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Still crazy


 
A friend in Program says:

During World War II, a USAAF doctor is told he must fly combat hours periodically. Because he is terrified of flying, he gets a bomber crew to "verify" that he flies with them occasionally, which works well ... until the plane is shot down one day when he's supposed to be aboard. The doctor now discovers that the USAAF will not pay him because officially he is dead. It's no good him turning up in person and asking for his pay: the pay corps won't accept his claim because he's dead, and dead airmen don't get paid.

Joseph Heller's famous book is peopled with characters who are fighting a war in the so-called "real" world and yet end up acting even more oddly than people who -- like meditators -- think it's normal to sit still for long periods of time while watching their breathing. The colonel who has his chaplain pray for tight bomb patterns at the target; the major whom one can only visit in his office when he's not in his office; the supply officer who attempts to get the men to eat chocolate-covered cotton ... by contrast with these supposedly "normal" people, a meditator looks positively sane. And we can probably come up with examples from our own "peacetime" work environments that are every bit as silly. After a while, we can start to see that the Step 11 practice of meditation may be about the sanest thing we get to do in this world.

An inmate of an insane asylum was sitting on the wall of the institution one day, meditating and watching a man working in an adjacent garden. After a while, the inmate said:

"Hey, what you doin'?"

The gardener replied:

"I'm putting horse manure on my strawberries."

The inmate thought for a moment, and then said:

"You ought to see if you can get in here. We have cream on ours."

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement:
it is always one of letting go."

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