Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sometimes just to sit, to sit and then to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio-style, is wonderfully sufficient.

We did that this morning.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
for his love is for ever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his love is for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his love is for ever.
He alone works wonders,
for his love is for ever.
In his wisdom he made the heavens,
for his love is for ever.
He set the Earth upon the waters,
for his love is for ever.
He created the great lights,
for his love is for ever.
The sun, to rule over the day,
for his love is for ever.
The moon and stars, to rule over the night,
for his love is for ever.
(--Psalm 135)
It's all about fact and gratefulness.
St Catherine of Siena's Dialogue on Divine Providence
How good and how delightful is your spirit, Lord, in all men!
The eternal Father, indescribably kind and tender, turned his eye to this soul and spoke to her thus:
‘O dearest daughter, I have determined to show my mercy and loving kindness to the world, and I choose to provide for mankind all that is good. But man, ignorant, turns into a death-giving thing what I gave in order to give him life. Not only ignorant, but cruel: cruel to himself. But still I go on providing. For this reason I want you to know: whatever I give to man, I do it out of my great providence.
‘So it was that when, by my providence, I created man, I looked into myself and fell in love with the beauty of the creature I had made – for it had pleased me, in my providence, to create man in my own image and likeness.
‘Moreover, I gave man memory, to be able to remember the good things I had done for him and to be able to share in my own power, the power of the eternal Father.
‘Moreover, I gave man intellect, so that, seeing the wisdom of my Son, he could recognise and understand my own will; for I am the giver of all graces and I give them with a burning fatherly love.
‘Moreover, I gave man the desire to love, sharing in the tenderness of the Holy Spirit, so that he might love the things that his intellect had understood and seen.
‘But my kind providence did all this solely that man might be able to understand me and enjoy me, rejoicing in my vision for all eternity. And as I have told you elsewhere, the disobedience of your first parent Adam closed heaven to you – and from that disobedience came all evil through the whole world.
‘To relieve man of the death that his own disobedience had brought, I tenderly and providently gave you my only-begotten Son to heal you and bring satisfaction for your needs. I gave him the task of being supremely obedient, to free the human race of the poison that your first parent’s disobedience had spread throughout the world. Falling in love, as it were, with his task, and truly obedient, he hurried to a shameful death on the most holy Cross. By his most holy death he gave you life: not human life this time, but with the strength of his divinity.’
(--from Office of Readings, Saturday,
It's all about fact and gratefulness, wisdom and compassion.

Remind me when I forget.

Because I will forget.

I count on you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The text of Lesson 301 in ACIM began: "Father, unless I judge I cannot weep."

You judge, you weep.
But how does such a finite being attain knowledge, reason, truth?-Heidegger formulates the probIem of truth and says there cannot be any truths in themselves, or eternal truths, but truths are always relative to Dasein.
(--from Discussion Between Ernst Cassirer and Martin Heidegger, trans by Francis Slade, in The Existential Tradition, 1971)
If everything is in relationality, you do not exist but in relation to.

And what of the alone?

The alone does not exist.

It is that from which existence emerges and to which existence returns.

No judging.

Just unaffected joy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Writers write.
"Nulla dies sine linea" -- In English: No day without a line.

The saying is very famous in Latin, and is attested in medieval sources. The closest thing to a classical Latin source is this passage in Pliny: Apelli fuit alioqui perpetua consuetudo numquam tam occupatum diem agendi, ut non lineam ducendo exerceret artem, quod ab eo in proverbium venit "Apelles had in fact a regular custom that he never passed a day, no matter how busy, without practicing his art by drawing something (lineam ducendo), which has thus become a proverb." Apelles was a famous Greek painter in the fourth century B.C.E.; you can read more about him here at wikipedia.

The proverb is attested in the Greek collection by Arsenius, which is the version given by Erasmus in his Adages: Nullam hodie lineam duxi, "I have not drawn a line today." This is a rather negative version of the same idea; you should draw (or write) something everyday, and a day that passes without such an occasion is a lost day.

It's unfortunate that Erasmus chose to cite this Greek version of the saying, in such a negative form, when he might have cited the more positive exhortation, nulla dies sine linea. This version of the saying shows up in the Adagia compiled by Polydorus Vergilius, a contemporary of Erasmus. You can find an online edition of Polydorus's Adagia at the Herzog August Bibliothek, as well as a list of the proverb headings, listed alphabetically.

