Saturday, August 27, 2016

ding an sich

Think. But not thoughts. Think things.

See. But not sights. See things.

No ideas, the poet says, but in things.

Thing in itself.

I'll think about this.

Friday, August 26, 2016

do only what is necessary

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel once said that “freedom is the recognition of necessity.”

Do you see anything you recognize?

and there it rests

Rob McCall, in his The Awanadjo Almanack on WERU 89.9, quotes John Burroughs:
“Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.” -- John Burroughs
He led quoting Thomas Paine (1736-1809). Elsewhere, these words of Paine:
But there are times when men have serious thoughts, and it is at such times, when they begin to think, that they begin to doubt the truth of the Christian religion; and well they may, for it is too fanciful and too full of conjecture, inconsistency, improbability and irrationality, to afford consolation to the thoughtful man. His reason revolts against his creed. He sees that none of its articles are proved, or can be proved. 
He may believe that such a person as is called Jesus (for Christ was not his name) was born and grew to be a man, because it is no more than a natural and probable case. But who is to prove he is the son of God, that he was begotten by the Holy Ghost? Of these things there can be no proof; and that which admits not of proof, and is against the laws of probability and the order of nature, which God Himself has established, is not an object for belief. God has not given man reason to embarrass him, but to prevent his being imposed upon. 
He may believe that Jesus was crucified, because many others were crucified, but who is to prove he was crucified for the sins of the world? This article has no evidence, not even in the New Testament; and if it had, where is the proof that the New Testament, in relating things neither probable nor provable, is to be believed as true?  
When an article in a creed does not admit of proof nor of probability, the salvo is to call it revelation; but this is only putting one difficulty in the place of another, for it is as impossible to prove a thing to be revelation as it is to prove that Mary was gotten with child by the Holy Ghost. 
Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.
It honors reason as the choicest gift of God to man, and the faculty by which he is enabled to contemplate the power, wisdom and goodness of the Creator displayed in the creation; and reposing itself on His protection, both here and hereafter, it avoids all presumptuous beliefs, and rejects, as the fabulous inventions of men, all books pretending to revelation. 
(--Thomas Paine, “Of The Religion Of Deism Compared With The Christian Religion”) 
Is there a restart button on the computer of human belief? Have we become fascinated by the myths and narratives wrapping around the evolution of human consciousness to the effect the stories have  camouflaged access to what actually might be true awaiting our awareness to sort truth from fabrication?

Vijay Prashad is on Democracy Now talking about Kashmir, Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Turkey, Russia, and United States. And Emma Thompson, just back from the Arctic with Greenpeace, speaks about climate change and seismic blasting in Canadian Clyde River, Nunavut, and its effect on mammals and other sea life.

Voices of reason. That’s what must speak, what must be heard. Not voices of profit and shareholder wealth, not voices of turning to religious mythology to inaugurate our escape from this sinful material existence, not voices of denial of any and all reality that drip sarcasm and arrogance over everything they pronounce.

Reason, sound factual experience, clear extrapolations of obvious investigation.

I’m afraid we have for so long affirmed stories that have no basis in reality that we’ve become easy prey for new evangelists of deceit and distracting untruths about the cosmos and our place in it. We are preschoolers at the mercy of errant texts with zealous believers smiling their faith in the unfounded.

It is time, far past time, to stop, look, and listen to what is right under our feet, what is right before our eyes, what is just at our ears.

It is time to wake up.

And there it rests.  

Does nature.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

not here

There’s an odd feel to this time. It’s as though cynicism and corruption have taken off their masks and stared bare-faced at us and said: ’this is who we are, this is what we do, don’t even think of trying to stop us.’
The brief account of Xunzi given in the Shi Ji incorporates a nice summation of Xunzi's intellectual orientation:
Xun Qing hated the policies of a corrupt age, when lost states and chaotic rulers suited each other, not following the Great Way but engaging in witchcraft and placing their trust in blessings. Base erudites (ru) were petty and inflexible, like Zhuang Zhou and that sort, and also brought turmoil and chaotic customs. At this, [Xunzi] pushed the moral practices of the erudites and the Mohists.
This emphasizes Xunzi's advocacy of virtuous rule and his opposition to superstition (an important corollary of his philosophy of nature). It indicates the importance Xunzi placed on attacking what he took to be unorthodox teachings. The passage relies on a distinction between base erudites and the erudites with whom Xunzi allied himself; this reflects a concern found repeatedly in Xunzi's writings, to separate the true followers of Confucius off from other learned people. Here, the base erudites are represented by Zhuangzi, a Daoist that Xunzi associated especially with an overemphasis of the natural at the expense of the human. (Note however that Zhuangzi would not normally be classified as a ru erudite, Confucian or otherwise.) Interestingly, the passage aligns Xunzi with the Mohists, apparently on the grounds of their shared commitment to a moral Way; the association may also reflect the Mohists' deep influence on Xunzi, mentioned above. 
(--from Xunzi, in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
The House, the Senate, the Governorships, the Corporate shills, the Cops and Prosecutors, the obscenely paid tv and radio poseurs, the smiling or sullen religious charlatans mouthing verses of God, Christ, or Allah in service to their political and ideological power grab. There seems to be no one, no where, to trust.

