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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peter Pan is an Asshole

Time to grow up.

Joko Beck told me that during a Zen retreat almost 25 years ago. It's taken about 25 years to understand what she meant. Right now, at age 46, I think I'm about 60% there. And that might be a little high.

A kid is only interested what he wants. He wants whatever feels good or tastes yummy. He wants the cookie.

An adult is only interested in what life needs.

It's doubtful anyone is 100% adult. We're genetically predisposed to selfish-behavior. It's hardwired into our survival gear. We can bump the number up, but a 100%?

Someone once said that practice become increasingly more difficult because our 'kid' becomes more subtle. Even enlightened can become the cookie. Unless we're vigilante, we won't realize we've got our arm buried to the elbow in the cookie jar.

I've got kids that are 15 and 18. They're approaching very difficult periods of life. They're not really kids anymore. Not adults. They want all the freedom of adulthood. They want all the yumminess of childhood. They don't realize Peter Pan is an asshole.

Someone once said, "Growing up sucks." I think it was everyone that said that. It's not fun. Letting go of the blankey feels like death. Losing the pacifier is torture. If we don't get the raise, the advance, the house, the book deal, the adulation, the cigarette drink car job clothes vacation spousesexfillintheblank.

Then it sucks.

The saying becomes, "Life sucks."

Because it's not the way we want it.

We don't want to serve life.

It's supposed to be the other way around. Life's supposed to serve us.

When we're 5.



  1. Yes, fairy tales and Princess stories do not help kids grow up to deal with real life. I am trying to get across to my kids that all of those "things"; accolades, fancy cars, big houses, don't define who they are as individuals. At the level of our soul we are so much more. Our time spent in this earthly dimension is but a blip in our journeys to reach our greatest good. The Golden Rule is the way to go along with some brilliance from Buddha about attachment and desire. Time will tell our two kids take from these lessons. I do not envy you as i recall the transition phase to adulthood to be the most difficult years ever.

    1. Fairy tales are very important to help a child grow up. Have you ever notice that they are global? That some are thousand of years old? Fairy tales were designed to help children psychologically accept the harsh reality of life: The jealous stepmother, the king who wants to marry his daughter, the husband who kills all his wives, the wolf who hangs out in the wood waiting to eat you. Each story has quite an amount of horror mixed into it that the hero/in is able to overcome.
      I know quite a bit about fairy tales, I would collect them. I can tell you that those stories have different versions with the same message in every country in the world and in every languages. It is part of our "collective unconscious." In brief, fairy tales were made to help the children grow up.

  2. Peter Pan IS an asshole! When I die, I hope Peter Pan, my fairy Godmother, and the genie in the bottle are all there to take me back to the place where I can exist in my natural self...without guilt, responsibility, the need to achieve (for what?). I want a do over in a child's existence...and I would love to stay I could actually LOVE and LIVE life.