Thursday, March 15, 2007

Oops.

Don't let anyone cajole you into thinking that one can't learn anything from comic books or "graphic novels."

I was reading one the other day that honestly had me thinking... and thinkin' hard (normally I resort to so-called "soft" thinking).

I'm what I guess most would call an agnostic when it comes to religious belief. Not too sure there is a "God" (possibly small "g"?), not too sure there's not.

There are so many schools of thought one way or the other, not to mention millennia of multiple belief systems that at least point to some form of higher power that I often think that there HAS to be something--or someone(s)?--after "life/death", right?

Wow. Deep, eh?

ANYWAY, back to the comic/parable:

A knight and a monk met each other along the road (ed: insert appropriate destination here) and agreed to accompany one another for the duration of the journey. The monk, true to form, was a quiet sort who liked to listen, rather than preach, which suited the knight fine, as he liked to lead the discourse.

"Listen here, Monk," the Knight said. "Your existence is devoted to deprivation. You deprive yourself of pleasure and adventure. It's all about self-control, non-violence... all in the name of some god you don't even know exists."

The monk, smiling, just nods his head, sensing the knight would go on.

And go on he did: "Seriously, you don't drink, you don't eat meat. You turn the other cheek when I was taught to inflict pain! In fact, if I were you, I'd be kicking my ass right now. You're living your life, apparently protecting your soul, all in the hope that there is some form of salvation, some kind of heaven and life after this one.

"I live life to the fullest. I take what I want. I eat and drink what I want. I have had hundreds of women. I live life the way I want to live it. I don't want to waste any of it."

"And...?" the monk queries.

"Well, I guess what I really want to know is this: What happens after your life of solitude and sacrifice, after depriving yourself of enjoyment and pleasure, of what I would truly call 'living' life... what happens if you die, and you find out that there's nothing? Nothing happens. You're just dead. What happens if you die and find out there is no god?"

The monk pauses, thoughtfully, still with a smile on his face. "Well," he says after a time, "I suppose that after a life led on a path to enlightenment, if I were to find out that God doesn't exist, I would be sad."

The monk pauses. Waiting to see if the knight would say anything. Surprisingly, he just blinks, and sits waiting.

"However," the monk continues, "let me ask YOU this: What happens when you die, and you find out that God DOES exist?"
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