Saturday, July 02, 2016

Elie Wiesel

`When will you understand that you are living and searching in error, because God means movement and not explanation.'' ([in Legends], p.93) 
(--Elie Wiesel, Rest in peace, 2July2016, at age 87)

What is in you is what is outside you once the veil falls away. Divination is the veil seen through

for me. 

I have
nothing else.


This earth
this world.

As it is!

21st century inter-tradition interdenominational prayer






What comes of meditating

Nothing comes of meditating.

To the question: 'what is this?'

The response: 'this' is our life!

Here is all there is.

This is everything that is.

Now is what then becomes. 

Wholly aware yes.

Holy still silent nobody nowhere.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Of a day, conversation

1. No judgment



2. Returning 

Through the opposite

Is intimacy.

3. After experience

Not interpretation

Not emotion

But feeling awareness.


I've got to

Make it


The night --

No I


Thursday, June 30, 2016

evil, or, live


A peregrinating sanyassin sends article from NYT’s The Stone about evil and what to do as response to it. An excerpt:
Ricoeur agrees with many other thinkers that evil is not a thing per se, but rather exists in a sort of black hole of thought, an aporia. This fact alone complicates arguments for the destruction of evil: how do you obliterate something that has no substance? For Ricoeur, we conceive of evil through the realm of myth, or grand narratives that express common human experience. Myth is not false; rather, it encapsulates truth about subjects like evil that cannot be perceived fully through reason alone. In this sense, “the axis of evil” is, arguably, a kind of myth, an explanation that makes sense of calamity in a world we think of as otherwise good and in which we can all participate. 
Because evil exists beyond the limits of reason, what matters for Ricoeur is not that we identify evil, but that we respond to it appropriately. He rightly observes that the tragedy of evil is not the act committed, but the experience of the victim. Separating evil perpetrated from evil suffered shifts the concern from what or who is evil to the best possible action in the face of it, which according to him is “not a solution, but a response. 
In the common conception, solutions to evil require retribution, and the most obvious way to achieve retribution is through violence. Responses, on the other hand, engender what Ricoeur calls “wisdom,” an unwavering commitment to relieve and prevent suffering. Any violence used in a response to evil would, therefore, be focused on the alleviation of suffering rather than the attempt to stamp out evil where we think we see it. 
(--from, New York Times, “How Should We Respond to ‘Evil’?" by Steven PaulikasTHE STONE JUNE 27, 2016)

Richard Rohr contributes in his writings with:
Change as a Catalyst for Transformation (Thursday, June 30, 2016 )
The word change normally refers to new beginnings. But transformation, the mystery we're examining, more often happens not when something new begins but when something old falls apart. The pain of something old falling apart--chaos--invites the soul to listen at a deeper level. It invites and sometimes forces the soul to go to a new place because the old place is falling apart. Otherwise, most of us would never go to new places. The mystics use many words to describe this chaos: fire, darkness, death, emptiness, abandonment, trial, the Evil One. Whatever it is, it does not feel good and it does not feel like God. You will do anything to keep the old thing from falling apart. This is when you need patience, guidance, and the freedom to let go instead of tightening your controls and certitudes. Perhaps Jesus is describing this phenomenon when he says, "It is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it" (Matthew 7:14). Not accidentally, he mentions this narrow road right after teaching the Golden Rule. Jesus knows how much letting go it takes to "treat others as you would like them to treat you" (7:12).  
Transformation usually includes a disconcerting reorientation. Change can either help people to find a new meaning, or it can cause people to close down and turn bitter. The difference is determined by the quality of your inner life, what we call your "spirituality." Change of itself just happens; but spiritual transformation must become an actual process of letting go, living in the confusing dark space for a while, and allowing yourself to be spit up on a new and unexpected shore. You can see why Jonah in the belly of the whale is such an important symbol for many Jews and Christians.  
In the moments of insecurity and crisis, "shoulds" and "oughts" don't really help; they just increase the shame, guilt, pressure, and likelihood of backsliding. It's the deep yeses that carry you through. Focusing on something you absolutely believe in, that you're committed to, will help you wait it out. Love wins over guilt any day. It is sad that we settle for the short-run effectiveness of shaming people instead of the long-term life benefits of grace-filled transformation. But we are a culture of progress and efficiency, impatient with gradual growth. God's way of restoring things interiorly is much more patient--and finally more effective. God lets Jonah run in the wrong direction, but finds a long, painful, circuitous path to get him back where he needs to be--and almost entirely in spite of himself! Looking in this rear-view mirror fills you with gratitude for God's work in your life.
Steven Paulikas had earlier pointed out in The Stone article:
As it turns out, there is a difference between good theology and bad theology — at least if we consider the exponential escalation of violence to be a bad thing. The almost 3,000 deaths in the Sept. 11 attacks were answered by an estimated 460,000 deaths in Iraq alone, including more American combatant deaths than civilians who died in the World Trade Center. Despite this high cost, evil is, if we accept a point on which O’Reilly actually agrees with President Obama, as plentiful in the region as it ever was and just as threatening to the United States.  (--Op cit)
Evil is responding to evil with evil. A black hole sucking light in and calling the bleak darkness our honor, glory, and sacrifice. It is a mistake to misname actions with intent to make what is wrong appear to appear right.

Surely, some revelation is at hand?

What would a fundamental change in our thinking look like?

