Protesters arrive in Washington. It is a noble effort to honestly believe there's a discourse capable of happening. I rather think there is lack of honest discourse.
Too many of us prefer the template of one opinion rather than that of one mind.
When most people hear
That the Buddhas transmit the
Teaching of the One Mind,
They suppose that there
Is something to be attained
Or realized apart from mind,
And they use mind to seek the teaching,
Not realizing that mind and
The object of their search are one.
Mind can’t be used to seek mind;
If it is, even after millions of eons
Have gone by, the search will still not be over.
Does "One Mind" suggest we see in all directions? Is there only one mind? Do we indeed already dwell within such a reality -- but do not recognize that reality?
We need a new way of thinking. If there is such a recognition of (what some call) holistic thinking, it would entail seeing all aspects at once. If such a capability belongs to us, there would need to occur a corresponding conversation about what is seen and where what is seen might be pointing us.
In Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. His most apparent remnant in modern culture is his namesake, the month of January. (Wikipedia)
We might come to see: War breeds war; Peace breeds peace; Hatred, hatred; Revenge, revenge; Wanting breeds want; Wishing breeds wishes. What we seem to currently lack is appreciative recognition of the value of looking in two (or more) directions at once -- a curiosity yielding a diverse yet singular vision.
Skunk HourOur mind's not right. We ourselves are hell. Nobody's here.
(For Elizabeth Bishop)
Nautilus Island's hermit
heiress still lives through winter in her Spartan cottage;
her sheep still graze above the sea.
Her son's a bishop. Her farmer
is first selectman in our village;
she's in her dotage.
the hierarchic privacy
of Queen Victoria's century,
she buys up all
the eyesores facing her shore,
and lets them fall.
The season's ill--
we've lost our summer millionaire,
who seemed to leap from an L. L. Bean
catalogue. His nine-knot yawl
was auctioned off to lobstermen.
A red fox stain covers Blue Hill.
And now our fairy
decorator brightens his shop for fall;
his fishnet's filled with orange cork,
orange, his cobbler's bench and awl;
there is no money in his work,
he'd rather marry.
One dark night,
my Tudor Ford climbed the hill's skull;
I watched for love-cars. Lights turned down,
they lay together, hull to hull,
where the graveyard shelves on the town. . . .
My mind's not right.
A car radio bleats,
"Love, O careless Love. . . ." I hear
my ill-spirit sob in each blood cell,
as if my hand were at its throat. . . .
I myself am hell;
nobody's here --
only skunks, that search
in the moonlight for a bite to eat.
They march on their soles up Main Street:
white stripes, moonstruck eyes' red fire
under the chalk-dry and spar spire
of the Trinitarian Church.
I stand on top
of our back steps and breathe the rich air--
a mother skunk with her column of kittens swills the garbage pail.
She jabs her wedge-head in a cup
of sour cream, drops her ostrich tail,
and will not scare.
(Poem by Robert Lowell, 1959)
Declaring "I'm the decision maker," President Bush yesterday challenged congressional efforts to formally condemn his Iraq plan, while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned that a proposed Senate resolution criticizing the deployment of additional troops would embolden the enemy.
"Any indication of flagging will in the United States gives encouragement to those folks," Gates told reporters at the Pentagon. "I'm sure that that's not the intent behind the resolutions, but I think it may be the effect."
(from article "Bush Defies Lawmakers To Solve Iraq," Gates Says Doubts Bolster Enemy
By Michael Abramowitz and Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post Staff Writers, Saturday, January 27, 2007; Page A01)
Navigating the streets and waters -- between Americans opposing the rhetoric, decisions, and actions of the Bush administration and Americans forwarding the strategy of surge, occupation, and indeterminate continuation of war -- is a navigation filled with warning scent of skunk and rotting bodies of fallen fellow beings. (This is, of course, rhetorical olfaction metaphor, but the unpleasant smell curls upper lip.)
A pervasive sense of insanity looms over everything said these days. I feel like a deranged orderly in day-room of psychiatric facility. Nothing I hear makes sense -- not from patients, nor from medical staff. The worse are those trained in labyrinthine diagnostic and statistical codification which, for them, neatly precludes any authentic communication, instead using substitute artificial clinical babel. Perhaps the first sign of insanity is the recognition you are among the insane. Hello, my name is Bill!
It is the feast day of St Angela Merici (1470 - 1540)
She was born in Desenziano, in Lombardy, in about 1470. She became a Franciscan tertiary and set up a school to instruct girls in Christanity and good works. In 1535 she founded the Ursulines, an order of nuns devoted to giving a Christian education to girls from poor families. She died in 1540. (Universalis)
Angela Merici is known now as the foundress of the Ursuline nuns - and so she was, but despite her own inclinations. In reality she was in advance of her own times. Her plan of religious women without distinctive habit, without solemn vows and enclosure, was directly contrary to prevailing notions at her period, and under the influence of St. Charles Borromeo at Milan and subsequent papal legislation (under St. Pius V) the Ursulines were obliged to adopt the canonical safeguards then required of all nuns.
Angela Merici died in Brescia on January 27th, 1540. (Courtesy of Catholic Information Network, CIN)
There are no longer any canonical safeguards. Nor are there any places to hide. All work now must be transparent and in the open. The Ursulines are in ordinary clothes. The Bush Administration is found to wear no clothes. The rest of us no longer know what we cloak and what we reveal. We look both ways before crossing and before opening our mouths. And when we open our mouths no sound comes out. We find we have nothing of note to say and no way to say it. People look at us -- mouths open -- and they laugh. That's what we do best -- laugh at one another. Sometimes the laughter sounds like screams of anguish; sometimes it looks like derision and mockery. Every once in a while the laughter is simple laughter -- over the absurdity and humor of our situations. A tinge of sorrow. A resignation. Leaving fools. Disappearance is a magician's deceptive switch -- taking up a different footing where he never left.
To model yourself after the way of the Buddhas is to model yourself after yourself. To model yourself after yourself is to forget yourself.Once you realize.
To forget yourself is to be authenticated by all things. To be authenticated by all things is to effect the molting of body-mind, both yours and others'. The distinguishing marks of enlightenment dissolve and [the molting of body-mind] causes the dissolving distinguishing marks of enlightenment to emerge continuously.
At first, when you seek the truth, you have distanced yourself from its domain. Finally, when the truth is correctly transmitted to you, you are immediately the primordial person.
(-- Dogen's statement on the self, from the Shobogenzo, from Chapter 7, Zen Action/Zen Person, Book by T. P. Kasulis; University of Hawaii Press, 1981)
You are insane.
You are not.
Now that I am insane, I realize once I wasn't.