Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don't do what God wouldn't do

God does not see sin.

Why should we?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

looking through notes

Listening to Public Radio while looking through notes.

“This is how we come to be where we are: someone finds us, and we are their message.” (wfh, 25mar1998)

I was writing about a small wood sign found on bank of Shenandoah River hanging on sticks matted with leaves and mud after what must have been a river rise from up-country Virginia. It still hangs from cut Yew bush alongside barn in Maine as sun rises over Melvin Heights off Molyneaux Road.
The first of these is meditation on the rarity of human birth: how, among the beings that populate the six realms of rebirth, those reborn as humans with access to the Buddha’s teaching are incredibly rare. The second meditation is on the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time of death, the recognition that one will definitely die, yet the time of death is utterly indefinite. The third preliminary practice is to meditate on the workings of the law of karma, how negative deeds done in the past will always ripen as suffering and how over the beginningless cycle of rebirth each of us has committed countless crimes. The prospect of eternal suffering lies ahead. And what are those sufferings? The fourth meditation is on the faults of samsara, visualizing in detail the tortures of the eight hot hells and the eight cold hells, the four neighboring hells, and the various trifling hells; the horrible hunger and thirst suffered by ghosts; the sufferings of animals, the sufferings of humans that we know so well, even the sufferings of gods. For in Buddhism, the gods also suffer.
The goal of such meditation is to cause one to regard this life as a prisoner regards his or her prison, to cause one to strive to escape from this world with the urgency that a person whose hair is on fire seeks to douse the flames. The goal of such meditation, in other words, is stress induction. This stress is the result of a profound dissatisfaction with the world. Rather than seeking a sense of peaceful satisfaction with the unfolding of experience, the goal of this practice is to produce a state of mind that is highly judgmental, indeed judging this world to be like a prison. This sense of dissatisfaction is regarded as an essential prerequisite for progress on the Buddhist path. Far from seeking to become somehow “nonjudgmental,” the meditator is instructed to judge all the objects of ordinary experience as scarred by three marks: impermanence, suffering, and no self.
What, then, are we to do?
One of the most famous statements in Buddhist literature occurs in the Diamond Sutra, where the Buddha says to the monk Subhuti:
In this regard, Subhuti, one who has set out on the bodhisattva path should have the following thought, “I should bring all living beings to final extinction in the realm of extinction without substrate remaining. But after I have brought living beings to final extinction in this way, no living being whatsoever has been brought to extinction.” Why is that? If, Subhuti, the idea of a living being were to occur to a bodhisattva, or the idea of a soul or the idea of a person, he should not be called a bodhisattva. Why is that? There is no dharma called “one who has set out on the bodhisattva path.”
(from, Tricycle, Winter 2012, The Scientific BuddhaWhy do we ask that Buddhism be compatible with science?Donald S. Lopez, Jr.)

Four billion dollars will flow from the U.S. to Afghanistan this year.

And many doctors do not tell their patients that their diagnosis is Alzheimer’s.

