Saturday, February 26, 2011

What is my life?
Protect us Lord
While awake
Watch over us as we sleep

(- from Compline)
Because we are asleep so often; awake so seldom; afraid so long; unknowing so much.

This is my night prayer.

This is my life.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Finally silence!
Snow mutes. Wind sculpts. Evening.
I now love this way.
God is not foreign to my freedom.
Instead the Spirit breathes life into my most intimate desires,
gently nudging me towards all that is good.
I ask for the grace to let myself be enfolded by the Spirit.
This way is no other way.

The world falls into
freedom; It was time to fall
and it did fall through.

Call me old fashioned --
there's so much joy in few
Silence be thy name!

So often I see
my friend Jo-Ann in my heart
never left her smile

(--wfh, 25feb2011)

Full page ad in 13Feb2011 New York Times: Woman standing behind younger man in chair with chest strap securing him upright. Text says:
It is by the Wounded Warrior Project.

I am reminded of the sacrifice; as well as the awful consequences of war, of ideology, of lies.

Final two haiku for the day:
There is only now
It is where and who we are --
Will this, come to, be

Love and friendship
together alone, silent --
looking nowhere
(--wfh, 25feb2011)
Tuna fish and shells -- "Probably about two minutes!" says Saskia.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Funny how some things, like church services, drift away.

But silence stays. Nature reclaims what dries and withers. Tucks into night. Then morning comes. Human history and rituals fade into the earth with its silence and loveliness.
Like autumn clouds, this life is transient.
Our parents, our relatives
Are like passers-by met in a marketplace.
Like the dew on grass tips
Wealth is evanescent
Like a bubble on the surface of water
This body is fragile and ephemeral
The dharmas of this samsaric world are futile
The sacred Dharma alone has value
The change to practice this Dharma
Is occurring just once: right now.

- Shabkar
The world edges toward freedom. Repression and covert shenanigans have spent their absurd capital and begin to crumble.

Superstition and dogmatic postulate deconstruct themselves and are siphoned of meaning and relevance.

Friendship and philosophy emerge.

What now matters?

If we are asking this question, that is what matters.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Coming off road after three days. Lincoln, Fort Kent, Caribou, Presque Isle, Millinocket,

Six hundred forty miles.

Driving in sunshine and beautiful country.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Note : There are no Tuesday and Wednesday Evening Conversations until Spring.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Qui tacit consentire!

I'll remain.


...Don't you agree?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Philosophy cannot lose touch with everyday experience.
For Friedrich Nietzsche, the answer was obvious: to test a philosophy, find out if you can live by it. This is “the only critique of a philosophy that is possible and that proves something,” he wrote in 1874. It’s also the form of critique that is generally overlooked in the philosophy faculties of universities. Nietzsche therefore dismissed the professional discipline as irrelevant, a “critique of words by means of other words,” and devoted himself to pursuing an idiosyncratic philosophical quest outside the academy. As for texts, he wrote, “I for one prefer reading Diogenes Laertius” — the popular third-century Epicurean author of a biographical compilation called “Lives of the Eminent Philosophers.” If the proof of philosophy lies in life, then what could be more useful than reading about how the great philosophers have lived?

As James Miller shows in his fascinating “Examined Lives,” choosing Diogenes Laertius over more rigorous treatises was provocative because it challenged an idea already predominant in Nie­tzsche’s time: that a philosophy should be objectively valid, without the need to refer to particular quirks or life experiences on the part of its originator. Diogenes Laertius represents an older tradition, which sees philosophy not as a set of precepts but as something one learns by following a wise man — sometimes literally following him wherever he goes, listening, and observing how he handles situations. The “Lives” offers its readers a vicarious opportunity to try this with a number of philosophers, and see whose way works best.

Miller has now had the superb idea of taking Diogenes Laertius as a model, while simultaneously using this model to test whether such an approach can still offer us anything of value. He covers 12 philosophers: Socrates, Plato, Diogenes the Cynic (not to be confused with Laertius), Aristotle, Seneca, Augustine, Montaigne, Descartes, Rousseau, Kant, Emerson and Nietzsche. In each case, he explores the life selectively, looking for “crux” points and investigating how ideas of the philosophical life have changed. Few readers will be astounded to learn that philosophers make as much of a mess of their lives as anyone else. But Miller, a professor of politics at the New School and author of a biography of Michel Foucault, among other books, does not rest with digging out petty failings or moments of hypocrisy. He shows us philosophers becoming ever more inclined to reflect on these failings, and suggests that this makes their lives more rather than less worth studying. (Blakewell)

Everyday people cannot lose touch with philosophy.
His starting point is Socrates, the most mythologized of all thinkers, the original source of the statement that “the unexamined life is not worth living” and the philosopher whose life became the measure for all others. Early biographers wrote with awe of Socrates’ strange, itinerant approach to wisdom; of his habit of hanging around the marketplace striking up conversations with any passer-by willing to talk or of standing motionless in the street all night while he thought a problem through. But what really set him apart was his death, which redefined his whole life. Condemned by a panel of 501 Athenian citizens to kill himself with hemlock, Socrates carried out the sentence with perfect composure and in full rational awareness — or so the myth has it. No greater confirmation of the value of a philosopher’s existence could be imagined. As Socrates himself said, “Don’t you think that actions are more reliable evidence than words?”

(from book review by Sarah Bakewell of James Miller's "Examined Lives: From Socrates to Nietzsche"
Philosophy, loving wisdom, is the discourse of loving people interested in conversing their everyday lives.

Why do this? Why act through words and move through words to actions?

We are what is becoming this way.

There is nothing else to do.