Saturday, January 26, 2019

morning light, dawning

In prison yesterday remembering a card with four squares and the words “you are not alone.”

How the first letters (ya na) seem to ask question, “yes?”, “no?”
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. (—Matthew 14:23)
The thought occurs— you are not alone, god is alone.

If we elide “alone” from either side of the comma, it reads— you are not, god is.

You are not — alone is.

Only alone.

So it goes!

Perhaps this is why so few people have faith in god, so few people actually believe, and move, and have their being in god,

God is all there is. God is “here.” Here is all there is.

I hear, differently, Gertrude Stein’s “There’s no there there.” Every there becomes here to someone thinking they’re going there.

Every child on a trip, so goes the meme, asks “Are we there yet?” Parents lie and say, “Almost!” Or “Soon!”

But there is no-there there. Here is no-there.

Or, perhaps, “here is not-here.”

The absence of god becomes clearer.

The death of god, to our thinking, becomes present.

God is present in this absence.

We are all alone; we are not alone.

We are all; we are not.

The objective disappears.

Nothing other appears, and there is nothing to be seen.

Matthew says, “...he was there alone.”

And so, you are not alone. You are not there.

Jesus did there in.

You are here.

“Here” is the name of god.

Goethe wrote: Names are but noise and smoke / Obscuring heavenly light.

Outside this window, morning light, dawning!

Friday, January 25, 2019

announcing temporary end to senseless shutdown

Wallman perseverates

his repetitive
his repetitive
his repetitive


and again.

God help us, this is so tedious!

friday afternoon haiku

Winter tree —

Scarf of snow wrapping trunk

Bare ground, January thaw

Thursday, January 24, 2019

lies and liars

Thinking about mendacity and this country's leader(s):
Big Daddy: Now, why do ya drink?!   Brick: Give me my crutch.  .Big Daddy: Tell me first.   Brick: No, you give me a drink first and I'll tell ya.   Big Daddy: Tell me first! First you gotta tell me!   Brick: All right, disgust!   Big Daddy: DISGUST WITH WHAT?   Brick: You strike a hard bargain.   Big Daddy: Boy, do you want liquor that bad?   Brick: Yes, sir. I want liquor that bad. [Big Daddy hands him his crutch]           Big Daddy: Now tell me, what are you disgusted with?   Brick: Mendacity. You know what that is. It's lies and liars.   Big Daddy: Who's been lyin' to ya? Maggie? Has your wife been lyin' to ya?   Brick: No. Not one lie, not one person. The whole thing.          Big daddy: Mendacity. What do you know about mendacity? I could write a book on it...Mendacity. Look at all the lies that I got to put up with. Pretenses. Hypocrisy. Pretendin' like I care for Big Mama, I haven't been able to stand that woman in forty years. Church! It bores me. But I go. And all those swindlin' lodges and social clubs and money-grabbin' auxiliaries. It's-it's got me on the number one sucker list. Boy, I've lived with mendacity. Now why can't you live with it? You've got to live with it. There's nothin' to live with but mendacity. Is there?   Brick: Oh, yes sir. [Lifting his glass] You can live with this.   Big Daddy: That's not livin', that's a-dodgin away from life.       Brick: I want to dodge away from it.   Big Daddy: Then son, why don't you kill yourself?   Brick: 'Cause I like to drink.   Big Daddy: I can't talk to you.  Brick: I'm sorry.
(--from Cat on the Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams) 
It is a despicable time of American presidency. 

this existence brings

We are all afraid. We don’t know.

The only choice is to be frozen stiff with fear, or

Move step by step through fear to the next arriving place.

To move is to exercise faith.

To remain frozen is to enshrine fear.

This is our fate.

What to do with the fear being alive in this existence brings?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

how is the patient

"The bomb can't be used unless civilization dies first." (--in Harlot's Ghost, by Norman Mailer, ch.33)

that which is moving and adopts

What endures?

