Saturday, March 09, 2013

to give up...illusions; to pluck the living flower

Here's what Karl Marx actually wrote:
The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.  
Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.   
The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo. 
Criticism has plucked the imaginary flowers on the chain not in order that man shall continue to bear that chain without fantasy or consolation, but so that he shall throw off the chain and pluck the living flower.[1] 
^ Marx, K. 1976. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of RightCollected Works, v. 3. New York.1.  
 Much deeper, I would say, that the oft-quoted epigrammatic dismissal.

stepping aside

Francis is taking his head out of the snow. It's about time. And time changes this weekend.

Lin Chi said the the shout is meant to break the idea in our head. It's a zen karate chop. Don't put forward the idea about the thing, present the thing itself.

I recall someone saying that not to judge is to know enlightenment. It is to be not burdened with the weight of discriminating and apportioning things and beings from their aseity.

Leave thing alone.

Leave beings alone.

Leave it all alone.

Don't be snowed. Empty a-head!

Friday, March 08, 2013


Why be


who prays

Thursday, March 07, 2013

found in prayer

To pray is to commit to the inclusion of everything and everyone.

No one is excluded from authentic prayer. No one.

It's why prayer is rare. And feared by many. Who choose "Gimme, gimme" braying.

Prayer is the giving away of self. To be found in others. In everything.


In the middle of the night, I fall into your name.

Unpronounced. Because unknown.

Hearing nothing. Mere silence. Home.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Be common

You're not crazy.

You're unhappy.

There's a difference.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Streaming elsewhere

Hugo Chavez dies. Rest well!

Elsewhere -- more thinking than necessary. I respond to student:
Parent Post
" are stopping the cycle of life for that being."(CC)
Your post sent me thinking about Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,S.J., a paleontologist who thought wildly creatively. He had a theory about nature's suppression of the peduncle. In brief, something original (or originating, perhaps, like a fetus) if suppressed, finds its way through in another lifestream of emergence. What if we have become too black and white? What if an originating life is never finally eliminated, only suppressed and redirected into different opened path of birth? 
Would this (stretching the point, and reaching for a metaphor, I admit) be like telling someone that if they did not take our directions to a party they would not be invited? Or, if you do not marry your first sweetheart your life will be catastrophic? (Maybe sadder; but, maybe not.) 
You've introduced me to the notion that, eternally, there is no finality -- nor do things have to have the identity we think they should have. 
What I'm trying to think about here is the possibility that each aborted fetus remains unborn until such opportunity it re-enters the birthing-stream with its urge-to-birth and comes to term(s) with its new emergence. And is born. And lives. Until returning to the unborn through the portal we call death.
As Teilhard de Chardin writes:
Man is psychically distinguished from all other animals by the entirely new fact that he not only knows, but knows that he knows. In him, for the first time on earth, consciousness has coiled back upon itself to become thought. To an observer unaware of what it signifies, the event might at first seem to have little importance; but in fact it represents the complete resurgence of terrestrial life upon itself. In reflecting psychically upon itself Life made a new start.3 
Life's new start was momentous but not immediately noticeable. Indeed, like all other advances in evolution, this threshold disappears under the weight of the past.4 
I Ibid., p. I80.
2 Ibid., p. I65.
3 Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man, New York, I964, p. 293. 
4 Teilhard de Chardin, as an apologist for evolution, often makes reference to what he calls the suppression of the peduncles. At every critical stage, the earliest transitionary forms are the most fragile and vanish under the weight of history. This is true biologically even as it is technologically; where, he asks, are the very first buggies? Who was the first Greek or Roman? Cf. The Phenomenon of Man, pp. I20-I22. 
47 "Man came silently into the world," says Teilhard de Chardin.I We must not make the mistake of treating this remarkable new human being as something other than a part of nature. The same play of tangential and radial energy that brought into existence the first crystals, the first plants, the first animals, here brought to birth the first occurrence of mind. In short, humanity is a natural phenomenon, the latest of life's successive waves.2
Nunc dimittis!

I am dismissed!

Monday, March 04, 2013


The affected retired corrections captain in Werner Herzog's 2011 documentary "Into the Abyss" spoke at film's end of living the dash. That's all he wants to do now. That dash between your date of birth and date of death on your tombstone.
He'd worked death row, escorted, strapped down, and witnessed over 125 executions in Texas prison. Now, after saying no more, he wants to watch the birds. "Hummingbirds...there's so many of them," he says.

Where else? When other?

Bangor, 12:39pm, wet snow.

A student writes about Ibsen's "An Enemy of the People":
"I think finding a random person who has that quality of contentedly doing the right thing even though it will cost you just about anything is hard to come by now of days." [sic]

I like the "now of days."

Doing the right thing is the only now.

And today is Monday.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Con permesso

Unbeknownst, the Trappist monastery sends postcard for me to confirm Holy Week slot for stay/retreat. This was the year I was not planning to attend. Out of the so-called blue, with no request, the invitation. I guess it addresses the question: Who else will sit in the darkened side chapel at 3:30am to 4:45am listening (sleepily, emptily) to psalms and prayers and silence until faint rapping on wood signals end of zazen from cavernous stillness?
With That Moon Language 
(By Hafiz)
Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, "Love me."
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?
It doesn't matter who becomes pope. It is the ones who walk in selfless recollection of true nature that enliven the kinship and connection of all beings.

All we can do is take one step then another with another quietly passing through the illusions woven by mind and mayhem until we come to see no one walking through no door before complete absence profoundly bowing in the instant to the radiant radical wholeness encapsulating no name in no place attended by nothing other than itself.

Incipio de novo in silentio infrequentia solitas incomitatus!
(Begin again, in scant silence, the solitude -- unfollowed, unaccompanied, alone!)
(Con permesso:
Scusa bastardo Latino -- Io nato, vano, interno Brooklyn, uno dei quartieri della città di New York.)

{With apologies to grammatists everywhere, especially ancient Rome and contemporary Italy!}

It is all -- always, and only -- about connection and relationship -- isn't it?