Wednesday, October 05, 2022

what block did you grow up on

beliefless, space/time —

network of relationships, 

events create space —

eventuates root ground —

time not emergent, mere, there

no one is sure this has been thought through

 The end of the rule

of law is no victory —

not for anyone

reconsider asunder

Dark slips behind light

I consider God loves this

Chiaroscuro 

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

il poverello, oggi si festeggia

Always



Then



Recently


 

member of a flock

Something here to consider: 

 "I have learned that a man who counts himself a shepherd is not worthy to be a member of a flock."    (-p.282, in novel, Haiku, by Andrew Vachss)

 Somewhere, back a bit, the word "humility" had meaning one could feel.

It had something to do with earth; 

—from humilis "lowly, humble," literally "on the ground," from humus "earth," from PIE root *dhghem-"earth." (Etymological Dictionary)

 When earth was understood as lifeblood, heart path, and soul sanctity.

Can you remember?

Monday, October 03, 2022

Sunday, October 02, 2022

in years gone by

Still attentive. 

Angel of God 

My guardian dear 

To Whom God’s love 

Commits me here 

Ever this day 

Be at my side 

To light and guard 

To rule and guide. 

Amen

Still wondering. 

where god is not outside, is nothing outside

 For believers, the simplest explanation was that God was off attending some distant sector of the universe during the late thirties and early forties in Europe on planet earth.

For nonbelievers, god was a deluded dream held by delusional people delirious for some moral order in an otherwise insanely willful and chaotic display of human existence.

There’s a third possibility. 

We have not clearly figured out what that possibility is. Not yet.

It has something to do with things becoming themselves, nothing other, a non-comparative aseity loosed from reliance from anything or any thought outside or other than itself.

Itself as a whole, unto.

Here is One —

Another Itself

tired eyes watching shocked leaves

A poet sends their poem.

Of course I reply:

A layer of ambiguous wrap



Cold is welcomed

It means wearing skullcap


Green draining from tired eyes

Watching shocked leaves


Out newly fixed kitchen window

Jewelweed drooping over septic chambers


Alone as any dying is, no longer

Caring to clear up anything


                                         wfh/2oct2022

 No reason not to.

Unless, of course, and until, a call is heard across a distance, "That's a wrap!"

the boths and neithers – you must let them go

Sitting with  The US and the HOLOCAUST. on PBS.

The devastation that occurs when we fall into preferences — this is good, this is not good — these people are good, these people are not good.

The urge to act on our dualistic thinking.

The horror of preferential dichotomy, keep the preferred, eliminate the not-preferred,

Whenever a thought occurs,
Be aware of it,
As soon as you are aware of it,
It will vanish.
If you remain for a long period
Forgetful of objects,
You will naturally become unified.
This is the essential art of zazen.

       —Dogen (1200-1253)

Dwelling in the landscape of all is well, 

Letting each be each.

Loving what is here.

Let It Go – The

let it go – the
smashed word broken
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love

 

E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)!  

From: 100 Selected Poems

Saturday, October 01, 2022

I can’t help listening

 Brain pain explains rain

(not today, no) rain, that is —

mute sonority 

alles klar

 “How do you fare,” asks

benevolent inquirer —

“fine, just fine,” he lies

not attending memorial — he’ll know why, or won’t

About solitude
Like pain, it measures itself
By your attention
When you think “I’m gone”
When you think “no pain,” there, both


Art by Margaret Cook from a rare 1913 edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

no silly lovesong

off northwest car up

hill behind owl call returns

quiet, solitude

Friday, September 30, 2022

confinement as simple imagining all those hours bedside

 hospice, cat visits,

duration is delusion —

small moves, beads, eight bells

Thursday, September 29, 2022

some things are beyond our experience

 Archangels, you say?