Monday, March 23, 2015

reducing and increasing

Then I learn of Pierre Hadot.
It was around this time that Pierre Hadot began to study and lecture on Marcus Aurelius – studies that would culminate in his edition of the Meditations,left unfinished at his death, and especially in his book The Inner Citadel (Hadot 1998). Under the influence of his wife Ilsetraut, who had written an important work on spiritual guidance in Seneca (Hadot 1969), Hadot now began to accord more and more importance to the idea of spiritual exercises, that is, philosophical practices intended to transform the practitioner’s way of looking at the world and consequently his or her way of being. Following Paul Rabbow, Hadot held that the famous Exercitia Spiritualia of Ignatius of Loyola, far from being exclusively Christian, were the direct heirs of pagan Greco-Roman practices. These exercises, involving not just the intellect or reason, but all of a human being’s faculties, including emotion and imagination, had the same goal as all ancient philosophy: reducing human suffering and increasing happiness, by teaching people to detach themselves from their particular, egocentric, individualistic viewpoints and become aware of their belonging, as integral component parts, to the Whole constituted by the entire cosmos. In its fully developed form, exemplified in such late Stoics as Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, this change from our particularistic perspective to the universal perspective of reason had three main aspects. First, by means of the discipline of thought, we are to strive for objectivity; since, as the Stoics believe, what causes human suffering is not so much things in the world, but our beliefs about those things, we are to try to perceive the world as it is in itself, without the subjective coloring we automatically tend to ascribe to everything we experience (“That’s lovely,” “that’s horrible,” “that’s ugly,” “that’s terrifying,” etc.). Second, in the discipline of desire, we are to attune our individual desires with the way the universe works, not merely accepting that things happen as they do, but actively willing for things to happen precisely the way they do happen. This attitude is, of course, the ancestor of Nietzsche’s “Yes” granted to the cosmos, a “yes” that immediately justifies the world’s existence.Finally, in the discipline of action, we are to try to ensure that all our actions are directed not just to our own immediate, short-term advantage, but to the interests of the human community as a whole.  
(--from Philosophy as a Way of Life: Ancients and Moderns – Essays in Honor of Pierre Hadot, First Edition. Edited by Michael Chase, Stephen R. L. Clark, and Michael McGhee.2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Published 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.) 
Who, along with Jean-Luc Marion, and D.G. Leahy come visiting the midcoast curiosity of a retiring hermit in suspect seclusion.

reminder, memorial

Noting is not nothing.

Practice noting. Practice remembering. Try to recall.
ὑπόμνημα , ατοςτόA. reminder, memorial, “ἔχειν ὑπομνήματά τινος”  Th.2.44; “ἵν᾽ τοῖς ἐπιγιγνομένοις  τῆς τῶν βαρβάρων ἀσεβείας” Isoc. 4.156, cf. 73; “τῆς ἀρετῆς μᾶλλον  τοῦ σώματοςκαταλιπεῖν”  Id.2.36, cf. D.23.210τοιούτοις χρώμενοςὑπομνήμασιν such means of remembrance, Pl.Phdr.249c; freq. in Inscrr., e.g. “ὅπως τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης , . . στεφανηφορεῖν Ἐρετριεῖς πάντας”  IG12(9).192.5 (Eretria, iv B. C.); ἀνθέμεν ὗν ἀργύρεον ὑπόμνα_μα τᾶς ἀμαθίας ib.42(1).121.39 (Epid., iv B. C.).
2. tomb, Ath.Mitt.29.294, al. (Mysia).
II. reminder, mention, in a speech, Th.4.126; in a letter, X.An.1.6.3; esp. written reminder, memorandum, Ζήνωνι παρὰ Διονυσίουτῷφέροντί σοι τὸ ., PCair.Zen.307.1,19 (iii B. C.), cf. 301.1, al. (iii B. C.).
2. note or memorandum entered by a tradesman in his day-book, ὑπόμνημαἀπεγράψατο he had a note made of it, D.49.30, cf. 28.6; of bankers, εἰώθασινὑπομνήματα γράφεσθαι ὧν διδόασι χρημάτων. . Id.49.5.
3. mostly in pl., memoranda, notes,Hp.Art.34 (but prob. a gloss), Pl.Phdr.276dγράφεινγράψασθαι,Id.Plt.295cTht.143a.
4. minutes of the proceedings of a public body, public records, “τὰ κατ᾽ ἄρχοντας .” Plu.2.867a, cf. D.S. 1.4Luc.Dem.Enc.26, etc.; τὰ τῆς βουλῆς . the acts of the Senate, D.C.78.22ἐπὶ τῶν τῆς συγκλήτου, = Lat. a commentariis, IG4.588 (Argos, ii A. D.), 5(1).533 (Sparta, ii A. D.); “ἐπὶ τῶν καταστῆσαί τινα”  J.AJ7.5.4, cf. LXX 2 Ki.8.16 (quoted by J.l. c.); records of a magistrate, POxy.1252r.26 (iii A. D.), etc.; including his decisions, Mitteis Chr.372 iv 20(ii A. D.), POxy.911.8 (iii A. D.), etc.
5. dissertations or treatises written by philosophers, rhetoricians, and artists, Archyt. ap. D.L.8.80 sq., Sotad.Com.1.35Demetr.Lac.Herc.1014.67Longin.44.12D.L.4.4; of historical or geographical works, Plb., etc.; of medical works, Gal.6.460,691, al. (the same work is called . and σύγγραμμα in 15.1).
b. division, section, 'book' of such a treatise, Phld.Mus.p.92 K., Po.5.26PMed. in Arch.Pap.4.270.
c. explanatory notes, commentaries,Sch.Ar.Av.1242, etc.; of the Homeric commentaries of Aristarch., Sch.Il.2.420, al.; εἰ γὰρ τὰσυγγράμματα (Aristarchus' independent treatises on Homeric questions) τῶν ὑπομνημάτωνπροτάττοιμεν . . Did. ap. Sch.Il.2.111; so Gal. distinguishes ὑπομνήματα(clinical notes) from συγγράμματα of Hippocrates, 16.532,543; and the συγγράμματα of Hp. from his own commentaries (ὑπομνήματα) on them, ib.811commentary, οὕτω Θέων ἐν τῷ εἰς Θεόκριτον Et.Gud.d. s.v. γρῖπος.III. draft or copy of a letter, Pl.Ep.363e.
IV. memorial, petition, addressed to a magistrate, whereas the “ἔντευξις”  4 is in form addressed to the king, IG12(3).327.4 (Egypt, iii B. C.), BGU1007.1 (iii B. C.), PTeb. 30.10, al. (ii B. C.), UPZ23.228.3 (ii B. C.), etc.
2. notification, e.g. of birth, PFay.28.12 (ii A. D.); of removal, POxy.251.29 (i A. D.), etc.
Been thinking about the classical education I stumbled through those years ago.

