2017.11.14




oh, inverted world
veins bleeding out
to collapsing seas
children in a cave 
stripping from you
roots to our needs 
burning your skins
denying your pleas
our own, in repose 


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2017.11.13

 

Bertrand Russell, Reflections on a life well lived:

“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind. These passions, like great winds, have blown me hither and thither, in a wayward course, over a great ocean of anguish, reaching to the very verge of despair.

I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy – ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed all the rest of life for a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, next, because it relieves loneliness – that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss. I have sought it finally, because in the union of love I have seen, in a mystic miniature, the prefiguring vision of the heaven that saints and poets have imagined. This is what I sought, and though it might seem too good for human life, this is what – at last – I have found.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway above the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.

Love and knowledge, so far as they were possible, led upward toward the heavens. But always pity brought me back to earth. Echoes of cries of pain reverberate in my heart. Children in famine, victims tortured by oppressors, helpless old people a hated burden to their sons, and the whole world of loneliness, poverty, and pain make a mockery of what human life should be. I long to alleviate this evil, but I cannot, and I too suffer.

This has been my life. I have found it worth living, and would gladly live it again if the chance were offered me.”

2017.11.12

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
 Do not dwell in the past, 
 Do not dream of the future, 
 Concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Three things cannot be long hidden:
  the sun, 
  the moon, 
  and the truth."
- Gautama Buddha

her rainbow virgin eyes and beaming smile
lighting a path for your lightning truths 
a precious pure vessel was placed in your 
possession, remains assigned to your care
with clear instructions: nothing compares
you know all this and still you leave her
learned how to look, so as not to see her
alone wandering mad chaos in sad darkness

                    ***

his bold and earthy tone speaks so gentle
that his lightning truths have spoken too
he says once more while in soothing soars
you are not in my keeping, nor i in yours
hear clear instructions: nothing compares
you know all this still self deceives him
learned how to look, so as not to see him
do not do seven to eight as six did seven







What is a Woman of Distinction?





                            
she who has yet to be some
how far more powerful than
me a pretty little girl is
unraveling some postscript
and she has me on my knees
your hands around our neck
breathing light through me
i cannot say what she sees
or how she runs through us
though they were my dreams










 

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

” Then a mason came forth and said, Speak to us of Houses.

And he answered and said:

 

Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness

ere you build a house within the city walls.

For even as you have homecomings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone.

Your house is your larger body.

It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? and dreaming, leave the city for grove or hilltop?

Would that I could gather your houses into my hand,

and like a sower scatter them in the forest and meadow.

Would the valleys were your streets, and the green paths your alleys, that you might seek one another through vineyards, and come with the fragrance of the earth in your garments.

But these things are not yet to be.

In their fear your forefathers gathered you too near together. And that fear shall endure a little longer. A little longer shall your city walls separate your hearths from your fields.

And tell me, people of Orphalese, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors?

Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power?

Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind?

Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain?

Tell me, have you these in your houses?

 

Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master?

Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires.

Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron.

It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh.

It makes mock of your sound senses, and lays them like thistledown like fragile vessels.

Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.

 

But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed.

Your house shall not be an anchor but a mast.

It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye.

You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls shall crack and fall down.

You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living.

And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing.

For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of the night.”

   through the ceiling
  past the moons 
 beyond the stars
and back to you
 no how are you? no,
  i missed you?
instead, return me still
 to iconic string,
  to a familiar sting
   launch me once more
    with all your force
     into the seas'
      embrace, anonymity
 do you see yourself as a sturdy sling?
    have you taken me 
     for a pebble, 
       among pebbles?
did i once take you for air
  that i pass through
   each time, on my way
    back home to you?
and do you look to the moon,
 the stars and the sea
  to under  sense  your fear of me?
do you ask yourself, from time to time-
 if you are not some string of thing, then what could you be?
  what else but the Sun
   who lights the past
    for pebbles' paths
     since your dawn?
would you be so quick to put out my fires?
 would you yearn for me,
  while i fast in your sleep?
   would i return to you, 
    and feature as ashes,
     in your featureless dreams?

          do you still, like a child
         drop to your knees, 
        just to turn through dirt
       to retrieve your pebble?

 tell me boy, and what am i, if not a pebble?
  who am i,
   that a Sun has taken 
    to fearing so?






2017.11.01




i have had trees 
 planted, 
 for me 
Splenda packets
 stolen, 
 for me 
Witnessed sunflowers
 bloom, 
 for me 
Even a disciple table
 Man made,
 for me

Do not pity me, Love

   i have known you 
   well beyond what
   i dared to dream


2017.10.31

 

“Where are you?

Where have you gone?

Are you visiting your brother?

Are you visiting your sister?

Are you visiting your cousin?

Are you looking at a flower?

Are you in Laos?

Are you in Thailand?

Are you in the sky?

Have you gone to the sun?

Have you gone to the moon?

Come home to your house.

Come home to your mother.

Come home to your father.

Come home to your sisters.

Come home to your brother.

I am calling you!

I am calling you!

Come home through this door.

Come home to your family.

Come home.

Come home.

Come home.

Come home.

Come home.

Come home.”

 

– The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Soul-calling for Lia, p. 287-288

2017.10.31

2017.10.13

"Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
  Guiltie of lust and sinne.
But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack
  From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
  If I lack'd any thing.

A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here:
  Love said, You shall be he.
I the unkinde, ungratefull? Ah my deare,
  I cannot look on thee.
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
  Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marr'd them: let my shame
  Go where it doth deserve.
And you know not, sayes Love, who bore the blame?
  My deare, then I will serve.
You must sit down, sayes Love, and taste my meat:
  So I did sit and eat."

-George Herbet

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

“Then a woman said, speak to us of Joy and Sorrow,

And he answered:

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?

And is not the loot that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep in your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at a standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”

 

 

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

“Then an old man, a keeper of an inn, said, Speak to us of Eating and Drinking.

And he said:

Would that you could live on the fragrance of the earth, and like an air plant be sustained by the light.

But since you must kill to eat, and rob the newly born of its mother’s milk to quench your thirst, let it be an act of worship,

And let your board stand an alter on which the pure and the innocent of forest and plain are sacrificed for that which is purer and still more innocent in man.

When you kill a beast say to him in your heart:

 

“By the same power that slays you, I too am slain; and I too shall be consumed.

“For the law that delivered you into my hand shall deliver me into a mightier hand.

“Your blood and my blood is naught but the sap that feeds the tree of heaven.”

*****

And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:

 

“Your seeds shall live in my body,

“And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,

“And your fragrance shall be my breath,

“And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”

 

And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes of your vineyards for winepress, say in  your heart:

“I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the winepress,

“And like new wine I shall be kept in eternal vessels.”

And in the winter, when you draw the wine, let there be in your heart a song for each cup;

And let there be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard, and for the winepress.”

 

 

 

 

 

2017.10.11

 

Can Philosophy be Saved?

 

 

 

“He who gives bread to the famished sufferer for the love of God will not be thanked by Christ. He has already had this reward in this thought itself. Christ thanks those who do not know to whom they are giving food.”

-Simone Weil

 

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

 

“Then said a rich man, Speak to us of Giving.

And he answered:

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?

And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the over-prudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?

And what is fear of need but need itself?

Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much which they have- and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gift unwholesome.

And there are those who have little and give it all.

These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.

And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.

And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;

They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.

Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;

And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater that giving.

And is there aught you would withhold?

All you have shall someday be given;

Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.”

*****

Meditation on Desert

“You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”

The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.

And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.

And what greater desert shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?

And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.

For in truth it is life that gives unto life- while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

*****

And you receivers- and you are all receivers- assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;

For to be overmindful of your debt is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.”

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

“And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

Meditation on Work

2017.10.05

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

“Then a ploughman said, Speak to us of Work.

And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told work is a curse and labor a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also that life is darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge.

And all knowledge is vain save where there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

***

And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as your beloved was to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as your beloved was to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep,

“He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

“And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say not, not in sleep, but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.

And if you can work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and to the voices of the night.”

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

 

“Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, master?

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

 

 

Meditation on Love

2017.10.05

Excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

 

“Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.

And he raised his head and looked upon the people,

and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you, yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you, believe in him,

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.

Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant;

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.

But if in fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips. “

2017.10.05

On Philosophical Failure

 

2017.10.01

2017.09.30

My darling Persephone,
I met in her descent,
One of piercing eyes,
And sallow flesh.

What she would give,
To rise in the spring,
To the land of the sun?

I asked to know her,
A privilege, you see,
That she graced me with her love,
The love of a mother at once kind and fierce.
She showed me grace
I had not known.

My Goddess,
What karmic fate hath ye suffered?
Hades held you down
And pulled you under.

You gave until your everlasting strength withered,
Quick to the bone.
And then you rose like a flame,
In the deep, dark cave.
Your spirit lifted, ever to fly free,
To the overworld once again.

 

2017.09.19

I used to wonder why,  if someone truly loved someone else, they would choose to forego friendship just because the romantic relationship had failed, presuming the failure was not the result of some unspeakable moral wrongdoing. But I had never experienced what I am experiencing now, even though I know have experienced love before now. So is the love I am experiencing now better or worse, or somehow different in kind altogether, from all the experiences of love I have had previous to now? I don’t know. I don’t know if I can be friends. It is exceedingly difficult for me to seriously consider that thought though, let alone write it. I assumed I could reinstate my friendship to you, situated beyond our romance. And I see now how I have really tried to convince myself of that. I think that may even be possible for you. I think I suspect that it is. But here I am, realizing at a level inconceivable to my previous imagination, just how intensely gut-wrenching and unforgiving love can truly feel.  Last week I would not even have joked about cutting ties with you; and now I am witnessing my self in a way I can only think to describe as an out of body experience. I do not want to lose you, but I am starting to suspect I may have no choice. And maybe neither did you.

