I’m sorry I killed
you all, my Buffalo friends —
We are a sorry
lot, aren’t we? Guns and hate
They tell us we are free, ha
If we were fully absorbed by whatever action or activity we are taking, would we disappear into it?
Within seconds he was pureness moving, and he could do anything he liked. He was inside and outside his body at the same time, indulging in what it meant to belong to the air, no future, no past, and this gave him the offhand vaunt to his walk. He was carrying his life from one side to the other. On the lookout for the moment when he wasn’t even aware of his breath.
The core reason for it all was beauty. Walking was a divine delight.everything was rewritten when he was up in the air. New things were possible with the human form. It went beyond equilibrium.
He felt for a moment uncreated. Another kind of awake
(—p.164, in Colum McCann’s novel Let The Great World Spin, about man walking wire between trade center towers in nyc)
If I were to 100% pray and contemplate the root reality of being-itself, would there be nothing else but prayer and contemplation?
Anyone around my base is it!
Olly olly in free!
"Science moves at the pace of science." (--Jen Psaki, at her final White House Press Briefing, 13may22)
She, in this observer'e eye, has been fantastic at her job, and wonderful as a model of civility, verifiable information, and patience.
Alternately, Che meraviglia, pace (Italian).
Or, perhaps, more accurately, Cé chomh iontach, síocháin. (Irish)
How wonderful, peace! (Translated)
What is true is what is true.
You cannot adequately think it.
You can, though, feel it, the shared sense of reality or being.
" Having nothing in itself other than itself, the One knows no other. And this absence of otherness is the experience that we feel as love." (--Rupert Spira, There Is Only One Reality, 13may2022
It is true that I am here with you. Even when not physically proximate to you.
Some are tempted to call this spiritual presence.
I, rather, call it real presence.
Reality, as not two, is one. (But don't make one!)
Thus, we are really present to one another, to everything there is, was, and will be.
It is in this presence we begin to decipher reality, or, by reality's other name, God.
And each and every additional and distinctive manifestation of reality's effervescent distributive transforming appearances given to our awareness.
(Avoid, a teacher once said, saying "I love you!" It only makes the two of you lonely.)
The poet e.e.cummings said it in a way worth hearing:
the great advantage of being alive
the great advantage of being alive
(instead of undying)is not so much
that mind no more can disprove than prove
what heart may feel and soul may touch
— the great (my darling)happens to be
that love are in we, that love are in we
and here is a secret they never will share
for whom create is less than have
or one times one than when times where —
that we are in love,that we are in love:
with us they’ve nothing times nothing to do
(for love are in we am in i are in you)
this world(as timorous itsters all
to call their cowardice quite agree)
shall never discover our touch and feel
–for love are in we are in love are in we;
for you are and i am and we are(above
and under all possible worlds)in love
a billion brains may coax undeath
from fancied fact and spaceful time–
no heart can leap,no soul can breathe
but by the sizeless truth of a dream
whose sleep is the sky and the earth and the sea.
For love are in you am in i are in we
(Poem by e.e.cummings)
His evocative final line...so unlonely.
The comic book proclaimed “Truth, Justice, and the American Way!” I was a kid then. Who’s kidding now?
Mendacity is as old as time. Propaganda is as old as language. But things feel different — more dangerous — now. The mendacity has a faster metabolism. The propaganda has more outlets, with fewer filters. And for all our inventions, all our advancements, we humans seem more partial than ever to convenient fantasy over thorny truth.
(—Frank Bruni, in The Power of Lies in an Age of Political Fiction! nytimes, 12may22)
Studying Metaphysics and Epistemology as undergraduate in Washington DC university in late nineteen sixties, the notion of truth seemed important and intriguing. Whether it was the correspondence theory in western thought, or zen koan in eastern succinctness that “truth is just like this,” there was much to think about.
Narrowly speaking, the correspondence theory of truth is the view that truth is correspondence to, or with, a fact—a view that was advocated by Russell and Moore early in the 20th century. But the label is usually applied much more broadly to any view explicitly embracing the idea that truth consists in a relation to reality, i.e., that truth is a relational property involving a characteristic relation (to be specified) to some portion of reality (to be specified). This basic idea has been expressed in many ways, giving rise to an extended family of theories and, more often, theory sketches. Members of the family employ various concepts for the relevant relation (correspondence, conformity, congruence, agreement, accordance, copying, picturing, signification, representation, reference, satisfaction) and/or various concepts for the relevant portion of reality (facts, states of affairs, conditions, situations, events, objects, sequences of objects, sets, properties, tropes). The resulting multiplicity of versions and reformulations of the theory is due to a blend of substantive and terminological differences.
