[Buddha-l] Koheleth

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Mon Jun 14 12:02:34 MDT 2010

The recent discussion of Koheleth/Ecclesiastes has been interesting. It has brought back warm memories of my maternal grandfather, who was a 32nd-degree Mason (and, being a farmer from Kansas, a Republican). He loved to quote passages from Ecclesiastes. It was the only book of the Bible I ever heard him quote or refer to. When he died, a local funeral parlor in Albuquerque put together a standard funeral. The funeral director asked my mother which Bible passages to cite during the funeral. At first, my mother said nothing from the Bible would be suitable, because my grandfather was not especially religious. Then she recalled his love of the book of Ecclesiastes and chose a couple of passages that she knew he liked to quote. The funeral director was reluctant to read the passages, because they did not seem uplifting enough. My mother stood her ground, and the funeral director gritted his teeth and complied with her wishes.

Months later my mother was going through some papers and learned that her father had left behind instructions that when he died he would like to have two passages from Ecclesiastes read at his funeral. They were, or of course, the very ones she had chosen. Pretty supernatural, eh?

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