Remember it well?

Who can forget.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

finding old writing book

is the secret
of zen -- 
is the mystery
of Christian way: 
So -- now
you understand,
what is holding you 
from freedom?
And do not
(wfh, 24mar1998)
This morning I heard On Being with Krista Tippett interviewing Alan Dienstag. They speak about Alzheimer’s. He told of a woman whose husband was slipping into the dark hole of forgetting. She was becoming increasingly distraught at her husband’s recurring failure to recognize her.

Each visit she’d ask him if he knew who she was. Sometimes he did, many times he didn’t. One day she arrived, asked him her question, and waited for his response. He looked at her and said, “I don’t know who you are, but I love you.”

A perfect answer. It was what she needed to hear.

Emptiness suggests each thing is itself. Every itself is relational. And transitory.

In Buddhism, if everything is impermanent, then so too is death impermanent.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

nine words, ten syllables

There is no time


and nothing like


Friday, March 20, 2015

As the 19th gives way

Joseph, it is said, provided a home. 

Mary, herself, is mystical entrance. 

Jesus, a dwelling place in this existence of What-Is-Throughout.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It doesn't matter

Joseph did the right thing.

He did.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

even if there is no time


It sometimes feels like a waste of time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

path and pathos

The detective in Australian series says we are unknowable.

No one knows what's in anyone's heart.

No trust, just inquiry.

The pathos is what is unknown. 

The path is unknowing.





Monday, March 16, 2015

This is my body

Brent Scowcroft said about the end of the Cold War, “...we were confused, befuddled. We didn’t know what was going on, and we didn’t think it mattered much.” (--in The Strategist, by Bartholomew Sparrow)

Today we know a lot more. We know that the confused, befuddled, and unknowing are rife and resolute in their setting and carrying out of foreign and domestic policy.

