Tag Archives: hwarang

My Vote for President Goes To…

My vote for president goes to the person who, if he or she had been riding in my passenger seat this morning, would have been grinning right along with me as we listened to RATM bang out The Ghost of Tom Joad.

My vote for president goes to the candidate who detests bullies and never bullies others, who only uses violence in defense of life.

My vote goes to the candidate who’s measured and thoughtful, who’s never vengeful and lives by the adage, “Repay kindness with kindness; repay evil with justice.

My vote goes to the nominee who looks at governance by the light of the maxim, “Seek not the paths of the ancients; seek that which the ancients sought.” — who looks forward rather than backward and  who believes in evolution (not just the biological kind, but the political, social, emotional and spiritual kinds too).

My vote goes to the contender who moves gracefully through the world and believes that humanity should learn to do the same — that social problems, environmental issues, conflict and crime are all interrelated — who believes that climate change is the greatest threat humanity faces.

And if my perfect candidate isn’t on the ballot?  My write-in vote will go to the person who gets closest to my ideal.  If that means that a detestable person gets elected, well that just means that America will get what she deserves.

Although I have disagreed with him in the past, in this case I must side with Komgun.  My heart is cultivated in the garden of wind and moon, and I would not vote against my heart even for a bribe of 1,000 gold pieces, even it means drinking a poison cup.




Hwarang Komgun

According to the Samguk Sagi, in the year 627 there was a horrible famine, and the palace  secretaries plotted to steal grain to feed themselves.  One of them, a Hwarang named Komgun, would not take part.

When confronted as to the reason, he replied, “I am a follower of the Hwarang Kollang, and my heart is cultivated in the garden of wind and moon. I would not commit such an act even for 1,000 gold pieces.”

The other secretaries praised him and held a banquet in his honor, swearing they would follow his lead and abandon their plan.

Unwilling to expose the plot and disgrace his associates, Komgun attended the banquet.  But when he arrived at the sumptuous meal their mood had changed.  It was a trap, and it was clear his cup was poisoned. Knowing that if he did not drink he would be butchered, he willingly drank the cup and fell dead.

I disgree with the sage who said, “Komgun chose death to preserve his righteousness. By comparison, Mt. Tai is nothing!”

The cowardly man makes pretty words and drinks the poison cup.

The proud man reveals a wrong to the authorities.

The brave man takes up arms even though death is certain.

But the clever man graciously invites the sons and brothers of his hosts to share the meal — just in case.