Order of beings far above 

humans? Waddya know?

a relative exception and an irregular phenomenon

Writing Journal

For Philosophy and Jung

Independent Study, with MB

Bill Halpin, Thurs. 28Sept 2022


Template: 

   1. Objective,

   2. Subject, 

   3. Projective

a. individual consciousness

b. collective (un)conscious



  1. Objective:


 From The Undiscovered Self,The Dilemma of the Individual in Modern Society, by C.G. Jung, c. 1957)


These considerations must be borne in mind whenever there is talk of a theory serving as a guide to self-knowledge. There is and can be no self-knowledge based on theoretical assumptions, for the object of self-knowledge is an individual – a relative exception and an irregular phenomenon. Hence it is not the universal and the regular that characterize the individual, but rather the unique. He is not to be understood as a recurrent unit but as something unique and singular which in the last analysis can neither be known nor compared with anything else 

Now whether it is a question of understanding a fellow human being or of self-knowledge, I must in both cases leave all theoretical assumptions behind me. Since scientific knowledge not only enjoys universal esteem but, in the eyes of modern man, counts as the only intellectual and spiritual authority, understanding the individual obliges me to commit lèse majesté, so to speak, to turn a blind eye to scientific knowledge. This is a sacrifice not lightly made, for the scientific attitude cannot rid itself so easily of its sense of responsibility. And if the psychologist happens to be a doctor who wants not only to classify his patient scientifically but also to understand him as a human being, he is threatened with a conflict of duties between the two diametrically opposed and mutually exclusive attitudes of knowledge, on the one hand, and understanding, on the other. This conflict cannot be solved by an either-or but only by a kind of two-way thinking: doing one thing while not losing sight of the other. (Ch.1, pp. 5-6, C.G. Jung, The Undiscovered Self)

 

2. Subjective:


    Jung has always been, for me, a curious and attractive thinker. 


His sentence in the first paragraph above, "a relative exception and an irregular phenomenon" is as good a non-definition of what you and I are as any other philosophical or psychological definition of a human being. 


When we had a bookshop/bakery in Camden, a woman who managed a shop across the parking lot, would often come back to the small building we rented on the harbor. It was a pot-belly gathering place, so to speak, and every day there were a group of folks who sat around drinking our free (ie, by donation) coffee and annoying each other with their oft-repeated stories, then quieting down when reputable visitors and tourists would drop in. When our neighboring woman walked in she'd always look around and laugh, saying "So, how are the Meetingbrook Irregulars doing today. 


Danny had difficulty abiding Sadie. Whenever she'd arrive he'd abruptly get up, put his cup in the sink, and say loudly enough for anybody to hear, "I've gotta go, Billy. I've got a dentist appointment." Over thirteen years, I don't think Sadie, or anyone else, ever remarked on how often Danny went to the dentist. Unless they all practiced the soul of discretion. Overlooking things can be an art-form. Jane saw it. Smiled at us. Waved back as she left telling everyone to "Carry on!"


Saskia and I grew fond of these exchanges. Over the years Jane would come in holding a multi-colored lumberjack shirt, or a green and mauve Anorak jacket, or a tan flannel-lined barn coat and ask me if I'd be willing to take them off her hands. I was willing. She'd say, "I don't know why my girlfriends over the years always bought me such extra large gifts." They were nice pieces of clothing, even a little too large for me. I have them to this day, some twenty five years later.


We're all exceptions. We're all irregular. Unique. Like Jane, we are "not to be understood as a recurrent unit but as something unique and singular which in the last analysis can neither be known nor compared with anything else "


This notion cheers me. I don't want to be some line in a statistical sample, I don't want to be a category. In fact any externally-derived descriptor I hear coming my way is likely to annoy and disappoint me. 


I've grown to like phenomenology and the phenomenological method.


What is phenomenology?

In simple terms, phenomenology can be defined as an approach to research that seeks to describe the essence of a phenomenon by exploring it from the perspective of those who have experienced it [6]. The goal of phenomenology is to describe the meaning of this experience—both in terms of what was experienced and how it was experienced [6](--How phenomenology can help us learn from the experiences of others, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6468135/ 

 

And yet: 

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.—Douglas Adams 

 

So, maybe I love the notion but fail to practice.


Or maybe I have not grasped (yet) the demands of learning and the dedication pedagogy asks of me.


Jung writes above, "Since scientific knowledge not only enjoys universal esteem but, in the eyes of modern man, counts as the only intellectual and spiritual authority, understanding the individual obliges me to commit lèse majesté, so to speak, to turn a blind eye to scientific knowledge." 


