|9 Jul 2006 @ 10:47|
You can't make a date with enlightenment.
Seeing misery in views and opinions, without adopting any, I found inner peace and freedom. One who is free does not hold to views or dispute opinions. For a sage there is no higher, lower, nor equal, no places in which the mind can stick. But those who grasp after views and opinions only wander about the world annoying people.
---The Sutta Nipata
Lark on the moon, singing---
Photo by George Kochaniec, Jr., Associated Press
Flames and smoke from a backburn set to control the Mato Vega Fire near Fort Garland, Colo., tower over a firefighter.
Was it Mark Twain who said, "Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it"? Fifty years ago that was funny. Now everybody's still talking about the weather, but we wonder if the stuff we do affects it or not. Nobody with a brain doubts global warming is happening, but is it merely a natural cycle, as the Right sings to us, or has our pollution screwed us up, as the Left maintains? Either way, is it going to kill us and what is one person supposed to do about it?
This weekend every news outlet in the world is carrying a study that shows the Warming causes more and worse forest and desert fires. Is CNN middle of the road enough? [link] But that's not all this time. Scientific American is carrying it. [link] So is Science News. [link] And National Geographic. [link] Satellite pictures the other day show Central Canada choking in flames and smoke. [link]
The New York Times yesterday carried an editorial pointing out the Supreme Court has decided to handle a case on whether the Environmental Protection Agency has the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The case, brought by a collection of state governments and environmental groups, grows out of the way Bush reads the Clean Air Act. [link] And then there's the Al Gore movie. More >
|2 Apr 2006 @ 10:00|
Only those concerned with the matter of life and death need enter here.
---Inscription on a plaque at the entrance to Eihei-Ji Monastery
The higher part of contemplation is wholly caught up in darkness and in this cloud of unknowing, with an outreaching of love and a blind groping for the naked being of God, himself and him alone.
---The Cloud Of Unknowing
Which do you think is larger, the highest mountain on earth or the pile of bones that represents the lives that you have lived over and over in every realm governed by the patterns of your own karma? Greater, my friends, is the pile of bones than the highest mountain on earth.
Last weekend we met for coffee and conversation at a quiet pastry shop in Athens, with a friend we made during the 2004 election campaign. I hadn't seen Dick McGinn since the election, partly because he left pretty quick for Indonesia where his work often takes him. He's Associate Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Southeast Asian Studies, which combination or parts thereof he directed or chaired for at least 15 years. He had emailed to suggest we get together to catch up on things political, share what groups we've gotten involved in, and see if there's any hope anywhere.
After some chitchat he brought out a folder and produced a letter he just had written to the Dean of Engineering at Brigham Young University. In it he uncovers a sort of interdepartmental feud he claims has been going on there, in which the College of Engineering and Technology publicly disavows research done by a professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. I'm sure I'd be the last person on earth to know if some facts were wrong in a dispute like that; but our friend pointed out the issue that concerns him here has to do with academic freedom to pursue the research in the field where you have expertise...and not be bound by government grant funding politics. In this case, the BYU professor's field is metal-catalyzed fusion and his presentation is about melting metal at the World Trade Center on 9/11. [link]
I knew nothing about any 9/11 conspiracy theories...and have to confess I didn't want to know. I had had enough trouble with all the assassinations in the '60s, and have ended up like the Joe Pesci character in Oliver Stone's movie about JFK: "It's all a conundrum inside an enigma," or whatever he says. The letter, and a petition to sign about release of government information on 9/11, are part of a campaign by Scholars for 9/11 Truth ( [link] ), which according to a Popular Mechanics article last year is only one of 628,000 web sites about the "World Trade Center conspiracy." Google it yourself and see. Besides that, there are 3000 books on the subject. [link] More >
|13 Feb 2006 @ 10:54|
There is neither heaven nor earth,
Life is this simple: We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the Divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable. It is true.
Don't play as if you've swallowed the metronome!
