Saturday, March 02, 2024

hear the bouncing on porch roof

 It’s rain. It’s not snow.

It’s rain. Lots and lots of rain.

This is all I know.

we might call ourselves happy

Just when you're written off as one thing, you get written in as something else.

Stöcker seems never to have doubted that she could claim Nietzsche’s vision of freedom for herself and for all women. As early as 1892, she began using Nietzsche to argue that tearing down society’s restrictions would allow women to become free and powerful. She credited him with destroying the ascetic morals that claimed to find ‘something debased and impure’ in women. She praised his hatred of meekness and complacency, exhorting her readers that ‘the time is ripe for a fresh, joyful struggle.’ In place of conventional restrictions, Stöcker envisioned a ‘New Ethic’ of strength and joy. This New Ethic promised nothing less than a ‘new humanity – men and women – Nietzsche’s higher humans, who are permitted to say yes to life and to themselves,’ she wrote. ‘That the time has come also for women to become more conscious of this highest happiness which humans alone are worthy of, is my unshakeable belief.’ She knew this was audacious. ‘You say we demand too much?’ she challenged her readers. ‘Oh, we’re not demanding it,’ she assured them. ‘We are taking it for ourselves – the only sensible method of legitimation in the world.’

Still, Nietzsche’s contempt for women was an embarrassment. Stöcker addressed the problem head on. In a 1901 essay entitled ‘Nietzsche’s Misogyny’, she admits that he often railed against women, especially intelligent ones, and threatened to bring a whip when he paid them a visit. But only a fool, she claims, could fail to see that Nietzsche meant this ironically. She acknowledges that Nietzsche defined men’s happiness as pure willing and women’s happiness, by contrast, as subjugating themselves to men’s will. She insists, however, that this is true only of the women deformed by the corrupt society that Nietzsche deplored. She points to passages where Nietzsche imagines ‘noble, free-minded’ women who ‘strive for the elevation of their gender.’ She assures herself that Nietzsche ‘spoke such earnest, wonderful words about women … that we might call ourselves happy, if all men were such enemies of women.’ With her exoneration of Nietzsche’s reputation complete, Stöcker returned to articulating Nietzsche’s ‘religion of joy … that transforms everything earthly into engoldened [and] divine’ and to breathless speculation about ‘what kind of humans will thus be made possible!’   (--from, "How the feminist philosopher Helene Stöcker canonised Nietzsche",  by Lydia Poland, in aeon / Psyche, 2mar24)

As things are in the unfolding of historical movements, not all going was easily predictable.

Stöcker herself, it is important to note, did not take the risks evident in Nietzsche’s vision of elitist hegemony seriously enough. As she continued to work for women’s liberation after the First World War, German fascists began using Nietzsche to argue for a ‘postliberal’ age. They named ‘natural aristocrats’ like Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler Nietzsche’s ‘spiritual descendants’. Alfred Bäumler, the Third Reich’s official Nietzsche scholar and a professor of philosophy in Berlin, began to advocate for what Steven Aschheim describes as a Nietzschean ‘reassertion of warlike, heroic male values and community’. This kind of argument made Stöcker, who had dared to apply Nietzsche’s liberationist philosophy to women, a pariah. Her international reputation as a feminist meant that when the Nazis came to power in 1933, she knew her arrest was imminent. From one day to the next, she fled: first to Switzerland, then to England, then to Sweden. As Nazi armies drew ever closer, she finally took the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia and a steamship from Japan to San Francisco. After a decade of exile, she died an impoverished refugee in New York City.    (ibid)

One wonders how the radicalization of America's teetering democracy will fare for, not just feminist philosophers, but for all women. The particular leader wending his way back to power doesn't seem to have women's interests foremost in his agenda, but rather displays a scorn and dismissive insulting attitude for any not immediately useful to him.

To those who've indicated they would leave the country should he return to power, it is time to see if your satchel is still in the back of the closet.

For those whose imagination and steadfastness includes plucky activism, now's the time. 

