2.20.2006

excerpt from Lamb - don't sue me

after Joshua (a/k/a Jesus) achieved enlightenment, he became invisible, and said he would not return to the corporeal form. the monastic master Gaspar, slightly panicked, summoned him and his companion Biff (the narrator of tfhe book) to a meeting.

"Joshua," Gaspar said, "do you know what a bodhisattva is?"

"No, master, I don't."


"Gautama Buddha was a bodhisattva. The twenty-seven patriarchs since Gautama Buddha were also bodhisattvas. Some say that I, myself, am a bodhisattva, but the claim is not mine."


"There are no Buddhas," said Joshua.


"Indeed," said Gaspar, "but when one reaches the place of Buddhahood and realizes that there is no Buddha because everything is Buddha, when one reaches enlightenment, but makes a decision that he will not evolve to nirvana until all sentient beings have preceded him there, then he is a bodhisattva. A savior. A bodhisattva, by making this decision, grasps the only thing that can ever be grasped: compassion for the suffering of his fellow humans. Do you understand?"


"I think so," said Joshua. "But the decision to become a bodhisattva sounds like an act of ego, a denial of enlightenment."


"Indeed it is, Joshua. It is an act of self-love."


"Are you asking me to become a bodhisattva?"


"If I were to say to you, love your neighbor as you love yourself, would I be telling you to be selfish?"


There was a silence for a moment, and as I looked at the place where Joshua's voice was originating, he gradually started to become visible again. "No," said Joshua.


"Why?" asked Gaspar.


"Love thy neighbor as thou lovest thyself" - and here there was a long pause when I could imagine Joshua looking to the sky for an answer, as he so often did, then: "for he is thee, and thou art he, and everything that is ever worth loving is everything." Joshua solidified before our eyes, fully dressed, looking no worse for the wear.


Gaspar smiled and those extra years that he had been carrying on his face seemed to fade away. There was a peace in his apsect and for a moment he could have been as young as we were. "That is correct, Joshua, You are truly an enlightened being."


"I will be a bodhisattva to my people," Joshua said.

"Good, now go shave the yak," said Gaspar.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you like Christopher Moore and want something a bit silly you should give Fluke a try.

4:51 PM  
Blogger aingeal is said...

oui, i bought every single book i could find written by him. i didn't even do that for haruki or italo!!

11:17 PM  

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