first light"There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past." ~George Carlin
grows toward window --
first light"There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past." ~George Carlin
The Buddha presented a radical challenge to the way we see the world, both the world that was seen two millennia ago and the world that is seen today. What he taught is not different, it is not an alternative, it is the opposite. That the path that we think will lead us to happiness leads instead to sorrow. That what we believe is true is instead false. That what we imagine to be real is unreal. A certain value lies in remembering that challenge from time to time.Getting wood from barn for embering stove, stepping out on squeaking snow, looking up at vast space whited with points of light, I think of recent discovery of black hole some 18 billion light years away.
(- Donald S. Lopez, Jr., “The Scientific Buddha" Tricycle)
Some 2,500 years after the lifetime of the historical Buddha, the following quotation about Buddhism was ascribed to Albert Einstein: “The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs, it would be Buddhism.” This statement cannot be located in any of Einstein’s writings. But there is something about Buddhism, and about the Buddha, that caused someone to ascribe these words to Einstein. And since the time when Einstein didn’t say this, intimations of deep connections between Buddhism and science have continued, right up until today. In any given month, such publications as The New York Times and The Washington Post report on clinical studies investigating the affinity of Buddhism and science, particularly neurobiology.
(--Lopez, ibid)The human body has +/- 50 trillion cells. That’s a big number. They put match to paper and twigs. They all cooperate to make toast in the morning.
|rokpa snoozing under OM|
Even the Buddha himself, with his great store of accumulated virtue, could not avoid death. When he reached old age, he relinquished his body and let go of its heavy burden. Now you too must learn to be satisfied with the many years you have already depended on your body. You should feel that it's enough.
You can compare it to household utensils that you've had for a long time—your cups, saucers, plates, and so on. When you first
had them they were clean and shining, but now after using them for so long, they're starting to wear out. Some are already broken, some have disappeared, and those left are deteriorating: they have no stable form, and it's their nature to be like that. Your body is the same way. It has been continually changing right from the day you were born, through childhood and youth, until now it has reached old age. You must accept that. The Buddha said that all conditions ( ), whether they are internal conditions, bodily conditions, or external conditions, are not-self—their nature is to change. Contemplate this truth until you see it clearly.
(--from, Our Real Home, by Ajahn Chah Subatto, Tricycle, Fall 1997)my not-wanting
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
(--from poem, Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver)When nascent democracy was overthrown by capitalism and then by corrupt capitalism, that was subsequently overthrown by terror capitalism.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,the world offers itself to your imagination,calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --over and over announcing your placein the family of things.(--Oliver, ibid)
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know again
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon usBecause these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care
Teach us to sit still.Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
(--part 1 of poem 'Ash-Wednesday', from Collected Poems 1909-1962 by T S Eliot, © T S Eliot 1963, Faber & Faber Limited)
Dark Present, Bright Future of HumanityWith crazy speed, dizzyingly acceleration, we circle around our dissonance, our unfathomable rush, a self-collider seeking to explode into our opposite direction to see what goes missing in the after-detonation. That missing substrate entity we will curiously call God-gone.
Present Travail Guarantee of Great Future
Man is a mental being whose mentality works here involved, obscure and degraded in a physical brain. Even in the highest of his kind it is baulked of its luminous possibilities of supreme force and freedom by this dependence, shut off even from its own divine powers, impotent to change our life beyond certain narrow and precarious limits; it is an imprisoned and checked force, most often nothing but a servitor or caterer of interests or a purveyor of amusement to the life and the body. But divine superman will be a gnostic spirit. Supermind in him will lay hands on the mental and physical instruments and, standing above and yet penetrating our lower already manifested parts, it will transform mind, life and body.
An immortal soul is somewhere within him and gives out some sparks of its presence; above an eternal spirit overshadows him and upholds the soul-continuity of his nature. But this greater spirit is obstructed from descent by the hard lid of his constructed personality; and that inner luminous soul is wrapped, stifled, oppressed in dense outer coatings. In all but a few the soul is seldom active, in most hardly perceptible.
Man's greatness is not in what he is, but in what he makes possible. His glory is that he is the closed place and secret workshop of a living labour in which supermanhood is being made ready by a divine Craftsman. But he is admitted too to a yet greater greatness and it is this that, allowed to be unlike the lower creation, he is partly an artisan of this divine change; his conscious assent, his consecrated will and participation are needed that into his body may descend the glory that will replace him. His aspiration is earth's call to the supramental creator.
If earth calls and the Supreme answers, the hour can be even now for that immense and glorious transformation.
(--from: The Hour of God, Sri Aurobindo,) http://www.cosmicharmony.com/Sp/Aurobndo/Aurobndo.htm#Future
God is the All and more than the All. But that which is more than the All, how shall man conceive? He cannot conceive as the Divine, cannot approach or cannot recognize something that is too much out of the circle of his ignorant or partial conceptions. It is necessary for him to conceive God in his own image or in some form that is beyond himself but consonant with his highest tendencies and seizable by his feelings or his intelligence. Otherwise it would be difficult for him to come into contact and communion with the Divine.We like to pretend we are not what we are.