Action, or perhaps, a working fatalism, is on the horizon.

Albert Camus' final lines of The Myth of Sisyphus presents a script that might be operative:

The absurd man says yes and his efforts will henceforth be unceasing. If there is a personal fate, there is no higher destiny, or at least there is, but one which he concludes is inevitable and despicable. For the rest, he knows himself to be the master of his days. At that subtle moment when man glances backward over his life, Sisyphus returning toward his rock, in that slight pivoting he contemplates that series of unrelated actions which become his fate, created by him, combined under his memory's eye and soon sealed by his death. Thus, convinced of the wholly human origin of all that is human, a blind man eager to see who knows that the night has no end, he is still on the go. The rock is still rolling.

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one's burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. 



like a cloak enwrapping something holy (как святое дело)

As thought surrounding him surrounding her. 

Yulia Navalnaya published a farewell post and video: 

“Lyosha, thank you for 26 years of absolute happiness. Yes, even over the last three years of happiness. For love, for always supporting me, for making me laugh even from prison, for the fact that you always thought about me.

I don’t know how to live without you, but I will try to make you up there happy for me and proud of me. I don't know if I can handle it or not, but I will try.”

With help from google translate, I add this attempt:

если каждая жизнь

рассматривается как сам по себе

было бы видно


как святое дело

if every life were

seen as in-itself

it would be visible

to (and as) everyone


holy cause


their own way

 Say nothing

About words

présente juste 

des mots

Off leash

Free to go

bon giorno

 There it is

Sun rising through window 

Open, fresh air, clear light

Words on page 

Grooming machine

Along mountain


 If you ask

I won’t tell

If you don’t ask

I won’t tell

here's your hat, there's the door, what's your hurry

heat wanders without coat

losing itself degree by degree

as winter begins to pack valise

folded coat under toothbrush

why this is not (a poem)

it does not rhyme

    it has no time

there is no space

    for angular face

no depth no insinuation

    not an inch of inspiration

rather, nullity and parsimony

    where not a meter of harmony

not a second of thought

    nothing that should be sought

this is not a poem not at all

    not at all not (a bit) at all 

Friday, March 01, 2024

ipse dixit, cogitas?

 “Netanyahu is a difficult interlocutor.” (Nicholas Kristof, 1mar24)

not making anything or anything else

 My world shrinks to this

Soundless and sightless silence

Each thing heard and seen

neither fixed nor one-dimensional

Finding self is a walk on icy floats where covered schooners strain their ropes in high freezing wind.

It was morning practice.

2. Nothingness as Root of Existence and Religious Practice

How does the self overcome the identity imposed on it by society? How does the self become reconciled with the identity prescribed by the conditions of human existence? A search for one’s true self is one of the motivations for religious practice. Self-identity, however, is neither fixed nor one-dimensional; if we are willing to open up ourselves to the various possibilities that contribute to the construction of self-identity, we come to realize that the self is rather more unstable than stable, more changeable than fixed. Admitting the changeable nature of the self inevitably generates insecurity and anxiety, but it does not necessarily have to lead to a pessimistic view of life. One contribution of Buddhist teaching to our understanding of the self and life is the idea that opening up the boundaries of the seemingly permanent self and the firm ground of existence can lead us to a broader and more positive view of life and the self. What is not frequently emphasized is that this is sometimes a counterintuitive argument, and actually practicing the teaching requires a constant and consistent effort on the part of the practitioner.

Then I bought 40 lbs of sunflower seed, chocolate milk, and organic jam.

You can't know yourself. You can only walk by covered boats the leap year last day of February, for example, listening to Pure Act: The Uncommon Life of Robert Lax, by Michael N. McGregor.

It's a circus out there.

The self is being-walked-through.

In fact.

Thursday, February 29, 2024



why not



a total, accepting openness

About which more later. 