This sacrifice of intellectual knowledge and categories when in the presence of the individual is not easy and does not mean (I think) that we give up thinking. Here I regard 'thinking' as reflection, contemplation, philosophical observation, open receptivity to what is presenting itself. To be able to do this, without locking away the experience into some categorical or conceptual vault (or file cabinet), is a vital action and engagement with the individual (as individual) allowing the field of experience to remain open and capable of change, renewal, and transformation.


I had too look up lèse-majesté


lèse-majesté

: an offense violating the dignity of a ruler as the representative of a sovereign power

Lèse-majesté (or lese majesty, as it is also styled in English publications) comes into English by way of Middle French, from the Latin laesa majestas, which literally means "injured majesty." The English term can conceivably cover any offense against a sovereign power or its ruler, from treason to a simple breach of etiquette. Lèse-majesté has also acquired a more lighthearted or ironic meaning, referring to an insult or impudence to a particularly pompous or self-important person or organization. As such, it may be applied to a relatively inoffensive act that has been exaggeratedly treated as if it were a great affront.   https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/l%C3%A8se-majest%C3%A9 

 

I begin to think my idea of myself, my ego, is that which is violated and insulted when I encounter Lèse-majesté. All the perceived slights from others, all the mental put-downs and offenses taken and nursed for decades, these have been the de-throning of the fabricated and pompously enthroned ego, or false self. My individual consciousness might not even be my individual consciousness. 


Who's been walking around inside the lumberjack shirt, anorak, and barn coat all these years?



3. Projective


    a. Individual consciousness:


Going forward I'd like to reexamine all the ideas I've carried with me about what an individual is, and how to experience and understand the individual. This might be done phenomenologically by looking at experience, mine and others, and reflecting on "what and how" the experience is/was experienced, avoiding what we have called instant judgment, prejudicial reaction, or vault protection of personal valuables carried forward from family or cultural unconscious.


I'd like my individual conscious to be mine, not some pastiche of others' fabric sewn onto my shirt without my awareness.


    b. Collective (un)conscious


We are both served and attacked daily by hidden energies and phenomena that blind-side and usurp our conscious experience and intelligent response to that experience. One Jungian observation is that unless we become aware of what is influencing our thoughts and emotions we will continue to miss our life. It will be someone else's life.


That awareness is, many observe, sorely lacking in our contemporary culture. The underlying penchant to eliminate what and who we do not like, to destroy ways of life that just might be ways that nurture and sustain us, to retreat into bunkers of solipsistic and seclusive beliefs that isolate and alienate us from others -- these are troublesome. And, for the greater majority of us, might be hidden from us in a great sea of murky lack of understanding.


We've become stuck in the conflict between self and other, and, in the very lack of understanding of what is self and what is other. We see opposition in these words. Self/other. We feel driven to take sides, to separate and oppose. To explain away something that gnaws at our subliminal intuition urging us to look again at the divisiveness and distancing, to allow our shadow to make of us a fuller being, to stop choosing fear as our front and lack of care as our back.


Jung writes: "This conflict cannot be solved by an either-or but only by a kind of two-way thinking: doing one thing while not losing sight of the other."


I think I'll start there. Maybe it's a good starting place for us all.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

where have I been, where are we going

 Frontline’s Lies, Politics, and Democracy.

A study in cowardice, compromise, and poor character,

An object lesson.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

view from under the weather time out

There are times when diminished space contracts to lesser space much the same way someone in discomfort and displeasurable contraction looks for only a square inch of relief.


Tea, toast, soft boiled egg, chamomile teabags for eye relief, service healing cat, Panta Rhei, not moving much right now.

Monday, September 26, 2022

to douse their lights

Sometimes it takes more than one reading. 

candlelight vigil
the coolness of a bugle
bringing on the night

— Susan Polizzotto

Most classical haiku work through juxtaposition—the combining of two images that, placed side by side within a single poem, add up to more than the sum of their parts. One image contains the season word, the other amplifies the essential meaning of that word, illuminating some special facet of it. In haiku, the season word is a given. The rest of the poem is not. It is through the secondary image that haiku poets express their deepest feelings or thoughts.

The winning poem alludes to a military tradition that originated during the Civil War. With the help of his bugler, Oliver W. Norton, Union Army General Daniel Butterfield adapted a melody popular in the French Army for use in battlefield funerals. By the end of the war, the new version—a twenty-four note solo called “Taps”—had been adopted by both Union and Confederate Armies. Since then it has been used both at funerals and as a “signal” to troops to douse their lights.