The correspondence theory of truth is often associated with metaphysical realism. Its traditional competitors, pragmatist, as well as coherentist, verificationist, and other epistemic theories of truth, are often associated with idealism, anti-realism, or relativism. In recent years, these traditional competitors have been virtually replaced (at least from publication-space) by deflationary theories of truth and, to a lesser extent, by the identity theory (note that these new competitors are typically not associated with anti-realism). Still more recently, two further approaches have received considerable attention. One is truthmaker theory: it is sometimes viewed as a competitor to, sometimes as a more liberal version of, the correspondence theory. The other is pluralism: it incorporates a correspondence account as one, but only one, ingredient of its overall account of truth.
Today, the American way of truth seems to be that truth is a lie. Ask any politician. Ask the post-truth revelers for whom expediency and ambition supplant old fashioned notions of clarity conforming to what is experientially factually so. There are no objective standards (were there ever?) for truthful reasoning. Things are true if someone says they’re true. Plato’s world of ideal forms wherein Truth exists as model for lower tier exemplification is on a dusty shelf.
Whereas, truth as being “just like this” gives a simpler, perhaps equally unsatisfactory example of why truth is not always desirable. How many disastrous consequences have followed the words, “Can I tell you the truth?”
Lies are the truth these days. There’s an upside down quality to almost anything uttered in public speech — what is concealed equals or exceeds what is revealed in common discourse, political talk, advertisements, and nonfictional writing.
“Just like this” might point out something clear or something murky.
Perhaps, in either case, some consolation might reside in the absence or diminishment of illusion.
It seems a modest apprehension of what truth might be, namely, what illusion is not..
This via negativa might not arrive at what truth is, but nears what illusion is not.
Zen masters say, “Don’t seek the truth — just drop your opinions.”
語是謗、寂是誑、語寂向上有路在 "Speech is blasphemy, silence a lie. Above speech and silence there is a way out."
-- I-tuan (義端) one of Nan-ch'uan's great disciples (The Golden Age of Zen 250, 322 n.13)
不着不求 "No clinging, no seeking." (Fujaku, fugu.)
--Pai-chang (Hyakujõ) (The Development of Chinese Zen After the Sixth Patriarch 62)
At Tuesday Evening Conversation we spoke about poetry.
Here's what Shelly says:
Poetry, in a general sense, may be defined to be "the expression of the Imagination:" and Poetry is connate with the origin of man. Man is an instrument over which a series of external and internal impressions are driven, like the alternations of an ever-changing wind over an Æolian lyre; which move it, by their motion, to ever-changing melody.
John Keats in a letter to Percy Bysshe Shelly on August 16, 1820, writes:
My Imagination is a Monastery and I am its Monk – you must explain my metap [for metaphysics] to yourself.
As a monastic, my monastery is foundational imagination. It is my stability. Its grounds are the earth. Its sanctuary the silence of spirit wandering through appearances and phenomenal descriptives of materiality and mystery.
Where we are asked to greet and rely on fellow humans for communal continuance and constancy. But we are often disappointed. Often it is not compatibility others want, but the incompatibility of hostility and arrogance. It is often difficult to square their words promising a better world with their actions dividing and alienating.
Put no trust in princes,
In mortal men in whom there is no help.
Take their breath, they return to clay
and their plans that day come to nothing.
(-from Psalm 146)
Sometimes there is nothing to look forward to. The world they promise has no room for anyone not like them.
Still, we long to see the light bringing others closer to us. The appearance through fog, like sailor on ocean or kayaker on lake experiencing first the loss of perspective, then the lifting of obdurate veiling until, once again, what is there reveals itself to hungry thirsty bodies and worried suspended souls. We long to hear the sound of those whose vibrations have resonated with ours, even from great distances of space, great expanses of time.
We seldom are aware that the dead are not distant from us. That we are not distant from death.