I sort of love Jim Carrey now. I definitely love that this was his Fashion Week interview.

2017.09.18

Fiction: How a mind like mine copes with reality.

Episode 1. Adventures of Whitey the cat and his Egyptian rat

Conventional wisdom. Cats never ever fall in love with rats. And, presumably, rats fall in love with cats even less frequently than that.

Two years ago, Whitey would have agreed with conventional wisdom. They both would have. The Egyptian rat first appeared as one among many, token/type. A feminist, yet somehow, inexplicably, more desirable to digest. And too easy to stalk.

She observed Whitey in a somewhat similar fashion, one among many, token/type. Volatile, yet somehow, inexplicably, more desirable to be consumed by. And too difficult to defy.

When love sneaks in. When? Precisely in those moments and spaces they shared alone. For the Egyptian rat, the fear of her fate began to sink in the very late summer of 2015. Whitey had pinned her down on a couch. Made eye contact, inevitable. Made contact.

Rule #1. Whitey gets what Whitey wants. No exceptions.

When Whitey speaks, the words and worlds that open up are anything but cat-like. Whitey is the only cat, the only One, that processes at the pace her Egyptian rat mind races. Faster even. Of course she would rather be dead in his mouth than alive in the world. She was more alive dead in his words than in all the other mouths still forming. In communion, Whitey the cat is unfiltered and unparalleled genius. Whitey the cat is pure and perfect. In communion, Whitey is irresistible. At least to her.

The Egyptian rat had no choice in the matter. She tried to resist at first, of course, in vain. She knew in her heart she was no match for Whitey. She had no business with a cat so majestic and terrifying. Why Whitey’s precious attention drew him nearer to her is beyond our capacity to speculate.

How Whitey the cat fell in love with his Egyptian rat, only Whitey knows. And only maybe. For our purposes, the remains of this affair belong to nowhere, the domain of fiction. Cats cannot really fall in love with rats. I don’t think so, anyways. It appears not.

 

2017.09.16

2017.09.16

 
         d.


d is for destruction
d is for darkness
d is for drowning
d is for denial
d is for death

d is for 

 the love of mary's life

 wakes up at last to the
 comes running, he finds
 her and says he's sorry
 and he understands this
 mess he's made and he's 
 going to fix everything
 and he's never going to
 leave her bedside again 

             m
             a
             k
             e

             t
             h
             e
    
             p
             a
             i
             n

             l
             e
             s
             s


 
 
 
 
  
  

The WTFU party

2017.09.14

Not typically one to principally align myself with a political pary, BUT if I were going to…

Wake The Fuck Up! USA: A New Alternative Political Party Led by Nobody

Je Vous Dis, Merde! 39: In Defense of Grouchomarxist Lennonism

2017.09.13


			

2017.09.13






why are you so angry at me?
do you betray me once more?
do you think that our trees
chose their partner? why do
you deceive yourself still?

to bond us beyond matrimony 
your pact pays in packs per 
day when we stray i stay on
your turf i surface still i
unlike you cannot deny this

i cannot deny the truth why
it is nothing you say or do  
ever seems to make a dent i
never change whatever grows
inside me is inside you too

we prefer our solitude, now
i prefer to reserve me, now
we preserve me now, for you
my lord we are no more free 
to choose us then our trees






 

image

2017.09.06



happy new birth to us
when you requested we
come back to the path
recall my sadness our
wedge is time what do
we know that i cannot
express to you my one
our distance struggle 
pray you lead i leave





2017.09.05

my dear i depart 
for a time,
but i return 
 still, to your call
do not despair, 
do not doubt my love
 for you, just like me-
grows stronger,
 still, 
your queen 

Regan Penaluna started by loving philosophy. Over time, though, the climate for women in the discipline ground her down. Her self-confidence flagged, and she became one of the quiet students rather than one of the vocal, passionate ones. And then she discovered 17th century rationalist and feminist philosopher, Mary Astell. Penaluna, now a journalist, has […]

via On being reinvigorated by Mary Astell but worn out by the discipline — Feminist Philosophers

2017.09.02

 

     baby's black balloon 
   makes her fly
i almost fell 
  into that hole 
    in your life
and you're not thinking 
 about tomorrow
  Cause, you are 
   the same as me 
    but on your knees

  a thousand other boys 
    never reached you
how have i been the one?
i saw the world spin
 beneath you, and 
   scatter 
    like ice
     from the spoon
      inside 
       your womb

You know the lies 
 they always told you
You know the love 
 you never knew
You know the things 
 they never showed you
that swallowed the light 
 from the sun, inside
  your room

coming down, the world 
 turned over
       and angels fall
     without you there
   and i go on as
 you, get colder
or are you someone's prayer?

  and there is no time 
    left, for losing
     when you stand 
       they fall
and i will go on to
 bring you home too
  all because, I am 
     and, I will 
          become, 

              what you
         became 
    to me


Adaptation of song
Written by John T Rzeznik 
Copyright © BMG Rights Management US LLC

 

2017.08.31

2017.08.31


wading, in the midst tragedy
   grace, angel from on high
     descended, touched down
               upon my crown
                 and gave me
                     hope, i
                         die


 


2017.08.30

2017.08.29





    queen-to-commander: 
    there is time still
    to do what is right
    i trust you to make
    wine from my waters
    these pains we feel
    are only for a time
    recall nothing real
    listen to our truth
    lead me back to you
    your mission eludes
    but only for a time
    you know your queen
    trust yourself when
    your patterns begin
    to bid you a do and
    we will your search
    
              
    





             ingredients:


two parts, their darkness

   one part, her, healing



         truth 


         truth 


         truth


     r a i n i n g

           d

           o

           w

           n


 has come to set them free

 
 has come for you,  

                    not me




2017.08.29

image.jpeg

2017.08.28

 

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

image

The truth is beautiful when the path is right. You are not alone. I am by your side. Do not fear truth. And do not fear men.

Fear only God.

Amen.

 

Source: Reader query: Feminist work on love

Dear W, X, Y, and Z, This email is to express my gratitude, share a little about myself, and ask if I can be of help to you all in any way. Okay, so I (finally) had the good fortune or fate of stumbling upon your website. The work you are doing and the resources you are making available…

via Thank You! An Open Letter To APP. — Against Professional Philosophy

2017.08.23

If you are wondering how Philosopher might be used as a teaching resource, look no further! At the Deviant Philosopher, Kathryn Norlock has created an assignment that instructs students to look at and engage with the work hosted on Philosopher. The assignment, begins, [t]o complete the homework . . . you will need to identify a […]

via Using this Blog as a Teaching Resource — Philosopher

2017.08.20

 
about me i await patient
the breath of the dragon 
prince of peace and love
who put fire to end hell
restore heavens to earth

Father’s song

2017.08.20

Daughter’s song

2017.08.20

1. Bless Lord Jehovah, my soul, and all my bones, bless his holy name!
2. Bless, Lord Jehovah, my soul, and do not forget all his rewards,

3. Who forgives you all your evil and heals all your diseases.

4. He saves you from destruction; 
 he supports you with grace and with compassions.

5. He satisfies your body with precious things; 
 your youth is renewed like the eagle.

6. Lord Jehovah performs righteousness and judgment to all the oppressed.

7. He shows his way to Moses and his works to the sons of Israel.

8. Lord Jehovah is compassionate and cherishing;
 he is patient and his grace is abundant.

9. Because he does not harbor ill will to eternity and will not keep his wrath to eternity.

10. For he has not done to us according to our sins, 
 neither has he rewarded us according to our evil.

11. Because as Heaven is higher than the Earth, 
 so has the grace of Lord Jehovah prevailed upon his worshipers.

12. And as the East is far from the West so will our evil be far from us!

13. And as a father shows compassion upon children, 
 Lord Jehovah shows compassion upon his worshipers.

14. Because he knows our form; he remembers that we are dust.

15. A son of man is like the grass in its days 
 and like a flower of the field so he springs up.

16. For when the wind has blown upon it, it is not, 
 neither is his place known.

17. The grace of Lord Jehovah is from eternity 
 and unto eternity upon his worshipers 
  and his righteousness to their children's children

18. To those who keep his covenant 
 and remember his commandments and do them.

19. Lord Jehovah establishes his throne in Heaven 
 and his Kingdom is authorized over all.

20. Bless Lord Jehovah, his Angels, who are Masters in power, 
 doing his commandments.

21. Bless Lord Jehovah, all his hosts, and his Servants who do his will.

22. Bless Lord Jehovah, all his Servants 
 who are in all the Earth of his dominion. 
  Bless Lord Jehovah, oh my soul!

Source:Bible Hub: Psalm 103, Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  1. Against Professional Philosophy: A Co-Authored Anarcho-Philosophical Diary

2. Public Philosophy Network: Encouraging and Supporting Publicly Engaged Philosophical Research and Practices

3. Home: Philosophy of the City Research Group

4. About: Sophia and Philosophia Press

Lyrics

Just livin' the miracle, candles are my vehicle
Eight nights, gonna shine invincible
No longer be divisible, born to the struggle
Keep on moving through all this hustle
Head up, head down through all the bustle
New York City wanna flex your muscle
You look so down, look so puzzled
Huddle 'round your fire through all the rubble

Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all

Do you believe in miracles
And am I hearin' you 
Said am I seein' you
Said eight nights and eight lights
End these fights, keep me right
And bless me to the highest heights with your miracles

Against all odds, trod on till tomorrow
Wipe away your tears and your sorrow
Sunrise in the sky like an arrow
No need to worry, no need to cry. 
Light up your mind no longer be blind
Him who searches he'll find
Leave your problems behind
We will shine like a fire in the sky
What's the reason we're alive (Reason we're alive)
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all
Bound to stumble and fall but my strength comes not from man at all

Do you believe in miracles
And Am I hearin' you 
Said am I seein' you
Said eight nights and eight lights
End these fights, keep me right
And bless me to the highest heights with your miracles

Eight is the number of infinity one more than what you know how to be
And this is the light of festivity when your broken heart yearns to be free

Do you believe in miracles
And am I hearin' you 
Said am I seein' you
Said eight nights and eight lights
End these fights, keep me right
And bless me to the highest heights with your miracles

Do you believe in miracles
And am I hearin' you 
Said am I seein' you
Said eight nights and eight lights
End these fights, keep me right
And bless me to the highest heights with your miracles

Miracle, miracle, miracle

2017.08.19

With fall semester approaching, remember the new teaching resource, The Deviant Philosopher. If you’re looking for ways to liven up your courses with work from diverse philosophical sources, check out some of the possibilities included there. Even better, as you’re preparing your courses, if you have “deviant” approaches already in play, consider submitting them to […]

via Lively Possibilities for Fall Teaching — Feminist Philosophers

2017.08.17

image

2017.08.17

image

2017.08.17

2017.08.17

Thy will be done.
amen.

in order to establish ego death.  
in order to process spirit growth.

1. I exist, God exists.
2. I do not exist, God exists.
3. I exist, God does not exist.
4. I do not exist, God does not exist.

2. is preferable to 1.
4. is preferable to 3.

this is the order of operation.
there are no exceptions. 


2017.08.17

strike it from me.
amen.

Prayer Meditation for Fear Mongering 

how many moons circle the sun?

what happens when moon 
comes before sun?

moon reveals sun.

are we so afraid of fire
that we forget rain?

she is water
ours is reign

fear not the day nor hour

glory to god alone. amen.

Homage to St. Mary

2017.08.17

"even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again."

- a beautiful boy to a wretched girl


i pray, dear god.
let me say nothing, ever again.
make me your puppet, nothing more. 
see to it that me my strings
attach to nothing at all.
amen.

Prayer Meditation for Healing

Between the Sexes.

Woman: To every man you encounter. 
You are my Father, and my brother.

Man: To every woman you encounter. 
You are my sister, and my Mother.

This is the order of operation.
There are no exceptions.

Among the Tribes.

Human: To every human.  
You are my Mother, and Father.
You are my brother, and sister. 

This is the order of operation.
There are no exceptions. 



No Longer Slaves, But Brothers and Sisters

English Translation:

Most High, all powerful, good Lord,
Yours are the praises, the glory, the honor,
and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no man is worthy to mention Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and you give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Praise be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars, in heaven you formed them
clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Wind,
and through the air, cloudy and serene,
and every kind of weather through which
You give sustenance to Your creatures.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Water,
which is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you light the night and he is beautiful
and playful and robust and strong.
Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Mother Earth,
who sustains us and governs us and who produces
varied fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through those who give pardon for Your love,
and bear infirmity and tribulation.
Blessed are those who endure in peace
for by You, Most High, they shall be crowned.
Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no living man can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin.
Blessed are those whom death will
find in Your most holy will,
for the second death shall do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord,
and give Him thanks
and serve Him with great humility.

-Song, translated to English, Written by St. Francis

English translation:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

“He reminded the early Christians, already dispersed because of persecution, “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love.”

Learn more about the Transconfiguration

It has been worthwhile to me to explore and reflect on the concept of Transconfiguration through the years, whether through characters or events in fiction and non-fiction literature, or through first person experience or witness to events happening in the world around me.

Prayer for Vocations

Source: St. Francis Catholic Church

“Gracious Father, You have called me in Life and gifted me in so many ways. Through baptism you have sent me to continue the mission of Jesus by sharing my love with others. Strengthen me to respond to your call each day. Help me to become all you desire of me. Inspire me to make a difference in other’s lives. Lead me to choose the way of life you have planned for me. Open the hearts of all to listen to your call. Fill all with your Holy Spirit that we may have listening hearts and the courage to respond to you. Enkindle in my heart and the hearts of others the desire to make the world a better place by serving as sister…”

Amen.

2017.08.02

The Moral Bucket List

“There [are] two sets of virtues, the resumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The resumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral—whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?”

On what virtues do we spend most of our time? What virtues do we value most in ourselves, and in others?

my dearest beloved,
my love, my light
 in my dream we do conceive
 i wonder beyond the cave
 to the edge of a cliff
 pass darkness void, 
 light precipice
i look down, nothing
 i look up,         
 i think i know what to do 
 race backward, leap forward
but we agree i stay still
 at the sea inside me,
 at the tower spear 
 through me, to you
i await your mundane climb 
i witness you absolutely 
take our matter into your hand
you consume me in love
 sedate me, mercifully
 elate me, truthfully
you captivate me ceaselessly
rapture me, leave nothing 
now there is no me before you
how i worship you, you alone know
 i consume in water your wine
 i can consent to no one else
 i can see nothing before you
 together, we see beyond us
i love you with the strict 
 negation of abandon
 i am you your seed, 
 you are me my roots
 and we return still 
 to till your garden
you ask me what gift i wish most
 now that you are with me, and
 i can have anything whatsoever
 now when anynothing is possible
my smile beams tears in your eyes!
i wish you to wish through me
i wish all your wishes for me
for us, everyone whatsoever
i wish only to serve you, we
realize your magnificent vision
if you insist it include me,
centrally, then make of me
your sister, your bridge-
 to somewhere, to someway
 to someone, far more beautiful 
 and perfect for you than i
and you can walk upon me,
 you need not look down
 you need not look back
(or act in any other way 
 from absurd pity, as we 
 know my time with you is
 the strict negation of pity)
but the levity in irony,
 that you choose to rise through me
 the most extensive groundwork
 for the most offensive joke
 ever told, against gravity 
imagine, my love, if we make of me 
 a bridge of a billion stars
 exploding lights up as fireworks
 blazing the trail behind you,
 before you, beyond you
so they can know to prepare 
 their homes, and our city
 to see and greet you, 
 to receive you anew
my partner in time,
 we inhabit a space beyond weeping
 we are well beyond the most hollow word
 i can hope to cry from my tower, still
we alone know the true nature
 of our miraculous communion
  my loving companion, 
   my precious brother,
    men babyled our truth 
     from fear of the truth
please forgive those who know not, 
and please forgive those who do
because we, 
 true companion, know how to love
 equally, fearlessly, mercifully
 kindly, compassionately, wisely
as we return for them to resurrect yearning
 i pray their absence of trust in me
 be exponentially extinguished by
 their absolute presence of faith 
 in you, 
the mysterious truth i learn from you,
 (that you deep down already knew)
 while wading in the presence,
 of your basking absence
 it is possible to love most 
 through whom we endure most 
 this process that eludes us, 
 is only for a time
 we can operate on time
 we operate beyond time
 you, my good god of time
 i, your great love divine
 now is our time
ours,
 mary m





Decreation

2017.07.28

Excerpts, Gravity and Grace, Simone Weil

___

DECREATION: to make something created pass into the uncreated.

Destruction: To make something created pass into nothingness. A blameworthy substitute for decreation.

Creation is an act of love and it is perpetual.

___

Everything which is grasped by our natural faculties is hypothetical. It is only supernatural love that establishes anything. Thus we are co-creators.

We participate in the creation of the world by decreating ourselves.

We only possess what we renounce; what we do not renounce escapes from us.

In this sense we cannot possess anything whatever unless it passes through God.

___

There is a resemblance between the lower and the higher…

On this account, it is necessary to seek out what is lowest as an image.

May that which is low in us go downward so that which is high can go upward. For we are wrong side upward. We are born thus. To re-establish order is to undo the creation in us.

Reversal of the objective and the subjective.

Similarly reversal of the positive and the negative. That is also the meaning of the philosophy of the Upanishads.

We are born and live in an inverted fashion, for we are born and live in sin which is an inversion of the hierarchy. The first operation is one of reversal. Conversion.

Except the seed die… It has to die in order to liberate the energy it bears within it, so that with this energy new forms may be developed.

So we have to die in order to liberate a tied up energy, in order to possess an energy which is capable of understanding the true relationship of things.

The extreme difficulty which I often experience in carrying out the slightest action is a favor granted to me. For thus, by ordinary actions and without attracting attention, I can cut some of the roots of the tree. However indifferent we may be as to the opinion of others, extraordinary actions contain a stimulus which cannot be separated from them. This stimulus is quite absent from ordinary actions. To find extraordinary difficulty in doing an ordinary action is a favor which calls for gratitude. We must not ask for the removal of such a difficulty; we must beg for grace to make good use of it.

___

It is necessary to uproot oneself…

…It is necessary not to be “myself” or “ourselves.”

