Friday, October 22, 2004

On the Age of Corruption story line - I thought of a story in an old magazine - maybe Shambhala Sun from a few years back - about Thomas Merton's last and only trip to Asia, where he died from electrocution - an electric fan or some such thing. On that trip he met the young Chogyam Trungpa, as I remember reading it, and there they discussed the falling-apart of the monastic traditions, both Buddhist and Christian. Their conclusion was that it was, now, "every monk for himself." Not "for himself" in the sense of looking exclusively for his or her own interests, but more on his own, without a monastic structure within which to work. I think this correlates with my feelings about what's going on in the larger world: the institutions which we have relied upon are failing us badly. And now, and to an increasing degree most likely, we're on our own, and will have to form our own institutions and groups and partners from the ground up. Not a bad thing. Not easy, but not bad.

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