We know that a new extinction is afoot. What is disliked, mistrusted, or simply hated is now shot and murdered, bypassing any mediate steps to constrain, dissuade, assist or detain anyone considered a threat or antagonist to prevailing force and opinion.

Elimination, one observes, is current work of police, military, and covert forces of national security. 

I abjure this creeping toward Bethlehem to be spawned.

Fear mothers desperation as control fathers delusion.

This new family is not viable.

Walk away.

Leave home.

Pull up stakes.


Take the whole 40 days, forty years, forty centuries.

Become human. Act human. Observe the human surrendering to that which transforms the human into what is beyond human.

What is beyond human?

Try this!

And this.

Then this.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

arational accord...awaken interest.

From  Scott D. Moringiello review of a Robyn Horner book about Jean‐Luc Marion in The Journal of Religion:
In the first section of the book, “Situating Marion,” Horner devotes individual chapters to Marion’s intellectual biography (including his philosophical and theological mentors), to his philosophical context, to a superb distillation of Husserl’s phenomenology as it bears on Marion’s work, and to the fate of phenomenology in light of the criticisms of Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida. It is in this first section that the question of metaphysics comes to the fore. Marion works in the wake of Heidegger, who “uncovers the fragility of and inadequacy of a metaphysical thinking of being as substance, as cause, and as presence” (36). Moreover, Heidegger “protests a thinking of God as highest being” (36). Horner explores how Marion overcomes thinking of God as the highest being in the second section of the book and how he renews phenomenology to stand as the new first philosophy in the third section. 
For Marion, according to Horner, thinking of God as the highest being is nothing short of idolatry. In trying to think God other than by way of metaphysics, Marion’s theological writings employ four basic motifs: distance, the icon, love, and the gift. “God enters into thought as distance, gives Godself to contemplation in the icon, is only to be known as and through love, and this more particularly as a gift of love” (49). In the second part of the book, “The Theological Destitution of Metaphysics,” Horner analyzes Marion’s writings on each of these four motifs and devotes individual chapters to Marion’s On Descartes' Metaphysical Prism (Chicago, 1999) and God without Being
If Marion’s theological writings try to rethink God other than by way of metaphysics, his phenomenological writings attempt to overcome metaphysics by way of the saturated phenomenon and love. Horner discusses these writings in the third section, “Exceeding Excess.” The first chapter in this section treats Marion’s rehabilitation of Husserl’s phenomenological project. Instead of seeing presence (Husserl) or being (Heidegger) as the phenomenological horizon, Marion understands this horizon to be “givenness” (110). With this horizon, Marion can argue that the subject is “a screen upon which phenomena become visible” (106). With this understanding of subjectivity in place, Horner, in the following chapter, goes on to give a detailed account of saturated phenomena, which are phenomena that are in excess of the subject’s intentional aim, and examines the premier examples of saturated phenomena: the event, the idol and icon, the flesh, and the face. Horner’s final chapter, “A Thought of Love,” is an exposition and analysis of Marion’s Le phénomène érotique (Paris, 2003). Horner notes that in this work Marion “essentially argues that metaphysics is deficient because it cannot think what matters, and what matters is loving and being loved” (146). Horner concludes that for Marion, “metaphysics can only be settled by a kind of faith,” one that can be “solely characterized in terms of a leap” (146).
(--from, Book Review, Reviewed work: Robyn Horner, Jean‐Luc Marion: A Theo‐logical Introduction. London: Ashgate, 2005. xii+222 pp. $29.95 (paper). Scott D. Moringiello, Notre Dame, Indiana. In The Journal of Religion   >  Vol. 86, No. 3, July 2006)
Our Sunday Morning Breakfast Seminar had to do with looking at the institutional and structural economic reasons for cruelty and dominance, failure to consider a way of dwelling between capitalism and socialism, one that attends to eradicating the negative conditions and prejudicial thinking of those who are behind the suffering in this world, and working toward a more thoughtfully investigatory, collaboratively cooperative, and contextually appropriate method of engaging all members of the human race with dignity, respect, compassion, and love.