Missing the Dead
I miss the old scrawl on the viaduct,
the crazily dancing letters: BIRD LIVES.
It’s gone now, the wall as clean as forgetting.
I go home and put on a record:
Charlie Parker Live at the Blue Note.
Each time I play it, months or years apart,
the music emerges more luminous;
I never listened so well before.
I wish my parents had been musicians
and left me themselves transformed into sound,
or that I could believe in the stars
as the radiant bodies of the dead.
Then I could stand in the dark, pointing out
my mother and father to all
who did not know them, how they shimmer,
how they keep getting brighter
as we keep moving toward each other.
(~ Poem by Lisel Mueller)
In his novel Let The Great World Spin, Colum McCann writes about the character (based on Philippe Petit who walked a wire between the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center on 7August1974). McCann writes: "Tucked inside his cabin doorway a sign: NOBODY FALLS HALFWAY."
Creativity and the creative act, in some, is radical homelessness traversing unimaginable resting places.
For Nikolai Berdyaev, philosophy is many things, but it is in no way an academic exercise performed for one’s peers. The idea of conformity to the opinions of even a highly cultured group repelled him, as it always compromises the essential freedom of the philosopher who sells his birthright for a plate of lentils by appealing to the crowd, however sophisticated its opinions. Berdyaev holds that philosophy is primarily a creative act, and as such it must resist the temptation of acceptance promised by professional approval. As he writes,
“The highly cultured man of a certain style usually expresses imitative opinions upon every subject: they are average opinions, they belong to a group, though it may well be that this imitativeness belongs to a cultured élite and to a highly select group [….] Genius has never been completely able to find a place for itself in culture, and culture has always striven to turn genius from a wild animal into a domestic animal.” 
The philosopher, as wild animal, has no proper place in the domesticated world of the academy.
Connected to his ideas on creativeness, Berdyaev describes his attention to philosophy as revelation in terms of “active eschatology.” “Active eschatology,” he writes, “is the justification of the creative power in man.”  This is so because, “The outpouring of the Spirit, which changes the world, is the activity of the spirit in man himself.” Berdyaev’s active eschatology, then, speaks to the regeneration of all things, or, to adopt explicitly religious terminology, their glorification. The idea of theosis, indeed, tinctures (to use Boehmian language) all of Berdyaev’s thought. This glorification approaching from the future, furthermore, resides in the Coming of Christ which moves toward the present just as history moves toward its arrival, the two converging almost in the way of a supercollider. 
(--You Are Here: Nikolai Berdyaev Calls the Eschaton,, Michael Martin, Dec 15, 2020)
Tina alludes to a potential definition of poetry. Her words were different, but her narrative suggested that "Poetry is what is poetry" As if, if you say it is, it is. This has a provenence to the phrasing: The poem is Being written.
Our epics, Genesis, John 1, all stipulate that in the beginning, word.
When you hear me saying "I'm here!"
Remind me of that poem I read on
Mothers' Day about joint custody,
the one that ended:
And so I have
two brains now. Two entirely different brains.
The one that always misses where I’m not,
the one that is so relieved to finally be home.
(--from Joint Custody, poem by Ada Limón)
If you are wondering what the word 'control' means
from the Philip Whalen reference written (no doubt)
inaccurately, but with respect, re- punctuated:
invisible, and in, complete control, of
It means (to my personal hermeneutic)
the underlying wholesome goodness
rooting what-is itself, as-it-is itself, upholding
and letting go (on) that which was formerly
there, (albeit as transforming and transcending)
We used to call the residually disappeared myself
no longer clinging to what ego once described as
thus (However mis-in-formed)
God, they say, is pure spirit.
Nothing to see here
What do you put your attention on? Flowers and candy? Appreciatory phone calls and fond recall?
This morning, I mother Ukraine. I mother women who want to choose whether to give birth. I mother the ideologically suffocating who crave untenable promises of authoritarian political purity by dissipated personalities who are scary and punctilious in their pretense.
If you google the history of Mother’s Day, the internet will tell you that Mother’s Day began in 1908 when Anna Jarvis decided to honor her mother. But “Mothers’ Day”—with the apostrophe not in the singular spot, but in the plural—actually started in the 1870s, when the sheer enormity of the death caused by the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War convinced American women that women must take control of politics from the men who had permitted such carnage. Mothers’ Day was not designed to encourage people to be nice to their mothers. It was part of women’s effort to gain power to change modern society.
