I look around and through what stands around me and you.
Cabin was like a sweat lodge at Sunday Evening Practice. The wood-stove cranked hotter than the moderate outside temperature called for. And the candles went out one by one. The cardiologist from Antigonish and the homeopath from Rockport sat beside the artist from Vermont and the carpenter now living in Illinois, the lay monastic auditor/baker from Toronto and the mendicant with motto 'ama nesciri' from the country of Brooklyn rounded out the meditation cabin with white dog with black spot with herding stock from Pennsylvania and New York.
A man of the Way comes rapping
At my brushwood gate,
Wants to discuss the essentials of Zen experience.
Don't take it wrong if this mountain monk's
Too lazy to open his mouth:
Late spring warblers singing their heart out,
A village of drifting petals.
- Jakushitsu Genko (1290-1367)
Table reading was Sharon Salzberg's dharma talk "A More Complete Attention" in current issue of Tricycle. It seemed just right. As did the lentil soup (with or without sausage and beef). Rokie did his weekly plaintive wail for the lost ball deep under bookshelf in corner of dining room.
Poet Charles Olson wrote, "There is no intelligence the equal of the situation." Jacque Ranciere wrote that, "All have equal intelligence." The idea seemed right that intelligence and compassion are less a matter of who has them, but more a matter of who responds to them as they present themselves within each situation. Thus, what a person is to do is to show up in each situation, attend to the reality revealing itself, respond to/with the intelligence and compassion found there, and cease considering yourself 'other' than the situation.
We are standing around what is standing around with and for us. Circumstance -- of which we are not-other.
Jose Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955) wrote, "Jo soy jo y mi circunstancia
For Ortega y Gasset, philosophy has a critical duty to lay siege to beliefs in order to promote new ideas and to explain reality. In order to accomplish such task the philosopher must, as Husserl proposed, leave behind prejudices and previously existing beliefs and investigate the essential reality of the universe. Ortega proposes that philosophy must, as Hegel proposed, overcome both the lack of idealism (in which reality gravitated around the ego) and ancient-medieval realism (which is for him an undeveloped point of view in which the subject is located outside the world) in order to focus in the only truthful reality (i.e. life). He suggests that there is no me without things and things are nothing without me, I (human being) can not be detached from my circumstances (world). This led Ortega to pronounce his famous maxim "Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia" ("I am myself and my circumstance") which he always situated in the core of his philosophy. For Ortega, as for Husserl, the Cartesian 'cogito ergo sum' is insufficient to explain reality"therefore the Spanish philosopher proposes a system where life is the sum of the ego and circumstance. This circunstancia is oppressive; therefore, there is a continual dialectical exchange of forces between the person and his or her circumstances and, as a result, life is a drama that exists between necessity and freedom. In this sense Ortega wrote that life is at the same time fate and freedom, and that freedom "is being free inside of a given fate. Fate gives us an inexorable repertory of determinate possibilities, that is, it gives us different destinies. We accept fate and within it we choose one destiny." In this tied down fate we must therefore be active, decide and create a "project of life" -- thus not be like those who live a conventional life of customs and given structures who prefer an unconcerned and imperturbable life because they are afraid of the duty of choosing a project.
(from AllExperts, About.com, Free Encyclopedia) http://en.allexperts.com/e/j/jo/josé_ortega_y_gasset.htm
"I am myself and my circumstance." (Ortega y Gasset)
(Question): Where do we find ourselves?
(Response): Where are you?
Who am I?
What are you doing?
Am I free?
The rain has stopped. We had flooded celler and leaky roof (which is not quite finished being re-shingled). The Irish workman left the west side of dormer completely unprotected last season. The Scot temporarily cut and nailed an obtuse triangular temporary cover of plywood earlier this season. The roofer from Hope hadn't gotten to it yet last week. But the torrential rain coming from southwest did get to it. For hours of slashing downpour. The upstairs and downstairs bathrooms danced with dripping water through wall and ceiling. Pots and pans and multicolored towels bravely stood their ground during the deluge. Saskia fortified the troops. The battle subsides. All is well. And wet.
The brook roared and edged its limits under our footbridges. Big stones grumbled under water-falls. The sluice dug two months ago took runoff down Ragged Mountain that would have hit barn off to the other side of septic mound and across the road. I build make-shift earthen diverter dams to help water go away from new gambrel bookshed being built askew barn. Hosmer Pond was profoundly beyond its normal limits, flooding fields and backing toward road by 20-30 feet. Where we keep the green canoe on wood frame by pond was two feet too deep for our boots to approach -- so we turned back with life jackets hanging from paddles over shoulders.
November is warm this week. Many dogs ran the Snow Bowl. Color has fallen from trees to mountain mulching. Dawn gives light. I wake up early.
All of this.
This is what I am.
With heartfelt gratitude!