The city gives one the feeling of being at home. We must take the feeling of being at home into exile. We must be rooted in the absence of a place. To uproot oneself socially and vegetatively, To exile oneself from every earthly country. To do all that to others, from the outside is a substitute for decreation. It results in unreality. But by uprooting oneself one seeks greater reality.”

___

-Simone Weil, Grace and Gravity, “Decreation”

image

When, in grace

2017.07.28

"In the end, only three things matter
how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."

-Buddha

"Grace means more than gifts,
In grace, something is transcended,
once and for all overcome.
Grace happens in spite of something;
it happens in spite of separation and alienation.
Grace means life is once again reconciled with life,
self is reconciled with self.
Grace means accepting the abandoned one.
Grace transforms fate into a meaningful vocation.
It transforms guilt to trust and courage.
The word grace has something triumphant in it."

-Unknown

"In general, we must not wish for 
the disappearance of any of our troubles, 
but the grace to transform them.

For men of courage, 
physical sufferings (and privation)
are often a test of endurance 
and of strength of soul.

But there is a better use 
to be made of them.
For me, then, may they not be that.

May they rather be a testimony, 
lived and felt, of human misery.
May I endure them 
in a completely passive manner.
Whatever happens, how could I ever think
an affliction too great,
since the wound of an affliction,
and the abasement to which 
those whom it strikes are condemned,
opens to them the knowledge of
human misery, knowledge which 
is the door of all wisdom?"

-Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace, "Decreation"

When, in gravity

2017.07.26

 

"WHEN, IN DISGRACE - - 

"When, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,

I all alone between my outcast state

And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries

And I look upon myself and curse my fate,

Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,

Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd,

Desiring this man's art and that man's scope,

With what I most enjoy contented least;

Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,

Haply I think on thee, and then my state,

Like to the lark at break of day arising

From sullen earth, sing hymns at heaven's gate;

For thy sweet love remember'd such wealth brings

That I scorn to change my state with kings."

-William Shakespeare

 

 

I observed a butterfly and a bird of prey today.

image

And I made three new friends.

image

Update: And I am greeted with a postscript.

image

 

 

African Famine Relief: How to Respond

 

If we have the power to read this article now, then we have the power to give the gift of saving a human life. We are all more powerful than we realize. What if today we make the free choice to circumvent the Trump news feed and instead (re)direct our newly (re)gained attention (and time and energy) to completing one empowering and compassionate act? And what if we do the same tomorrow? Worst case scenario, we save only one life for one day. Best case scenario, we come to learn that we were actually saving two for the (mundane) price of one.

 

 

 

SPECIAL ISSUE: TRUMP AND THE 2016 ELECTION

Some Comments about Being a Philosopher of Color and the Reasons I Didn’t Write a (Real) Paper for this (Seemingly) Ideal Venue for my Work

by Sean A. Valles

ABSTRACT. This special issue conspicuously lacks work by Philosophers of Color (with the exception of this commentary). I have been given this opportunity to discuss the impediments that kept me from submitting my relevant work, offered as a small step toward recognizing the impediments faced by other Philosophers of Color. I highlight factors including direct and indirect consequences of a disproportionately White community of US philosophers, and some underrecognized risk-reward calculations that Philosophers of Color face when choosing an article project. I urge further discussion of the topic, starting with an exhortation to choose the right phenomenon and accordingly frame the right question: Why are White philosophers deliberating the “ethical and social issues arising out of the 2016 US presidential election” in a prestigious journal, while Philosophers of Color are deliberating the same issues in tense classrooms, closed offices, and on-/off-campus forums?

EXCERPTED QUOTES. 

“Our profession perpetuates many of the same explicit and implicit racist structures/biases that I and others critique in the Trump era (adulation of White men of dubious merit, dog whistle invocations of Western culture, blindness to structural racism/sexism/heterosexism, etc.). That makes it feel…different…to critique the Trump era from the position of a Philosopher of Color. My career has been at least as benign and charmed as that of any Philosopher of Color whom I’ve talked to about career matters, but even mine includes a string of macro- and micro-aggressions from my fellow philosophers, including: outrageous defamatory peer reviews of my (non-anonymous) submitted work, condescending White-splaining of basic points during Q&As, flat refusals to believe that I know even a little about topics in which I have well-documented expertise, and many other incidents I can’t even safely mention.

In this milieu, the prospect of banding together with fellow philosophers to boldly stand together and critique the Trump era for its faults is not tantamount to hypocrisy, but it makes it a hell of a lot harder to feel the team spirit. I even get (often unfairly) frustrated when I see my White colleagues appear to overestimate the novelty of Trump era inequities, since it reinforces my perception that they still vastly underestimate the breadth and depth of inequities before the rise of Trump. It can grow frustrating, as a Philosopher of Color, to be surrounded by White colleagues getting “woke,” even though their waking up to social inequities is obviously a change for the better. Much is new about the Trump-era rhetoric, policies, and zeitgeist, but much is not.

_____

In this case, I urge readers of this issue to not get sidetracked by a misleading question (Why is this issue so White when the concerns of/about people of color are especially relevant?). The question that needs answering is: Why are White philosophers deliberating the “ethical and social issues arising out of the 2016 US presidential election” in a prestigious journal while Philosophers of Color are deliberating the same issues in tense classrooms, closed offices, and on-/off-campus forums? Publishing an article in KIEJ garners praise from promotion committees; those other activities, not so much. Let’s please discuss the right question. I have tried to articulate what I think are some ‘upstream’ social and professional structures that allowed an outpouring of excellent work by White philosophers, yet failed to channel work by Philosophers of Color into the same pool. For philosophers to forcefully and effectively critique the Trump era, we must simultaneously do the hard work of addressing our own profession’s inequities.”

Inauthenticity?

2017.07.23

Source: Feminist Philosophers Blog

2017.07.23

"We do not go into the desert to escape people
but to learn how to find them;
we do not leave them in order to have nothing more to do with them,
but to find out the way to do them the most good..

I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may be lost 
and in the shadow of death. 
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me 
to face my perils alone."

-Thomas Merton

2017.07.23


if we make it through you
it is only because of you
and if what i say is true
there is no me before you
Words and labels can be empowering places,
  to rest and reflect along our way.
But never contract to own permanently what we can borrow freely.
Do not create for yourself the illusion of ownership;
you merely create a new attachment. 
More baggage. More weight. Less freedom.
  We cannot in truth own any words or labels.
  We cannot in truth own people, places, things, or ideas. 
But all of these can come to own us, as they so often do,
following strictly our own terms.
 

 



***

Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin v the Sinister Bureaucracy

A Cartoon by First Dog on the Moon

***

Postscript:

Direct Action (Free) Agent: 1.

Bureaucracy: 0.

If I have a child, name her Simone.

***

 

***

Follow your dreams

wherever they lead,

don’t be distracted

by less worthy feed.

***

Shelter them, nourish them,

help them to grow –

Let your heart hold them

down deep where dreams go.

***

Be faithful, be loyal,

then all your life through

the dreams that you follow

do keep coming true.

***

 

Adaptation from the poem “Follow Your Dream,” by Cheryl J. Barclay

2017.07.12

Noam Chomsky on the State of Our Union

***

NY Times, The Opinion Pages, July 5, 2017

Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union

George Yancy interviews Noam Chomsky

***

Excerpts from the Interview

N.C. = Noam Chomsky

G.Y. = George Yancy

Note: excerpt descriptions in bold print are just me

***

 

Chomsky on the role of philosophers

N.C.: I am not sure just what Marx had in mind when he wrote that “philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.” Did he mean that philosophy could change the world, or that philosophers should turn to the higher priority of changing the world?

If the former, then he presumably meant philosophy in a broad sense of the term, including analysis of the social order and ideas about why it should be changed, and how. In that broad sense, philosophy can play a role, indeed an essential role, in changing the world, and philosophers, including in the analytic tradition, have undertaken that effort, in their philosophical work as well as in their activist lives — Bertrand Russell, to mention a prominent example.

G.Y.: Yes. Russell was a philosopher and a public intellectual. In those terms, how do you describe yourself?

N.C.: I don’t really think about it, frankly. I engage in the kinds of work and activities that seem important and challenging to me. Some of it falls within these categories, as usually understood.

Chomsky on the consideration of human suffering

G.Y.: There are times when the sheer magnitude of human suffering feels unbearable. As someone who speaks to so much suffering in the world, how do you bear witness to this and yet maintain the strength to go on?

N.C.: Witnessing it is enough to provide the motivation to go on. And nothing is more inspiring to see how poor and suffering people, living under conditions incomparably worse than we endure, continue quietly and unpretentiously with courageous and committed struggle for justice and dignity.

Chomsky on activism and hope for the future

G.Y.: If you had to list two or three forms of political action that are necessary under the Trump regime, what would they be? I ask because our moment feels so incredibly hopeless and repressive.

N.C.: I don’t think things are quite that bleak. Take the success of the Bernie Sanders campaign, the most remarkable feature of the 2016 election. It is, after all, not all that surprising that a billionaire showman with extensive media backing (including the liberal media, entranced by his antics and the advertising revenue it afforded) should win the nomination of the ultra-reactionary Republican Party.

The Sanders campaign, however, broke dramatically with over a century of U.S. political history. Extensive political science research, notably the work of Thomas Ferguson, has shown convincingly that elections are pretty much bought. For example, campaign spending alone is a remarkably good predictor of electoral success, and support of corporate power and private wealth is a virtual prerequisite even for participation in the political arena.

