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There's sitting at the feet of . . .
Someone whom I appreciate has repeatedly talked about "sitting at the feet of" two mentors. I heard her say that several times before it hit me: this feels like an underlying difference between us. I have the sense that I could never have sat at the feet of. I investigate, explore, ask questions.
Jesus, the Buddha, etc.
Not right for me.
My way is, far more,
to investigate, explore, question.
What feels right to you?
For instance: this person has a list of books she most values, so I'm reading one of them. She sat and studied at the feet of the author for two years. Within a few pages, he declares that everything is always perfect, just incomplete.
My response. Right, the Holocaust, the pinnacle of perfection - not!! That is not how I experience and know life.
That doesn't mean I throw out everything this author says - just that I question, explore. What fits with my experience of life? What (if anything) adds to my perceptions? And what does not fit - in fact, what goes counter to them?
My approach has led to a lot of sorting through what comes to me, and to developing understandings that may differ in major ways from what I come across.
I know that the person whom I appreciate also questions. She speaks, not only of sitting at the feet of, but of initially questioning teachings she goes on to accept. I can relate to that.
Maybe it's just that I haven't found anyone I've felt drawn to sit and study at the feet of.
I certainly have studied, and have appreciated many things.
Time passes and another thought comes. I think it's a natural human longing to have someone one wants to sit at the feet of. That can offer something that feels solid in this not-easy world.
On the other hand,
it doesn't fit, for me, to be a follower, an acolyte.
But I understand the pull.
I've thought I've had certainties - and then, more uncertainties, further information.
Two expressions, close and yet far apart: at the foot of, and at the feet of. At the foot of - as in, "at the foot of a mountain one intends to climb." At the feet of -
as in, "a student at the feet of someone with great wisdom one wants to imbibe."
There's a book title that comes to mind: If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him." That's a bit drastic for me. I utterly agree with: Don't accept without questioning. Stay open to further information, other understandings, including radically different understandings.
Yet I do have certainties. I remember strong inner certainties, from early on - like about boy-girl equality.
It's interesting, finding one's way, given all the contradictory information coming at us, combined with our inner voices.
All the best to all of us,
December 12, 2018
Sitting at the feet of . . .
Jesus, Buddha, anybody at all . . .
is not my style.
If you meet the Buddha
on the road, kill him.
What about you?
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