Saturday, March 13, 2021

out of oblivion into our eyes looking into themselves

Find me, says Being. 

Heidegger began his philosophical career as the remarkably bright pupil of Edmund Husserl, the founder of the phenomenological movement who, at that time, had already been a widely renowned and celebrated mind across Europe. By this time, the young philosopher had broken away from his early affiliations with theology and, for a brief while, preoccupied himself with mainly epistemologically relevant questions of the new phenomenological methodology. However, it did not take him long to seek independence from his mentor, Husserl, so by the early 1920s he was already looking for a philosophically defensible access to the so-called ‘facticity of life’, that is to the concreteness of ordinary human life. This considerable task undertaken by him culminated in the 1927 publication of Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) which attempted to elaborate the new, phenomenological ontology via an existential analysis of Dasein. Dasein is the term used by Heidegger to exhibit man or human being by depriving him from his traditional – and, to Heidegger, burdensome – anthropological connotations, and to present him as the unique being among other beings which is solely able to witness and reveal the Truth of Being. 
Some readers might read Being and Time not so much as a philosophical treatise but as a novel, perhaps a kind of mystery or crime story. The identity of the narrator is not much of a mystery itself: it is Heidegger, of course, who tells us the story. But who is the protagonist of this philosophical story? Without due reflection, careless guessers might risk taking Dasein, that is, man as the hero. However, it would be an obvious mistake to make. On the contrary: we, the audience of the narrative are just as much passive spectators as the narrator. Whereas the story seems to circulate around Dasein as a special mode of existence of man, the true hero is Being itself. The narrator does not want to deceive us: from the outset, he tries to orient our attention to Being, to the meaning of Being, but we, humans, tend to focus mainly on ourselves, as is frequently the case with us. And this is exactly what Heidegger is concerned with: we people have a natural inclination to forget about Being, what it means to be, to exist, we just take it for granted, and this Oblivion of Being is the fountainhead of numerous characteristics and problems of how we conceive reality. Thus the ‘plot’ of the book deals with finding this long missing protagonist, Being.

 (—from, Appropriating Being: the advent of the Event as the second beginning of philosophy Lehel Balogh, 2013, Academia)

I am hiding within you, says Being.

Seek me out.

Friday, March 12, 2021

who do you think we are

 The things we want God to do are the things God wants us to do.

There is no justice, only love.

Pray for what there only is.

what are they waiting for

Monastery bells,

Old men cross ocean to here —

Entering their stalls

undressing nation, addressing people

 The former guy, he

Lied: “I alone can fix it.”

This guy: “I need you.”

Thursday, March 11, 2021

recurrence of stupid contention

 No one loves philosophy. No one loves to be disturbed. No one wants definition.

Rather, there is a longing for what some call "freedom." Undefined. Unrestrained. Unencombered.

Something arising from creativity. Something new. A vision uncontaminated.

Thinking of philosophy as an exercise in artistic creation means that philosophers who believed they were pursuing the truth during the 1,300 years between Laërtius and Baldwyn were deceiving themselves. Imagining they were struggling to establish how things are in the world, they were only shaking up their own intellectual and linguistic practices and those of their contemporaries. Instead of being a search for “truth, goodness and beauty,” Rée avers, philosophy has to do with “offering difficulty, doubt and disorientation to those who are willing to have their intellectual habits rearranged.”

It is a view with some distinguished twentieth-century exponents, including Richard Rorty, who developed an American tradition of pragmatism in philosophy, and one to which I am sympathetic. But it involves a radical rejection of the traditional goals of philosophical inquiry. Rorty’s work has had little impact on how philosophy is taught in universities, and it may not have been wholly accidental that, after twenty-one years as a professor of philosophy at Princeton, the academic positions he subsequently held were not in philosophy but in literature departments.

(--from, Is Philosophy an Art? by John Gray, NYRB, 25March2021 issue) 

 Maybe there are few philosophers because so many of us hold tight to our opinions and beliefs about how things actually are and how they should be.

Perhaps what we need are better myths, stories about where things are headed and where they come from. Creation stories. Apocalyptic stories. Beginnings and endings that haven't yet been explored.

I love the notion that the universe is only now being created. I am only now being born. And now I am dying. 

And now I am gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond.

Now awake.


Once aware of the absence of beginning or end, will there be anything to either hope for or fear?

No beginning, no end. 

What then?

Just this. This, with republicans and democrats chasing each other around lampposts of bickering and around corners of alleys where trash bins receive their fetid food from celebrations of victories and laments of defeats emanating from eternal recurrence of stupid contention.

The irruption of manufactured dissonance, nobody with one belief voting for something that someone with a different belief proposes  -- even if beneficial and sensible -- is the essential fragmentation of harmonious dwelling together. We'd rather kill someone than take the excruciating time to see them through.

