Saturday, June 18, 2016

No really, I do

In the United States there are many lies. It's hard to figure out which ones are the worse. 

Simple jealousy? Abuse of power? Weak wills?

I have a simple answer.

Pretending to care. The cynical correctness that carries with it no substance.

It is so close to sincerity it is seldom noticed.

It insinuates.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Why do you come in here? Because you're here.

What do we learn in prison?

We learn that we are one another in prison.

A realization so punishing it requires us to forget who we are.

Which is cruel and inhuman.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

embracing both extremes of a contradiction

It becomes increasingly curious/silly the distinctive/divisive sorting that accompanies looking at religions/traditions with an eye to distinguishing a hierarchy of better/best for so-called spiritual seekers. More to the point, the contemporary lexical chic distinction between religious/spiritual promises to obliterate interest in traditional religion in favor of irreligion and any individual quest for the liberating/holy might take an idiorhythmic non-institutional direction.

Put differently, similar to current attitudes toward any retrievable dignity of government, there is a corresponding trending toward a view noting the irrelevance and impertinence of religion.

I understand both these attitudes. It has been said that today's young adults do not look to change government; they seek to change that which government is either incapable or unwilling to change, namely, the situation itself or the mindset that contributes toward unacceptable situations. So too the church. There is a bypassing of the authority and authoritativeness of the church -- catholic and protestant -- for a more direct and personal practice of what once the church attempted to represent, namely, encountering God with no barriers.
This discovery of Christ is never genuine if it is nothing but a flight from ourselves. On the contrary, it cannot be an escape. It must be a fulfillment. I cannot discover God in myself and myself in Him unless I have the courage to face myself exactly as I am, with all my limitations, and to accept others as they are, with all their limitations. The religious answer is not religious if it is not fully real. Evasion is the answer of superstition.  
This matter of “salvation” is, when seen intuitively, a very simple thing. But when we analyze it, it turns into a complex tangle of paradoxes. We become ourselves by dying to ourselves. We gain only what we give up, and if we give up everything we gain everything. We cannot find ourselves within ourselves, but only in others, yet at the same time before we can go out to others we must first find ourselves. We must forget ourselves in order to truly become conscious of who we are. The best way to love ourselves it to love others, yet we cannot love others unless we love ourselves since it is written, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” But if we love ourselves in the wrong way, we become incapable of loving anybody else. And indeed, when we love ourselves wrongly we hate ourselves; if we hate ourselves we cannot help hating others. Yet there is a sense in which we must hate others and leave them in order to find God. Jesus said: “If any man come to me and hate not his father and his mother … yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:26). As for this “finding” of God, we cannot even look for Him unless we have already found Him, and we cannot find Him unless he has first found us. We cannot begin to seek Him without a special gift of His grace, yet if we wait for grace to move us, before beginning to seek Him, we will probably never begin.  
The only effective answer to the problem of salvation must therefore be to reach out to embrace both extremes of a contradiction at the same time. Hence that answer must be supernatural.  
(--pp.12-13, Thomas Merton, in, No Man is an Island, 1955) 
The dictionary has supernatural as "(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature." (apple dictionary) 

This "beyond" suggests there is a ungraspable continuity between what we call natural and that which is beyond-natural, i.e. meta-scientific or meta-law.

What is this 'beyond'? Perhaps, like the ending of the prajnaparamita, after one has gone completely beyond, there is the awake and rejoicing gratefulness -- just this!

There's no place to go beyond here.

There is only this, the realization of this, and the complete transcendent joy of bordering, protecting, and greeting this.

Such it is; such we are.

Such as it is; such as we are.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Here we are; what is here

When the words are spoken, remain silent.


When silence is heard, you are home.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

what we do when we do what we do

This is what we have to face today.
I believe that we are lost here in America, but I believe we shall be found. And this belief, which mounts now to the catharsis of knowledge and conviction, is for me -- and I think for all of us -- not only our own hope, but America's everlasting, living dream.                   
(--from, You Can’t Go Home Again, by Thomas Wolfe)                 
If we don't care, it doesn't matter. Then, let there be wars, let there be warriors who continue to suffer life, kill back home, and commit suicide.

But if we care -- alongside medical research, rehabilitative therapy, and compassionate attention -- why not consider no longer fomenting war, no longer responding to that childish mantra of -- “I want that, it’s mine, give it to me!” -- whenever we petulantly, arrogantly, mindlessly decide that our wants and perceived needs come first and foremost, everyone else be damned.
Perl’s findings, published in the scientific journal The Lancet Neurology, may represent the key to a medical mystery first glimpsed a century ago in the trenches of World War I. It was first known as shell shock, then combat fatigue and finally PTSD, and in each case, it was almost universally understood as a psychic rather than a physical affliction. Only in the past decade or so did an elite group of neurologists, physicists and senior officers begin pushing back at a military leadership that had long told recruits with these wounds to “deal with it,” fed them pills and sent them back into battle.  
If Perl’s discovery is confirmed by other scientists — and if one of blast’s short-term signatures is indeed a pattern of scarring in the brain — then the implications for the military and for society at large could be vast. Much of what has passed for emotional trauma may be reinterpreted, and many veterans may step forward to demand recognition of an injury that cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death. There will be calls for more research, for drug trials, for better helmets and for expanded veteran care. But these palliatives are unlikely to erase the crude message that lurks, unavoidable, behind Perl’s discovery: Modern warfare destroys your brain.
(--from, What if PTSD Is More Physical Than Psychological? By ROBERT F. WORTH, Jun 10, 2016, NYTimes)
War is demented.

There still are choices to be made.

I will not rape.

I will not shoot people. 

I will not descend into cynicism.

I merely sorrow for what we do to one another.