"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'"(--Psalm 14:1)
Looking at the world we might conclude that if there is not no God, then, as Abbott and Costello asked, "Who's on first?"
We find "I don't know" is on third, so close to home, but caught in a seeming eternal recurrence of verbal return pointing to a dialogic dilemma. We cannot locate God in words. God is as invariably word as God is invariably silence. To look outside word is useless. To look inside word is muted incomprehension. Word is its own creation, its own sustenance, and its own withdrawal.
And yet, we are happy with this unattainable on-again off-again, appearing disappearing, comforting disconsolation we inexplicably call "God;" "I Am;""Thee."
The Right to Happiness
Whether people are beautiful and friendly or unattractive and disruptive, ultimately they are human beings, just like oneself. Like oneself, they want happiness and do not want suffering. Furthermore, their right to overcome suffering and be happy is equal to one's own.... When you recognize that all beings are equal in both their desire for happiness and their right to obtain it, you automatically feel empathy and closeness for them. Through accustoming your mind to this sense of universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems. Nor is this wish selective; it applies equally to all.
(--The Dalai Lama, Compassion and the Individual; From Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith)
Maybe it's not about God. Maybe it's about being a fool. Maybe it's really about the word "there." The word "there" in this sentence is a trickster. We'd like to think it signifies a a conclusion reached, some synthesis of syllogism in the troika of logical argumentation. No, not here.
Actually, ('actually' is a word used when we accidentally stumble upon the right wording, or, maybe when trying to obfuscate something about to be said) , the word "there" in the sentence above means -- "No, not here."
The sentence re-rendered now reads: "The fool says in his heart, 'No, not here is no God.'"
Abstracting convolution, or removing double negative from the pericope, and the phrase reads: "No, here is God." Thus, the fool says in his/her heart: Here is God.
If "Here" is God, then it becomes more obvious why we cannot see the face of God. God is Here. Who sees Here? Not only that, but I recall that in the study of Logic,
The predicate of an affirmative proposition is regarded as having particular quantification, the predicate of a negative proposition, universal.
(--Aristotelian Syllogisms; after Raymond McCall, Basic Logic (Barnes & Noble, 1967) http://www.friesian.com/aristotl.htm )
Is "God" or "Here" absolute or particular?
The words "Here" and "Now" are very big words. They contain all that is, everything, everywhere, with no exceptions. Everything is here; all time is now. It is for this ungraspable truth that I despair my attitude to the current situation of my country and its leaders. It is a religious question I face. Dick the Republican was right -- "Stay away from politics," he'd say. (Then he'd send a contribution to George W. Bush and receive back a signed photograph of the first couple.) He'd say: "Judgment, criticism, and negativity are your enemy -- avoid them." (Then he'd judge, criticize, and conclude "You're wrong!" when we'd talk. This is why I was so fond of my deceased friend.) He'd have excoriated the following:
I'm sure I'll reserve a very small moment in my life when I'll feel sorry for Mr. Bush, when I'll briefly give him the benefit of doubt and consider that he merely was mistaken, misleading, and miserably wrong.
But that will pass. Quickly.
In my six decades in this land I have never seen nor heard a more frustrating and infuriating man who'd been entrusted with public responsibility and service. I, as many, have been ashamed of his presidency, ashamed to be a citizen of a country whose leader invaded, murdered, destroyed, lied, undercut the constitution, mocked and denigrated any idea differing from his take on things, and, finally, a man who posed as some pious evangelical religious prophet doing God's will toward a flirtatious endtime of human history.
Absurd man, absurd administration, absurd political and religious ideology.
There is much to be forgiven as the United States limps home from hated violence with blood dripping behind, as the American people dully begin to realize what fools they've been played, and as buffoonery masquerading as media watchdoggy lechery collapses into some digital landfill to rot away.
I'm not up to the forgiveness. Such recalcitrance is bound to weigh heavy on my soul. It is a burden I'll have to willingly bear.
(--Posted as response to: Sorry, Mr. President, But Your Legacy Is More Awful Than You Think, a piece by Bob Cesca, Huffington Post, Posted June 11, 2008 | 04:57 PM (EST))
And he'd be right. The inability to forgive, even in the context of recent disgrace, is missing the point of Here and Now.
What is most difficult to discern is the possibility that all of it extends anywhere in space or time; the disgrace and the anger, the reluctant prayer and the uncertainty there is any hearing of prayer -- that all of it is of God.
And that God is, whatever not else, poet -- which clarifies everything and nothing.
Some words about Ted Kooser point this out:
Website photos of Kooser typically depict him relaxing in a broad, wooden Adirondack chair or smiling affably in a checkered shirt and jeans. But there’s no mistaking the clear, steady gaze of someone who has spent his life observing the smallest of life’s details—and distilling them for meaning. From a jar of buttons to dishwater, from birthdays to book clubs, Kooser ponders those daily moments many would consider hardly worth writing about. He insists these are the very moments that do matter—small pieces of daily living that define us and connect us as human beings.
"I think a poem is the record of a discovery," he explains. "It can be a discovery in the world or in the process of writing. You record it as poet and the reader participates in that occasion of discovery.
"I do think attention span has been affected by the pace and nature of contemporary life, but you can train people to pay attention to detail. Get in the present moment and quit thinking about what happened yesterday and what’s going to happen tomorrow. Try to notice what’s going on. The detail is what makes your experiences unique."
(--Published September 2006: A Poet for the People, U.S. poet laureate brings his down-to-earth observations to Hawai‘i, by Libby Young, in http://www.hawaii.edu/malamalama/2006/09/f3_poet.html)
I'm pretty much a fool. No experience, and no thinking, serves to clarify this poet we call God, much more all entailed herein. No matter how much I look, I do not see God. That's because God is not "there" to see.
I continue a fool's blind unseeing prayer. Often mistakenly asking for something else or to be somewhere else -- I'll continue to receive the only response prayer has silently given:
"I am here; I am with you; There is no other."
And as though God came from some New York bohemian literary cafe, I hear:
"Stop worrying and stop wanting. Drop the drama! It'll all be fine! Try not to think about it. Now, play the game, pass the cards; whose turn is it to deal? And what's the gig?"
A woman in a talk says the following:
"Happiness, and peace, and love is your nature. But the nature of the mind is acquisition and rejection."
(--Gangaji, Satsang -- the ungraspable offering)
I throw in my hand. There's nothing there. My mind is thrown in as well -- nothing there.
I'll think about what Richard said. I'll think about what Gangaji said. I'll think about what the Psalmist said.
I'll sit, as a fool, with What-Is-Here.
(In the dark, as usual.)