Warning Lights

Just why are those people flashing their lights? At me. Driving along this morning, the oncoming cars, the drivers, were flashing their lights. Something wrong with the car? Do I need to stop and see if something is flapping, or dragging along the ground? Something worrisome about the car I can’t see, but they can. There is something going on here. They are saying something, but what?

When something like this happens, drivers communicating something the tendency is to slow down and wonder and be warned. And that was precisely it. The message was SLOW DOWN there is a police vehicle up ahead with a speed camera aboard. Slow down or you will get a ticket! This all set me pondering the whole business of regulation generally. Not to mention the preceptual implications of warning other drivers about speed traps. I smiled inwardly because the police presence may not have caught anybody speeding but it did caused drivers to regulating each others speed. And that, after all, is the point of the police presence. To discourage drivers breaking the rule of the road.

My late father would become very animated when he saw signs on the side of the road announcing speed cameras. He was convinced they were not cameras at all, just dummy cameras. He didn’t like to be regulated like that. He felt it was regulation through deception. And I can see his point. Thankfully he didn’t speed up when he saw such signs!

I heard about a silent retreat where the participants agreed between themselves not to talk to each other. Sounds so simple. How else is silence to be maintained and held to if there is not mutual agreement to BE silent? This is self regulation. And that for the most part is how the sangha functions. Self regulation, guided by Preceptual truth.

My last thought: were those deceptive dummy cameras my father saw? Or was he deceiving himself? Love that dad.

This is for a regular reader, and her father just recently deceased.

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2 thoughts on “Warning Lights”

  1. Seems to be a lot of parallels to training. First we regulate ourselves to avoid the consequence of non-regulation. Then we regulate ourselves to help others. Eventually, we regulate ourselves because it is the easier, natural way to go through life and it really isn’t regulation, just easier and more joyful, not only in the long run, but also in the present.
    I realize that the path is not as easy or facile as described above, but generally speaking the “metaphor” holds up.

  2. I was wondering if I was making any sense at all at the end of writing this post. So I am glad you saw something of what I was pointing to. Thanks so much Helmut. Writing late is not the best time but often that’s the time I have.

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