A Parable on Spiritual Authority

Back in the dark ages of the 1970s, when hippies still roamed the earth, and politicians actually had policies, Western Australia had but a single university.

And verily, it was known as UWA, University of Western Australia. And rightly so.

Signs, and labels, letterheads and posters all proclaimed, “University of Western Australia”. And rightly so.

I wanted one with bunnies on the lawn but, alas, Google failed 😦

But lo and behold, soon Murdoch University was born and UWA was alone no more.

And there was much fraternal muttering and dinners and jovial bantering from one university to the other. Love seemed in the air.

But the wily Vice-Chancellor of UWA did call his printers to appear before him and issued a decree.

And so all signs and letterheads, posters and notices were collected and pulped. Yea, wasted were the trees.

And there appeared new letterheads and signs, and verily they did now read “THE University of Western Australia”.

And the Vice-Chancellor was smug and happy.

But the Murdoch folk were sore pissed and said unto him, “here, what’s all this then?” But the Vice-Chancellor, did only reply, “what, we’ve just had a change in stationery, that is all”.

And the Murdoch folk did sadly say, “you know what we mean”.

For the Vice-Chancellor knew exactly what they meant and was very pleased with himself and said no more.

Here endeth the lesson – go ye and apply it your favourite spiritual tradition.

5 comments

  1. dirkt · July 1, 2011

    As they sat there, the Kalamas of Kesaputta said to the Blessed One, “Lord, there are some priests & contemplatives who come to Kesaputta. They expound & glorify their own doctrines, but as for the doctrines of others, they deprecate them, revile them, show contempt for them, & disparage them. And then other priests & contemplatives come to Kesaputta. They expound & glorify their own doctrines, but as for the doctrines of others, they deprecate them, revile them, show contempt for them, & disparage them. They leave us absolutely uncertain & in doubt: Which of these venerable priests & contemplatives are speaking the truth, and which ones are lying?”

    “Of course you are uncertain, Kalamas. Of course you are in doubt. When there are reasons for doubt, uncertainty is born. So in this case, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering’ — then you should abandon them. When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.065.than.html

  2. Arcad · July 2, 2011

    Sweet. When I was The legal adviser to the Kosovo OSCE Mission, I learned that the OSCE’s headquater’s guy used the official title “The Legal Adviser” or “TLA”. Apparentely for he was the real one. Oh, your parable just fits so nicely to so many things occult or not 😉

  3. MvdV · July 4, 2011

    Ba ha ha ha ha, love it!
    I can just imagine the UWA VC steepeling his fingers and gazing darkly over the Swan River at the city…. Soon, you will be mine!

  4. Gnostic Tarot · August 1, 2011

    Very nice site, I really like the posts here , I am working on connecting to lots of bloggers in the community . I found you by a link on the HOGD Blog. if you ever like give me a click yourself or reference in your links section . http://gnostictarotcards.blogspot.com

  5. Pingback: Quick ponderings on the use of names and language in modern magical discourse « Magic of the Ordinary

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