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October 22nd 2009

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    It is a wealthy and devoted follower of Jainism that maintains an untouchable to sweep the path before each footfall so no insect might be crushed and killed while this pious man enjoys a late afternoon stroll.   

    This image may well be in the apocrypha of my western imagination.  But I can see a real Jainist monk with his yard and a half of cloth holding part of it to his mouth so as not to accidently kill by ingesting an insect.  He is holding the palm of one hand out for food, and those who give to him will gain advantage in the passage of souls.

    This was the idea I put in place last night, so as to recover from a nightmare reproduced in me as a consequence, I guess, of my fuming at C-span while glazing vases.

    The nightmare included an election process that had won Dick Armey the highest office.  He was president of the United States.  And he had dispatched teams of volunteers throughout his empire to cajole us into building pyramids, while he locked himself in the White House to eat burgers and freedom fries.

 

 

    Nervously I waited, watching the driveway.  Volunteers arrived at last in a small vehicle.  They wore grey suits, white shirts and red ties, and they all had the dreaming eyes of drunkards or Christian fanatics.  Then, I was suddenly in a village in Afghanistan watching women being forced to adopt the burqa.

    Practice has taught me to deflect bad dreams as a swordsman might, direct them toward alternative expressions of the same settling of emotion that causes bad dreams.  I lie there a moment in the dark, and I am made smug by my clever maneuver, until I realize how easy it is to replace one pompous ass with another.

    Yet to be resolved, however, is the question why some pompous asses are more taxing on the emotions than others.

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tim candler

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(Jain Monk)