We’re on our own. So said the Buddha as he lay dying. We’ve got to stand on our own two feet.

A curious time. Trust has disappeared down a dark alley. Drugs and alcohol replace kindness and consideration.

We’ve forgotten something.

I’m no longer sure what it is we’ve forgotten.

But it’s not here.

Not here.


That’s it.

It’s not here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

there’s nothing to it

begin here

say what is seen and heard

what you think

and feel

cari (and) (hkyitratae suu myarr)

La mia cara famiglia in Italia, dolore per la sua perdita e il dolore
And in Myanmar,  saintrae aashone nhaint narkyinmhu mhar  wamnaeehkyinn
And in Turkey, korkunç bombalama bu geçmiş hafta sonu üzüntü

apotheosis of late August

Simply to wake up on a sunny morning is enough.

And to see a renovated church space into lovely house in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia is sufficient to recollect dreams of books and meditation cushions, tea and conversation, silence and stillness, shunyata and kenosis all in one place.

Seafarers, wayfarers, pilgrims, and sannyasa -- the whole range of inquiry, worded and wordless -- as physical space.

A passing thought of a time such thoughts refused to leave.

Anyone needing to park their resources in real estate investment, we'll be happy to 
be guest masters for travelers and weary seekers on your behalf.

Tat tvam asi!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

yana haiku*

late august night, cool

air shoulders warm day aside --

proleptic autumn


      *(you are not alone? or, you are now alone?)

sun cannot help itself; it is help itself

 “The image itself is speech. The image is the word beyond formulated language.” (--Ezra Pound)

“It’s like. . . . It’s like . . . ,”

This from Richard Rohr:


Mystery Is Endless Knowability
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How do we live the contradictions? Live them—not just endure them or relieve ourselves from the tension by quickly resolving them. The times where we meet or reckon with our contradictions are often turning points, opportunities to enter into the deeper mystery of God or, alternatively, to evade the mystery of God. I’m deliberately using the word mystery to point to depth, an open future, immense freedom, a kind of beauty and truth that can’t be fully spoken or defined.

Many mystics speak of the God-experience as simultaneously falling into an abyss and being grounded. This sounds like a contradiction, but in fact, when you allow yourself to fall into the abyss—into hiddenness, limitlessness, unknowability, a void without boundaries—you discover it’s somehow a rich, supportive, embracing spaciousness where you don’t have to ask (or answer) the questions of whether you’re right or wrong. You’re being held and so you do not need to try to “hold” yourself together. Please reflect on that.

This might be the ultimate paradox of the God-experience: “falling into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). When you can lend yourself to it and not fight it or explain it, falling into the abyss is ironically an experience of ground, of the rock, of the foundation. This is totally counterintuitive. Your dualistic, logical mind can’t get you there. It can only be known experientially. That’s why the mystics use magnificent metaphors—none of them adequate or perfect—for this experience. “It’s like. . . . It’s like . . . ,” they love to say.

Mystery is not something you can’t know. Mystery is endless knowability. Living inside such endless knowability is finally a comfort, a foundation of ultimate support, security, unrestricted love, and eternal care. For all of us, it takes much of our life to get there; it is what we surely mean by “growing” in faith. I can’t prove this to you. Each soul must learn on its own, hopefully aided by observing other faith-filled people.

Gateway to Silence:
Welcome what is.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Holding the Tension: The Power of Paradox (CAC: 2007), disc 3 (CD, MP3 download).

Monday, August 22, 2016

torrential Monday morning

Rain, rain
Stay around
'Welcome home'
Says the ground

Sunday, August 21, 2016

here, of a Sunday morning

Oremus, let us pray!

 Emítte lucem tuam et veritátem tuam: ipsa me deduxérunt, et adduxérunt in montem sanctum tuum et in tabernácula tua.
M. Et introíbo ad altáre Dei: ad Deum, qui lætíficat iuventútem meam.

P. Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they have conducted me and brought me unto Thy holy mount, and into Thy tabernacles.
S. And I will go into the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth. 

It seemed clearer, more mysterious, proximate when I was a boy in Brooklyn memorizing the Latin, carrying folded surplice over handlebar down 69th to 20th over to 64th to 21st to 62nd down to small wooden church the slip into schoolyard out to 61st and back stairs to rear of altar for cassock and over to sacristy.

A freshness of possibility of another dimension from the fistfights and wrestling scorn of the lads whose fathers taught them how to battle against any perceived weakness and stomp it down.

But here was a small joy.