Yes, love.

As Marion evokes, so too participants in this morning’s colloquy, there is a need to rethink what love is, to reconsider God, and to re-evaluate the frustration centered on those whose debilitating physical, moral, or intellectual conditioning has left them antagonistic and unrepentantly averse to a more benevolent look at both themselves and everyone else.

(I do not consider what comes next Marion’s.) The thought that God “is not” but comes loving as the action of relational service and arational accord, awakens interest.

If the category of ‘being’ is not posited for God a-priori, there arises a process of “becoming” through  evolving engagement with what is presenting itself in an inter-relational occasion prompting new and creative responses to phenomenal manifestation in the moment.

In other words -- there’s nothing there until arising occasion responds with love. And then there is God.

There is (il y a) (da-sein) God.

To “is” God is what God is ising.

To “there” God is to love God into the present, or, God theres reality for the duration of what manifests itself there in the realization of loving engagement.

There “is” no God.

God theres what becomes itself in act(s) of caring connection.

No need to ask where God is.

Rather, step into God-becoming-apparent with love.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

“But can you define what you call Being?"


From La Repubblica. Pope Francis being interviewed by Eugenio Scalfari An interesting read: 
But just a few days ago you appealed to Catholics to engage civilly and politically.  
"I was not addressing only Catholics but all men of good will. I say that politics is the most important of the civil activities and has its own field of action, which is not that of religion. Political institutions are secular by definition and operate in independent spheres. All my predecessors have said the same thing, for many years at least, albeit with different accents. I believe that Catholics involved in politics carry the values of their religion within them, but have the mature awareness and expertise to implement them. The Church will never go beyond its task of expressing and disseminating its values, at least as long as I'm here."  
But that has not always being the case with the Church.  
"It has almost never been the case. Often the Church as an institution has been dominated by temporalism and many members and senior Catholic leaders still feel this way. But now let me ask you a question: you, a secular non-believer in God, what do you believe in? You are a writer and a man of thought. You believe in something, you must have a dominant value. Don't answer me with words like honesty, seeking, the vision of the common good, all important principles and values but that is not what I am asking. I am asking what you think is the essence of the world, indeed the universe. You must ask yourself, of course, like everyone else, who we are, where we come from, where we are going. Even children ask themselves these questions. And you?"  
I am grateful for this question. The answer is this: I believe in Being, that is in the tissue from which forms, bodies arise.  
"And I believe in God, not in a Catholic God, there is no Catholic God, there is God and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being. Do you think we are very far apart?"  
We are distant in our thinking, but similar as human beings, unconsciously animated by our instincts that turn into impulses, feelings and will, thought and reason. In this we are alike.  
"But can you define what you call Being?"  
Being is a fabric of energy. Chaotic but indestructible energy and eternal chaos. Forms emerge from that energy when it reaches the point of exploding. The forms have their own laws, their magnetic fields, their chemical elements, which combine randomly, evolve, and are eventually extinguished but their energy is not destroyed. Man is probably the only animal endowed with thought, at least in our planet and solar system. I said that he is driven by instincts and desires but I would add that he also contains within himself a resonance, an echo, a vocation of chaos.  
"All right. I did not want you to give me a summary of your philosophy and what you have told me is enough for me. From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. In the letter I wrote to you, you will remember I said that our species will end but the light of God will not end and at that point it will invade all souls and it will all be in everyone."  
Yes, I remember it well. You said, "All the light will be in all souls" which - if I may say so - gives more an image of immanence than of transcendence.  
"Transcendence remains because that light, all in everything, transcends the universe and the species it inhabits at that stage. But back to the present. We have made a step forward in our dialogue. We have observed that in society and the world in which we live selfishness has increased more than love for others, and that men of good will must work, each with his own strengths and expertise, to ensure that love for others increases until it is equal and possibly exceeds love for oneself." 