The poet, a former US Coast Guard captain who is now a writer and a haiku teacher, has agreed to share her inspiration for the poem:

The haiku isn’t based on a single event but on my collective memories and impressions of military funerals. The Coast Guard follows the same rituals as the other Armed Services. A bugler always plays “Taps.” Even though I’ve heard it played any number of times (including at the graveside during my grandfather’s burial in the military cemetery in Knoxville) something always stirs me. Those notes from a brass horn, cool and metallic, remind me of the cooling of the body and its return to base elements. 

Although the poet was drawing upon her “collective memories” of military funerals, she has not described a funeral in her haiku, but rather a candlelight vigil on the night before the funeral, presumably in the presence of the body. As 10 p.m. arrives, the familiar “lights out”melody is played. Drifting in from a distance, its sound seems to “bring on the night.”

That choice (to use the song during the vigil, rather than at the funeral) allows for a moment of quiet reflection in which to listen so deeply to the bugle that the late summer coolness can be heard in its sound. 

(—Tricycle, Summer Season Word: Cool or Coolness! — Winner)

A delight to read.

A sounding description to feel. 

Sunday, September 25, 2022

a crude hoe

 What is the task?

What do you need?

“But if the task is to uproot, the finest sword is still inferior to the crudest hoe.” (—p.259, in novel Haiku, by Andrew Vachss)

 My job, right now, is to move through this poorly time.

What I need is water to drink, lozenges to melt, tissues to relieve congestion, time to let everything pass by and disappear.

To uproot time is why the farmer of the soul pulls on boots and steps over the worn wood under porch door.

what

 Afraid of death?

Who would dare to say “no”?

“Death – to blink for an exceptionally long period of time.”  Robin Williams

When I die,  and I will, it will be the beginning of a long long pause between

One line

And

Another.

Don’t wait around. 

The stage light in center of proscenium is a dim-litted watt.

whence compassion, one’s own discomfot

 Long, long night, (then) dawn

I will  commiserate with

Sick and suffering

In hospitals and elsewhere

Their long, dark, unhappy nights

Saturday, September 24, 2022

formless and pervades

 How far is the sky from the earth?

I think Lin-Chi needs to measure again.

What is the truth? The truth is the reality of mind. The reality of mind is formless and pervades the ten directions. It is being used presently, right before your eyes, yet people do not trust it sufficiently, so they accept terms and expressions, seeking to assess Buddhism conceptually in the written word. They are as far away as the sky is from earth.         

 —Lin Chi (d ~867)

 Not far.

Right at each other.

Their edges. 

ajnana

We don’t know what illusion is. 

What is it?

maya, (Sanskrit: “magic” or “illusion”) a fundamental concept in Hindu philosophy, notably in the Advaita (Nondualist) school of Vedanta. Maya originally denoted the magic power with which a god can make human beings believe in what turns out to be an illusion. By extension, it later came to mean the powerful force that creates the cosmic illusion that the phenomenal world is real. For the Nondualists, maya is thus that cosmic force that presents the infinite brahman (the supreme being) as the finite phenomenal world. Maya is reflected on the individual level by human ignorance (ajnana) of the real nature of the self, which is mistaken for the empirical ego but which is in reality identical with brahman

https://www.britannica.com/topic/maya-Indian-philosophy

We see the world, the universe. 

What we don’t see is that which the world, the universe is the manifestation of.

Is that important?

Not 

if you 

don’t think 

it is.

what is left behind

 No diary no 

journal no log no tick tock 

no report nothing

stay, just a little bit longer

 We read three poems 

at practice lat night — aubades,

departures dawning

our atlantic province neighbors

 Off northeast of Maine

Cape Breton is hit with winds

Rain and tide surge from

Post Fiona storm. Boats hauled

Power out, the night all night

Friday, September 23, 2022

tu autem, domine, miserere nobis

 I can’t remember

My name — once I knew it, when

Someone called me home

Now, wandering windy night

No monastery bell tolls

homo habilis

 As Keats alludes, there is a monastery of the imagination. Plainsong, Gregorian chant, tolling bells, and deep sudden drop into silence all formulate an atmospheric surround.

