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      The recent emergence of Pope Francis into the public eye, complete with all his user friendly attitudes and humble charm, which seem to me, I might add, quite sincerely rooted in his observable past, lead to some online remarks comparing his warm reception to that of the ever popular Dalai Lama, remarks that were critiqued as being somewhat far-fetched.

     Was it something about him being such a cheery CEO that the Catholic corporate branding, shaken by many unseemly revelations of rampant pedophilia and the subsequent cynical and sleazy cover-ups, might seem to be on the way to at least a partial recovery?  Or was it something about the DL’s utterances, now so often quoted adopted and repeated online by those who, though naivete, would have enlightenment reduced to pious platitudes, reflecting the happy light of the nursery and playground but not the dark of the slaughterhouse and warzone?  Probably, knowing me, a bit of both.

      For despite the inspired sources of major faiths, I have never lost sight of organized religions as corporate structures with shareholders and market share concerns, and observing DH these last few decades charming the socks off audiences around the world and drumming up endless business for Buddhist temples, while Protestant and Catholic Christianity sink lower and lower in the public’s estimation, I cannot relinquish that attitude, despite what may seem like sincerity and honesty on the part of the leaders.  When it comes to corporate structures, front men are front men.  They have to be, they have no choice, having risen up through the ranks and absorbed the belief system of the paradigm, questioning only within the strict boundaries that have been set for them.

     I see no problem in relating to Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama as devoted servants of mankind as well as CEO’s of thriving economic concerns.  One can admire their individual devotion and compassion at the same time as assessing their corporation’s power share, branding capabilities and growth potential.

They are each the human face placed upon a distinctly unhuman bureaucratic structure.  Their time is now, and as bemused as I am by the public relations maneuvers mapping the progress of their ongoing projects, I wish them well, for their service to those millions who’ve misplaced or denied their own divinity while worshiping theirs continues to be required on more or less continuous basis.

Those of us who have reclaimed our share of the divine, allowing it to shape our experience both in time and eternity, understand that many others cannot, as yet,  do the same.  They perceive a mystery, they fear a burden, they abhor an heresy.  In such abeyance, they wish to be guided and groomed for the great beyond, while we, knowing that it’s just a trick of the light, see that beyond all around us.  And we know that the beyond is also the before.