(--from “The Pope: how the Church will change." {Translated from Italian to English by Kathryn Wallace},  Dialogue between Francis and La Repubblica’s founder, Eugenio Scalfari: “ Starting from the Second Vatican Council, open to modern culture”. The conversation in the Vatican after the Pope's letter to La Repubblica: "Convert you? Proselytism is solemn nonsense. You have to meet people and listen to them. ) “  

This in the afternoon.  Along with poem by Terrance Keenan for Saturday Morning Practice. (With now dusking new snow falling over and on everything, again). Makes for a dash of feeling, sanity visiting in an increasingly less-than-sane, mostly absent, world.

A Sweetness Appears and Prevails
                    By Terrance Keenan 
The reason we bother 
to get up in the morning 
is because of everything; 
is because there is another arithmetic 
without internal sense 
and we ache at the borders; 
is because the grey music 
of the first chickadee before dawn 
in the hemlocks 
is the grinding engines of the humpyard 
carried on morning air; 
is because we are afraid 
and know everyone is afraid 
and do not know 
who will soothe our tears 
nor how many tears 
we will hold unshed. 
You seem to be you 
and I seem to be me. 
My sorrows are no greater 
than your sorrows. 
Thou art beautiful, 
o my loves, 
as tears are.
(Poem by Terrance Keenan, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist priest, is an Irish artist and writer. From Zen Encounters with Loneliness, by Terrance Keenan. Reprinted with permission of Wisdom Publications. Tricycle Magazine, Spring 2015) 
Being, someone said at practice, is showing up.

Just like that. Like this.

I like these words.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Homo hominis; human, human is; creative action

This is what we spoke about in prison this morning.
The Right & The Best 
Homo faber seeks certainty – she needs to have the ‘right’ answers to problems; whereas Homo cognitoaims at achieving the best solutions in collaboration with others in the unique context of the situation. This always leaves open the possibility of there being even better solutions. 
This is not to say that there aren’t right answers to keep bridges from crumbling, or buildings from collapsing during an earthquake. This form of thinking is certainly not irrelevant. However it cannot be the only form of thinking. Right answers depend on the right tools being applied; but too much can be ignored when the focus is solely on using the technologically ‘right’ tool for the job. On the other hand, Homo cognito, freed from the need for absolute certainty, can engage in the knowledge-making process with others. Collaborative teamwork works out case-by-case solutions to problems too complex to be reduced to fixed problems with fixed answers. 
Homo cognito also has to evaluate the information gathered and determine its reliability and relevance. With so much information available to us these days, we generally need to know how to evaluate the knowledge (or ‘knowledge’) that is out there. We cannot depend on all the information being accurate, trusting that someone with authority stands behind the claims made. Instead of relying on the authority of the teacher or on possibly outdated textbook or internet sources, we ourselves have to determine the reliability of sources. We have to become our own authority, so to speak. 
Thus Homo cognito becomes the authority on her contribution to the collaborative process, and is directly involved with deciding the relevance, importance and reliability of the information gathered. She is accountable for how she has made her decisions, and is able to give reasons and explanations for these decisions. In this way, instead of depending on the authority of instructor or text, Homo cognito now makes her thinking and reasoning visible and transparent to the collaborating group.
(--from, The Need To Move Beyond Homo Faber, by Maria daVenza Tillmanns, in Philosophy Now, February/March 2015
Then I became very tired.

Homo somnolent.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Cold surrounds.
For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our "original mind" includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self-sufficient state of mind. This doesn't mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few. 
In the beginner's mind there is no thought "I have attained something." All self-centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner's mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless. Dogen-zenji, the founder of our school, always emphasized how important it is to resume our boundless original mind. Then we are always true to ourselves, in sympathy with all beings, and can actually practice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

replying to a student’s paper

Here are some observations of some points you make:

*     It sounds, at first, horrifying when it is said “This thing or that thing, or life, has no meaning.” Upon further reflection, perhaps what is meant is that things, and life, are only things, and life. They do not come with meaning. They are only themselves. ‘Meaning’ is something that is conferred upon things or life by someone doing the conferring. In other words, we place meaning on things, on life. 