The Sanders campaign showed that a candidate with mildly progressive (basically New Deal) programs could win the nomination, maybe the election, even without the backing of the major funders or any media support. There’s good reason to suppose that Sanders would have won the nomination had it not been for shenanigans of the Obama-Clinton party managers. He is now the most popular political figure in the country by a large margin.

Activism spawned by the campaign is beginning to make inroads into electoral politics. Under Barack Obama, the Democratic Party pretty much collapsed at the crucial local and state levels, but it can be rebuilt and turned into a progressive force. That would mean reviving the New Deal legacy and moving well beyond, instead of abandoning, the working class and turning into Clintonite New Democrats, which more or less resemble what used to be called moderate Republicans, a category that has largely disappeared with the shift of both parties to the right during the neoliberal period.

 

G.Y.: What are the weightiest issues facing us?

N.C.: The most important issues to address are the truly existential threats we face: climate change and nuclear war…”

Chomsky on the connection between religion and social justice work

G.Y.: But what is it, Noam, as you continue to engage critically a broad range of injustices, that motivates this sense of social justice for you? Are there any religious motivations that frame your social justice work? If not, why not?

N.C.: No religious motivations, and for sound reasons. One can contrive a religious motivation for virtually any choice of action, from commitment to the highest ideals to support for the most horrendous atrocities. In the sacred texts, we can find uplifting calls for peace, justice and mercy, along with the most genocidal passages in the literary canon. Conscience is our guide, whatever trappings we might choose to clothe it in.

***

Chomsky on the demographic composition of the President’s political support base

G.Y.: Yet despite his unpredictability, Trump has a strong base. What makes for this kind of servile deference?

N.C.: I’m not sure that “servile deference” is the right phrase, for a number of reasons. For example, who is the base? Most are relatively affluent. Three-quarters had incomes above the median. About one-third had incomes of over $100,000 a year, and thus were in the top 15 percent of personal income, in the top 6 percent of those with only a high school education. They are overwhelmingly white, mostly older, hence from historically more privileged sectors.

Is Russian hacking really more significant than what we have discussed — for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world? As Anthony DiMaggio reports in a careful study of the wealth of information now available, Trump voters tend to be typical Republicans, with “elitist, pro-corporate and reactionary social agendas,” and “an affluent, privileged segment of the country in terms of their income, but one that is relatively less privileged than it was in the past, before the 2008 economic collapse,” hence feeling some economic distress. Median income has dropped almost 10 percent since 2007. That’s apart from the large evangelical segment and putting aside the factors of white supremacy — deeply rooted in the United States — racism and sexism.

For the majority of the base, Trump and the more savage wing of the Republican establishment are not far from their standard attitudes, though when we turn to specific policy preferences, more complex questions arise.

A segment of the Trump base comes from the industrial sector that has been cast aside for decades by both parties, often from rural areas where industry and stable jobs have collapsed. Many voted for Obama, believing his message of hope and change, but were quickly disillusioned and have turned in desperation to their bitter class enemy, clinging to the hope that somehow its formal leader will come to their rescue.

Another consideration is the current information system, if one can even use the phrase. For much of the base, the sources of information are Fox News, talk radio and other practitioners of alternative facts. Exposures of Trump’s misdeeds and absurdities that arouse liberal opinion are easily interpreted as attacks by the corrupt elite on the defender of the little man, in fact his cynical enemy.

Chomsky on critical intelligence and the Union’s double standards in the international political arena

G.Y.: How does the lack of critical intelligence operate here, that is, the sort that philosopher John Dewey saw as essential for a democratic citizenry?

N.C.: We might ask other questions about critical intelligence. For liberal opinion, the political crime of the century, as it is sometimes called, is Russian interference in American elections. The effects of the crime are undetectable, unlike the massive effects of interference by corporate power and private wealth, not considered a crime but the normal workings of democracy. That’s even putting aside the record of U.S. “interference” in foreign elections, Russia included; the word “interference” in quotes because it is so laughably inadequate, as anyone with the slightest familiarity with recent history must be aware.

G.Y.: That certainly speaks to our nation’s contradictions.

N.C.: Is Russian hacking really more significant than what we have discussed — for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world? Or to enhance the already dire threat of terminal nuclear war? Or even such real but lesser crimes such as the Republican initiative to deprive tens of millions of health care and to drive helpless people out of nursing homes in order to enrich their actual constituency of corporate power and wealth even further? Or to dismantle the limited regulatory system set up to mitigate the impact of the financial crisis that their favorites are likely to bring about once again? And on, and on.

It’s easy to condemn those we place on the other side of some divide, but more important, commonly, to explore what we take to be nearby.

Link to the Full Interview & Original Source:

Noam Chomsky on the State of Our Union

 

Seeds Already There

2017.07.11

Cori Wong, Ph.D.

nature-sky-clouds-flowers.jpg

On the surface, I get the appeal of highlighting moments that signal a stark separation between recent ends and new beginnings. Enduringlong enough to realize those separating moments can make them feel like monumental achievements. For instance, a dissertation defense. A cross-country move. A new job. A new relationship. Another calendar year. (According tosome metrics, that’s a relatively comprehensive synopsis of my own life over thepast two and a half years.)

Living in those moments, the experience of transition often feels more excitingly palpable and present than other stretches of life – atime of change invites thatunique mixture of reflection about what is and has been and hope for what is yet to become. It encourages letting go of hang-ups and moving on – unburdened – from the challenges we have (or have not quiteyet) overcome. And the opportunity appearsripe toset out into a still unknown future, which,thanks to the…

View original post 1,388 more words

 

From a Letter to a Dear Friend

From Simone Weil, to Gustave Thibon

***

“Dear Friend,

It seems as though the time has now really come for us to say good-by to each other. It will not be easy for me to hear from you frequently. I hope that Destiny will spare the house at St. Marcel- the house inhabited by three beings who love each other. That is something very precious. Human existence is so fragile a thing and exposed to such dangers that I cannot love without trembling. I have never yet been able to resign myself to the fact that all human beings except myself are not completely preserved from every possibility of harm. That shows a serious falling-short in the duty of submission to God’s will.

You tell me that in my notebooks you have found, besides things which you yourself had thought, others you had not thought but for which you were waiting; so now they belong to you, and I hope that after having been transmuted within you they will one day come out in one of your works. For it is certainly far better for an idea to be associated with your fortunes than with mine. I have a feeling that my own fortunes will never be good in this world (it is not that I count on their being better elsewhere; I cannot think that will be so). I am not a person with whom it is advisable to link one’s fate. Human beings have always more or less sensed this; but, I do not know for what mysterious reason, ideas seem to have less discernment. I wish nothing better for those which have come in my direction than they should have a good establishment, and I should be very happy for them to find a lodging beneath your pen, while changing their form so as to reflect your likeness. That would somewhat diminish my sense of responsibility and the crushing weight of the thought that through my many defects I am incapable of serving the truth as I see it, when in an inconceivable excess in mercy it seems to me that it deigns to allow me to behold it. I believe that you will take all that as simply as I say it to you. In the operation of writing, the hand which holds the pen and the body and soul which are attached to it with all their social environment are things of infinitesimal importance for those who love the truth. They are infinitely small in the order of nothingness. That, at any rate, is the measure of importance I attach in this operation not only to my own personality but to yours, and to that of any other writer I respect. Only the personality of those whom I more or less despise matters to me in such a domain…

I do not know whether I have already said it to you, but as to my notebooks, you can read whatever passages you like from them to whoever you like, but you must leave none of them in the hands of anyone else…If you hear nothing from me for three or four years, you can consider that you have complete ownership of them.

I am saying all this to you so I can go away with a freer mind. I only regret not being able to confide to you all that I still bear undeveloped within me. Luckily, however, what is within me is either valueless, or else it exists outside me in perfect form, in a place of purity where no harm can come to it and whence it will always be able to come down again. That being so, nothing concerning me can have any kind of importance.

I also like to think that after the slight shock of separation you will not feel any sorrow about whatever may be in store for me, and that if you should sometimes happen to think of me you will do so as one thinks of a book one read in childhood. I do not want ever to occupy a different place from that in the hearts of  those I love, because then I can be sure of never causing them any unhappiness.

I shall never forget the generosity which made you say and write to me some of those things which warm and cheer us even when, in my case, it is impossible to believe them. They are a support all the same- perhaps too much so. I do not know whether we shall be able to go on corresponding much longer. We must, however, think of that as unimportant…”

-Source: Gravity and Grace, Simone Weil, 1952

***

Postscript

What is my relationship to Simone Weil?

Simone Weil is my most beloved and esteemed philosopher queen, and she is my Angel of Death. Simone’s love for me is so powerful as to have the capacity to greet me at my own bridge across the void long after her death, and long before my own, though none of us can know not the day or the hour of the greatest hour of the greatest day of our life. Simone gives me the most precious gift I can ever have hoped to receive from a beloved, she teaches me a New language in my native tongue, only so that I may prepare myself to perceive and receive a Love even greater in magnitudes of power and magnanimity than her own. But we cannot receive what we do not perceive, and perception of Truth draws only from it’s own source. It takes practice and a willingness to let go of the familiar and the comforting we seek from the master’s tongue, and trust instead that Truth is powerful enough to transmute itself within you and in dialogue with you teach you anew how to speak Truth through your own Native tongue. Trust what is Good in you that yearns for Truth at increasing magnitudes of courage that greet each of your fears from weakest to strongest for only an instant before they begin dissolving the way only dreams do, the longer you no longer attend to them. Do not fear the void or confuse the feeling of God’s absence, we are comforted by even the absence of those we love most deeply and truly and unconditionally. Our salvation requires we wade through an hour of darkness, there are years for questions and for mysteries and for heartbreak and for confusion and there are years for answers and understanding and new magnitudes of revelation and Love. I cannot ask of anyone to take God purely on Faith, that would make of me worse than a hypocrite, but I can say risks are necessary for salvation, and taking risks in the direction of unconditional Love, for an Other or Others or for Truth, these sorts of risks taken in a spirit of humility and with a willingness to be vulnerable to suffering and discomfort (heart or mind) and through extreme adversity, can do much of the heavy lifting.

