If I Do It, It Is Holy

Whatever a great man does is good because, well, he's great.  Sound familiar from our contemporary politics?  The same principle is found in Indian spirituality: whatever the guru does is holy because he is the guru.  He is not good because of what he does, but instead what he does is good because he is good.  His behavior may appear immoral, unethical, or even illegal, but that is because our consciousness is too impure to evaluate the actions of the holy man.  Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them," but for the seeker of enlightenment, the task of separating the false prophets from the true has nothing to do with evaluating a candidate guru's fruits.  No, the seeker's task is to find a perfect master, follow his behests blindly, and accept all he does no matter how inimical it may appear.

And how is the seeker to know who is a saint? Usually the master is too modest to do more than drop sly hints about his (or her) divine status.  It is left to surrogates to assure all who will listen that the master is perfect.  The potential for, shall we say, mischief in such a system is obvious.

In an oft-repeated parable, a master tells his disciple to build a hut.  When the structure is almost finished, the master inspects the work and tells the disciple to tear it down and rebuild facing the other direction.  The disciple obeys and is just putting the final touches on it when the master says no, dismantle it and rebuild it facing that way.  In some versions, this goes on repeatedly until the master orders the whole edifice destroyed.  A contemporary version of the story can be found here.

All such actions are simply to help the disciple develop the surrender needed to go beyond his mind. Amma says that the nature of the Supreme is not bound by reason or logic. Likewise, the Guru, whose sole purpose is to guide us to that Truth beyond, cannot be bound by reason or logic either. In Awaken, Children! Amma says, "Don't try to judge the Master with your intellect. Your understanding of him is bound to be completely wrong.

Because you dwell in the mind, and your habits and tendencies are very strong, you will insist on trying to solve the mystery of the Master's ‘strange moods' through logic and reasoning. But you will fail to understand until, at last, it will be revealed to you that the Master cannot be understood through the mind or intellect. You will realise that faith alone is the way."

To take a less homely example, not so many years ago, an Indian guru instructed one of his disciples to take a briefcase full of cash from Spain to Switzerland.  The man was stopped at the border and, Spain having strict currency controls at the time, clapped into jail.  Did the guru do wrong, much less have to apologize?  Of course not: his exalted level of consciousness justified everything he did.  Everything.  In fact, the disciple received a blessing, for jail time burnt off his karma more quickly.

A thousand instances could be adduced of such "holiness."  The essence of the system is that right and wrong depend not on the outcomes for real people in the real world, but on the level of consciousness of the actor: a saint can do no wrong.  (For an engrossing case study, see The Gandhi Nobody Knows.)

What does this have to do with the Obama administration?  Victor Davis Hanson has done an admirable job (most recently here) of chronicling how Mr. Obama has continued or expanded countless aspects of the evil, Constitution-shredding practices of the Bush Terror without so much as an excuse-me:

[Obama] spent a near decade, from 2001 to 2009, pontificating on the illegality or superfluousness of the Patriot Act, renditions, tribunals, Predators, Guantanamo, and overseas wars, and then as president embraced or even expanded all of them - with not a word of remorse that his earlier demagoguing might have done great harm both to the efficacy of the programs and to the reputations of those involved in them, as well as to his country's image abroad. I suppose we are all Orwell's farm animals now, mystified but quiet as we wake to see the commandments on the barnyard wall crossed out and written over.

Disciples of The One must conclude, if they think about these matters at all, that when Bush did these things, they were evil because Bush was Evil, but when Obama continues or expands them, they are good because Obama is Good.  To update the banality from Love Story, Being Obama means never having to say you're sorry.

Now comes news that the administration is reinstating the so-called death panels dropped from ObamaCare.  And that is good because Bush did it!  I'm really getting confused.

The White House on Sunday said the new Medicare directive, reported Sunday by the New York Times, doesn't constitute a resurrection of the original health-care-bill language. It said the George W. Bush administration had already put in place guidelines allowing for Medicare to pay for end-of-life consultations.

More disturbing, however, is the stealth manner in which Medicare tried to bury the change and in which a Democrat congressman boasted about this victory to supporters while trying to keep it hidden from opponents:

The office of Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, the author of the original rider who then lobbied Medicare to cover the service, sent an email to supporters cheering this "victory" but asked that they not tell anyone for fear of perpetuating "the 'death panel' myth." The email added that "Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch."

