"If you were there when He became Enlightened, what would you have
seen?" I asked Gene with all earnestness.
"Brilliant light!" he declared with a fierceness that reaffirmed the
anxiety he had carried all his adult life. "It's the Dhamma-body that
can become anything you can imagine!"
"And would that be why you're meditating as regularly as you do?"
"Yes," he replied. "When I die I want to be a Maitreya Boddhisattva,
and get away from this terrible existence."
"But what's so intolerable about being human?" I asked. "Many avenues
remain to understanding and fulfillment, even if there may be difficulties
along the way."
"There are hardly any people with morells any more, corruption is
everywhere in a world of intense competition and stress that invariably
leads to mental illness. Wars, politically motivated killings and back-
stabbing appear to be the solution to differences of opinion and for the
sake of personal advancement."
"Ah, but you're right of course," I replied genially. Meanwhile I've learned
to pick out on my harmonica those golden oldies that remain ear-worms,
and hope to write an award-winning song that may keep the world smiling
and singing along."
With that we parted ways, expecting to meet the next morning at the bird-
watching meet organised by the local chapter of the nature society.
(This is a true account, only the names have been changed to protect nb's
servers with the cool mobile site.)