Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Buddhist and the Cynic:
A Conversation About Fun

"Fame. Big Self. Everyone knows me. I'm important. My name is big. My power is respected. Birth is a laugh. Sickness and old age belong to others. In me, all faults are glamorous because I'm famous. My life not dull, not common, not average, not ugly. My life is special, exciting, beautiful."

What is wrong with this monologue? Surely we have all had these thoughts before. The problem is this: fame is based on a lie. The self does not exist. You can't find it anywhere, not in your body, not in your family, not in your possessions. When death stops your movement and takes away your warmth and breath, where is the self? Is it still reading the paper over breakfast? Does the self still drive the car to work? Can you find the self at the movies sitting with popcorn after you die? If the self is true, where does it go after death? It never existed in the first place. What is fame based on? A lie.

Fame has no heart. Fame is selfish, greedy. But when it comes our turn in the spotlight who can stand aside and yield to others? It's not an easy desire to subdue.

-- Rev. Heng Sure