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Cult or Culture (part 10)

March 29, 2012

…I convinced myself this was the road to enlightenment.

Now here is where it’s important to give a little backstory about why I was divorced. My premature, mismatched marriage ended one day when, a woman called my home – most likely the same person who had been calling for months and hanging up whenever I answered, though my darling husband never got any such hang up calls whenever he answered the phone – to tell me, she and my husband were expecting a child soon and that my marriage of nearly 5 years was virtually over.

Keeping true to the old adage of Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned, I hung up the phone, proceeded to my husband’s closet with a pair of barber’s shears and furiously cut up every suit, shirt, sock, shoe, boxer, brief, belt, etcetera he owned. When I was done with his clothes I moved on to his toiletries, favorite albums, cherished photographs and whatever else of his I could not cut up or smash I put in my Webber grill and watched it burn on our balcony. What-an-Anus! …Him not me, but then I guess that’s a matter of perspective…anyway, I felt justified and overcome with pleasure while destroying his every possession. If that was the cause he chose to create – there was the effect I chose to offer.

I’ve noticed usually when people think of cause and effect they tend to think only about the effects to be gained from all of the wonderful causes they create. Seldom do the consequences, of all their other kinds of causes, ever come to mind. But as I was saying, I was now a “Buddhist” and my practice was regimented and sincere. The happiness I was promised still eluded me, but it was guaranteed, just as soon as Kosen Rufu was achieved. Remember Kosen Rufu, right? –  The Culture Center Clutch ultimate goal – the day when everyone on the planet embraces the mystical chant of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo to the great and powerful Gohonzon – Also known as world peace… I know. I know.

Then one sunny afternoon, almost a year after me running after my husband’s clothes with the scissors, my Mom and I walked to my apartment before heading out for dinner or a movie or some other fun outing, when about a block from my apartment she spots a designer zebra print pillow case on the ground and matter-of-factly remarks, “Hey, don’t you have some sheets like that?”

“Yup.” I answered certain that someone must have lost that one while going either to or from the laundry. Bummer, for that person, I thought.

A few steps further Mom saw an odd-looking lamp sitting in the middle of the side walk and asked, rather emphatically, “Don’t you have a lamp like that too?”

“Yeah… I…I do”. I answered, that time with a sick feeling pulsing in my gut. We trotted in silence to my building to find the scattered remains of what had been the entire contents of my beautiful apartment, on the street curbside.

Surprise! I had been evicted. But the kicker was that the eviction was done by mistake – a legal glitch. The courts did not intend to evict me, oh but it appeared as if the Mystic Law of Cause and Effect had! Just as I had destroyed every possession of my unfaithful husband’s, I got back as good as I gave.

Of course I didn’t see any connection right then. All I saw was my brand new butsadan sitting atop a heap of papers and sentimental valuables that were blowing in the wind – nothing much else from my apartment was left. It took me years to understand this was exactly what my Mother taught me as a child. You get what you give. It didn’t have anything to do with chanting to a box or breaking biblical commandments. That’s just the way life works. What goes up comes down. What goes around comes around. Period.

Surely my “Buddhist” Culture Center Clutch would rescue me. I needed rescuing. I needed…TO BE CONTINUED

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