Saturday, May 25, 2019

without understanding

Or, we might consider Meister Eckhart:
Like other great minds of his time, Eckhart thus considered the question, “Does God exist?” to be meaningless. How can one question whether existence exists? Instead, he counseled, “every word that we can say of it is more a denial of what God is not than a declaration of what He is … the finest thing one can say about God is to be silent from the wisdom of inner riches.” Arguing for what was later called “learned ignorance,” Eckhart claimed, “If I had a God I could understand, I would no longer consider him God.” 
We must accept, in other words, that God is fundamentally unknowable, at least in terms of human language and thought. This was an unsettling, even threatening, idea for many of Eckhart’s contemporaries and it remains so in our own time. Eckhart, however, did not fear this central mystery of existence, of God. Instead, in mid-life he abandoned his own attempts to define God and instead dedicated himself to teaching others how to gain a heightened awareness of the divine presence within themselves. The transcendental nature of reality, he believed, had to be “known” intuitively and subjectively from within, not “objectively” from without. 
Eckhart’s approach challenges us to stop projecting our own concepts and agendas onto “God” and instead focus on an experience of the divine that leads to lives of love and service. It is a profoundly unsettling message. Yet it is one based on a more thorough familiarity with scripture than most modern Christians possess and a more profound philosophical grounding than most contemporary atheists can boast. Unlike many believing and unbelieving proponents of “God talk,” Meister Eckhart recognized all human language as metaphorical. He chose to know his God directly. Is there room for such a radical perspective in the pro- and anti-God debates of twenty-first-century America? 
Almost seven hundred years after his death, Meister Eckhart just might be the man for our moment.
What we project, we protect.

Neither president nor God needs either our projection nor our protection.

Things rise or fall of their own weight.

Friday, May 24, 2019

because I do not hope to turn

It is hard not to appreciate this observation by Robert W. Funk:
8. I believe  in original sin, but I take original sin to mean the innate infinate capacity of human beings to deceive themselves.  (—in Honest to Jesus, p11)
It is harder not to think we are experiencing such a blatant, obvious, and intentional manipulation of original sin by the president and chief uninspiring embarrassing person to degrade that position.

I wish to confess my inclination to unforgive such sad pharisaical intentional deception promulgated by such a disappointing crew of illegitimate office holders.

Many will die in the wake of such ignorance.

And, worse, many more will live in the hopeless depravity of cynicism and bad faith irradiated by these poseurs.

It is, conceivably, a horrible time ahead.

Let’s not conceive of such a future.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

悲しい (かなしい)

Kanashii -- Japanese, 悲しい (かなしい)-- translates as sad, sorrowful.

More and more, looking at the president of the United States, a feeling of kanashii arises.

I'm not sure how this unsettling reality will play out.

As he often says, it is sad. 

Not as he means it, but that everyone must face, in his, their disturbed self.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

on no road

There is no path, Antonio Machado wrote.

Jim Harrison writes a variation:
A Variation on Machado
             BY JIM HARRISON 
I worry much about the suffering
of Machado. I was only one when he carried
his mother across the border from Spain to France
in a rainstorm. She died and so did he
a few days later in a rooming house along a dry canal.
To carry Mother he abandoned a satchel
holding his last few years of poetry.
I've traveled to Collioure several times
to search for Machado's lost satchel.
The French fed him but couldn't save him.
There's no true path to a death —
we discover the path by walking.
We turn a corner on no road
and there's a house on a green hill
with a thousand colorful birds sweeping in a circle.
Are the poems in the basement of the house on the hill?
We'll find out if we remember earth at all. 
(Jim Harrison, "A Variation on Machado" from Dead Man’s Float. Copyright © 2016)
We carry poems with us.

We put them down.

The earth covers them with its love.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

dumb, blind love is man’s meaning

Resistance is not a casual game watched from home.

