"When I forget my ways, I am in The Way"

Philosophical and experiential notes on Nothingness, with supporting insights from martial arts, quantum physics and Taoism


28 May 2013

The Holy Man of Simplicity


The Holy Man of Simplicity
The Holy Woman of Simplicity

The Holy Man of Simplicity is a monastic elder. There can also be a Holy Woman of Simplicity. These two people can serve in their offices simultaneously. There can be no more then one of each in each convent or monastery. Unless they need help. In that case, the sky's the limit.

The responsibility of this elder (who may be quite young) is to help preserve the simplicity of the Order. If the Order starts becoming too caught up in ritual, dogma, or Byzantine explanations, the Holy Man or Woman of Simplicity intercedes. Their intercession is on the behalf of simplicity. They can do this with words, smiles, gestures or invisible good thoughts.

It is not simple to explain how to intercede on behalf of simplicity. That being said, the simplest explanation is to read our shortest sayings and our shortest poems. Or, preferably, to go sit on a sun-drenched rock, next to a still, calm, quiet lake. For a while.

When the Nothingness
Answers our prayer, 
It gives us
Something from Nothing

The Holy Man or Woman of Simplicity reports directly to the Abbot of the order. Individual monasteries or convents can also have their own Holy Man or Woman of Simplicity. If someone is transgender, they are optionally allowed to carry both titles, or to alternate daily or hourly as necessary.

The reason they are called "holy" is because they are wholly devoted to simplicity – except on the days when they forget. On forgetful days they are only partially devoted to simplicity, something we can all relate to. And to be clear, on off-days like that they still get to keep their cool Holy Man or Woman of Simplicity title.