Skip to content

Accidental Saint

Posted on:July 4, 2016 at 10:53 PM

After years of wandering in the woods
I came up with this brilliant plan.
A foolproof logic that consistently would
stand up to the most inquisitive man.

The true nature of things is unknowable
and my life had indeed been wasted.
So I devised something showable
with lies within it nested.

A slight untruth that would protect
a saintly, wise recluse.
As long as one doesn’t deeply inspect
it’s certainly not abuse.

I lie for myself, to justify
a miserable, failed persistence.
I lie knowing it doesn’t signify
anything beyond my own existence.

My words won’t stand the test of time:
before long their faults discovered.
Then someone new may begin to mine
the depths of Truth left uncovered.

The most tragic outcome I can think
is of my words enduring long.
Of people trusting an old dry ink
and a convoluted, meaningless song.

But the chances of that are slim and low
for the future’s always smarter.
The coming generations of tomorrow
must go far, and even farther.

So I think I’m safe with my little lie
though my profession it will taint.
The world won’t devolve and have to survive
on the tales of an accidental saint.


This is the first poem to graduate from my Daily Verse exercise.

I had the privilege to converse recently with a learned gentleman who had studied Vedic teachings and ancient Indian philosophy a great deal. We talked of consciousness, and how many of his ideas did not fit with the modern scientific view of the world. He responded by defining consciousness with three assertions:

  1. Consciousness is everywhere.
  2. Consciousness has the quality of being sentient
  3. When one becomes aware of that consciousness, one is in the state of ultimate bliss.

He then proceeded to make a number of statements, which would fly foul in the face of rational inquiry, yet sat well within this arbitrary and odd framework.

This poem imagines a ऋशि rishi (saint) of Vedic times, who after a lifetime of तपस्या tapasyaa (great meditative effort) has failed to find the ultimate truth of reality, and thus makes something up to seem smarter than he was. He hopes that his misinformation won’t be abused by future generations, and the cost of his lies would be small.