According to Chris Hedges

Resistance entails suffering. It requires self-sacrifice. It accepts that we may be destroyed. It is not rational. It is not about the pursuit of happiness. It is about the pursuit of freedom. Resistance accepts that even if we fail, there is an inner freedom that comes with defiance, and perhaps this is the only freedom, and true happiness, we will ever know. To resist evil is the highest achievement of human life. It is the supreme act of love. It is to carry the cross, as the theologian James Cone reminds us, and to be acutely aware that what we are carrying is also what we will die upon.
(--Chris Hedges, in “The Cost of Resistance”, Truthdig, November 5, 2017 
And , again:
Power is a poison. It does not matter who wields it. The rebel, for this reason, is an eternal heretic. He or she will never fit into any system. The rebel stands with the powerless. There will always be powerless people. There will always be injustice. The rebel will always be an outsider. 
Resistance requires eternal vigilance. The moment the powerful are no longer frightened, the moment the glare of the people is diverted and movements let down their guard, the moment the ruling elites are able to use propaganda and censorship to hide their aims, the gains made by resisters roll backward. We have been steadily stripped of everything that organized working men and women—who rose up in defiance and were purged, demonized and killed by the capitalist elites—achieved with the New Deal. The victories of African-Americans, who paid with their bodies and blood in making possible the Great Society and ending legal segregation, also have been reversed. 
. The corporate state makes no pretense of addressing social inequality or white supremacy. It practices only the politics of vengeance. It uses coercion, fear, violence, police terror and mass incarceration as social control. Our cells of resistance have to be rebuilt from scratch
When the time is ripe for active resistance, be prepared to leave home.
I have seen that it is not man who is impotent in the struggle against evil, but the power of evil that is impotent in the struggle against man. The powerlessness of kindness, of senseless kindness, is the secret of its immortality. It can never be conquered. The more stupid, the more senseless, the more helpless it may seem, the vaster it is. Evil is impotent before it. The prophets, religious teachers, reformers, social and political leaders are impotent before it. This dumb, blind love is man’s meaning.  
(—from novel, Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman, 1905-1964)
When meaning comes calling, please, be at home.

Where we all long to be.

not needing to be reborn

 True nature, hidden nature.
It wasn’t until I gave up in desperation that I finally
saw the truth of what my teachers had been telling me all
along. What they taught me over and over again, waiting
patiently for me to see in my own experience what they
had learned themselves, was that love, compassion, and
wisdom are manifesting all the time. It’s not that we are
pure way down in the depths of our being, but some-
how up on the surface everything is messed up. Rather,
we are pure inside and out. Even our most dysfunc-
tional habits are manifestations of this basic goodness.
There is only one problem: We don’t see this true nature in
the present moment, and even less so the innate compassion and
wisdom that arise from it. Even when we understand intellectu-
ally that we have buddhanature—the potential to awaken our-
selves from the slumber of ignorance and suffering—we rarely
acknowledge this innate purity in the present moment. We see
it as a distant possibility, as something that we can experience 
sometime in the future, or maybe even in another lifetime.
(from, The WandererBY Mingyur Rinpoche)
How to see?

There's the question.

I suspect the answer is tough to come by.
Twelve Kinds of Yogic Joy                                                                                                (Milarepa describes the happy life of the wandering yogi).
Like a criminal gaining his freedom from a dungeon hole
The yogi who gives up his native country knows bliss.  
Like a spirited horse that’s freed of hobbling chains 
The yogi who slips from perceived and perceiver knows bliss. 
Like a deer that has been wounded will lie low  
The yogi who lives on his own all alone knows bliss. 
Like the king of birds that wings his way on high 
The yogi who gains command over view knows liss. 
Like the wild wind that’s roaming through the sky 
The yogi not blocked by any obstruction knows bliss. 
Like a shepherd tending his flock of white-fleeced sheep 
The yogi tending his luminous/empty experience knows bliss. 
Like the massive bulk of the central king of mountain 
The yogi unfazed by transition and change knows bliss. 
Like the constant flow of a great and mighty river 
The unbroken-flow-of-experience-yogi knows bliss. 
Like a human corpse as it lies in a cemetery  
The yogi who shuts all activity down knows bliss. 
Like a stone that’s thrown into the deep blue sea 
The yogi who never turns back again knows bliss. 
Like the sun that rises and lights up the whole sky  
The yogi who lights up everything knows bliss. 
Like a palm tree when you strip it of its leaves 
The yogi not needing to be reborn knows bliss. 
This melody on these twelve kinds of yogic happiness 
Is a dharma gift to all of you, may it answer your question well. 
(Translated by Jim Scott, under the direction of Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche), Shambhala Sun, Macrh 2012 

black flies, maine

Sooner than

Things will


Someone with

Will speak/

Slapping up-

Fathead fluff

Remind blurry

Rule of

Seeks justice

Blowhard rhetoric

two twenty five

Let there be night.

Monday, May 20, 2019

when bluebird visits

On broken seed
under feeder
foraging —
   first time

If I see
   what is there
empty shells
   reveal the
nothing that

Anywhere else