Sunday, April 13

What The Good Book Says

I was speaking to my spiritual advisor the other day and I happened to mention how foolish people seem to be these days.

"I believe The Good Book may be able to offer some words on this troubling matter, my seeker." He spoke not so much in sentences as in pronouncements, with a voice of such stentorian timbre that it was as if the words were being delivered by the Deity Himself.

He paused a moment to gather his thoughts. "As the Book of Leviticus tells us," he began, gazing off toward some sacred horizon,  "'What fools these mortals be'."

I took a moment to grasp this, then replied, "I don't think that's actually The Book of Leviticus, Reverend."

"Excuse me, my supplicant?"

"I believe that's Shakespeare."

"Are you quite sure?"

"A Midsummer Night's Dream. I believe."

He considered this for a moment. "I imagine that seems pretty foolish of me, doesn't it? Yet I see this as a teachable moment, my initiate. For as St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, 'You can fool all of the people some of the time...'"

"Um, that's not St. Paul, Exalted One. That's Abraham Lincoln."

"Saint Abraham Lincoln?"

"President Abraham Lincoln."

"Hmm." He looked off at the horizon again and contemplated. "I'm reminded today of the story of another Abraham, a story told in the Book of Genesis."

He took a deep breath and began his parable.

"One blustery day Abraham was walking with his friends Tigger and Eeyore..."

"That's the story of Winnie the Pooh, Holy Man, and it's not in the Book of Genesis."

"So Deuteronomy then?"

"No. More like the Book of Milne."

He reflected on this while continuing to stare into the Holy Distance. Some moments passed. He raised his eyes to the sky above and muttered what I took to be a silent prayer, then scanned the ineffable landscape with even more intensity.

Finally he turned to me and asked, "Do you remember where I parked my car?"

1 comment:

Douglas McEwan said...

Very funny, and a fine illustration of why I avoid churches, priests, ministers, reverends, rabbis, gurus, "Spiritual Advisers," and the like.

If I remember rightly, you heard me say "Lord, what fools these mortals be" as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream back in 1971. (Which, I believe, was shortly after it was written.)

And as I recall, you wrote the line: "You can fool some of the people some of the time, and all of the people all of the time, but you can't fool me."