I don’t call myself “a Buddhist” anymore. I was compelled to embark on a secular pursuit of morality and life due to many reasons, some deep, some shallow, I will now tread on the shallow end of the waters for a while.
It is expected of a Buddhist to refrain from killing and lying – I lie and encourage killing, the hypocrisy and the self-deception that mainstream Buddhists dwell on, claiming that “I am not morally obliged to refrain from consuming the flesh of an animal that wasn’t killed specifically for me” is a disgrace to common sense and logic – being aware of the free market theory of demand and supply – all such self-deceiving Buddhists contribute to thousands of animals slaughtered a day, I won’t waste my time pondering on the moral supremacy of a vegetarian, but at least I don’t lie to myself each dawn that I shall not kill.
And then, lying – I lie- in fact that was mandatory to get into a popular college. I lie for both fair and unfair reasons. It’s difficult to survive in this rat’s maze unless. But the worst sort – of the most counterproductive – petty sort of lie is to deceive yourself – by a self-promise “I shall refrain from lying”.
But at least I am comfortable in the knowledge that I won’t lie to kill or harm, and never would I kill for religion, someday a very emotional pivotal shift might make me a vegetarian – there is always that possibility – but till then – I won’t lie about it.
It’s a ghastly scorched planet out there; where lady desire strips you out of your innocence, where the illusive allure of worldly wealth seduces you into running a rats’ race against those of identical fate, where the scorching emotion of self-preservation evaporates all moisture out of you, and at a certain point, people, religion leaves you unprompted- it happens, it really does, it is that we are made such – weak willed by nature, yet forced to withstand – religion the artificial guide, leaves you. And you take it for granted, to carry its nominal weight instead – for shame!
The real test is one of integrity, your own integrity, and your self-conceived morality – that is rooted so deep, never wilts. Quite ironically, in most cases where it does, religion happens to be the culprit.
I could build on this principle and leave my future offspring’s religion blank, leave it for him to decide once he’s grown up. He will hobble off to school with his backpack, and the so called “religious” will confront him, they will call him an imbecile, an infidel, a disgrace, they will torment him, trod on his tender ego before sending him home with a message pinned to his flesh “You forgot to tag this one asshole!”
How could I, through his tears, explain to him my principles that I hold so close to me? Principles he can’t possibly comprehend, how could I get away with telling him, when the time comes, he will have to decide ? How could I protect him with my integrity intact? Impossible – I shall have to wipe his tears off and teach him his first lie.
“Son, Tell them that you are a Buddhist.”
Religion has made us so that life begins with such separation and fallacy.
Article by – Vajira Sooriyarachchi