Whoever, clear-minded, knows me
as the Ultimate Person, knows
all that is truly worth knowing,
and loves me with all his heart.
Thus, Arjuna, I have taught you
this most secret doctrine; whoever
learns it, is wise, and has done
all that there is to do.
Bhagavad Gita 15.12-20
I read this passage of the Bhagavad Gita in the morning and it made me cry. Why, I don’t know, but it did. Maybe because it just seems so simple while I seem to make everything just as complicated as it can be. I’m still the sixth grader who could turn any routine school project into a multi-level medieval castle with a moat and working drawbridge. Out of toothpicks.
The Svetavatara Upanishad says “Beyond It, truly, there is nothing else to be known.” If something in that simple statement resonates so profoundly with me, why can I just stop right here? But I can’t.
With religious wars and wars of culture and belief conducted by people who say their beliefs leave them no choice, my personal beliefs just don’t begin to answer the questions I have. This isn’t just about what I believe but about what others believe, what others say leads them to do what they do. So long as I have no actual or gut knowledge I’m going to have to take at face value what the actors or the critics of the actors say. I am no longer willing to do that.
But I do wish I was someone else sometimes.
(12 October 2006)