Bergson suggests, our self.
As the new school year of 1901-1902 began, their desperate search was rewarded when Charles Peguy led them across the street from the Sorbonne to the Collège de France to hear Henri Bergson lecture, and in Bergson's elegant lectures they heard the beginning of the message they had been waiting for. When they listened to him they understood him to say, as Raissa put it, "that we could truly, absolutely, know what is." That Bergson was speaking not of the intelligence or reason, but a faculty that he called intuition that was opposed to the intelligence and its concepts did not matter to them then, but later it was to become a critical issue. No doubt they were hearing words like the inspiring words that were to fill Bergson's essay, "An Introduction to Metaphysics" which was to appear in the Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale in January of 1903: " absolute could only be given in an intuition, whilst everything else falls within the province of analysis. By intuition is meant the kind of intellectual sympathy by which one places oneself within an object in order to coincide with what is unique in it and consequently inexpressible. (9) ... There is one reality, at least, which we all seize from within, by intuition and not by simple analysis. It is our own personality in its flowing through time - our self which endures. (10) ... What is relative is the symbolic knowledge by pre-existing concepts, which proceeds from the fixed to the moving, and not the intuitive knowledge which installs itself in that which is moving and adopts the very life of things. This intuition attains the absolute." (11) 
(--Arraj, James (2011-11-06T22:58:59). MYSTICISM, METAPHYSICS AND MARITAIN: On the Road to the Spiritual Unconscious . Inner Growth Books and Videos, LLC. Kindle Edition.) 
 Yes, Bergson's words :"...intuitive knowledge ... installs itself in that which is moving and adopts the very life of things."

All aboard! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

after the religion medal at 8th grade graduation at St A's

An excerpt, sixty two years later:
 It is not that "I am empty," but rather, that "emptiness is I" (Masao Abe, Zen and Western Thought, 13) 
To be religious is to live from the standpoint of emptiness
Carter [Robert E. Carter, in The Nothingness Beyond God] quotes the following well-known epigram by the 9th century Chinese master Qingyuan Weixin: 
Thirty years ago, before I began the study of Zen, I said, ‘Mountains are mountains, waters are waters.’After I got an insight into the truth of Zen through the instruction of a good master, I said, ‘Mountains are not mountains, waters are not waters.’But now, having attained the abode of final rest [that is, Awakening], I say, “Mountains are really mountains, waters are really waters.” 
At first, mountains and waters are just mountains and waters, real objects out there in the world. Then, they are no longer mountains and waters, just names. For the awakened, mountains and waters are again mountains and waters, but “lined with nothingness.” Both real objects and names at once, to be seen through the “double aperture,” which is two and at the same time one. This again is the meaning of the title Carter chose for his book on Nishida: The Nothingness Beyond God. The reference here is to Meister Eckhart, whom Nishida read, along with the most significant Christian thinkers, who posited a Godhead he saw as nothingness above God the Creator, acknowledging a deeper Dao-like source of non-being out of which God created the world of being. Nishida’s disciples, Nishitani, Keiji and Ueda, Shizuteru regarded Eckhart as close to Buddhism in his interpretation of Christianity. Ueda spent time in Germany to write a doctoral dissertation on Eckhart. In his last writings, Nishida seems to have hoped that the West finds its own way to his philosophy of nothingness through a recovery of its own religious tradition. He suggested parallels between Christianity and the Pure Land School of Buddhism, which are both devotional, that is, relying on the “other power” of a deity. In Japan, the two paths, Zen’s reliance on “own power,” and Pure Land’s reliance on “other power,” are seen as equally able to lead practitioners to awakening. Could Christianity learn to see itself as the same as Zen? Could philosophy and science see being and reason as enveloped by a broader “religious” logic of the place of nothingness? I wish I could believe that it can happen. The East, however, which has mastered Western ontology and objective thinking, while most of the West is still happy to remain ignorant of Asian nothingness and the concrete experience of actual reality in the present moment, will most probably get there before the West does!
(--by Nick Bea, from Kyoto School of Philosophy website,) 
It has always intrigued me, the question: What holds us together?

Now, nothing.

Monday, January 21, 2019

who will care for the baby

Red hats
Native American drums —
many versions Rashômon the air

Looking and listening
silently —
what a fool I am

can nothing be something

There's missed calls everywhere

black men shot by police

banks taking homes from poor

women overpowered by men

bodies defeated by cancer

institutions crushing individuality

     a missed call in a championship football game

what's not right is never made right, not

by assertion or saying what's done is done

nothing's done

it all slip-slides down the road

folded paper in back pocket

documents placed in courthouse folders

     there is no defense for what's not right

what's right

is each time

created new

when what may be

comes about

in our seeing

     what has never been


what is  

now here

where faith

reduces everything

to unknowing yet caring gaze

Sunday, January 20, 2019