We don’t go to prison today. We’re not been feeling well. For all our sakes we stay home.

I wonder about creation. What we create.

The society and culture we get is the one we imagine. Desire and want shape consensus scenarios we populate.

We don’t lack imagination, this particular tableau is of our choosing. What we find repulsive we call crime or sin. What benefits us personally we call good fortune or accomplishment.

It is our canvas. Our musical score. The evaluation is self-valuation.

Look around.

Our creation.

Imagine that!

behind everything, everything else

It is a surprise

In middle of  this dark night

There is anything

Thursday, September 22, 2022

by thinking the source

These days, for me, philosophy is about thinking, not teaching. Apart from dialogic conversational one-to-one-to-many tutorial template of unconcealing thinking, I no longer profess to teaching philosophy. It seems I’ve retired from anything but creating courses and helping upper-level students think alone or with others.

It’s only right. CJ at MSP sculpted me a going away wood book of quotes and poems some four years ago. He knew. Intuition precedes fact and imagination doesn’t wait for an official memo before pondering the Milky Way.

In other words, for a being to be revealed as what it is, it must emerge from the state in which it was concealed, so that it thereby becomes un-concealed. The Being of such a being will be the process by which this non-concealment, or revelation, takes place. Now the Greek word for concealment, as we know, is (from lanthano) lêthê. What is un-concealed is a-letìtes, i.e., true. The process by which this takes place, the Being of this being, is aletìteuein, the coming-to-pass of truth.

Now Being, thus experienced by Heidegger as the process of alêtheia by which beings are revealed, is not "being" as understood in traditional metaphysics. For metaphysics, after Aristotle's definition of "first philosophy," asks the question ti to on hëi on: What are beings as beings? Heidegger's question is not concerned with beings at all, but with the Being of these beings, the lighting-process that lets them be revealed to the metaphysician so that he can raise the metaphysical question. This process of revelation is itself not a being; hence metaphysics as such cannot interrogate Being. Yet Being makes metaphysics possible; hence it is the ground of metaphysics. To interrogate the meaning of Being is to lay the foundation for metaphysics. In the early years Heidegger speaks of this effort as constructing a fundamental ontology; in the later years he speaks rather of overcoming metaphysics by thinking the source (Wesen) from which it springs, i.e., by a wesentliches Denken, a "foundational" thought

(—from HEIDEGGER AND THEOLOGY,, WILLIAM J. RICHARDSON, SJ., Theological Studies, 1965 26: 1, 86-100, http://cdn.theologicalstudies.net/26/26.1/26.1.4.pdf)

Attention is turning to and with Being. 

Poetry is Being-written,

Reality, for we poor explorers, is Being sought and what-is-to-be-revealed as Being unveiled.

Elsewhere,

Dogen died on this date. 

The whirlwind of birth and death  

 

Drifting pitifully in the whirlwind of birth and death,

As if wandering in a dream,

In the midst of illusion I awaken to the true path;

There is one more matter I must not neglect,

But I need not bother now,

As I listen to the sound of the evening rain

Falling on the roof of my temple retreat

In the deep grass of Fukakusa.                                                                                                                      --Dogen 

 

Here it is morning. With rain. On porch roof. Beneath my window.


Thinking appears. Truth is the unhidden. What appears is what we are becoming.


Chitta the cat sits on desk looking at me.


I can't fool her.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

lozenge into this good night

 Sun downs on summer

Cool air carries in autumn

Stars through sky dark night

if one comes into substantial contact

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says: “Arthur Schopenhauer was among the first 19th century philosophers to contend that at its core, the universe is not a rational place.”

That might be good news. 

The irrational seems to annoy us. We seem to like law and laws. There’s a sense of security we feel by espousing them.

We might not always keep within the confines of the law, but we dislike it when others facilely ditch adherence.

Nevertheless, about Schopenhauer’s thinking it is written;

It is a perennial philosophical reflection that if one looks deeply enough into oneself, one will discover not only one’s own essence, but also the essence of the universe. For as one is a part of the universe as is everything else, the basic energies of the universe flow through oneself as they flow through everything else. For that reason it is thought that one can come into contact with the nature of the universe if one comes into substantial contact with one’s ultimate inner being.

