“I Don’t Care If It Rains or Freezes…” (and freedom from the pairs of opposites)

When I was walking into work in the cold rain this morning, the song “Plastic Jesus” arose in my head.  I thought that I didn’t know many of the lyrics, but when I got back and checked for recordings to see just how much I was missing, I realized it was because there aren’t many lyrics.  Here is Paul Newman singing it in Cool Hand LukeThe Levellers have a great cover (with some variations on the lyrics–listen carefully), as do the Flaming Lips.  The original is harder to find.

With it’s gentle tongue in cheek message, the song invites us to contemplate the real purpose of any spiritual practice (including the yoga — see, for example, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, at 2.46-2.48):  to be sufficiently full of love and devotion and recognition of spirit, that we are not ungrounded or driven to suffering when faced with discomfort or inconvenience.  And if we get really good, freedom from suffering in the face of true pain, loss, and outrage.  That is, of course, a key reason for practicing.


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