In the film last night, three people are dead because they were prostituting a young daughter of one of them. I have a friend who did the same to three people forty years ago who were prostituting the daughter in their family. 

Death doesn't change anything. It only unappears and disappears the particular practitioners of mean and cruel behaviors.

Some see it as a crime. Some as an honor to take on corrective action. Some just die as a result of bad notions and mistaken thinking.

Prison, they tell me, slows thought down to something you can live with. Let someone else arrest, condemn, and convict you. You get up every day with the thought that what's done is done, and now it's time to see what's coming.

And what do you think?

Knowledge knows.

Wisdom doesn't know.

Can we hear what is calling?

disappearing with confluence

Ownership is overrated. 

Nobody owns monasticism. It started. Went different places. Wandered in and out of cultural and religious institutions. Walked out with those leaving those places. Sat for the long haul with those staying there.

It, like most things, belongs to itself. It belongs to anyone wishing to try it on. 

Each monastic follows their own trail. 

"...So maybe a new mpnasticism will have to come into being. Another song.

"Maybe it wont even take place in the church as we know it. For the last couple of years, the Catholic church has been in a desert. People have looked to it for relevance and too often they've gotten rhetoric, a broken record. That's the problem with institutions like ours. They confuse unity with uniformity. Power isn't a confrontation. It's confluence in the name of Christ.  (--p.103, Voices of Silence, Lives of the Trappists Today, by Frank Bianco, 1991)                  

Try not to mimic another's life.

Try your own.

Become a monastic of no other.

No other than one's self.

Which, also, will disappear.

Along with whatever horarium you might have formed.

It's ok.

Go on and make a joyful sound!

cultural vacuum

 The bathtub is full

with no water, spherical 

Deep space empty white

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

you are nodding your head


We go on

Even if stupidity

Walks our states

Governed by odd views

Following bizarre ideas

We go on



Tuesday, March 09, 2021

yes they are

 Ghosted friend's birthday 

yesterday. Looking up names --

All happy or dead

settling back wariness

There's no defense for Christianity.

There's Christianity and there's not Christianity.

Take it or leave it.

There's no defense of it. And no need to try.

Anti-Climacus had earlier warned that "the first one to come up with the idea of defending Christianity in Christendom is de facto a Judas No. 2: he, too, betrays with a kiss, except that his treason is the treason of stupidity . . . As for Christianity! Well, he who defends it has never believed it."43 The second move is a more complete faith, one not trying to turn itself into sight because it is too busy pondering the paradox of lowliness as the flip side of the paradox of loftiness – that is, when it has any time to ponder at all. For the most part its energy will need to be spent following Jesus on the way of the cross.

(--Journal of Philosophy and Scripture, Volume 1, Issue 1 | Fall 2003, Transfiguration as Saturated PhenomenonMerold Westphal, Fordham University, pg.33) 

We should ask: What is Christianity?

Is it What Is revealing Itself through Creation, through Humanity, and through Divine Unknowable Presence?

The Jewish followers of Jesus saw in him a difficult but good man. Was this what Yahweh was like? Difficult but good?

Is there anyone alive now or ever alive that was not difficult but good?

And what of life itself, existence itself -- is it not difficult but good?

There are those who say that everything is good, but that some things hurt more than others.

This is not some Nietzschean misinterpretation that anything goes, just will it, express your power. No, not that misinterpretation.

This is the realization that all there is is this, this ringing phone, this chime of bells on the half hour, this cat on windowsill, this political carnival in the Capital, this sequence of events that ignites the chase of cat after dog scrambling intensity into settling back wariness that will reconfigure trust for a spell. This red pickup with yellow bag back by tailgate heading into town down sluice between Bald and Ragged mountains.

Mourning Dove walks branch of Cedar tree,

Blue sky says blue sky.

Old hard snow in shadowed hollows held by unyielding ice feels temperature inch up daytime stretch one day at a time toward 21st of month in 13 days.

We've enough treason of stupidity to hold us humble in our assessment of a grand evolution of moral and intellectual ascent.

Things are good.

But difficult. 

Monday, March 08, 2021

when at night is done what must be done

“ ...The stars are women

            who at night light frozen fires...”

(—Ernesto Cardenal, in Cosmic Canticle, Cantiga 1, p.9)

even in sorrow, joy

Mudita, delight

In joy of others, let be


Sunday, March 07, 2021

while listening to story

 felled tree out window

stretched down-slope on march hard snow

 shadows lean over

as a man whose heart stopped beating in queens

Everyone has their idiosyncratic liturgy.

 "The Sunday Read: The Lonely Death of George Bell" from The Daily Podcast.

A quiet Sunday morning meditation.