 26. "Thinking" for Heidegger means more than merely intellectual activity -- it involves an authentic response of the whole man to the revelation of Being. As such, it is non-conceptual and non-representational -- a total, accepting openness to Being. Likewise, "poetizing" means more than simply writing "poetry" or the "poetic arts" in any ordinary sense -- it means bringing the revelation of Being into appropriate language.

(--Richardson footnote to Spiegel Interview with Martin Heidegger, 1966) 

 May we, all of us, come to word, sooner than later!

outside the window

 Two times through the night

unusual animal

screeches— such haunting

where’s the switch for the deus ex machina

So much anguish about the Supreme Court’s decision to hear and slow-walk his absolute immunity claim right up to the November election.

Sober legal commentators in measured tones and terms are factual and uncertain why they phrased the ruling (“alleged”) and gave a two month delay before hearing the case.

There’s a bargain with the devil here for Trump. 

Yes, a victory delaying and possibly evading justice for crimes for which he has been accused and indicted. 

But, no, he is possibly unleashing a profound level of antagonistic frustration among less measured more unhinged individuals and bodies of horrified groups interested in their own shadowy justice against the former president and his announced despotic agenda going forward.

Listen carefully here. 

Without wanting it to happen, nor suggesting it should, and concerned about the repercussions following, it is not difficult to imagine occurring the kind of assassination we have not seen in this country since 1963 and 1968. 

It is with great sorrow and upset we have seen one man dominate, manipulate, and damage the institutions and laws of the United States. Such depth of emotional and intellectual distress about the integrity and fairness of the country’s ethos and identity is no small concern among many categories of people, organizations, and historical analyses. 

Mr.Trump threatens in a profound way and in various forms the political and psychological well-being of a complex and involved system of governance and everyday sense of common weal.

The bargain he has made is not good for the country and not good for him. If the legal system cannot abate him, I fear he puts himself into the hands of a more dangerous and devious solution.

If you ask for lawlessness and injustice you might just get it.

God help us all! 

Whatever higher power exists for us, a bedeviled people, now would be a good time to switch on that deus ex machina and save Trump and the country from themselves.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

opening the box

Source is not elsewhere.

We are the wanderers off into some other place some other time. 

When you suddenly
Realize the source of mind,
You open a box of jewels.
Honorable on earth and in the heavens,
You are aloof even
From the joy of meditation.
The essence containing all flavors
Is the supreme delicacy,
Worth more than ten thousand
Ounces of pure gold.


Or two chocolate donuts. 

Maybe three garlic trisquit crackers.

too unsorted to actively pursue

Maybe there are intelligent beings from off-world.

UFOs, UAPs, ETs.

I'm nearly done with D.W. Pasulka's American Cosmic: UFOs, Religion, Technology (2019).

Extraterrestrials, SETI, Edgar Mitchell, the Contact Modalities, patterns of energy, the dyadic model of consciousness (remote viewing, telepathy, mystical experiences).

The day is gray with rain.

"The awareness is the undifferentiated awareness of the primordial field, as the sense of Self is merged totally into the field." (DWP, on the dyadic model of consciousness, see above)

I'm not feeling it today.

I think I lack the intelligence and the awareness to care whether we are alone, part of the greater whole, or merely lost in space.

I enjoy the words she lays out in her book.

As an eremite claustrated in this quasi-anchoritic cell, I'm not feeling it today.

I sit zazen. I read the news of the day. I tolerate the videos of late night comics' attempts to satirize the serious foibles of the leader class of the country.

Strong wind blows dooryard trees. The forecast accurate.

The author arrives in final chapter at the Vatican observatory at Castel Gandolfo. Cosmographies, bi-locating nun Sister Maria of Jesus of Ágreda OIC  in 17th century from Europe to southwest America. Joseph of Cupertino's levitations (Franciscans, both.)

 I'm too small to comprehend, too unsorted to actively pursue.

The cultural imagination is seeded by the rare creatures among us.

The experiences she describes perdure.

Levitation and levity leave me unallocated and seated with window opened to the remainder of the dark-mattered deep space expanse of unendable distance out into the billions of stars in billions of galaxies in, perhaps, innumerable universes spanning branes, dimensions, and infinite regions of thought. 

