Loving the World-as-it-is

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” James Baldwin


Photo by Robin D’Oench. 2012 New York City.

Katherine Thanas’ helpful words were to “love the world as it is.” This is a herculean task given the enormous suffering all around us. Indeed, suffering may sometimes be too general a dharma term, like a catch-all phrase, that can lose some of it meaning. A keyword like “suffering” pulls together universal aspects of being human like sickness, old age, and death alongside with long in the making historical and society-level patterns of inequality, war, genocide, climate change. When and why might it be important to differentiate the suffering of old age and death from a pogrom or white supremacy?

The sociologist in me believes the life-world of an individual is always shaped by historical forces, context, and culture.

To love the-world-as-it-is means we must first see the-world-as-it-is. Being a zen practitioner in the 21st century asks me to think aloud of such things.

Joseph HallDanaComment