There are days nothing
Presents itself wearing gray
Sounding rain porch roof
Not caring to live or die
Just coffee and PB-Jam
There is a tension between understanding what needs to be done, and doing what needs to be done.
" Understanding is a delaying tactic." (Dr Stein's words, recalled by Norman in Novel, Sphere, by Michael Crichton)
The tension shows up these days in the political carnival encircling the democrat party, the democrat/republican parties, the republican party.
It is a tap-dance shuffling between obfuscation and clarity.
And it is maddening.
There is a reaching for wads of money. There is a reaching for reloads following echoing fusillade of rounds.
There seems to be a dearth of insight. Insight, which is prelude to action.
There seems to be a craving for understanding which is deference to knowledge.
To see, to really see, is to simultaneously act.
Here we confront the Taoist emphasis that true action is no action. The seer and the seen are of one movement, are of one stillness.
Elie Wiesel wrote that God is movement, not explanation.
Do I understand this? No.
Am I this? Yes.
If so, what do I do?
Lao Tzu said that the greatest revelation is stillness.
(Are you still here?)
The trouble is not (simply) the antagonism between Democratic and Republican parties.
It is the stance taken by either party toward the wealthy and the poor, corporations and the people, gas and oil conglomerates and the environment.
Let's stipulate there are as many hands on either side of the political spectrum open to receive bribes and payoffs, contributions and gifts to front policy benefitting the major players in the world of power and money.
These days -- when studying Advaita Vedanta, the Sandōkai, and Cosmotheandric wholeness -- it becomes abundantly clear that in our dichotomously deranged division mentality we are slicing away parts of our own bodies, eliminating large pieces of our mind, trashing the integrity of our spiritual "yes" to all creation and its diversity.
It is difficult to expose stupidity. It often comes well-dressed with fine words and cultivated pedigree. My own stupidity is the hardest to detect. It tries so hard to hide. If I unmask mine, then that of others will undrape.
Behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment is what stupidity is. Seem familiar?
- “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.” ― Albert Einstein
- “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” ― Søren Kierkegaard
- “A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” ― Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy
When I first discovered how stupid I was, I grieved for myself.
- “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.” ― Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Hills of Earth
Are things falling apart?
Political philosophers have long fretted that democracy allows the poor to plunder the rich. The opposite has proved more nearly true. Progressive taxation is not a threat to the wealthy. It is a small price to pay for prosperity.
Cutting taxes to starve social programs is, by itself, a threat to the sustainability of the American experiment in multicultural democracy. In enabling resistance to lawful taxation, Republicans are engaged in an even more direct assault.
Having failed to constrain government spending through the democratic process, they are seeking to undermine government.
Mr. McCarthy is right to frame a fairly technical change in tax rules as an issue that goes to the heart of American democracy. Democracies impose higher taxes than other forms of government because democracies are communities of common purpose. We create and maintain our society through our contributions.
Or we don’t. And things fall apart
Bits and pieces, detritus and realization Republican tactics reveal their underlying lie.
At Sunday Evening Practice, we looked at the Sandōkai, the Harmony of Difference and Sameness:
Harmony of Difference and Sameness
竺土大仙心 The mind of the great sage of India
東西密相付 is intimately transmitted from west to east.
人根有利鈍 While human faculties are sharp or dull,
道無南北祖 the Way has no northern or southern ancestors.
靈源明皎潔 The spiritual source shines clear in the light;
枝派暗流注 the branching streams flow on in the dark.
執事元是迷 Grasping at things is surely delusion;
契理亦非悟 according with sameness is still not enlightenment.
門門一切境 All the objects of the senses
迴互不迴互 interact and yet do not.
迴而更相涉 Interacting brings involvement.
不爾依位住 Otherwise, each keeps its place.
色本殊質像 Sights vary in quality and form,
聲元異樂苦 sounds differ as pleasing or harsh.
闇合上中言 Refined and common speech come together in the dark,
明明清濁句 clear and murky phrases are distinguished in the light.
四大性自復 The four elements return to their natures
如子得其母 just as a child turns to its mother;
火熱風動搖 Fire heats, wind moves,
水濕地堅固 water wets, earth is solid.
眼色耳音聲 Eye and sights, ear and sounds,
鼻香舌鹹醋 nose and smells, tongue and tastes;
然於一一法 Thus with each and every thing,
依根葉分布 depending on these roots, the leaves spread forth.
本未須歸宗 Trunk and branches share the essence;
尊卑用其語 revered and common, each has its speech.
當明中有暗 In the light there is darkness,
勿以暗相遇 but don't take it as darkness;
當暗中有明 In the dark there is light,
勿以明相睹 but don't see it as light.
明暗各相對 Light and dark oppose one another
比如前後歩 like the front and back foot in walking.
萬物自有功 Each of the myriad things has its merit,
當言用及處 expressed according to function and place.
事存函蓋合 Phenomena exist; box and lid fit;
理應箭鋒拄 principle responds; arrow points meet.
承言須會宗 Hearing the words, understand the meaning;
勿自立規矩 don't set up standards of your own.
觸目不會道 If you don't understand the Way right before you,
運足焉知路 how will you know the path as you walk?
進歩非近遠 Progress is not a matter of far or near,
迷隔山河故 but if you are confused, mountains and rivers block your way.
謹白參玄人 I respectfully urge you who study the mystery,
光陰莫虚度 do not pass your days and nights in vain.
The Brooklyn Dodgers have been missing since 1957.
Even after forty years living far north of Boston in the most northeastern state of continental US I’ve not found other than a provincial passing interest in the Red Sox, I see in the New York Times that two southern/southwestern cities will move on to play in World Series.
There’s little joy or active interest here where Gulf Stream passes toward Nova Scotia where blue jays and fishing vessels hunker under chill breeze and stoic hunter’s moon for long sweep of ending year to pull dock lines taut through vacant hawse to hold close to wharf as tides languish and return again.
A game of inches, of uncalled strikes, of splintered bats, of faded childhood.