In nómine Patris, ☩ et Fílii, et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.
The priest, bowing down at the foot of the altar, makes the Sign of the Cross, from his forehead to his breast, and says: 
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, ☩ and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Deinde, iunctis manibus ante pectus, incipit Antiphonam:
S. Introíbo ad altáre Dei. 
M. Ad Deum, qui lætíficat iuventútem meam.
Postea alternatim cum Ministris dicit sequentem:
Ps. 42, 1-5. 
S. Iúdica me, Deus, et discérne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab hómine iníquo et dolóso érue me.
M. Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea: quare me reppulísti, et quare tristis incédo, dum afflígit me inimícus?
S. Emítte lucem tuam et veritátem tuam: ipsa me deduxérunt, et adduxérunt in montem sanctum tuum et in tabernácula tua.
M. Et introíbo ad altáre Dei: ad Deum, qui lætíficat iuventútem meam.
S. Confitébor tibi in cíthara, Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es, ánima mea, et quare contúrbas me?
M. Spera in Deo, quóniam adhuc confitébor illi: salutáre vultus mei, et Deus meus.
S. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
M. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper: et in saecula sæculórum. Amen.
Sacerdos repetit Antiphonam:
S. Introíbo ad altáre Dei.
M. Ad Deum, qui lætíficat iuventútem meam.
Then joining his hands before his breast, he begins the Anthem:
P. I will go in unto the altar of God.
S. To God who giveth joy to my youth.
The priest alternates with the server in reciting this psalm to express his desire, joy and confidence in going to the altar of the Sacrifice.
Ps. 42, 1-5. 
P. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation which is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man.
S. For Thou, O God, art my strength: why hast Thou cast me off? and why go I sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me?
P. Send forth Thy light and Thy truth: they have conducted me and brought me unto Thy holy mount, and into Thy tabernacles.
S. And I will go into the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth.
P. To Thee, O God, my God, I will give praise upon the harp; why art thou sad, O my soul, and why dost thou disquiet me?
S. Hope in God, for I will still give praise to Him: the salvation of my countenance and my God.
P. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
S. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The priest repeats the Anthem:
P. I will go in unto the altar of God.
S. To God who giveth joy to my youth. 

What has changed?

Priests became pedaphiles. The institution became redundant. The mystery met science and turned its face away. People who thought could no longer abide bromides of authoritarian obligations of faith. The church became anachronistic, it's priests and bishops mere middle management of a declining brand.

But the young boy saw that as strings of puppeteering fell away something in the slumped body of the detached marionette began to move of itself.

Call it the marionette of sacred icon bursting through its limitations with resonant energetic movement once thought to have been the property of controlling forces but here taking on idiosyncratic self-sufficient propulsion and directionality.

Everything begins to appear of its own manifestation, an alternate operation to the side of cause and effect resembling the absurdity of love's longing for itself through another.

It is the "itself" that is longed for. 

Each itself.

As itself.

No other.

This, here, is sufficient for that young boy of a Sunday morning.

stupidity is so well armed

Maybe our first thought is ‘evil’ -- that a child would be made to be carrier of explosives intended to kill and maim.

ISTANBUL — The wedding had ended and the guests had started walking home when a suspected suicide bombing tore through the site of the ceremony in southeastern Turkey late Saturday, killing more than 50 people and wounding scores more, the latest in a string of attacks in the restive region in the past week. 
The deadly attack in Gaziantep was carried out by a suicide bomber between the ages of 12 and 14, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Sunday, citing police sources. He said 51 people had been killed in the attack and 69 people were receiving treatment in the hospital, with 17 people in critical condition. 
Mr. Erdogan also issued a statement earlier saying that the Islamic State was probably behind the attack and that its aim was to sow divisions among ethnic groups in the country and to “spread incitement along ethnic and religious lines.”There was no claim of responsibility immediately after the attack.  
(--Bombing at Wedding in Turkey Kills More Than 50, By CEYLAN YEGINSU AUG. 21, 2016)
Some would say where there’s a beginning there’s an end. Some say karma. Or the suffering of innocents. Some might claim a good thing happened, one more step toward an outcome devised in a mind that does not count the cost. Others claim justification for the continuance of retaliatory violence and repression.

But what actually happened? People at wedding were celebrating. Then blast. Then death and suffering.

We don’t yet know how to think of such events. The more frequently they occur the more our thinking tries to parse and project reason on events. Defense, terrorism, counter-terrorism, and think-tanks of every political persuasion draft position papers for round table assessment. Salaries are collected. Opinion pieces carry references to the reports. Then, another murderous event takes place and fresh ink is spent right after blood spilt.

A 12 year old, they say, delivered the blast. 

Here's what I say. Enjoy the piece of toast. The small triangle of egg. A mouthful of water. These are good things. These are Eucharist for fellow humans caught in excruciating confusion as to what the meaning of life might be. For those yanked from sentience because somebody had an idea which made the victims meaningless in themselves, but only statistics to one more idiotic cause in deluded minds.

Yeah, it's war. A war between humanity and stupidity. 

Stupidity is so well armed.

when are we no one


They are what we tell when we have withdrawn from the unconcealed and hide ourselves in who we are not.

We are often not real, not true, not ourselves.

It's where trust goes when it commits suicide.