Even then his nature calls for a human intermediary so that he may feel the Divine in something entirely close to his own humanity and sensible in a human influence and example. This call is satisfied by the Divine manifest in a human appearance, the Incarnation, the Avatar - Krishna, Christ, Buddha. Or if this is too hard for him to conceive, the Divine represents himself through a less marvelous intermediary, - Prophet or Teacher. This also is not enough; a living influence, a living example, a present instruction is needed. For it is only the few who can make the past Teacher and his teaching, the past Incarnation and his example and influence a living force in their lives.
The Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will make use of all these aids according to his nature; but it is necessary that he should shun their limitations and cast from himself that exclusive tendency of egoistic mind which cries, "My God, my Incarnation, my Prophet, my Guru" and opposes it to all other realisation in a sectarian or a fanatical spirit.
On the contrary, the Sadhaka of the integral Yoga will not be satisfied until he has included all other names and forms of Deity in his own conception, seen his own Ishta Devata (chosen divine form) in all others, unified all Avatars in the unity of Him who descends in the Avatar, welded the truth in all teachings into the harmony of Eternal Wisdom.
(--From: The Synthesis of Yoga. Sri Aurobindo Ghose, ) http://www.cosmicharmony.com/Sp/Aurobndo/Aurobndo.htm#Supramental
|waiting on blizzard|
"The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, humankind will have discovered fire."
(--Teilhard de Chardin, Peking, February 1934, “The Evolution of Chastity” in Toward the Future, London: Collins, 1975: 86-87)Spark.
The birds they sang at the break of day / Start again / I heard them say / Don’t dwell on what / has passed away / or what is yet to be.
Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering / There is a crack, a crack in everything / That's how the light gets in.
(--from "Anthem," by Leonard Cohen)
I've become kinder, more people-oriented, more willing to grow old. I always was investigative in terms of everlasting life, but a little more interested now. A little more content with my answers.
There's this poem. The second poem in A Thousand Mornings, which is your 2013 book, which also to me just kind of, like, says it all. What’s the point of the — "I Happen to Be Standing." Would you read that one?
It's just, there it is.
Yeah. "I don't know where prayers go, / or what they do. / Do cats pray, while they sleep / half-asleep in the sun? / Does the opossum pray as it / crosses the street? / The sunflowers? The old black oak / growing older every year? / I know I can walk through the world, / along the shore or under the trees, / with my mind filled with things / of little importance, in full / self-attendance. A condition I can't really / call being alive. / Is a prayer a gift, or a petition, / or does it matter? / The sunflowers blaze, maybe That's their way. / Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not. / While I was thinking this I happened to be standing / just outside my door, with my notebook open, / which is the way I begin every morning. / Then a wren in the privet began to sing. / He was positively drenched in enthusiasm, / I don't know why. And yet, why not. / I wouldn't persuade you from whatever you believe / or whatever you don't. That's your business. / But I thought, of the wren"s singing, what could this be / if it isn't a prayer? / So I just listened, my pen in the air."
(--from interview transcript, with Mary Oliver, Krista Tippett's On Being, Feb 2015)
Oh, where’d I put my glasses? There they are. Yeah. The fourth sign of the zodiac is, of course, cancer. Oh, That's what I meant. "Why should I have been surprised? / Hunters walk the forest / without a sound. / The hunter, strapped to his rifle, / the fox on his feet of silk, / the serpent on his empire of muscles— / all move in a stillness, / hungry, careful, intent. / Just as the cancer / entered the forest of my body, / without a sound."
Yeah. These four poems are about the cancer episode, shall we say? The cancer visit? Did you want me to go on to these others?
Yeah. You want to go on? Is it too much?
No. This is the second poem of these four: "The question is, / what will it be like / after the last day? / Will I float / into the sky / or will I fray / within the earth or a river— / remembering nothing? / How desperate I would be / if I couldn’t remember / the sun rising, if I couldn’t / remember trees, rivers; if I couldn’t / even remember, beloved, / your beloved name.
3. / I know, you never intended to be in this world. / But you're in it all the same. / So why not get started immediately. / I mean, belonging to it. / There is so much to admire, to weep over. / And to write music or poems about. / Bless the feet that take you to and fro. / Bless the eyes and the listening ears. / Bless the tongue, the marvel of taste. / Bless touching. / You could live a hundred years, It's happened.
/ Or not. / I am speaking from the fortunate platform / of many years, / none of which, I think, I ever wasted. / Do you need a prod? / Do you need a little darkness to get you going? / Let me be as urgent as a knife, then, / and remind you of Keats, / so single of purpose and thinking, for a while, / he had a lifetime.
4. / Late yesterday afternoon, in the heat, / all the fragile blue flowers in bloom / in the shrubs in the yard next door had / tumbled from the shrubs and lay / wrinkled and faded on the grass. But / this morning the shrubs were full of / the blue flowers again. There wasn’t / a single one on the grass. How, I / wondered, did they roll or crawl back to / the shrubs and then back up to / the branches, that fiercely wanting, / as we all do, just a little more of / life?"
Gib deine Schönheit immer hin
ohne rechnen und reden.
Du schweigst. Sie sagt für dich: Ich bin.
Und kommt in tausendfachem Sinn,
kommt endlich über jeden.
(--poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, Das dichterische Werk von Rainer Maria Rilke)