Which is why different things mean differently to different people. The world is a variety and variation of meaning. Which makes us jumpy when others do not value what we value, nor we what they value. We are meant to converse about our differences.

   Meaning is a creative act. (You could say.) It occurs when attention, awareness, and personal creativity places something as meaningfully before us. Self-knowledge flows from this process. (I submit.)

**      If there is no present, only past and future, might we say that past and future are the present…blink, blink, blink…a present that has been/will be without any static fixed place to reside for longer than a blink?

***      I wonder if by ‘relative’  [comparative, respective, comparable, correlative, parallel, corresponding] we might consider that time does not really exist, i.e. does not stand out from its corresponding parallel relatedness to what has been or what will be. 

In typical Buddhist paradox, might we suggest that time is no-time? (And ‘no-time’ is the definition or meaning of ‘eternity.’ )

 So, do we long for eternity? For no-time? Perhaps ‘time’ is a pivoting point, turning this way and that, as an exchange takes place so fast that it eludes us and we are left wondering (always) “what is happening?” And that question contains the gist of human experience — we are ‘what is’ happening.  

I once sent a telegram (it was the late 70s) to Martha’s Vineyard where a friend was getting married. It read, “May you become for one another a resting place for time to change hands.” 

The Western Union operator (it was done by phone) did a sharp intake of breath and asked, “Oh my, whose words are those?” 

“Mine,” I answered. 

“You’re kidding me,” she said. 

“No, I’m not.” I said. “I wouldn’t lie to you; I don’t know you. We only lie to someone we know.” [An odd thing to say, even now!] 

She laughed. 

****      A terrific expression of the individual as learning creative experience. Pace yourself well!


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

becoming new part, departing a new whole

The old master had his fill of his time and the behavior of it.

So, he left for outer territory.
The magic structure
The emergence of the magic structure is above all a transition from undifferentiated identity to one-dimensional unity. The magic consciousness is focused on a single “point,” which can be interchanged with other “points” or, as a part, stand for a whole.
The man of the magic structure has been released from his harmony or identity with the whole. With that a first process of consciousness began; it was still completely sleep-like: for the first time not only was man in the world, but he began to face the world in its sleep-like outlines. Therewith arose the germ of a need: that of no longer being in the world but of having the world.
The more man released himself from the whole, becoming “conscious” of himself, the more he began to be an individual, a unity not yet able to recognize the world as a whole, but only the details (or “points”) which reach his still sleep-like consciousness and in turn stand for the whole. Hence the magic world is also a world of pars pro toto, in which the part can and does stand for the whole. Magic man’s reality, his system of asso- ciations, are these individual objects, deeds, or events separated from one another like points in the over-all unity.
These points can be interchanged at will. It is a world of pure but meaningful accident; a world in which all things and persons are interrelated, but the not-yet centered Ego is dispersed over the world of phenomena. . . . In a sense one may say that in this structure consciousness was not yet in man himself, but still resting in the world. The gradual trans- fer of this consciousness, which streams towards him and which he must assimilate from his standpoint, and the awakening world, which he gradually learns to confront (and in the confrontation there is something hostile), is something that man must master.
Man replies to the forces streaming toward him with his own corresponding forces: he stands up to Nature. He tries to exorcise her, to guide her; he strives to be independent of her; then he begins to be conscious of his own will. Witchcraft and sorcery, totem and taboo, are the natural means by which he seeks to free himself from the transcendent power of nature, by which his soul strives to materialize within him and to become in- creasingly conscious of itself. . . . Here, in these attempts to free himself from the grip and spell of nature, with which in the beginning he was still fused in unity, magic man begins the struggle for power which has not ceased since; here man becomes the maker. (46  
(--p.54, Evolution of Consciousness According to Jean Gebser, by Ulrich J. Mohrhoff, Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education )
Lao tzu never looked back. 

would you like bitter impropriety with your umeboshi

Our dear umeboshi begin to leap into a coup.

