Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Listen And Hear
"'My friend, if you would only listen -'"
-Poul and Karen Anderson, Dahut, Chapter V, section 4, p. 118.
Rufinus repeats that he wants to honest and can never be a Mithraist. That should be the end of the matter. Gratillonius sounds less like a Christian when Tommaltach, expressing interest in Mithraism, says that his native Gods seem small. Gratillonius replies:
"'Mock Them not.'" (p. 119)
That is better. The Mystery of Mithras is at a mid-way point between paganism and Christianity. However, I have attended a Zen group since 1985 and no one has ever suggested that I take refuge. I know that, if I attend the appropriate festival at the monastery, then I can take refuge (lay ordination), start to wear a kesa and formally become a Buddhist but I see no reason to do so and no one ever says, "If you would only listen..." The group advertises that meditation training and practice are available and leaves it at that. I prefer this approach but fortunately nowadays we have equal access to all the approaches, unlike in Gratillonius' time:
"'You remain obdurate?' asked the governor...'In light of Augustus' decree, handed you to read for yourself, that worship of false gods is banned, Their temples and revenues confiscated for the use of the state - you refuse your duty to promote the Faith or even to embrace it?'" (pp. 103-104)
Our only duty is to oppose such intolerance and discrimination.