of my significant others and I got into a study of mysticism and theology. Eventually she went her way and I went mine but not before I really got hooked on a number of principles of spiritualism which I have carried with me ever since.
One such principle is this idea of the differences between Love, Lust, and Joy and that the idea of true enlightenment is really when one can experience the joy of the moment without attachment. To be at peace within oneself and the contentment and compassion it engenders the soul with. That is a very very hard thing to do because we almost always bring some form of attachment to our relationships.
So what the heck brought this on … well, ya gotta love twitter because on occasion you get the rare thing that really sort of tickles your funny bone such as Bunny Buddhism.
In this case – it was today’s posting that got me thinking about all this stuff again.
Bunniness means choosing to love whatever gets in our way
until it ceases to be an obstacle.
Now the universal wisdom of bunniness not withstanding, this just struck me as wrong until I started reading all the other bunniness that was going on. See the fundamental problem I have is this – Bunniness should mean choosing to find joy in whatever gets in our way regardless of whether it is an obstacle.
To love something implies an attachment which is contingent on a positive affirmation between you and the object of your desire. The idea that love conquers all is simply another way of saying if you can’t beat’em, join’em or make’em join you. Love is predicated on the idea of presence, in the absence of which love does not exist. It is replaced by sadness, anger, want, desire, ice cream. Love engenders our feelings towards other objects.
Joy doesn’t and as a result it is a bit harder to define because, in general, we either are in a moment of joy with our surroundings or we are attached to them. In a very real sense Love is the opposite of Joy. This seems counter intuitive until you realize that Love is simple one of a class of conscious states which together make up Joy’s opposite including those emotions I previously mentioned.
What is important about Joy is that there is no obstacle. It doesn’t exist. There is simple you and whatever this thing is that is blocking your path. Joy is an understanding and appreciation for the nature of that object without attachment to its significance or meaning.
Think of it this way – it is easy enough to think you are experience Joy if you are doing something earthy like lying on a beach, hugging a tree, or putting your hand on the cold stone of a quarry. There is a point of relaxation and almost minimal mental energy that accompanies the experience. And to a large degree once you have left those places we can almost imagine that there is little to no attachment to the experience – it simply was.
Now – picture being on the incoming end of what is about to transpire after this little conversation:
“Doc” Schweitzer: Flintlocke, if we have a big giant cannon, why don’t we just shoot … a cannonball?
Fargo Flintlocke: Bah, predictable! They’ll see it comin’! But once ol’ Bittermen here blasts through their bulkhead in a hail of splintered wood, blood, and phlegm then starts crawlin’ across the deck with both legs broken, oh aye, they’ll not see THAT comin’ by a sweet mile, no sir!
This isn’t exactly the classic argument but in general if you can experience Joy in the moment of the incoming Bitterman-Cannonball without attachment to its meaning or significance – you are probably well on your way to being enlightened.
Whether we are talking Buddhists or Bunnyists there is an aspect of Joy in everything we do whether we are having a good laugh, a good cry, a good brawl, or a good snogging. It is a level above in terms of our awareness of ourselves and where we exist in the universe. It doesn’t require that we give up our emotional and physical connectedness to the world around us. Rather that we see it for what it is. In so doing have a better appreciation for the pent-up potential inherent in every obstacle around us.
Does that make me a good buddhist bunny – probably not because obviously I’ve developed an attachment to fact that we shouldn’t have to love an obstacle into submission. Oh well – there is always ice cream.
— Kevin Feenan