Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ground. Planet. Universe. Mind

A world comes into being.

Being is not a world.

Being is itself. 
Alibhai-Brown appeal to a notion of the “world” as constituted by a web of implicitly evaluative descriptions or “ideas” that inform our perceptions as well as our self-image. In the present case, the claim is that they conceal and mystify -- in that sense a “world” is vulnerable to critical scrutiny. A “world” is saturated by evaluative thought, ideas, general descriptions -- hence the primal, deeply uncomfortable, and now somewhat abandoned role of the philosopher as the critic of the ideas that inform the world we inhabit, the uncomfortable role of the philosopher, therefore, as the undermining critic of the unconscious function of our self-images. 
(--p.257, Philosophy as a Way of Life, Ancients and moderns, Essays in Honor of Pierre Hadot, Edited by Michael Chase, Stephen R.L. Clack, and Michael M. McGhee; in chapter 14, “Wittgenstein’s Temple, Or How Cool is Philosophy? by Michael McGhee) 
Someone said that God is zero. Everything else is one.

Not two.

Then there is prayer.

When one sees nothing. 
Allowing what is true itself to feel its way into one-an-other.

Ground. Planet. Universe. Mind.

Friday, May 29, 2015

in the dream, a backyard

When is accident not substance? Does experience have any replication or extension? Is experience a solitary dwelling in the moment with no retrieval apart from what we call memory?

The impulse was to look up a childhood block-mate from Brooklyn.

There is a fiction of historical connection. We don’t know each other. That was then, an accident of proximity. What is here is what is now.
Death itself gets rid of all that is still sinful; this isn’t magic but good theology. There is nothing then left to purge. Some older teachers suggested that purgatory would still be necessary because one would still need to bear some punishment for one’s sins, but any such suggestion is of course abhorrent to anyone with even a faint understanding of Paul, who teaches that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”
(--p.170, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, by  N. T. Wright)
What does it mean to be “in Christ?” Definition suggests “awaited Messiah.” Anointed. A hallowing experience. Holy. Consecrated to God.

The terms substance and accident arise.
Natural Philosophy - Substance and Accident 
What the meaning of "IS" is 
First, as a kind of preliminary and as tool for philosophical discourse, one should be familiar with the basic distinctions of Aristotle's logic. The basic logical distinction for our purposes is between accident (what exists in and is said of another) and substance (what does not exist in another & not said of another). As an example of what Aristotle means, consider what is named by the word "white." The reality that this word names (a particular color) can be said of some other thing as eg. "This thing is white." "White" is said of "this thing" as though the color belonged to "this thing." Furthermore, it is understood to exist in "this thing;" one does not find any "white" except that is in "this thing" or some other thing. This way of speaking can be contrasted with another, as for example "This thing is Socrates." "Socrates" does not name the same kind of reality that "white" does in the previous example. "Socrates" is not said of "this thing" in the same way as "white" is, and "Socrates" does not exist IN "this thing." Rather, "Socreates" IS "this thing," and the sentence "this thing is Socrates" is understood to assert an identity between the two realities named. 
This basic notion of Aristotle's logic reflects the basic distinction in the way reality is stuctured and reflects the basic way that we view reality. The fundamental distinction is between substance and accident. Substance is whatever is a natural kind of thing and exists in its own right. Examples are rocks, trees, animals, etc. What an animal is, a dog for example, is basically the same whether it is black or brown, here or there, etc. A dog is a substance since it exists in its own right; it does not exist in something else, the way a color does. 
Substance and Accidents 
Accidents are the modifications that substance undergo, but that do not change the kind of thing that each substance is. Accidents only exist when they are the accidents of some substance. Examples are colors, weight, motion. For Aristotle there are 10 categories into which things naturally fall. They are
  • Substance, and
  • Nine Accidents:
  • Quantity, 
  • Quality, 
  • Relation, 
  • Action, 
  • Passion, 
  • Time, 
  • Place, 
  • Disposition (the arrangement of parts), and
  • Rainment (whether a thing is dressed or armed, etc.)
All these distinctions are basically logical, but in a sense they reflect the structure of reality. One never finds any substance that we experience without some accidents, nor an accident that is not the accident of a substance. Every dog, for instance, has some color, place, size. Nevertheless, it is obvious that what a dog is is not the same as its color, or its size, etc.  
(--Joseph M. Magee, Ph.D. Thomistic Philosophy Page)  

The accidents of Bensonhurst have dissolved.

Something, perhaps something holy, transcends.

What is this ‘holy?’

Outside, morning birdsong.

Inside, dark grey cat enters room.

Then leaves.

As I did the old neighborhood.

Which ceases to exist as accident of time.

Now, is, solitary.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

the show; untidiness here

Why do we pray even when the notion of prayer seems absurd?

No reason.

(Something much different from reason.)
Fear is what happens when reality collides with our personal fiction. Our practice is based on expectations—expectations about who we are, why we are practicing, and what our practice should be. As our hope disintegrates, it may be replaced by fear. Our characteristics, personality, all of our beautiful plans and ideas are like snowflakes about to fall on the hot stone of our meditation practice. 
Maybe you’ve poked through boredom and have had a first taste of spaciousness. Until your experience has become stable, the fear remains that your dreams, your life, and your base could fall apart. The more you contemplate space, the more you are aware of the dissolution of everything you have assumed to be real, lasting, and reliable—including your motivation and your practice. Now it all feels transitory and unreliable. This crisis, rooted in dissolution, translates as fear. 
(--from, Facing Fear, by Lama Tsony, Tricycle).
Prayer is dissolution of separate self and reintegration of what is one with itself.

In other words, we pray because there is no one praying. There is only prayer.

And prayer is the wistful joy that compassion visits upon absurd people performing and practicing open and absurd prayer.

Prayer is where meaning disappears into the revelation of truth.

And truth is meaningless.

There is only truth, not meaning.

There you are.

And here I am.

And here's the show.



Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Sebastian Junger said it was brotherhood veterans missed when coming home. Who to trust? When? To what length?

When we forget life and death are right now, we forget our real connection.

Those in combat know this real connection.

We are not alive when we forget death's proximity.

Hence, contemporary life is forgetful of death and forgetful of life.

No life, no death, then no resurrection.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It was Pentecost

And nothing happened.

The morning was the morning.

The walk in solitude was just that.

The air was warm and early fresh.

If I were to say "Holy Spirit" it would be unnecessary words.

So I won't.

I'll say nothing other than...

It was Pentecost

One Pennsylvania morning in May 

And the next and next

Monday, May 25, 2015


As I drove north from Maryland and Delaware into Pennsylvania to New Jersey on Saturday afternoon, up ahead, some distance of miles and luck of the draw, John Nash and his wife were ending their lives in an automobile crash at interchange 8a of route 95 only a matter of distance from the car I drove, and I, oblivious but for distance, was not near the accident.

What was called a beautiful mind went off into an uncharted theorem free of body and mind.

We ate Chinese food with Maria.

Maria is 87.

Nash was 86.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The true beauty of your life

Sunday stillness sitting with arisen yet invisible reality dressed in transparency.

Everything seen is unseeable. Everything unseen is yet-to-be presenced.

The elderly couple know these words.

One unseeably nearing the beyond; one presenced in lazy boy meditation on other side of sliding door.

(--from,  Living Wabi Sabi: The True Beauty of Your Life, by Taro Gold)

Wood birdhouse swings gently in light breeze.

Anybody home?

We all are.

Meadowbrook Rd, Lower Gwynedd, PA, Sunday Morning

Sitting where
Tom sat
Maria sits
lovely two