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Saturday, March 19, 2011

time to let go

        In Africa, hunters have a clever way of catching monkeys.  They place inside a hollowed-out log many tantalizing delectibles.  The hole they carve into this cavity is thin and elongated-perfectly shaped to allow for the insertion of little monkey hands.  The poor little guy reaches through and grabs "his" treats, but  the shape of the hole does not allow him to remove the once-opened hand that has now become a fist.  Even at the edge of the hunter's blade he will not release his grasp, fixated upon a prize that never was to be his. 
    I believe that, in a changing environment, the fixation upon one specialization to the exclusion of all others  can be likened to the grasping of the poor monkey.  Take into consideration just one example.  Many friends and relatives of mine have made their living from the building trades (including myself at one time or another).  They are engineers, construction supervisors, architects and draftsmen.  They are the experts in their field; a field which, for the moment, is in a slump.  As it stands, many are (for the most part) scraping to get by and are struggling.  Many are questioning their very survival.  I am witnessing some refuse to look elsewhere for a source of income because to do so might somehow betray years of accumulated experience and expertise. The very thing that one day gives us the means to carve a niche in this world of ours can become a weight around our ankles as the water rises. Due to many years of experience and expertise many are unwilling to "leave all of that behind" and search elsewhere for another source of income.  Of course this is not a personal judgment but rather an observation I am currently taking to heart.    
      The ability to be flexible, adaptable, is paramount  when responding  to the context of a changing dynamic.  This is the trait we need to have when the world we have known is collapsing around us.  A white marker isn't of much use in a snowstorm.  When your gun has run out of bullets then it's time redefine its purpose, be inventive, and see it for what it now is: a club.
    An open mind allows for paradigm shifts.  The closed, rigid mind is brittle; it will break blade of grass in a gust of wind.  The Tao Teh Ching (69) reminds us that the strategists have a saying: 
      "I prefer to be able to move, rather than be in a
           fixed position.
       I prefer to retreat a foot than advance an inch." 
  Lao-tzu calls this "progress without advancing."  In particular, flexiblity in our willingness to engage  a new definition of what and who we are functionally  opens our minds to greater possibilities.  Rigidity is associated with death ("like wood destined for the fire")Essence is something we seek to unlock, and not create. As we realize our true selves as soul and mind, we loosen the hold on the delusion that we are defined by our vocation, by our possessions, by our associates, by our very bodies-by our very endeavors.  What we do is not synonymous with who we are. What we have accomplished  should not limit us in being open to what we yet can do.   I know I have been guilty of wasting the present to validate the past. It's far too easy to play the role of Captain Ahab.
    There is a time to be the little Dutch boy with our finger in the levy, and there is a time to run like hell for the higher ground. I remember somebody once saying that the wisdom lies in knowing the difference.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

who said it was good?

To be king means to live in fear of assassination.

no stupid questions...just bad listeners

Of all questions, it is the one mired in presupposition that, quite possibly, poses the biggest challenge.  Requiring delicate extrication, even so it will serve as an entry point into the encampment of preconceived notions and misconception.  Of course, the success of the operation hinges upon the fulcrum of open-mindedness  and relative humility inherent in the inquirer-and, of course, the patience of all involved.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The Israelites were dying of thirst. Approaching Moses they beseeched him for some resolution.  He told them to pray.   When nothing happened, they complained.  "Where is your faith?" he asked. "You failed to dig any reservoirs to contain the water when it rained..." 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

how do you get your iron(y)?

The evolved human would appear to be vegetarian.
The evolved plant would appear to be carnivorous.

easy doesn't do it

It takes a great amount of effort to achieve effortlessness.

but it IS red....

For communication that can even approach efficacy  we require a compromise in our insistence of understanding; a neutral ground of relative perception.  I know that when I refer to the firetruck as "red" it is anything but.  In actuality, I am perceiving not the firetruck itself but the reflection of the spectrum of light waves it will not absorb-in this case the lowest of the rainbow.   For the sake of expediency I acquiesce and call the truck red.  "When in Rome..." they say.  Rome will have burnt to the ground by the time we're done dancing around semantics.

a day is as a thousand years

      Time is not an absolute of the Universe. 
     It is a phenomenon occuring in our own mind and of our own making; a tool of our own design.  It is relative to our perception.  Time is akin to the sound that was never made by the tree that fell in the forest when no one was around to hear it.  
     Being, as it is, a dependent of our personal  subjectivity, its "reality" is commensurate with the experience of the individual.  Hence, its nature is also one of perspective.  For the pentagenarian a year is but a mere fiftieth of their life.  For the toddler it is one-half of their realized existence.  As the number of days grow larger the length of each day grows shorter, relative to the Observer.
    When we look at the gnat, we see a creature that lives for a day.  But the gnat maneuvers a thousand times faster than we do in its "one day."  Whose experience is the more comprehensive...?  As much as space needs to be properly allocated for the puzzle pieces of Creation to fit, wouldn't that which we call time act as an equally-necessary component of this ecology in the same fashion?  In fact, it would not be  time itself but the perception of individual experience that would allow for the vacancy  required by  billions of billions of lives.
      My hypothesis: The perceived length of any unit of relative time is inversely proportionate to the accumulation of said units. 
      The pragmatism is two-fold:  Regarding ourselves and our budgeting of "time", we cannot be so rash as to look forward to a steady decline in our later years, but rather to an ever-increasing angle of descent over the edge of life followed by a straight drop.  Regarding our responsibility to those beginning this journey of life we must remember the relative enormity in which they perceive that which we deem to be so trivial and insignificant.   
      The grander implication concerns perception in regard to Cosmic responsibility; namely that the words we use, and the things we do, impact the young and innocent in far greater scope than we can consciously remember. To even attempt to understand requires a concentrated effort on our part-with that only being fueled by a conscience dictating that we do so.  We must remember to remember.
     In the end, we must adapt our perception to allow for the trait of empathy toward every other being and every other creature, with more relative importance being given to the smaller and the more fragile.  To be delicate requires great power.  Finesse is acquired through experience.  When the Master said it He wasn't describing a prerequisite for the  jockeying of a position, but rather the principle aspect-La raison d'ĂȘtre-of the job itself:  " The greatest among you will be your servant." 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

the new age

The ancients had intuition and communion with nature. We have intellect and rationalization. Let all creation hope that when the two meet again our morality is there for the reunion.


The more one learns to live by intuition the less able they are to offer conscious explanations for their actions.  It is akin to attempting to explain in waking life a dream:  Both processes have as their origin the higher realms.

foot in mouth

Be cautious with self-deprecation; somebody may just back you up on it.

compassion under fire

Whenever someone is attacking you without apparent cause and all reasoning seems useless, remember this: What you can't see standing behind you,  invisible to all, is the horde of demons from that person's past.