Seems US Senate Republicans begin the dissolution of governance the House Republicans have been itching and inching towards of late.

A letter to Iran saying pay no attention to our President.

A Foreign leader from Israel in their Chamber saying our President is wrong.

A slew of arrogant and bombastic voices halting and hexing reasonable dialogue toward meaningful governing, guttering good efforts, replaced with poorly masked ideological bigotry and tepid denials of insidious antipathy toward ordinary people, in favor of the few, the rich, the lording, the fingers on guns and eye-poking bullying become so prevalent in our culture of celebrity cynicism cutting across spectrum of media, politics, sports, corporations, religions, and street-cruel switchblades bleeding bodies out.

The open revolution of right wing ideologues commences.

What do we have here?
All the Difficult Hours and Minutes
                       ( by JANE HIRSHFIELD)
All the difficult hours and minutes  
are like salted plums in a jar.  
Wrinkled, turn steeply into themselves,  
they mutter something the color of  sharkfins to the glass.  
Just so, calamity turns toward calmness.  
First the jar holds the umeboshi, then the rice does. 
(--Source: Poetry (May 2008))
Will there be mushrooms or mushroom clouds side-dishing the Toynbee-esque dominant minority masquerading majority sliding downhill toward new uncivil war?

White rice elbows aside brown rice in broken serving bowl.

Monday, March 09, 2015

with seaweed soup

Poetry has no reason to be.

My Sandwich   
So many things  
you’d not have thought of 
until they were given. 
Even the simple- 
a cottage cheese sandwich, 
a heron’s contractable neck. 
You eat. You look. 
Then you look back and it’s over. 
This life. This flood - 
unbargained for as lasting love was - 
of lasting oddness.                                                                                                                  
(--poem, “My Sandwich” by Jane Hirshfield from The Beauty. © Knopf, 2015. 

Theology has its roots in trees.

 realizing the nature of heaven 
Love god; god is love.  
Love one another; you are 
Serve each other, render 
be of use, help; 
is true life. 
(wfh,, 22apr2014, prior to msp)  

  Philosophy is what we think about everyday life.

At 77 years old all my teeth are gone
and the wind blows past my gums.
No windscreen in Dongducheon
where homeless live alone. 
Rather than live alone
I wanted to be a monk in Buddha’s temple
but they kicked me out—
I sneaked the bacon. 
The Deacon’s ad in the newspaper
offered a room at his church—
In exchange for cleaning I lived well.
One rainy night I drank Soju and smoked
so they kicked me out. 
Damn hard work on my back for GIs—
pounded and pounded me inside
so one day it had to go.
The khanho-won removed my womb
no pension for sex trade
no yungkum. 
American couple adopted
my half white son—
my half black daughter
I left at the orphanage door
and never knew her fate. 
At one time I had money saved.
My brother came in his guilty face
Because I can’t protect you— you do this.
He used my handling money
to become a lawyer and soon removed
my name from the family—
like scraping a baby from the womb. 
Still, on my birthdays my sister Sook
secretly came to see me,
came with seaweed soup—
Unni, Unni…I waited for her to come
saved a gift chocolate so carefully wrapped—
gum, perfume, Dove soap…  
Now that she’s engaged
Sook cannot come again—
Why can’t you go to America like the others?
For the first time that day I was weeping,
Mother, mother, we should not live Let’s die together! but Mother was already gone. 
The time goes so fast that people on the moon
didn’t know where Korea was. 
One day I met a man
and I am a woman making rice
washing his work clothes
submissive and joyful
until he found my American dollars
ran away and never came back. 
Now in Dongducheon
stars shimmer in the wind. 
(--poem by Tanya Ko, poet and translator who was born and raised in South Korea on Paris Press website)  . 

Science knows things beyond belief.