The Civil War years taught naïve Americans what mass death meant in the modern era. Soldiers who had marched off to war with fantasies of heroism discovered that long-range weapons turned death into tortured anonymity. Men were trampled into blood-soaked mud, piled like cordwood in ditches, or transformed into emaciated corpses after dysentery drained their lives away.
The women who had watched their men march off to war were haunted by its results. They lost fathers, husbands, sons. The men who did come home were scarred in body and mind.
Modern war, it seemed, was not a game.
(—Heather Cox Richardson, in Letters from an American, May 7, 2922)
War and deceit are the antitheses of the modern conception of mothers’ day.
Yet, why not celebrate mothers everywhere?
Mine sent me a letter that I found under mail slot in hallway on Mother’s Day in 1981 returning to my apartment in Pennsylvania. I’d just returned from her wake and funeral in New York. And there she was in her words. The last of which were, “Love, and Good Luck!”
It’s a useful reminder the crapshoot of current chaos and cultural violence with its moral and legal ambiguity befogging the stumbling consciousnesses seeking solid ground on which to stand and walk and meet each other.
Being is born every instant.
Consciousness is what Being develops.
Loss, relative and relational, is universal experience.
Then, let it all go! Let loss, and gain, absolute and undifferentiated, go its own way. Fall freely.
"NEVER APOLOGIZE; NEVER EXPLAIN"
A pair of strange new birds in the maple tree
Peer through the windows,
Mother and father visiting me:
"You are unmarried.
No child begot
Now we are birds, now you've
Although in dreams we visit you
in human shape
They speak Homer's language
Sing like Aeschylus
The life of a poet: less than 2/3rds of a second
(Poem by Philip Whalen)
Stay still, right where you are, everything seemingly fallen away, and you, you in that hallow hollow place with no parameters nor defining allocution to steer you elsewhere.
All of it, without destination or dimension, is there. And, you, aren’t, anywhere, else.
Let the hallucinating mob drink their hopes and ambitions, dreams and purifications, blessedness and salvific specialness. So many ways to go somewhere!
For today, go nowhere.
Arrive where you are without baggage nor further destination.
No forwarding address. No accumulated references. No commendations. No titles. No ribbons. No exhausting obituaries. No obsequies. No thing to memorize nor memorialize.
There you are, nowhere to be, no one to be, no longer longing to be.
Walking Beside the Kamogawa, Remembering Nansen and Fudo and Gary’s Poem
Here are two half-grown black cats perched on a
lump of old teakettle brick plastic garbage
ten feet from the west bank of the River.
I won’t save them. Right here Gary sat with dying Nansen,
The broken cat, warped and sick every day of its life,
Puke & drool on the tatami for Gary to wipe up & scold,
“If you get any worse I’m going to have you put away!”
The vet injected an overdose of nemby and for half an hour
Nansen was comfortable.
How can we do this, how can we live and die?
How does anybody choose for somebody else.
How dare we appear in this Hell-mouth weeping tears,
Busting our heads in ten fragments making vows &
Suzuki Roshi said, “If I die, it’s all right. If I should
live, it’s all right. Sun-face Buddha, Moon-face Buddha.”
Why do I always fall for that old line?
We don’t treat each other any better. When will I
Stop writing it down.
A Vision of the Bodhisattvas
They pass before me one by one riding on animals
“What are you waiting for,” they want to know
Z —, young as he is (& mad into the bargain) tells me
“Some day you’ll drop everything & become a rishi, you know.”
The forest is there, I’ve lived in it
more certainly than this town? Irrelevant—
What am I waiting for?
A change in customs that will take 1000 years to come about?
Who’s to make the change but me?
“Returning again and again,” Amida says
Why’s that dream so necessary? Walking out of whatever house
Nothing but the clothes on my back, money or no
Down the road to the next place the highway leading to the
From which I absolutely must come back
What business have I to do that?
I know the world and I love it too much and it
Is not the one I’d find outside this door
(Poem by Philip Whalen)
Here’s my bastardized recollection of another Whalen line John Maloney pointed out to me in Cambridge MA about a half century ago:
Invisible, and in