Well, Mr. Blumenauer, you won't have to keep close watch any longer, because the word is out.  How, in the age of the internet, could you possibly hope to e-mail such news to your supporters and expect it to remain secret?  For the record, I happen to believe that such counseling may be a good thing.  But as the Wall Street Journal observes, "[t]he regulatory process isn't supposed to be a black-ops exercise, but expect many more such nontransparent improvisations under the vast powers ObamaCare handed the executive branch."  Stopping such black-ops exercises would be change I could believe in.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at sign]gmail.com.
Whatever a great man does is good because, well, he's great.  Sound familiar from our contemporary politics?  The same principle is found in Indian spirituality: whatever the guru does is holy because he is the guru.  He is not good because of what he does, but instead what he does is good because he is good.  His behavior may appear immoral, unethical, or even illegal, but that is because our consciousness is too impure to evaluate the actions of the holy man.  Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them," but for the seeker of enlightenment, the task of separating the false prophets from the true has nothing to do with evaluating a candidate guru's fruits.  No, the seeker's task is to find a perfect master, follow his behests blindly, and accept all he does no matter how inimical it may appear.

And how is the seeker to know who is a saint? Usually the master is too modest to do more than drop sly hints about his (or her) divine status.  It is left to surrogates to assure all who will listen that the master is perfect.  The potential for, shall we say, mischief in such a system is obvious.

In an oft-repeated parable, a master tells his disciple to build a hut.  When the structure is almost finished, the master inspects the work and tells the disciple to tear it down and rebuild facing the other direction.  The disciple obeys and is just putting the final touches on it when the master says no, dismantle it and rebuild it facing that way.  In some versions, this goes on repeatedly until the master orders the whole edifice destroyed.  A contemporary version of the story can be found here.

All such actions are simply to help the disciple develop the surrender needed to go beyond his mind. Amma says that the nature of the Supreme is not bound by reason or logic. Likewise, the Guru, whose sole purpose is to guide us to that Truth beyond, cannot be bound by reason or logic either. In Awaken, Children! Amma says, "Don't try to judge the Master with your intellect. Your understanding of him is bound to be completely wrong.

Because you dwell in the mind, and your habits and tendencies are very strong, you will insist on trying to solve the mystery of the Master's ‘strange moods' through logic and reasoning. But you will fail to understand until, at last, it will be revealed to you that the Master cannot be understood through the mind or intellect. You will realise that faith alone is the way."

To take a less homely example, not so many years ago, an Indian guru instructed one of his disciples to take a briefcase full of cash from Spain to Switzerland.  The man was stopped at the border and, Spain having strict currency controls at the time, clapped into jail.  Did the guru do wrong, much less have to apologize?  Of course not: his exalted level of consciousness justified everything he did.  Everything.  In fact, the disciple received a blessing, for jail time burnt off his karma more quickly.

A thousand instances could be adduced of such "holiness."  The essence of the system is that right and wrong depend not on the outcomes for real people in the real world, but on the level of consciousness of the actor: a saint can do no wrong.  (For an engrossing case study, see The Gandhi Nobody Knows.)

What does this have to do with the Obama administration?  Victor Davis Hanson has done an admirable job (most recently here) of chronicling how Mr. Obama has continued or expanded countless aspects of the evil, Constitution-shredding practices of the Bush Terror without so much as an excuse-me:

[Obama] spent a near decade, from 2001 to 2009, pontificating on the illegality or superfluousness of the Patriot Act, renditions, tribunals, Predators, Guantanamo, and overseas wars, and then as president embraced or even expanded all of them - with not a word of remorse that his earlier demagoguing might have done great harm both to the efficacy of the programs and to the reputations of those involved in them, as well as to his country's image abroad. I suppose we are all Orwell's farm animals now, mystified but quiet as we wake to see the commandments on the barnyard wall crossed out and written over.

Disciples of The One must conclude, if they think about these matters at all, that when Bush did these things, they were evil because Bush was Evil, but when Obama continues or expands them, they are good because Obama is Good.  To update the banality from Love Story, Being Obama means never having to say you're sorry.

Now comes news that the administration is reinstating the so-called death panels dropped from ObamaCare.  And that is good because Bush did it!  I'm really getting confused.

The White House on Sunday said the new Medicare directive, reported Sunday by the New York Times, doesn't constitute a resurrection of the original health-care-bill language. It said the George W. Bush administration had already put in place guidelines allowing for Medicare to pay for end-of-life consultations.

More disturbing, however, is the stealth manner in which Medicare tried to bury the change and in which a Democrat congressman boasted about this victory to supporters while trying to keep it hidden from opponents:

The office of Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, the author of the original rider who then lobbied Medicare to cover the service, sent an email to supporters cheering this "victory" but asked that they not tell anyone for fear of perpetuating "the 'death panel' myth." The email added that "Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch."

Well, Mr. Blumenauer, you won't have to keep close watch any longer, because the word is out.  How, in the age of the internet, could you possibly hope to e-mail such news to your supporters and expect it to remain secret?  For the record, I happen to believe that such counseling may be a good thing.  But as the Wall Street Journal observes, "[t]he regulatory process isn't supposed to be a black-ops exercise, but expect many more such nontransparent improvisations under the vast powers ObamaCare handed the executive branch."  Stopping such black-ops exercises would be change I could believe in.

Henry Percy is the nom de guerre for a technical writer living in Arizona.  He may be reached at saler.50d[at sign]gmail.com.

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