(—from article on Arthur Schopenhauer, d.21sept 1860) https://plato.stanford.edu/index.html)

He died one hundred sixty two years ago today.

Where in the universe do we think (or, rather will) he be found?

Maybe he’s flowing right through these words, through you reading this, through everything you’ve thought was clearly compartmentalized and methodically hidden away in file folders accurately alphabetized and color coded.

Look into it, will you?

seis caminos hacia el mañana

 Continued delusions

Day after day point out

What we have long seen — a

Sick and dangerous threat

With confused ill-informed 

Minions set to tumble

of course not, how could you

 Have you given up?

   What do you mean?

Have you given up?

   What do you mean?

Have you given up?

   I don’t know

   What

   You mean.

my playmate of the empty days

 It is a wide and deep ocean. 

The aesthetic.

The unconscious.

And the interdisciplinary obvious revealing itself from behind the separated portfolios of analytical concentration pinpointing the gnarly efforts of researchers and scholars.

The poet, as poets are wont to do, plays with water’s edge knowing they might easily drown in one inch of water as in a hundred fathoms far offshore.

 We write long books where no page perhaps has any quality to make writing a pleasure, being confident in some general design, just as we fight and make money and fill our heads with politics---all dull things in the doing---while Mr. Tagore, like the Indian civilization itself, has been content to discover the soul and surrender himself to its spontaneity. He often seems to contrast life with that of those who have loved more after our fashion, and have more seeming weight in the world, and always humbly as though he were only sure his way is best for him: `Men going home glance at me and smile and fill me with shame. I sit like a beggar maid, drawing my skirt over my face, and when they ask me, what it is I want, I drop my eyes and answer them not.' At another time, remembering how his life had once a different shape, he will say, `Many an hour I have spent in the strife of the good and the evil, but now it is the pleasure of my playmate of the empty days to draw my heart on to him; and I know not why this sudden call to what useless inconsequence.' An innocence, a simplicity that one does not find elsewhere in literature makes the birds and the leaves seem as near to him as they are near to children, and the changes of the seasons great events as before our thoughts had arisen between them and us. At times I wonder if he has it from the literature of Bengal or from religion, and at other times, remembering the birds alighting on his brother's hands, I find pleasure in thinking it hereditary, a mystery that was growing through the centuries like the courtesy of a Tristan or a Pelanore. Indeed, when he is speaking of children, so much a part of himself this quality seems, one is not certain that he is not also speaking of the saints, `They build their houses with sand and they play with empty shells. With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep. Children have their play on the seashore of worlds. They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. Pearl fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets.'

(—W.B. YEATS, September 1912, in Introduction to RABINDRANATH TAGORE’s GITANJALI)

Even empty beaches are crowded with every conscious and unconscious presence. Each breaking wave on hard-pack is a soul throwing itself into the conjoining instant of end of journey and beginning of return.

The observer is entranced by this exchange without knowing why.

Not-knowing why is where the ends and beginnings of things play hide and seek with sky, sea, and sand with no thought of finding. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

whole sight

The only answer that makes sense to me to the question, “Where are you going? Is the response, “Nowhere!”?

Our fixation with spatial dimension works well with conceptual distinctions of near/far, here/there, heaven/earth, in/out.

Same with morality and it’s guiding light. Does it come from external sources, or from interior resonance?

One day I retranslated “Om mane padme hum” as “Behold what is within without, behold what is without within.”

The falling away of conceptual or spatial distinctions is a radical emancipation and reexperiencing invitation to abide “what-is-itself” as “nothing other.”

 The normative character of transcendence. ‘Traditionally transcendence determined people’s orientation in life’ and has provided humanity with ethical normativity (Verhoef 2016:4). The attempt and the need to reconceptualise transcendence thus aim at finding new normative frameworks for living ethical lives. 72

72. In his book, The Gay Science (1882), Nietzsche described the ‘death of God’ in his well- known parable of the madman searching for God at the marketplace. Nietzsche argues here that belief in God has effectively died – God is no longer a convincing hypothesis. This death of God (as the traditional concept of transcendence) has the implication that we have no grounding for moral values and that morality must be created anew by us. We cannot anymore ground one universal system of moral values in one overarching reason (transcendence), religious or not. All values argues Nietzsche (most thoroughly in his On the Genealogy of Morals [1887]), must be revalued and recreated.

