Zen Master Linji, the founder of the Rinzai sect, supposedly said:
"If you meet the Buddha, kill him."Like most Zen sayings, this is subject to interpretation. It's unlikely he was suggesting literally killing anyone, but the point is well taken: one of the hardest parts of freedom comes in avoiding sacred cows and idols.
One of the best litmus tests you can give, to determine if individual thought is occurring in a group, is to attack their sacred cows. For instance, I'm deeply indebted to Joseph Campbell's work, but he was a human being. I've thrown punches in his imagined direction in the company of members of the Joseph Campbell foundation, to see how they reacted. The same goes for followers of all stripes, and of course Occultists are often the worst, when it comes to frothing at the mouth as a reaction to such "attacks." Listen, Mr. Campbell is dead, it's not hurting him any, especially if you follow it up with what a great effect he has had on your life, despite the shortcomings you previously aired for the sake of seeing the reaction you'd provoke.
I point this out in regard to Rowan's recent post about Machine Elves. Almost no one has jumped to Adam Jones' support, but many have gotten deeply offended at Rowan's slightly flippant attack on Terence Mckenna. I'd like to remind all of you about Sacred Cows, and for all the people who have emailed me angry attacks, thinking I was the one that wrote the article, I suggest you actually read the "by" line of an article. Modern Mythology is not my personal site, and I don't restrict what other people say. More than anything else, I advocate people's right to express their myths here. If you disagree, by all means, spin your own yarns.
But you may want to consider that if someone is really pissing you off by pissing on a dead Sacred Cow, they might just be trying to get a rise out of you. And you may want to consider your reaction. Why must you defend something that requires no defense?
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