Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Reinventing the Sacred"

One view of God is that God is our chosen name for the ceaseless creativity in the natural universe, biosphere,
and human cultures. Because of this ceaseless creativity,
we typically do not and cannot know what will happen.
We live our lives forward into mystery, as Kierkegaard said.
We live as if we knew, as Nietzsche said. We live our lives
forward into mystery, and do so with faith and courage, for
that is the mandate of life itself. But the fact that we must
live our lives forward into a ceaseless creativity that we
cannot fully understand means that reason alone is an
insufficient guide to living our lives. Reason, the center
of the Enlightenment, is but one of the evolved, fully
human means we use to live our lives. Reason itself has
finally led us to see the inadequacy of reason. We must
there fore reunite our full humanity. We must see
ourselves whole, living in a creative world we can never
fully know.
~Stuart A. Kauffman, Biologist and Complex Systems Researcher

Sunday, June 22, 2008


That Illumined

Who keeps
Seducing the formless into form

Had the charm to win my

Only a Perfect One
Who is always
Laughing at the word

Can make you know

- Hafiz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky, from: The Gift

George Carlin 1937 - 2008

HERE . . . . . . .

Genius . . . . .

Viruses, mold, mildew, maggots, fungus, weeds, the e-coli bacteria, the crabs...nothing sacred about those things. So, at best, the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up!
Working-class people "look for work." Middle-class people "try to get a job." Upper-middle-class people "seek employment."
If crime fighters fight crime and firefighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?
I distinguish between maniacs and crazy people. A maniac will beat nine people to death with a steel dildo. A crazy person will beat nine people to death with a steel dildo, but he'll be wearing a Bugs Bunny suit at the time.
I saw a picture of the inventor of the hydrogen bomb, Edwin Teller, wearing a tie clip. Why would the man who invented a bomb that destroys everything for fifty miles be concerned about whether or not his tie was straight?
Traditional American values: genocide, aggression, conformity, emotional repression, hypocrisy, and the worship of comfort and consumer goods.
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.
The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.
I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the sidewalk. It's so fuckin' heroic.
They debated the NAFTA trade bill for a long time. Should we sign it or not? Either way, the people get fucked. Trade always exists for the traders. Anytime you hear businessmen debating "which policy is better for America," don’t bend over.
The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, Y'know, I want to set those people over there on fire but I'm just not close enough to get the job done.
Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Solstice 2008

There is a Zone whose even Years

No Solstice interrupt --
Whose Sun constructs perpetual Noon
Whose perfect Seasons wait --

Whose Summer set in Summer, till
The Centuries of June
And Centuries of August cease
And Consciousness -- is Noon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The House Was Quiet And The World Was Calm

The house was quiet and the world was calm.
The reader became the book; and summer night

Was like the conscious being of the book.
The house was quiet and the world was calm.

The words were spoken as if there was no book,
Except that the reader leaned above the page,

Wanted to lean, wanted much to be
The scholar to whom his book is true, to whom

The summer night is like a perfection of thought.
The house was quiet because it had to be.

The quiet was part of the meaning, part of the mind:
The access of perfection to the page.

And the world was calm. The truth in a calm world,
In which there is no other meaning, itself

Is calm, itself is summer and night, itself
Is the reader leaning late and reading there.

Wallace Stevens

Who has not found the Heaven--below--

Will fail it above--
For Angels rent the House next ours,
Wherever we remove--
~Emily Dickinson

Shifting the Sun

When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When you father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn't.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.

~ Diana Der-Hovanessian ~

Visions And Interpretations

Because this graveyard is a hill,
I must climb up to see my dead,
stopping once midway to rest
beside this tree.
It was here, between the anticipation
of exhaustion, and exhaustion,
between vale and peak,
my father came down to me
and we climbed arm in arm to the top.
He cradled the bouquet I'd brought,
and I, a good son, never mentioned his grave,
erect like a door behind him.
And it was here, one summer day, I sat down
to read an old book. When I looked up
from the noon-lit page, I saw a vision
of a world about to come, and a world about to go.
Truth is, I've not seen my father
since he died, and, no, the dead
do not walk arm in arm with me.
If I carry flowers to them, I do so without their help,
the blossoms not always bright, torch-like,
but often heavy as sodden newspaper.
Truth is, I came here with my son one day,
and we rested against this tree,
and I fell asleep, and dreamed
a dream which, upon my boy waking me, I told.
Neither of us understood.
Then we went up.
Even this is not accurate.
Let me begin again:
Between two griefs, a tree.
Between my hands, white chrysanthemums, yellow
The old book I finished reading
I've since read again and again.
And what was far grows near,
and what is near grows more dear,
and all of my visions and interpretations
depend on what I see,
and between my eyes is always
the rain, the migrant rain.

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.
~James Wright

Thursday, June 12, 2008


(for Russell)

If the falling of a hoof
Ever rings the temple bells,
If a lonely man's final scream
Before he hangs himself
And the nightingale's perfect lyric
Of happiness
All become an equal cause to dance,
Then the Sun has at last parted
Its curtain before you -
God has stopped playing child's games
With your mind
And dragged you backstage by
The hair,
Shown to you the only possible
For this bizarre and spectacular
Go running through the streets
Creating divine chaos,
Make everyone and yourself ecstatically mad
For the Friends beautiful open arms.
Go running through this world
Giving love, giving love,
If the falling of a hoof upon this earth
Ever rings the

Hafiz (Redux)

Monday, June 09, 2008

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That's crudely put, but ...
If we're not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?