 (—Verhoef, A.H., 2018, ‘Transcendence and anatheism’, in D.P. Veldsman & Y. Steenkamp (eds.), Debating Otherness with Richard Kearney: Perspectives from South Africa, pp. 87–111, AOSIS, Cape Town)   https://doi.org/10.4102/aosis.2018.BK94.04

To transcend is to cross over. (from the Latin trans, ‘across’) and the action of ascending (from the Latin scandere, ‘to climb’), points to a type of ‘crossing over’ to some place above or outside the world – an ascension to an ‘outside’).70 

Like the Heart Sutra’s “gone beyond” (paragate) there is a suggestion that crossing over or going beyond is displacement to somewhere else where some other things reside,or, at least, do not abide in the same way of familiar experience.

Karl Rainer wrote that “The Christian of the future will be a mystic, or he will not exist at all.” (Theological Investigations XX, 149).

Wikipedia says of the word mystic:

Derived from the Greek word μύω múō, meaning "to close" or "to conceal",[web 2]mysticism referred to the biblical, liturgical, spiritual, and contemplative dimensions of early and medieval Christianity.[3] During the early modern period, the definition of mysticism grew to include a broad range of beliefs and ideologies related to "extraordinary experiences and states of mind."[4]

In modern times, "mysticism" has acquired a limited definition, with broad applications, as meaning the aim at the "union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God".This limited definition has been applied to a wide range of religious traditions and practices, valuing "mystical experience" as a key element of mysticism. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mysticism

It is the word “union” that attracts my attention. Union with the Absolute, the Infinite, or God.

Is the realization of union the letting go of belief in disunion?

Inside is outside, outside is inside — what is whole and entire is whole and entire.

The severing mental-rational intellect separates and compartmentalizes, isolates and fragments what is in itself whole and entire.

We become desolate in our smashed world.

John Fowle’s was correct with the first line of his novel Daniel Martin. He wrote:

”Whole sight; or all the rest is desolation.”

Perhaps that’s what a mystic is, what a mystic does — whole sight.

For Christ sake,

For Buddha awakening,

For one-another’s well-being!

gate, gate

 old gate worn and frail

across end of dooryard

held by rope and hope

no sunshine

De los santos, he

Is not, he is what holy

Men are not, cruel

Monday, September 19, 2022

simply

 Such rain

September

Monastery bells

regina, in westminster

 At her funeral

The Queen says nothing, remains

Silent, still, resting

Sunday, September 18, 2022

after sunday evening practice

 Of frogs and deer and 

naps and now — how lovely to 

be with one (each) an-

other…as summer puts on 

evening sweater, it rains

non aspettare*

Prophets arise when shame knows no boundary and the hearts of scoundrels are hard and vile.

Amos (d 745BCE) was one of the arising prophets:

Prophet Amos as depicted by Gustave Doré

Amos 8:4-7 

I will never forget your deeds, you who trample on the needy


Listen to this, you who trample on the needy

and try to suppress the poor people of the country,

you who say, ‘When will New Moon be over

so that we can sell our corn,

and sabbath, so that we can market our wheat?

Then by lowering the bushel, raising the shekel,

by swindling and tampering with the scales,

we can buy up the poor for money,

and the needy for a pair of sandals,

and get a price even for the sweepings of the wheat.’

The Lord swears it by the pride of Jacob,

‘Never will I forget a single thing you have done.’  

 https://universalis.com/mass.htm


A prophet** speaks forth. Not so much a foretelling as a telling for.

 ** --from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + root of phanai "to speak" (from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak, tell, say"). https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=prophet

In 1968 I loved studying the prophets with Alexander Di Lella OFM at the Washington Theological Union. He was terrific, as were they.


Perfidy and arrogant solipsism are not contemporary creations. As long as there have been erect standing men there has been a dearth of stand-up honorable and just members of the ruling community. We are not an outlier culture.


So, we speak up. We utter forth the deeds of dishonorable people whose meanness and self serving grab of power, resources, and fealty of the giddy following tribe sniffing at their heels. 


There are among us prophets.


Not enough of them.


Some pray in solitude. Some shout their protest. Some write editorials, write letters, write articles, or poetry, or cuss in despondent frustration.


Still, prophets.