Can evil be transformed? Or, perhaps, reversed into our willingness to ‘live’ transformatively with those suffering?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

That was then

Twenty years ago today

Bookshop and bakery

On camden harbor


Staying that way

For thirteen years

Thanks Peter thanks Paul 

all of this is intertwined

There are phrases here,"binary, spectrum; post-truth politics" that feel new to my hearing. So, naturally, I hear them all over the place all at once. To wit:
Boris Johnson does not show up to the Commons; he is busy, presumably. But watch how the Tories are realigning. They can do this post-truth politics, where you say one thing and mean another; where you stab someone in the front as you do the old-boy handshake; where you are accountable to the few, not the many, and you don’t really pretend otherwise. There is a political agility here – some call it “Trumpism”, some psychosis – but recognise it if you want to understand it. It is unencumbered by “truth”, “authenticity” and “beliefs”, which is why the bloodletting over Jeremy Corbyn’s “leadership” is ever more sad. 
The left is still talking in a series of binaries that no longer apply and are no longer helpful. The referendum was, of course, the false binary that bust them. In or out of Europe. You couldn’t be a little bit in, as most now seem to want. It was always destined to be a protest against the life-sucking effects of globalisation. It has unleashed horrendous racism. To say we choose, somehow, between race and class is just dumb. All of this is intertwined and remains in play. 
Now, to see Labour re-enacting some Blair/Brown war a zillion years later is another totally dysfunctional binary. Most Labour MPs are on a spectrum. Most people are and, if we cannot move beyond that, we are, as children, forced to choose between warring parents for ever. The bile flows, the differences are irreconcilable, so we turn on ourselves with another false choice: the morally pure but unelectable against those who have committed vile sins of compromise. 
This is a crisis of all representative democracy – What is it? Who represents us? How is this achieved? – and it is being acted out in a gestalt psychodrama by Labour. In public. Who has a say? Corbyn and his cadre of public school revolutionaries who speak for the members, or the MPs, some of them elected by actual voters? Are the internal party rules more important than external reality? Beam me up, Scotty. Lost in this equation are the Labour voters, more than nine million of them the last time I looked. I guess Labour is doing post-truth after all. 
(--from, The bloodletting over Jeremy Corbyn is sad – the left is stuck in old binaries, by Suzanne Moore. The Guardian, 29June2016)
Indeed, who represents us?

And, how deep will the crisis pointed out by this question actually go?

mangia tutti

Strive always to preserve freedom of spirit, so that you need do nothing with the view of pleasing the world, and that no fear of displeasing it will have power to shake your good resolutions.  
(-- Venerable Louis de Blois, 1506-1566)
In the morning, early, there is a symphony of awakening birds conducted by misty fog through rising light. 

For this -- I am grateful.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

obtuse and unaware

Now Turkey.


It’s too late.

The barn door will stay open.

Monday, June 27, 2016

prêt à partir

Il n'y a pas de quoi.

Pas de tout!

After lengthy conversation, afterwords

I am too much a fatalist to be fond of words like control and demand.

I hear your situation, your thinking and your desire to experience good solid caring and respect from people whose professional duty is to provide these things.

You will continue to seek a level of competence and courtesy that their job and your need both require.

When I said we have to be careful not to crowd out others by filling the room with our opinions and judgments about them and their work, I was not disputing the legitimacy of your desires and rights as patient purchaser. Rather was I expressing sensitivity as to how -- in oppressive and infuriating experiences of unrecalcitrant obtuseness and perceived inattentiveness to proper good practice on the part of skill-set or normal human interaction -- one must transcend the inner rhetoric of blaming others or victim hood, and become partners-in-the-play. 

By this I mean that, as a fatalist, I recognize that we are determined in our rote and ritualized responses to reality as it pops up. But I hold that determinism is caused by absence of awareness. It is the default position of human behavior. It predominates when any individual fails to "show up" in their life at the moment for particular tasks or interactions of an intersubjective nature. 

In other words, we normally have been satisfied with the categories of subjective or objective when assessing acts or thoughts or ways of being in the world. But there are important new ways of seeing and acting in the world that no longer limit us to thinking we are being subjective or objective.

These ways consider the words intersubjectively, interactively, inter-connectively, and interbeing.

The essential difference appears to me to be that a core belief is challenged here, namely, that we are subjects doing things to objects. Rather, if we were to embrace a different understanding of both grammar and human agency, the subject-verb-object template would step aside in our minds and make way for a "between" template that acknowledges difference but behaves and acts with non-difference, or, no-separation. 

Hence, the nurse is not giving medication to you a patient, she is giving medication to her mother her daughter her husband herself.

In any conversation, I am not talking at you or even with you, I am speaking among the trees, my past, God, fears, fondness, and chocolate sprinkles. Every utterance is the act of creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the entire cosmos. 

The act/speech of no-separation does not mean no-difference. We are different. It means non-difference. Namely, we are no-other. As no-other we begin (always) to unravel and understand the marvelous complexity and beauty of being-in-the-world as who-we-are shall-we-be-there.

Pas-autres. No other.
Kein anderer. No other.
Ninguna otra. No other. 

Whether English, French, German, or Spanish, “no other” is a foundational re-construct of perception. I submit there's something here to talk about. I suspect there’s something useful here to work with.

listen, even woodpeckers are at work early

Can you hear them?

The birds?

Dawning songs?

Joyful noise?

Sunday, June 26, 2016

in passing

Such a simple profound plea. 

I wonder who's listening.
Arise, Lord; save me, my God (Ps.3)

βλέπω (vlépo̱)

Looking down

Everything is looking up