~ Gregory Orr ~

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Lovers have pitched their tents in nonexistence:
they are of one quality and one essence, as
nonexistence is.


Mathnawi III, 3024

"In the end, all of the pointers get back to the same fundamental understanding...The belief or assumption that we stand separate and apart from the one reality of 'God' is the beginning of all doubts, fears and problems in life. To dissolve this belief is the essence of the spiritual life. Because, in truth, all that exists is that one power. That being so, where is the room for a separate individual, ego, or person? Such a being is a false assumption, not a reality. Abandoning that wrong assumption leaves only the oneness as the remainder. That oneness is love itself. Love is the nature of God. Remember the statement of St. John, 'God is love'.

...When the emphasis is on the supremacy of God alone, the individual is no longer emphasized. God alone is. The creature is at best an instrument in his hands. When God is recognized as the only real power, then that power alone is, and that is love. Not 'my' love,but love itself. There is no longer a reference to 'I' and 'mine'. The concepts of 'I' and 'mine' are the source of suffering and separation. Without 'I' and 'mine', the cause for suffering is removed. Without suffering, what remains is the pure presence of oneness, which is God, or love.

The aim is the dissolution of the separate seeker. This is realized by inquiring if the separate seeker is even present, or else through ackowledgement of the supremacy of the one power.

Either way, the separate self is removed from the equation. God or reality alone remains, the one omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient source. That is nothing but pure love itself. As St. Francis once said, 'It is by self-forgetting that one finds'. In your true essence, you are nothing but pure love. You are not a separate person in need of attaining or manifesting love. But in shedding the false notion of separation, your real nature is revealed as love itself."

John Wheeler (from You Were Never Born, p. 140-141)

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Sunday Satsang

In this moment, we are always at the mercy of the Whole.
The mind weaves its web of pretend security that sort of
buffers our perception of this, but in any moment, anything
can happen to us. We are so here, at the mercy of whatever
wants to catch us. When we are completely unprepared,
naked, clueless and just here, there is a rightness about it.
A softness and vulnerable feeling, but also a solid feeling
of sitting on the throne of the Beloved, so sweetly open.

If I'm not protecting myself from this moment, what's
here? What's here to see I've never seen? What's
absolutely so new that in paying attention to it, every-
thing I thought I knew can drop away?

We give ourselves mercy when we dare to be here
without all of our stories of what must be wrong with us,
what must need solving, andwhat must be done in order
to just be here. When we give ourselves abreak and
simply let ourselves be.

Now we can come to this moment, delivered from the
weight of what our mind says must be, and instead find
out what is. If we don't go to the mind, there's not much
happening. And what is happening, what we can find
happening if we don't go to the mind, just wants to be
touched by us. Seen by us. Embraced by us. Let be, as it is.

I sit up here at your mercy. I let you see all the way into the
heart of me, without rehearsal or protection, without a clever
plan. And that's what I invite from you also. Then it's just
beauty beholding beauty.

Not much here for the mind, in terms of entertainment, or
anything to chew on. So if there's anyone who's used to being
in their mind, you might find yourself wondering where the
action is. It's in your heart, in your gaze, in your beholding.
In the complete flinging open of the doors, in the complete
offering of what's there. Just to rest here forever.

When we look out from Love, all is already done. Already fed.
We just forget that we're fullness and Love, and then we go l
ooking for it, trying to get back to it. Trying to get somebody
to listen to us, just for five minutes. Instead of remembering,
"Oh my God, I'm the feast itself!" So we can say, "I don't always
feel like the feast, but I am the feast itself. I sometimes feel like
a pack of a thousand beggars looking for the feast, but I am the
feast itself." That's why the beggars come and visit you; that's
why there are so many of them. They heard a rumor that you're
a feast and they didn't wait for the invitations to be printed.
They came running.

It is not theoretical that we are Love. It's not something we
have to wait to connect to when we've said enough prayers
or sat enough hours in meditation. If we wander just for a
moment away from the tyranny of the mind, we either run
into Love Itself or a beggar. And if we pat the beggar and say,
"Oh, my dear, you've come for the feast! Here I am," we return
to love. When we forget we're the feast, and we start thinking
that the beggar is a sign of something very horrible; then we
just run around in crazy beggar clothes for awhile. So we
slow down to hear and let ourselves be completely consumed
by these beggars we've been kicking out the door, locking in the
basement, tying up and telling to go away for the last however
long. Let them have you.

Radiant beauty - that's what you are. You can't help it, even
on your worst days. We forget to look for the radiant beauty in
ourselves and outside of ourselves. We're conditioned to look for
the slime. We don't need to participate in our own sliming; we
don't. When you rest in Love, all is done. All is good. All is perfect.
All is well.

Pride is interesting. How the frightened body-mind builds and
builds and builds its little tower up here all by itself, above
everything, out of the reach of what you fear might get you.
And Truth just comes in and goes "Hoowagh!" And you find
yourself lying on the ground with everybody else; we all end
up on the ground. It's the only place we can come from that's true.

Stay in that beautiful, naked, not-knowing. May you live always
there. It takes a little while to get used to it. It's very, very raw
and uncomfortable, and plenty of people will let you know that
that's true, complete with details about what you should be doing
to make them more comfortable about your willingness to hang
out in the void. Let's just call it what it is. People say they're being
helpful, but they're freaked out. Bless their hearts. You don't need
any help; you are right at the core and center of the Truth.
No worries. Just perfect. Naked, clueless. Me too.

Jeannie Zandi