Still listening, watching, responding.


Still cultivating a nearly lost trust that fairness, goodness, and justice will emerge in our midst.


Where we stand.


The disconsolate.


But resolved to usher what is holy it’s appearance — standing resolute in the face and faces of an ignominy that smiles with cynical leer.


As the title of his book encourages us, You Have to Say Something, by Dainin Katagiri, we have to begin where, when, and who we are.

"To live life fully," Katagiri says, "means to take care of your life day by day, moment to moment, right here, right now."

So…


Let's Speak now!  

*Do not wait!

when will clarifies only the following gaze

 Yes, I will, he said

They looked at him wondering

So too he at them

Saturday, September 17, 2022

nothing going on

 In quiet zendo

Candle burns before Buddha 

Bell, incense, Han clap

shuffling alone

 Ruminance obscures

Wandering lost empty brook

This waning summer

once new, now not

Final days summer

Melancholy chilly nights

Our passing season 

or does he think, jesus is wrong

 when a baptist looks 

at a Buddha statue, does

he see Christ's good friend?

fraud's interpretation of schemes

Let's all hold our breath.


One, two, three. Are they gone? Bad


dream scat -- Ron, Don, Greg!

Friday, September 16, 2022

use them, use the immigrants, laugh at them, traffic them

 Always a crapshoot

Democracy devolves with

Ugly smirking pols

a retiring champion

 Where is my racquet —

I’ll show Roger my backhand

Right into the net

Thursday, September 15, 2022

strange ruling, strange judge, strange former presiding-dent

 High level dumb shit

Up is not up, down not down —

Nor is the law law

each unexpected lesson, the urge to meet his eye

I was reading Don Paterson's book of poems, The Eyes, A Version of Antonio Machado (c.1999) when I found online this poem by Paterson and a commentary by Martin Collins: 

 The Lie


As was my custom, I’d risen a full hour
before the house had woken to make sure
that everything was in order with The Lie,
his drip changed and his shackles all secure.

I was by then so practiced in this chore
I’d counted maybe thirteen years or more
since last I’d felt the urge to meet his eye.
Such, I liked to think, was our rapport.

I was at full stretch to test some ligature
when I must have caught a ragged thread, and tore
his gag away; though as he made no cry,
I kept on with my checking as before.

Why do you call me The Lie? he said. I swore:
it was a child’s voice. I looked up from the floor.
The dark had turned his eyes to milk and sky
and his arms and legs were all one scarlet sore.

He was a boy of maybe three or four.
His straps and chains were all the things he wore.
Knowing I could make him no reply
I took the gag before he could say more

and put it back as tight as it would tie
and locked the door and locked the door and locked the door

                                                                (Poem by Don Paterson)  

Comments by Martin Collins: 

The ritual is a great way of opening as it frames the way we approach a lie - as something that requires maintenance. It makes me think of Don Draper in Mad Men constantly working to hide the fact that he isn't who he says he is and removing all traces of evidence(As an aside Don Paterson said that he had been watching Mad Men and one of his conclusions was that Don was the one person everyone wished they were - I completely disagree but that is another rant).

I particularly like the fact that the lie is a child, because it shows a sense of innocence. In all honesty it is we that confer importance, whether white or dread, upon a lie and is meaningless and unknowing in itself which makes it seem all the more fitting.

The fact that it questions him, perhaps a metaphor for the why our lies question our identity. Why do we feel a need to support the lie? What does it tell us about ourselves? What we need to hide or more importantly protect? But then again the point we often don't attempt to confront the lie we hide from it and lock the door and lock the door and lock the door.

The final line that is ace with its furious repetition, like scouring skin with soap until it is raw to get some unseen dirt out. It also manages to maintain the rhyme scheme which I am pretending isn't there...

The poignancy lingers.

My lies are also well cloaked and muted.

Today in the Christian calendar is the feast of  Our Lady of Sorrows. A good timing. Yesterday I learned some old news that filled me with sorrow -- a dead former student, killed by a current prison friend, the connection sixteen years later made. Only sorrow for both. For the "no reply" of a muted mind. For the gagged silences walking around with and within us.

           Haiku

                         (pour les pertes)

     Learning to suffer

    each unexpected lesson

    assigns deep reading

                        (wfh/15sept2022)