OK, the letter is from Bernard-Henri Lévy...which may be a problem over here. The first a lot of us probably heard of him was due to a review by Garrison Keillor of American Vertigo on the front page in the New York Times last month. [link] I didn't like the review and thought it revealed Keillor at his uptight-pretending-to-be-cool worst. Levy responded to it a little in an interview, but appears not really to know who Keillor is. [link] So they're even. I doubt Garrison did much more, besides reading the book under review, than Google BHL up...an exhausting proposition.
Bernard-Henri Lévy is one of France's leading philosophers and one of the most esteemed writers in Europe. After starting his career as a war reporter for Combat, the legendary newspaper founded by Albert Camus during the Nazi occupation of France, Lévy became famous as the founder of the New Philosophers group. He's the author of 30 books, including works of philosophy, fiction, and biography and is an activist and filmmaker. His books include Barbarism with a Human Face, Reflections on War, Century of Sartre, Evil and the End of History, Who Killed Daniel Pearl?, and American Vertigo. His films include the documentaries Bosna! and A Day in the Death of Sarajevo. Lévy is co-founder of the antiracist group SOS Racism and has served on diplomatic missions for the French government, most recently heading a fact finding mission to Afghanistan in the wake of the war against the Taliban. For at least a dozen years he's been married to Arielle Dombasle, who regularly is voted in France to be the most beautiful woman in the world. I think he's being truthful when he says he really loves the United States. The letter that follows will be in the February 27th issue of The Nation. More >
|15 Dec 2005 @ 10:54|
Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common---this is my symphony.
---William Henry Channing
Our reason has driven all away. Alone at last, we end up by ruling over a desert.
The picture is from a Fox News PhotoEssay entitled Iraq Vote.
I understand President Bush is blaming faulty intelligence for the White House Christmas card this year. It greets his supporters with "Best wishes for a holiday season of hope and happiness." The CIA hadn't told him the War on Christmas has escalated to the incendiary point shots would be fired over his use of "holiday." John Breneman says Rove quickly reworded the inscription to read, "Merry Birth Anniversary of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who died on the cross for our sins so that we may ascend to the Kingdom of Heaven." [link] The President has planned an address to cadets at West Point later today to wish everyone a "Merry Christmas, especially all our friends in the Muslim world," and of course to credit the CIA with doing a heck of a job. More >
|25 Jun 2005 @ 11:03|
A monk asked, "What is the most important principle of Zen?"
Chao-Chou answered, "Excuse me, but I have to pee. Just imagine, even such a trivial thing as that I have to do in person."
Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven."
If you want to make the cart go, do you hit the horse or the cart?
"City on the Hill (COTH) is a fantastic opportunity for high school students ages 15 through 18 to participate in leadership training and learn the governmental process. It will be held July 18-23,2005, on the campus of LANCASTER BIBLE COLLEGE [link] (new location this year!).
"For six action-packed days, you will learn the legislative process by becoming state legislators. You'll carry actual legislation, learn public speaking skills, and be equipped to debate today's critical issues.
"You will meet legislators. lobbyists, lawyers, educators, and others whose stories and examples will both challenge you and awaken your imagination to the many career opportunities awaiting you.
"The bottom line is this: You'll have a lot of fun. You'll love the people you meet. You won't be the same."
As a schoolchild in the 1940s, I was taught there was something special and exceptional about the founding and development of the United States of America. That something had a religious quality. The Pilgrims and other groups that emigrated here were Christian, prayerful people. The Indians welcomed us---although there was some confusion later. It was our destiny to stretch from sea to shining sea. And usually when our soldiers went somewhere else, it was because the people there invited us to come. And we were welcomed there too...and we liberated them. We saved them. And then we taught them how to live. I'm here to tell you not much has changed in the presentation here of that history in the past 60 years, because I've spent most the time working in schools. Americans get very nervous if you question this image, and censure anyone who dares to offer other views. Author and historian Howard Zinn did so recently in a lecture at MIT. Watch out for the lightning! More >
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