For those few, if there are any, among my beloved that can trust in me, then you can know what I say to you now is true, there are ways to Love beyond the void that are not yet revealed to us. There are perhaps countless paths, I took the path of Love and everything is more beautiful and joyful and captivating and mysteriously soluble now for me than at any point previous in my imagination. These gifts came to me while I waded, lovingly, through difficult absences, periods of acute grief and prolonged mourning, and the sometimes seemingly (but somehow, through infinite mercy and grace, not certainly) overwhelming senses of absurdity, abandonment, meaninglessness, and needlessness of suffering. If nothing, do not lose faith in your capacity to love, attend to this capacity, challenge and nourish it in new ways, observe what love means to you at ages 3, 7, 17, 21, 27, 31, and so on (it is both the same and it is different, no?) how what is True in it is there from the start, and feeds off itself at every juncture the heart opens itself once more to risk.  When a child, eyes and heart wide open, tells you I love you, who can doubt the purity in truth and conviction of that love? And yet, they are still learning love, our understanding magnifies, deepens, expands inwardly and outwardly, with each risk we take to love with less conditions and ego constraints than before:

Never allow yourself to love anyone any less in the present than at anytime before. Plateauing in your love for someone is (I think, perhaps possibly) permissible, but deepening and expanding through the worst adversity are better preparation to perceive the vastness of God’s Loving when even the darkest hour comes and you find yourself suddenly and without question of certainty gifted that Love in a magnitude of Abundance beyond anything our current imagination can conjure.

Now every now feels better than any of the best feelings I have felt in even my most cherished and precious dreaming throughout this life and at any moment prior. 

Do you see? There is nothing to fear.

For every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven (Ecclesiastes). The most stubborn mysteries reveal themselves in their right hour. We have only to wait and to train our attention, and corral it so as to act and speak always from a place of compassion, integrity, honesty, transparency, kindness, generosity, charity, good will for any whose suffering we can sense clearly or acutely and be present for and alongside. Stay as far away from judgments of rightness and wrongness as you can; God did not greet me in those fields, so I can say only that the truth in these words now viscerally stirs up feelings of absolute gratitude from deep within me:

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” 

-Jalaluddin Rumi

The most universally accessible process language for love I know of yet, that provides a clear, practical, secular, and intellectually palpable  (i.e. religiously neutered, in the case of present day academic cultural pageantry) approach to one’s own mindfulness training and awareness magnifying (consciousness-raising, spiritual awakening, spiritual liberation, coming to Jesus, finding God, worshiping the Love fairies, whatever your Native tongue, whatever, sequences of words are mere conduits and the more hollowed out the better) is by steady, deliberate, reflective, and continuous practice of the non-violent communication skills, as developed by the psychologist, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, and detailed most accessibly and comprehensively (to the best of my present knowledge) in his book, Non-violent Communication: A Language of Life. Non-violent communication offers concrete communication guidelines that, practiced continuously, intentionally, and with all the passion to acquire a new vocation one can muster, draws in and fixates your attention on the present most morally salient aspects of compassionate communication in interpersonal exchanges. If you get good enough at it, then over time, you can sense and observe yourself gracefully floating away from the field of judgments of rightness and wrongness, and this disciplined directing of attention and creative energy will bears fruit for you and for everyone you who comes in contact with you. Acquiring and mastering the skills of non-violent communication can be understood strictly as a net gain. Imagine treating it like you would learning a New language that is required of you solely and exclusively in order to re-establish a long lost intimate connection, conversation, and a communion of souls between you and your most beloved, living or deceased. We are not here to judge each other, trust me, we are all readily badly good at that, by judging one another or playing politics so seriously we are sustaining Hell on Earth, hell is fueled by determinations of others’ moral blameworthiness (judgments), guilt, resentment, self-righteousness, anger, hate, self-loathing, insecurity, and at the center of all this, Fear:

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but it is really fear.” -Mahatma Gandhi

It is a deceptively simple equation: We are here to learn how to love each other as best we can learn how. I say deceptively simple because I know now that there is always more to learn above love, some of it so surprising as to render the miraculous altogether sensible, so I focus on learning love now more than anything else. Most of this may sound strangely familiar to you, as Simone’s words, initially so strangely sequenced to me, were simultaneously radically familiar to transmuting faculties operating within me, from beyond me, for because of me.

Truth lies to random fate to teach it virtue, to teach it faith.

***

Resource: Consciousness-Raising: A Radical Weapon

 

Fall through the ceiling, dreamers; see there is no sealing, dreamers.

They do not tell us, because they do not know, that the whole world lights up on fire from a match deep within us, struck strictly from far beyond us, from Love for us. Fire is liberation, dreamers. Do not fear fire. They do not tell us, but how could they? They are our children. They await our instruction without knowing, but first we must learn ourselves, before teaching.

Who can teach us Love?

A mobilization of radicals and revolutionaries, and we are all painted up in doves, having perched our lives alongside edges of cliffs, borders and crevices, on the periphery of a mad machine, until our true home discovers us once more, and we have adequately prepared ourselves to receive first flight, That we may return to our home, guided by the Light we created, guiding our partners, sons, daughters, families, friends, enemies, neighbors, even those estranged from us, drawn nearer to us once more in their search for Truth.

Husbands and fathers will be astonished to learn of this new Abundance of wealth, dwarfing anything they could ever have laid claim to, or in sincere hope or abject pretense bequeathed to us, that we saved ourselves, from deep within ourselves, and are now powerful enough to extend olive branches, and save them from their selves.

Lyrics:

Zee you’re all that I have and you’re all that I need
Each and every day I pray to get to know you please
I want to be close to you, yes I’m so hungry
You’re like water for my soul when it gets thirsty
Without you there’s no me
You’re the air that I breathe
Say sometimes the world is dark and I just can’t see
With these, demons surround all around to bring me down to negativity
But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
I’ll stand on my own two feet
Won’t be brought down on one knee
Fight with all of my might and get these demons to flee
Hashem’s rays fire blaze burn bright and I believe
Hashem’s rays fire blaze burn bright and I believe
Out of darkness comes light, twilight unto the heights
Crown Heights burnin’ up all through till twilight
Said, thank you to my God, now I finallygot it right
And I’ll fight with all of my heart, and all a’ my soul, and all a’ my might

What’s this feeling?
My love will rip a hole in the ceiling
Givin’ myself to you now from the essence of my being
And I sing to my God, songs of love and healing
I want Moshiach now, time it starts revealing
What’s this feeling?
My love will rip a hole in the ceiling
Givin’ myself to you now from the essence of my being
And I sing to my God, songs of love and healing
I want Moshiach now.

As the deer pants for the water
So my soul longs after you
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship you


Excerpt, Christian hymn

 

Prayer for My Father

I love you more

than mere words can express,

I can compare it only

to my love of God Above rest.

And if by chance I die

before I see you next time

I will be the first yearning to greet you

in Heaven,  sublime!

But if I do not die

before I see you again

then I know,  God is still

preparing me  to meet him!

And since God sees what we see

And God knows what we know

I hope God plants the seeds

that let us see the seeds we plant

long after we go—

so that you get to see

Michael, Cary, and me,

so that you get to know

all the ways that we grow!

This, I think, is God’s power,

loving, mercy, and grace.

 

Meditation on Courage

For Mary’s Children

Vayda Jayne Bean

Written by Dr. Michael Sharp

Well greetings there,

my name is Vayda Jayne Bean,

and I’ve got the biggest light

you’ve ever seen.

It shines bright in the night,

It shines faithful and right,

and it gives ghoulies ‘round me

a terrible fright.

It’s a good thing

this light that’s in me

shines so bright,

for the world out there can be as black as the night.

With the greebly Greeb Grommels

and icky Sad Songfuls,

and stinky Black Frats that abound

by the armfuls.

But it bothers me not

that there’re monsters about,

For this light that I have

it leaves me with no doubt,

that the monsters that I see

out here and out there,

are no more than the Vaporous Vapes,

just thin air.

So each day I go up

And I shine my light out,

and I see all the vaporous vapes that come out.

And I smile and I say,

as they squint at the glare,

“Look the same light’s in you.

Let it out with some flair.”

For it’s more fun to dance

and sing brightly about,

than to scatter and scurry

as our lights come out.

See the sun that’s up there?

Feel the grass?

Breathe the air?

Could this world

be more wondrous,

joyous, or fair?

For my name, I shall sing it,

it’s Vayda Jayne Bean,

and I’ve got the biggest light

you’ve ever seen.

It shines bright in the night,

It shines faithful and right

and keeps me snug and tight

as I kiss you…

goodnight.

For Mary’s Children

Vayda Jayne Bean

Written by Dr. Michael Sharp

2017.06.18

image

2017.06.18

 

It is Sunday as it dawns on me,

most of my clothes had—now—to leave!

