The real suck-o part about being an atheist who goes to a Catholic college is all the damn religion…classes.

Actually, I don’t mind the so much as long as they are not Christian-based. So I am taking Buddhism to fulfill one of my “god” requirements. And I know it’s only the second week of class and a horde of religion scholars are bound to chew me out for this, but I am going to sum Buddhism, comparatively, in one sentence:

Buddhism is a cult of guilt that puts all Catholic and Jewish mothers to shame.

In short: life is a vicious cycle of guilt to be repeated over and over, and trust me, it’s a mother-effer.

With Catholics it’s a pretty straight up and down business deal: do something bad and confess, eff up bad enough and you go to Hell, do okay and you go to Heaven, get stuck in the in between and it’s Limbo or Purgatory.

Jews don’t believe in a heaven or a hell, so all your guilt is contained to this lifetime and, if you fast for one day and say your sorry, and you really, really mean it, your forgiven…beat that….

With Buddhists, however, it’s all in the intent. You desire something not kosher, you act on said non-kosher desire, and you get smacked something awful with karma whereby you go through all the horror that is adolescence again, and again, again, and again…that is, if you are lucky enough to return as something other than microbe on piece of dung.

Seriously, if I am going to be judged on intention alone, I might as well not even bother to leave the starting gate because I already know I’m coming back as a gnat.

Boy, I’d make one lousy ass Buddhist let me tell you. To become enlightened is to live without desire and to live without desire and how awful is that? It’s good to want. I wholly believe that. And desire? I’ll concede that some desire does cause suffering but all desire? Damn, how is a life without desire worth living? Desire is the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

Desire. Anticipation. Want. Craving. Hunger. Ravenousness.

Hell, wanting the cake, desiring the kiss, hunger for the man, craving coffee, anticipation of the result…if that is suffering, I’ll take it. I love those moments. When everything in your body becomes a live-wire. When everything in life hinges on that outcome. When waiting for the outcome becomes the still point of the turning world…love it. Maybe it’s hedonistic, maybe it is gluttonistic (aren’t those Christian terms anyway?).

And for the record, even though sometimes the cake sucks, the kiss is sloppy, the man is a douchebag, the coffee is cold, and the result you were waiting for crushes your soul and changes your life, the moment of the desire was still good. The desire did not disappoint me, just the outcome did….and you won’t convince me otherwise.

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