The question seemed to come out of nowhere. Texas Buddha had been pulling weeds with his friend the Reverend Clovis Jones when, suddenly, the good reverend blurted out, “So, what do you believe?”
Realizing Reverend Jones had been stewing on the question for some time, TB Stopped his work. He rested on his hand and knees for a moment. He watched a drop of sweat fall to the ground. Finally, he answered, “I do not seek belief but awareness.”
“But what is your creed?”
“I do not know.”
Clovis returned to his work. Half kidding, he muttered, “I’ve heard that a person who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
TB also returned to pulling weeds. “And I’ve heard you cannot see through another’s eyes.”
Clovis said in all earnestness, “When I recite a creed I feel I am stating the truth of my religion.”
“Just be careful my friend.” TB returned, “Even something true becomes a lie if repeated too often.”
I don’t quite understand the last line. In what sense does repeating a truth make it a lie?
Bob, I see the statement true in several senses. The world is changing, so yesterday’s “truth” may no longer jive with today’s reality. But also, when we think of truth as immediate experience of some aspect of reality, our thinking about the world can take us further and further from actual contact with it. As we rehearse our old understandings we may be moving further and further from actual communion with anything real and more and more into our imaginings which have a life of their own. Medieval scholasticism is an example of what I mean. Their beliefs about the world often eclipsed their experience of same.
I think it is possible if things are said too often for them to seem banal and trite and stripped of the depth of their meaning. However, I wonder if the problem is saying them too often in the *same* way rather than not saying them freshly.
Holly, nicely said. It’s going on autopilot that makes them a problem.
Thanks for the explanation.
Bob Jarvis, 5/9/13, 23:30 CDT