Saturday, December 10, 2016

Thomas Merton died 48 years ago today

Contemplative silence isn't some sweet sensitive respect for an almighty power shown reverence.

Rather, contemplative silence is the agonizing realization no one could possible understand the loneliness of inability to communicate to anyone the unknown inarticulate presence of something beyond human comprehension that gnaws at our desire to speak and name the aphasic and apophatic unnameable emptiness surrounding us with no expectation or possibility of being identified or understood.

Contemplative silence is the gaze into nothingness that returns gaze with intimate inquiry into who it is dwelling between gaze and gaze.

Friday, December 09, 2016

callous cynicism

It's like a circus.

I'm not sure the election results will not collapse under the weight of Russia's hacking intent to swing the results toward Trump. 

Nor the business monetizing of political,decisions for the coffers of mr Trump.

The normal skepticism mutates into callous cynicism.

What will it be? 

I think it will be ugly.

No Friday evening conversation tonite

we are two hours away

sorry for late notice

Thursday, December 08, 2016

one more thing

Oh yes

Happy enlightenment day, Siddhartha Gautama

Happy no-barrier birth, Mary

Happy disappearance day, John Lennon 

here on out

In a post-fact, post-truth time there are those who wander aimless amid the false and fake while blinded by braggadocio balderdash..

The rules have changed.

We do not know what to believe or who to trust.

Eat when hungry? Sleep when tired?

We’re on our own from here on out. 

to catch the falling pieces

Re. The Opinion Pages  | WHAT’S AT STAKE  
An Enemy of the E.P.A. to Head It,  By THE EDITORIAL BOARDDEC. 7, 2016, NYTimes
It’s Thursday morning, and there’s a little less than a cord remaining to stack.

A friend who was a farmer who also worked for a defense contractor used to warn me off saying anything political.  He was right, of course. He loved the Fox brand of blow-harding that claimed ’no spin.’ 

He’ll forgive me a small lapse.

Here’s what I’m wondering:

Is Mr. Trump following the Republican goal to prove the Federal Government is unnecessary and incompetent?

Programming failure into the administration will self-fulfill the prophecy and ensure that private sector takeover is the only route to travel.

Luckily Mr Trump has his private infrastructure to catch the falling pieces of monetized contracts to help run the business formerly known as the United States Government.

It seems the smart plan to follow.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

so very glad

Sent by fellow practitioner to our dog, Rokie: 

       I'm So Glad

Start seeing everything as God
       But keep it a secret.

Become like a man who is Awestruck
        and Nourished

Listening to a single Nightingale
Sing in a beautiful foreign language   
     While God invisibly nests
           Upon its tongue.

Who can tell in this world
That when a dog runs up to you
   wagging its esctatic tale
You lean down and whisper in its ear,

          " Beloved
I am so glad You are happy to see me

       I am so glad,
So very glad You have come".

--I Am So Glad - Poem by Hafiz from book, "I Heard God Laughing" by Translator Daniel Ladinsky)

"Are you going to tell that to the cats?" Rokie asks.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

on hearing childhood cousin has entered hospice

From letter: 
And should you have plans for travels to other unspecified and unexplored destinations — well — I wish you safe journey and good arrivals. 
I know how these planned and unplanned vacations go. The idea arises in someone’s mind, you just jump in, place foot on accelerator, wave out the window, say “See y’all later” and head for the curve in the road. 
No accounting for anyone’s goings and comings. I seem to just wave and wave again. It’s always a bittersweet experience.
 We travel, often, not knowing that we are -- or where we are -- going.

Monday, December 05, 2016

speak and be heard

Philosophy isn't difficult. It's dangerous. How so?
To be “philosophically adjusted” is to belie what I see as one major aim of philosophy — to speak to the multiple ways in which we suffer, to be a voice through which suffering might speak and be heard, and to offer a gift to my students that will leave them maladjusted and profoundly unhappy with the world as it is. Bringing them to that state is what I call doing “high stakes philosophy.” It is a form of practicing philosophy that refuses to ignore the horrible realities of people who suffer and that rejects ideal theory, which functions to obfuscate such realities. It is a form of philosophizing that refuses to be seduced by what Friedrich Nietzsche called “conceptual mummies.” Nietzsche notes that for many philosophers, “nothing actual has escaped from their hands alive.”   
(--from, I Am a Dangerous Professor, by George Yancy, 30Nov16, in The Stone, New York Times)
 It's time to be maladjusted.

Always wanted to be what I am.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

it's me

Watched Citizen Four yesterday after helping crew cover boat, then stacking cordwood for hours.

Come away impressed by Edward Snowden and Glen Greenwald -- realizing what a controversial decision they made about a controversial system of information gathering practiced by US intelligence agency on US citizens and pretty much everyone else on the planet.

Information is power. Power is control. Control is invitation to abuse. Abuse is how subjugation and power marry. Their children are subterfuge and disinformation.

In prison Friday morning at Buddhist group and Meetingbrook conversation one of the men who was reading the Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukov for the 6th time (he said) spoke about the contrasting world views emananating from focus on law or focus on love. 

Law, he observed, engendered order and control. Love, chaos and compassion.

The forces focusing on security focus on order and control. Mussolini made the trains run on time. Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Hitler each tidied up their population based on their disembodied opinion of tidiness and uniformity.

The legacy of Jesus (called 'the Christ') , Gandhi, Lao Tzu, Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa, Kuan Yin, Dan and Phil Berrigan, and Martin Luther King attended the poor and disenfranchised with chaos and compassion exemplifying an embodied practice of presence and acceptance.

Law and control are general and unforgiving.

Chaos and compassion are particular and forgiving.

Perhaps we've arrived at another juncture of history wherein those with power really do disdain those who are under their power. If so, it is, again, a very dangerous time of history.

Power requires secrecy and unquestioning loyalty.

Compassion invites openness and questioning. It also requires a benevolent but skeptical eye toward the huckster, con-man, sweet-talker, or bully.

Things feel uneasy. Uneasy in the sense of anxious, troubled, and uncomfortable. 

We're unsure which way the trains are heading. Toward camps to entomb in permanent certainty? Or toward the sea to listen to the perennial splash of waves on shore signifying the arrival and departure of time and communion in an impermanent celebration of uncertainty and (what has been called) faith?

I liked Snowden and Greenwald in the documentary. They seemed like thoughtful and courageous men.

Whatever happened heretofore or happens hence, let's reconfigure consciousness to alight on an ever changing shore of allowing and forgiving, splashing us with arrivals and departures, welcoming and bidding adieu to all our family -- our holy family -- rapscallion or rhapsodic, as each enters and takes leave of this theatre piece we call earthly life.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
(Matthew 19:14, New International Version)

Ad-vent! (coming to), or, c'mon!

(i.e. "C'mon!" -- which, as all bastardized truncated French interpretations have it, actually means, "it's me!)