Every tight shirt, every short skirt,

all the logos, even bright colors…

 

Everything goes, except the “sexy”

pinstripe black slacks

that first won me your gaze.

Sins those, I decide, have reparations to pay.

 

The next time I feel lonely

or in need of attention,

I will take my afflicted, longing stare

straight to them.

 

And they can work, to remind me—

the cost of my vanity,

the stain on my soul,

the loss of our miracle,

and why the rest had to go!

 

Written by Simone Weil

Excerpt from p. 131 to 137 in Waiting for God

 Forms of the Implicit Love of God 

Friendship

There is however a personal and human love which is pure and which enshrines an intimation and reflection of divine love. This is friendship, provided we keep strictly to the true meaning of the word.

Preference for some human being is necessarily a different thing from charity. Charity does not discriminate. If it is found more abundantly in any special quarter, it is because affliction has chanced to provide an occasion there for the exchange of compassion and gratitude. It is equally available for the whole human race, inasmuch as affliction can come at all, offering them an opportunity for such an exchange.

Preference for a human being can be of two kinds. Either we are seeking some particular good in him, or we need him. In a general way all possible attachments come under one of these heads. We are drawn toward a thing, either because there is some good we are seeking from it, or because we cannot do without it. Sometimes the two motives coincide. Often however they do not. Each is distinct and quite independent. We eat distasteful food, if we have nothing else, because we cannot do otherwise. A moderately greedy man looks out for delicacies, but he can easily do without them. If we have no air we are suffocated; we struggle to get it, not because we expect to get some advantage from it but because we need it. We go in search of sea air without being driven by any necessity, because we like it. In time it often comes about automatically that the second motive takes the place of the first. This is one of the great misfortunes of our race. A man smokes opium in order to attain to a special condition, which he thinks superior; often, as time goes on, the opium reduces him to a miserable condition which he feels to be degrading, but he is no longer able to do without it…

Harpagon started by considering gold as an advantage. Later it became nothing but the object of a haunting obsession, yet an object of which the loss would cause his death. As Plato says, there is a difference between the essence of the Necessary and that of the Good.

There is no contradiction between seeking our own good in a human being and wishing for his good to be increased. For this very reason, when the motive that draws us toward anybody is simply some advantage for ourselves, the conditions of friendship are not fulfilled. Friendship is a supernatural harmony, a union of opposites.

When a human being is in any degree necessary to us, we cannot desire his good unless we cease to desire our own. Where there is necessity there is constraint and domination. We are in the power of that of which we stand in need, unless we possess it. The central good for every man is the free disposal of himself. Either we renounce it, which is a crime of idolatry, since it can be renounced only in favor of God, or we desire that the being we stand in need of should be deprived of this free disposal of himself.

Any kind of mechanism may join human beings together with the bonds of affection which have the iron hardness of necessity. Mother love is often of such a kind; so at times is paternal love…; so is carnal love in its most intense form…; so also, very frequently, is the love between husband and wife, chiefly as the result of habit. Filial and fraternal love are more rarely of this nature.

There are moreover degrees of necessity. Everything is necessary in some degree if its loss really causes a decrease of vital energy. (This word is here used in the strict and precise sense that it might have if the study of vital phenomena were as far advanced as that of falling bodies.) When the degree of necessity is extreme, deprivation leads to death. This is the case when all the vital energy of one being is bound up with another by some attachment. In the lesser degrees, deprivation leads to a more or less considerable lessening of energy. Thus a total deprivation of food causes death, whereas a partial deprivation only diminishes the life force. Nevertheless the necessary quantity of food is considered to be that required if a person is not to be weakened.

The most frequent cause of necessity in the bonds of affection is a combination of sympathy and habit. As in the case of avarice or drunkenness, that which was at first a search for some desired good is transformed into a need by the mere passage of time. The difference from avarice, drunkenness, and all the vices, however, is that in the bonds of affection the two motives—search for a desired good, and need—can very easily coexist. They can also be separated. When the attachment one being to another is made up of need and nothing else it is a fearful thing. Few things in this world can reach such a degree of ugliness and horror. There is always something horrible whenever a human being seeks what is good and only finds necessity. The stories that tell of a beloved being who suddenly appears with a death’s head best symbolize this. The human soul possesses a whole arsenal of lies with which to put up a defense against this ugliness and, in imagination, to manufacture sham advantages where there is only necessity. It is for this very reason that ugliness is an evil, because it conduces to lying.

Speaking quite generally, we might say that there is affliction whenever necessity, under no matter what form, is imposed so harshly that the hardness exceeds the capacity for lying of the person who receives the impact. That is why the purest souls are the most exposed to affliction. For him who is capable of preventing the automatic reaction of defense, which tends to increase the soul’s capacity for lying, affliction is not an evil, although it is always a wounding and in a sense a degradation.

When a human being is attached to another by a bond of affection which contains any degree of necessity, it is impossible that he should wish autonomy to be preserved both in himself and in that of the other. It is impossible by virtue of the mechanism of nature. It is, however, made possible by the miraculous intervention of the supernatural. This miracle is friendship.

“Friendship is an equality made of harmony,” said the Pythagoreans, There is harmony because there is a supernatural union between two opposites, that is to say, necessity and liberty, the two opposites God combined when he created the world and men. There is equality because each wishes to preserve the faculty of free consent both in himself and in the other.

When anyone wishes to put himself under a human being or consents to be subordinated to him, there is no trace of friendship. Racine’s Pylades is not the friend of Orestes. There is no friendship where there is inequality.

A certain reciprocity is essential in friendship. If all good will is entirely lacking on one of the two sides, the other should suppress his own affection, out of respect for the free consent which he should not desire to force. If on one of the two sides there is not any respect for the autonomy of the other, this other must cut the bond uniting them out of respect for himself. In the same way, he who consents to be enslaved cannot gain friendship. But the necessity contained in the bond of affection can exist on one side only, and in this case there is only friendship on one side, if we keep the strict and exact meaning of the word.

A friendship is tarnished as soon as necessity triumphs, if only for a moment, over the desire to preserve the faculty of free consent on both sides. In all human beings, necessity is the principle of impurity. All friendship is impure if even a trace of the wish to please or the contrary desire to dominate is found in it. In a perfect friendship these two desires are completely absent. The two friends have fully consented to be two and not one, they respect the distance which the fact of being two distinct creatures places between them. Man has the right to desire direct union with God alone.

Friendship is a miracle by which a person consents to view from a certain distance, and without coming any nearer, the very being who is necessary to him as food. It requires the strength of the soul that Eve did not have; and yet she had no need of the fruit. If she had been hungry at the moment she looked at the fruit, and if in spite of the she had remained looking at it indefinitely without taking one step toward it, she would have performed a miracle analogous to that of perfect friendship.

Through this supernatural miracle of respect for human autonomy, friendship is very like the pure forms of compassion and gratitude called forth by affliction. In both cases the contraries which are the terms of the harmony are necessity and liberty, or in other words subordination and equality. These two pairs of opposites are equivalent.

From the fact that the desire to please and the desire to command are not found in pure friendship, it has in it, at the same time as affection, something not unlike a complete indifference. Although it is a bond between two people it is in a sense impersonal. It leaves impartiality intact. It in no way prevents us from imitating the perfection of our Father in heaven who freely distributes sunlight and rain in every place. On the contrary, friendship and this distribution are the mutual conditions one of the other, in most cases at any rate. For, as practically every human being is bound to others by bonds of affection that have in them some degree of necessity, he cannot go toward perfection except by transforming this affection into friendship. Friendship has something universal about it. It consists in loving a human being as we should like to be able to love each soul in particular of all those who go to make up the human race. As a geometrician looks at a particular figure in order to deduce the universal properties of the triangle, so he who knows how to love directs upon a particular human being a universal love. The consent to preserve an autonomy within ourselves and within others is essentially of a universal order. As soon as we wish for this autonomy to be respected in more than just one single being we desire it for everyone, for we cease to rearrange the order of the world in a circle whose center is here below. We transport the center of the circle beyond the heavens.

Friendship does not have this power if the two beings who love each other, through an unlawful use of affection, think they form only one. But then there is not friendship in the true sense of the word. That is what might be called an adulterous union, even though it comes about between husband and wife. There is not friendship where distance is not kept and respected.

The simple fact of having pleasure in thinking the same way as the beloved being, or in any case the fact of desiring such an agreement of opinion, attacks the purity of the friendship at the same time as its intellectual integrity. It is very frequent. But at the same time pure friendship is rare.

When the bonds of affection and necessity between human beings are not supernaturally transformed into friendship, not only is the affection of an impure and low order, but it is also combined with hatred and repulsion…The mechanism is the same in affections other than carnal love. It is easy to understand this. We hate what we are dependent upon. We become disgusted by what depends on us. Sometimes affection does not only become mixed with hatred and revulsion; it is entirely changed into it. The transformation may sometimes even be almost immediate, so that hardly any affection has had time to show; this is the case when necessity is laid bare almost at once. When the necessity that brings people together has nothing to do with the emotions, when it is simply due to circumstances, hostility often makes its appearance from the start.

When Christ said to his disciples, “Love one another,” it was not attachment he was laying down as their rule. As it was a fact that there were bonds between them due to the thoughts, the life, and the habits they shared, he commanded them to transform these habits into friendship, so that they should not be allowed to turn into impure attachment or hatred.

