Warning!! This post is a call to faith. If you have a problem with that term try replacing it with trust and leave out a subject or object of trust. See how you do with that. And read on or not as you feel is good.
Buttercup field under a looming sky, Throssel.
In an email just now I wrote of the vainglory of the future and then wondered if I’d used the term appropriately. This quote seems to fit my usage.
Vainglory and curiosity are the two scourges of our soul. The latter leads us to thrust our noses into everything, and the former forbids us to leave anything unresolved and undecided.
-Michel de Montaigne
It fits my usage rather well in actual fact since I was talking to somebody who was, with very good reason, curious about the future and had been doing a goodly bit of on-line research. We all want to be able to predict outcome especially when the outcome does not look so rosy. A potential outcome that is dark. But need that stop us doing our research? I think not. The test is whether or not one is able to then set aside what one has found. Put it on the altar of our hearts, or our physical altar for that matter. This can be done and if on the way to ones altar there are low moments, desperately low moments, then so be it. The light on the altar never goes out no matter what. And can be always found, or even rediscovered, because of that eternal light.
I was talking to somebody yesterday about placing a life situation close to her on the altar and she said, I don’t think there is any more room! Which turned the conversation towards pondering on fundamental emptiness or immaculacy. You could say the fundamental enlightened nature of all existence. There being nothing to add nor taken away from anyone or anything at any time. However to hear that teaching is unlikely to help anybody when they hurt, badly. Not at the time anyway. When the storms are past is more likely to be the time when this teaching and others become true and known deep down.
But as our conversation continued on the phone yesterday I asked, You know that non of this can harm you, the fundamental part of you, don’t you. Her response? A knowing Yes. Yes, our fundamental enlightenment is not a secret kept from us until such time when we get it. Nope not at all. Projecting into the future is vainglory because it misses the shining moment. But don’t let’s allow time back into the equation!
The question is, what or who or where do you go to when the chips are down? There are many twists and turns on the path that brings us back to the altar of our own hearts. Compassion and acceptance are the watch words.
Now I had better get on and cook a meal.
6 thoughts on “Vainglory”
Whoa! That post got me sitting upright and singing. And I don’t feel the need to say more than that….
In gassho, Jim
the post grabbed you Jim.
I had to read the quote several times. What a very succinct description of the exact state one can get into. I actually laughed out loud after several reads! Thanks Rev. Mugo.
Not so long ago I began to put items on my home altar, could be gifts I am waiting to give someone, difficult forms I need to complete, letters from the hospital etc. I found a bobbin of thread in an unexpected place which was from my grandad who worked in a bobbin factory in Peterlee, who died about 15 years ago. So I had that on the altar for a while.
The turmoil associated with these things that go on the altar can be quite deep and much more so than I originally expect when the objects are placed there. But it is a very clear commitment to face the emotions and ideas which come up and sit with these things in clear sight as I meditate.
What you have written here is exactly the point. Of how one ‘uses’ an altar in ones practice. Thank you so much.
Yes, I had to smile broadly when I too had read the quote several times. My thought was, is this really saying what I think this is saying. And it was! Glad it made you laugh. What ever it takes ay?