(from an old forum post of mine) it reminded me of a high school teacher
I’m very fond of. It was one of the best life lessons I’ve learned, and
I remember to apply it regularly (samma sati). Mr J. was my European
History teacher either my junior or senior year in high school. My J.
had the desks in the room arranged in a circle (more like a rectangle),
so that all the students could see not just the teacher, but each other.
And he said this so often I don’t think any student of his will ever
forget: Always question authority.
History was a subject that I really hated in school, (up until Mr. J’s
class), so it was quite a revelation when I found out I didn’t actually
hate history, I only thought I hated it because it was always taught in
such a dead uninteresting way. Mr J brought it to life by critically
examining everything, people’s motivations, why they did what they did,
what worked and didn’t work, what we could learn from history, and
whether or not we could even trust the source of our account of
“history”. He also did this in an interactive way, engaging the whole
class to discuss among ourselves instead of just spoon feeding us
“truths” according to biased accounts of US historians.
May all Buddhists question their authorities and sacred texts to arrive at a better understanding of their own religion.