Tonight Hot Sauce and I went to the Occupy Provo meeting. They have a meeting everyday. They're not camping out anywhere yet because they can't find a legal way to do so. But they're staging protests every day. They're pretty cool people.
This being Provo, a good chunk of them are BYU students and, I'm assuming, Mormons. They're mostly PoliSci majors. The other people are UVU students, a super communist guy, a super animal rights girl, and a 12-year-old boy, mom, and grandpa originally from Mississippi. They're extremely civil, none of them want to get arrested, and the discussion is all rather tame. I'm toying with whether or not I could go protest with them tomorrow. I have to take a test at some point during the day. I would want to make a poster that said "Live simply that others may simply live." I probably won't do it. But I like that these are the kinds of places Hot Sauce invites me. It's a little adventure we can have together. He's like Perchik. Only not a communist. And cuter.
I had two parallel conversations within 24 hours - one was with the neighbor boy last night and one was with my group for my Chinese culture class today. They were both about how Buddhism is kind of like the Book of Ecclesiastes. I didn't even bring it up the second time - I thought it was a pretty odd thing to be in the zeitgeist.
But it reminded me to write about it. Overall, I think Buddhism is pretty great. But the underlying principle of mujō kind of breaks my heart. It's the idea that everything is impermanent. On one hand, this is really important to realize - everything is vanity, everything is going to decay and vanish, and we don't need to set our hearts on things that moth and dust doth corrupt. But in Buddhism, this applies to people and relationships. Don't get attached to things, to people, to families, because they all pass away. It's only through overcoming attachment and desire that you can cut the strings that keep making you be reborn into this world of suffering.
But that's so tragically sad! Not the things - that's where it's spot on. Realizing that all of this STUFF that we're so worried about is impermanent and useless is a very good thing to realize. But that one little oversight - the idea that the people and the love we create is just as fleeting - that's what breaks my heart. Because people are the one thing that we need and the ties between them are the one thing we get to take with us.
And that's why Asian religion, as beautiful and peaceful as it is, will always be so fundamentally sad to me. Not that there aren't Buddhists who are truly good, loving people - but those who do follow the teachings that would have a man as fleeting as a dying cherry blossom - those are the ones who do not see the things in this world that are the most joyful and fulfilling of all.
Anyway, that's what's been occupying my mind. That and sad things in my family. None of them even bothered to get a permit, either.