Credo quia absurdum is a Latin phrase that means "I believe because it is absurd", originally misattributed to Tertullian in his De Carne Christi. (Wikipedia and Cambridge Core)

I.S. Shklovskii, astronomer, co-authoring  with Carl Sagon in 1966 Intelligent Life in the Universe, said the prey runs to the predator.

Martin Heidegger gave an interview published just after his death. The Spiegel Interview "Only a God Can Save Us" (1966), translated by William J. Richardson SJ, includes this footnote by Richardson:

27. In all probability, Heidegger is not using the word "god" here in any personal sense but in the sense that he gives to the word (often in the expression, "god or the gods") in his interpretations of Hölderlin, i.e., as the concrete manifestation of Being as "the Holy."

Quoting the classical saying of Aunt Ronnie -- "And there she remained."

sadness of self-immolation for any cause

Others confuse me.

Suggesting I am not alone.

An opinion I contend.

What I point out to you is only that
You shouldn’t allow yourselves
To be confused by others.
Act when you need to,
Without further hesitation or doubt.
People today can’t do this.
What is their affliction?
Their affliction is in their
Lack of self-confidence.
If you do not spontaneously
Trust yourself sufficiently,
You will be in a frantic state,
Pursuing all sorts of objects
And being changed by those objects,
Unable to be independent.

Linji (d.867) dailyzen

I'll just stay here.

Self-compromised, uncomposed.

Listening to roof-rain. 

As empty as objectless subservience.

Wandering through dark infinite cosmos so silent.

Not striking a match, not immolating, however right the protest.

We'll find something wrong with him, claiming he wasn't even Buddhist. 

tide out in eyes

In every Instant being begins; around

every Here rolls the ball There. The

middle is everywhere. Crooked is the

path of eternity.


auntie christ

mustard orange


slithers through

hoards of

stoned dementia

political nincom-

poopery, vacant-

eyed rote-robotic

followage foliage

weedage slime-

snaked seepage

polluting populace

with sludge-mind

viscosity heart-dark

"we're seldom

better than weather" 

poet Richard Hugo 

wrote, "we're nearly as 

good as a woman we 

met in passing once

at Invergarry" --

his villager "tide out

in his eyes" a better man

than the creep right wing

wants to ordain as chief 

demon spewing fiery lies

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

as if by magic

 Wait for it

Wait for it

Behind tree

And Melvin Heights

Horizon cloud

Glowing glowing

Wait, wait

Behind bamboo

Behind Buddha 

Wood coffin cross

Inching globe

Turning reaching





To green

Bird feeder 


 It’s fine 

I have no 

friends I 

have no 


I don’t,

I  think, 

exist —

Who wants

to know

polite inquiry

 There’s the owl

Middle-night inquiry —

Yes, thank you, it’s me

No, no, is it you

Monday, February 26, 2024

skip the name, look through

 If you wonder who you are --

know this

If you cannot find yourself --

be happily lost

The world is ify, uncertain, dark --

insist on seeing for your self


 Reading Thomas Cathcart’s There Is No God and Mary Is His Mother.: Rediscovering Religionless Christianity. (2021)

The phrased title is supposedly from George Santayana, but, the author says, more likely Robert Lowell’s reference to Santayana’s aesthetic attitude toward his Catholic tradition.

Of course, Robert Lowell. That’s what poets are for.

Opening hymn stanza of Office of Readings this middle night:

Be thou my vision, through night and come day

Light on me always, thy spirit to stay

Thou, eternal father, the great and the last

The wise and true sov’reign of all that shall pass. 

Me? I’m just passing through.

Difficulty in such passing need not make it a hard pass.

out on limb

 Owl hoots 

In night

Tells story

Of its practice

While, on ground

Many listen up

Sunday, February 25, 2024




The human soul

luna di neve

So much has changed, this

Snow Moon, full and sky-bright, see --

no one dwells where once I was