Wednesday, March 07, 2007

commandments to compare and contrast

Seven year-old Iris Uber Alles had a carefully folded up piece of paper she was guarding from our view, but after she'd gone to bed, the Sober Husband found and unfolded it, to find:

The five comandments of Iris

2. scrawl around in the nit* if somebody sees you say whats happening dude?
3. Do what you want when you want where you want.
4. Listen to the next comandment.

* I'm assuming "nit" is "night", and I think it means to sneak out late at night, as in the oeuvre of Daniel Pinkwater depicting the late-night exploits of those high school freshmen of valor, the Snark-out Boys.

These commandments have little in common with the classic Judeo-Christian decalogue:

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

I seemed to remember Anton Lavey's satanic rules as being somewhat akin to Iris's commandments, but that memory was false:

The Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth

1. Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
2. Do not tell your troubles to others unless you are sure they want to hear them.
3. When in another’s lair, show him respect or else do not go there.
4. If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy.
5. Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal.
6. Do not take that which does not belong to you unless it is a burden to the other person and he cries out to be relieved.
7. Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.
8. Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself.
9. Do not harm little children.
10. Do not kill non-human animals unless you are attacked or for your food.
11. When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.

The Satanic Statements were much preachier than I remembered. I can see, however, rule number four, "If a guest in your lair annoys you, treat him cruelly and without mercy", appealing greatly to Iris and Lola.

And here are my favorites, the Buddhist Precepts (I am setting forth only the precepts prescribed for Buddhists who are not monastic and who have families; there are over two hundred more precepts for Theravada monks!):

The Five Buddhist Precepts

I undertake to observe the precept to abstain from ...

1. ...harming living beings.
2. ...taking things not freely given.
3. ...sexual misconduct.
4. ...false speech.
5. ...intoxicating drinks and drugs causing heedlessness.

Although I love those, I must say I do a good job with only four of them. That's a better track record than I have with the Five Commandments of Iris, though. I really would not rank myself as "cool ultra cool", I don't "scrawl around at nit", and I don't think the words "What's happening dude?" have ever crossed my lips. I do better with the Buddhist Precepts, especially since I occasionally take a cleanse and abstain from alcohol, giving me (temporarily, alas) a time of near-complete compliance.


hughman said...

so how does one "scrawl around in the nit"?

m said...

I'm guessing "the nit" is the night?

I particularly like #8 of the LaVey rules: "Do not complain about anything to which you need not subject yourself."

I call that "the chili-dog rule" after an incident that came from Peter's fondness for A&W chili dogs. He couldn't pass an A&W without having one (fortunately there aren't very many out here, though there is one in Marin.) The chili dog invariably gave him indigestion and he would whine on and on about his stomachache. Since I didn't want to eat at A&W in the first place, I felt the whining was adding insult to injury, and one day I realized that he was choosing to do something that then made him complain, and I proposed the chili-dog rule - if, by your free choice you do something, you are not allowed to excessively complain about the results (once or twice is ok though.) This extrapolates to all sorts of situations - the miserable job that you refuse to quit, being tired because you wouldn't go to bed, etc. LaVey phrases it more succinctly but it's clearly my good old chili-dog rule.

Joyce said...

You are cool! Ultra cool! Iris is too, actually. I don't agree with treating guests in your lair cruelly; just say "What's happening, dude?" and all will be well.

Anonymous said...

"Do not make sexual advances unless you are given the mating signal."

What IS the mating signal, I wonder?

Casey said...

I'm finding good things in all of them, but Iris' are the most compelling! Hi from another MDC mom (Valkyrie9)

hughman said...

*scrawling around the nit*

what's happening dude!!?!

the Drunken Housewife said...

Hughman is COOL ULTRA COOL and so are M and her cats and boyfriend, Joyce and hunky husband, and Casey (welcome!).

Spill the Beans said...

that whole abstaining from alcohol is so overrated, anyway.