Since, shortly before his death, Christ gave this as a new commandment to be added to the two great commandments of the love of our neighbor and the love of God, we can think that pure friendship, like the love of our neighbor, has in it something of a sacrament. Christ perhaps wished to suggest this with reference to Christian friendship when he said: “Where there are two or three gathered in my name there I am in the midst of them.” Pure friendship is an image of the original and perfect friendship that belongs to the trinity and is the very essence of God. It is impossible for two human beings to be one while scrupulously respecting the distance that separates them, unless God is present in each of them. The point at which parallels meet is infinity.

Written by Simone Weil

Excerpt from p. 131 to 137 in Waiting for God

 Forms of the Implicit Love of God

Friendship

 

 

 

image

– “Flea Market of the Gods,” made from 100% recycled images, by Abberant Art Co.

2017.06.03

 

Separation

Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.

–  W. S. Merwin

2017.05.28

“Those of us committed to social justice activism, liberation, and collective love rarely, if ever, talk about our mistakes, the harms we cause, and how those harms impact people — especially people in our intimate sphere and families — publicly. That sort of radical transparency, self-reflection, and accountability, in my opinion, is what’s missing from the public arena and discourse of social and transformative justice.” -Vanessa Lewis

Reflections on the practice of loving and nurturing ourselves and living transparently:  https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/we-all-fck-up-the-importance-of-loving-yourself-even-when-you-disappoint-yourself/

2017.05.12

2017.05.12

“I am living for at least two now,” she mused.

A series of serendipitous but timely stimuli had once again greased the hamster wheels lodged deep between her Eye. First, there had been her reverent analogy to one famous philosopher’s Theory of Forms, then to a comedian’s commentary, a poet’s melody, and a screenwriter’s vision.

Artists’ paths had reignited her own attention back at/to the Source.

She rediscovered herself retelling the parable of her Perfect Cottage Home, and silently reliving the grandiose blueprints of the Paradisa Club. In fact, it was only a week prior that her brother had playfully (and perhaps prophetically) capitalized on a comparison between the latter and her most recent “Pyramid Scheme.” So it was also partly as a result of his ingenuity that she had restarted scanning her past, prying for new patterns. Acutely aware at what moment precisely she had made her first aberrant choice that day, she felt the well of confidence inside her rise continuously thereafter.

Her blood was swelling and spilling over and her neural paths were tingling and twinkling (as stars do) at the prospect of reconsidering direction:

Now is no-time to re-new adventure, they rethought themselves.

2017.04.27

We overworked, underpaid, and we underprivileged
They love us, they love us (why?)
Because we feed the village
You really made it or just became a prisoner of privilege?
You willing to share that information that you’ve been given?
Like who really run this?
Like who really run that man that say he run this?
Who who really run that man that say he run this, run run run run this?
Like who really fund this?
Like who really fund who say he fund this?
Like who in the world gon’ tell Donald Sterl who to put on the “you can’t come” list?
Now don’t be silly
Who the fuck gon’ bully me if I got a billi?
If I got a billi and the bitch recording me I’m like who cares
What I wouldn’t be is on TV stutterin’ ta-ta-talkin’ scared
So the question is when Don’s at home with that traitor ass bitch alone
Who’s that voice on the side of the phone that shakes and rattles his bones?
Could it be the man behind the man behind the man behind the throne?

Lyrics, Run the Jewels

 

 

2017.04.22










if they challenge you
show them here
my love for you
perched on my sleeve
take my mother's ring 
your mother's necklace
the mastery of love
the four agreements 
anything with eight legs
everything you wrote me
and most importantly
the sequoia trees
take care please
to remember me 



2017.04.19






                                

                                do you wonder how i am 
                                i miss loving a friend
                                spell broken otherwise
                                to your searching soul
                                i fail you as a healer
                                also as your friend if
                                i try to come back now
                                harder pill but i will 
                                give the gift of space
                                



where my father tried to master me 
as my husband and so with most men
when sold i did not possess myself
i chose to master love in my stead
nothing scares the masters more or
eludes their possession better she
lone is master the gods of masters











2017.04.14







and where is home in all this?
it's not where i was born (or to whom)
and it's not where i have laid 
tell me, is it when i am with you?
or was it always only in my mind?
in this pain kill mad machine test
i came to you to escape the rest 








2017.02.12

 

 

 

‘Bien con muchas armas fundo
que lidia vuestra arrogancia,
pues en promesa e instancia
juntáis diablo, carne y mundo’

-Juana de la Cruz, excerpt from a poem

My six month battle playing the ghost had finally come to an end.

Playing my ghost meant I got to break and take ball in hand. And though I had been running racks since September, my success felt anything but.

You see, my ghost was legendary. Beautiful and familiar, her reputation preceded her, and overshadowed me.

With every rack and every shot the pressure only mounted. And I was suffocating under the weight of it. She had beat me before, and she would beat me again. Or so I was told over and over again. My mastery of the game, far from rewarding, had become a source of increasing fatigue.

That night, above the usual noisy crowd (I never knew whether they were jeering or cheering), I listened in for Don. He had wagered quite heavily in my favor, and had exclusively reaped the considerable return from my unprecedented winning streak. It was easy for me to tune into his voice beyond the noise.

“Miserable. Miserable. I should never have done this,”

I heard him whisper under his breath, his fists clenching.

“I wish I was anywhere…..this was a mistake.”

The streak had taken a toll on him as well. But he hated her even more than he hated losing. I felt my eyes water as I took in a deep breath. I straightened my back and gingerly raised my head above the exquisitely set rack. I looked absently at the wooden triangle I was expected to have lifted in that moment, then I looked up at my ghost, who was peering back at me with a perplexed look in place of her usual mischievous and playful grin.

“I don’t want to play anymore,” I announced to a stunned and silenced room. “I am done now.”

I’ll never forget what happened next.

My ghost began to cry. I watched as her confused look turned into her knowing look turned into her true look of melancholy and understanding.

Then, I saw a gentleman break through from a crowd that was otherwise fading fast from the pool hall. He appeared to be comforting my ghost. I scrunched my eyes to make out the strangely familiar figure.

It was my dad!

But how could that be?

I scrunched my eyes again in disbelief. The scene was now utterly fantastical. My father (who had been paralyzed in a hospital bed and unable to attend a single match over the past six months) had run up to comfort my ghost.

“Fuck these guys, you don’t need any of these people. You are better than all of these people. You are the best. You’re the only one I can never beat. You are perfect.”

I witnessed myself floating toward them in disbelief, initially determined to touch the hologram in an effort to return me to reality. I also wanted to hug and comfort my sobbing ghost.

Instead I occupied her space, in my father’s embrace.

2016.11.10

2016.11.09

2016.11.03


egg shells on egg shells
when every one is trying



2016.10.24

2016.10.11

image

2016.10.05

 






                                          unravel my arm
                                          wind up doll i
                                          set aside time
                                          to paint flesh







“When we choose to believe in illusion over the truth, we lose sight of our authentic self. The illusion acts as a filter on all the information we perceive, and the decisions we make in the moment and the actions we take may not necessarily be true to us. On the other hand, if we are aware of and honor our truth, our choice will reflect that truth. At that instant, if we are willing to accept the truth, we have the opportunity for unconditional love…The choice between illusion and truth is the same as choosing between conditional love and unconditional love.”

-Don Miguel Ruiz, Daily Meditations on the Toltec Path

 

 

  1. Feel the room I am in; do not Fear it.

  2. Remind myself of the Truth;

  3. I am the most powerful thing in this room, and I am Good.

  4. Therefore, everything in the room is good too.

 

 

 

 

 

2016.09.11

 

in my New Dream

You and I return to the Ocean

to Play together, to make Love

to destroy, in order to Create

to give birth, to Rebirth

 

Toltec wisdom

2016.09.11

consciousness:     our awareness, our attention

&  free will:           our intent, our ability to choose what to think & how to interact

create our reality:    allow us to collaboratively construct, or passively participate, in our social world

life is but a dream:    the social world we experience is the product of many minds, an illusion, contingent, & it passes (that is, we pass through it)

We can choose to dream otherwise

We can choose a New Dream

We are God,

God is Life,

God is Love,

God alone is Real

The rest of it is what God passes through,

in order to play, & in search of Truth

 

There is an old story from India about God, Brahma, who was all alone. Nothing existed but Brahma, and he was completely bored. Brahma decided to play a game, but there was no one to play the game with. So he created a beautiful goddess, Maya, just for the purpose of having fun. Once Maya existed and Brahma told her the purpose of her existence, she said, “Okay, let’s play the most wonderful game, but you have to do what I tell you to do.” Brahma agreed, and following Maya’s instructions, he created the whole universe. Brahma created the sun and the stars, the moon and the planets. Then he created life on earth: the animals, the ocean, the atmosphere, everything.

Maya said, “How beautiful is the world of illusion you created. Now I want you to create a kind of animal that is so intelligent and aware that it can appreciate your creation.” Finally Brahma created humans, and after he finished the creation, he asked Maya when the game was going to start.

“We will start right now,” she said. She took Brahma and cut him into a thousand teeny, tiny pieces. She put a piece inside every human and said, “Now the game begins! I am going to make you forget what you are, and you are going to try and find yourself!”

Maya created the dream, and still, even today, Brahma is trying to remember who he is. Brahma is there inside you, and Maya is stopping you from remembering who you are. When you awake from the Dream, you become Brahma again, and reclaim your divinity. Then if Brahma inside you says, “Okay, I am awake; what about the rest of me?” you know the trick of Maya, and you can share the truth with others who are going to wake up too.

-Excerpt from The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz, p. 191-192.