Finally, here is a medieval variant in metrical form: nulla dies abeat, qua linea ducta supersit / nec decet ignavum praeteriisse diem, "Let no day go by without a drawn line to show for it; it is not right for a day to pass by in sloth" (Walther 18894).

(--from Latin Via Proverbs, blog by Laura Gibbs,
Sketchers sketch.

Contemplatives look into word and images for what is expressed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I was wondering what I should feel about having no self. It's confusing.

But then, who's there to be confused?
The Way Things Really Are

One of the main pursuits of Buddhism is to bridge the gap between the way things appear and the way things are. That approach does not come just from a curiosity to investigate phenomena. It arises from the understanding that an incorrect perception of reality inevitably leads to suffering. Grasping to solid reality and to the notion of an independent self in particular engenders a host of afflictive mental states and afflictive emotions that are the primary cause of mind-made sufferings.

(- Matthieu Ricard, in "Why Meditate?)
It's ok.

Doubt is ok.

Even when attached to nobody there.

Like drizzle -- everywhere only water.

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Living is dying," is what Krishnamurti says in a talk. (Talk 2: Part 7 (1st January 1986, Madras India,)
"Love and death go together. Because death says 'Be free, non-attached;' there's nothing you can carry with you. Love says, love says...there is no word for it. Love can exist only when there is freedom. The feeling, the enormous strength, the vitality, the energy of complete freedom."
The quiet of the morning!

Rain through the night leaves everything dark and damp.
If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.
It has no form, no appearance,
No root, no basis, no abode,
But is lively and buoyant.
It responds with versatile facility,
But its function cannot be located.
Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;
When you seek it
You turn away from it all the more.

- Linji (d. 867) {}

Do we fail to love because we fail to die while we are alive? We prefer to see death as an enemy against which (against whom?) we fortify ourselves until such time death comes and forces us into itself against (seemingly) our will.

We continue to learn to see. (To see is to learn; to learn is to see.)

Soon, one day, our seeing and learning will be whole.

Whole-sight bewith you! With every breath within, through, without, you!

The word 'bewith' remains for me a speaking of the reality once called 'God.' The word 'God' was and is a good word. As is 'bewith'.
Old Men
by Ken Hada

I make it a point now
to wave to old men I pass
old men standing in shade
of a yard, maybe
a daughter's place
where now he's just a tenant
trying to understand role reversal.

I raise my forefinger
As I steer country roads or pass
Through tired neighborhoods.
Most return a wave or nod Howdy.
Driving gives you some perspective,
shows you how you might end up.

We allow something
now, especially those of us sitting
on porch swings, those
who never got around to going
somewhere, those
who still feel like something
somehow is missing.

("Old Men" by Ken Hada from Spare Parts. © Mongrel Empire Press, 2010, The Writer's Almanac)
Any variation of the words 'being' and 'with' combined with no separation is a new sounding of God.

It sounds over-reaching to say: 'You can be God'.

But to say: 'You can bewith each and every one,' has a more approachable sound to it.

So I say to you: You arewith me. May I bewith you!

In this manner we recommend one-another to the way of being that is companionable, communing, contemplative, conversational, corresponding, and compatible.

Here is where this commensurability, measurable by the same standard, engages and embraces everyone, everything, everywhere.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke, 6:38, NIV)
The word 'contingency' in philosophy means the absence of necessity; the fact of being so without having to be so.

Live well; die well. Right now. Without going anywhere.

Go nowhere. Let go. Go on.


May it be so with you!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Let's cancel the elections. Everybody go to the mountains. Look at the stars when it stops raining. And ponder: Is this what we mean when we say democracy? Or have we become a plutocracy?

Something has gone wrong. Everybody knows what it is. Democracy has died. Banks, insurance companies, and global corporations now own America.

It was a nice dream. Wealth defeats idealism. Give up your house. Give it to the bank. And get lost.

The five aggregates are empty.

There is no human self.

Only corporate America has a soul.

Only the corporation is a person worth our time and money.

Count me out.