I hope everyone had a peaceful and gratifying Thanksgiving holiday; now it’s time for turkey sandwiches! Best part of the whole deal, for my money…..
Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — All for Love, Prologue
Eureka! After months and months of searching, I finally found this couplet, which stands as my modus operandi, the vision statement for this entire undertaking, to wit: the creation of Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. I’ve always known the poem existed, but had not come across it in years. I am proud and happy to serve it up this morning to lead off Black Friday, with a bit less frenzy than what is taking place right now in malls, Walmarts, and Target stores all across the country, as all the little well-trained consumers storm the well-stocked shops for Christmas bargains. Jesus, in whose honor they are, ostensibly, committing mayhem upon each other, well, he watches and weeps……Since it is only the day after Thanksgiving, I will spare you my yearly Christmas rant for the present. Too early in the day to get all worked up at the hypocrisy of the season….more later on this….
The very purpose of the First Amendment is to foreclose public authority from assuming a guardianship of the public mind … because the forefathers did not trust government to separate the truth from the false. — Thomas v. Collins, 323 US 516 (1945)
Perhaps the nicest thing I can think of to say regarding this court ruling is to point out that our founding fathers could easily have left this out of our system of law. But, their experiences in dealing with the English throne taught them well, and they had no faith that those in power would honor the truth, and built some protection into the primary formation of the democracy they envisioned. I must applaud their foresight, because as can be seen by the modern political scenario, there is not one politician out there who has any interest in the truth, unless it will buy votes. Even when they do speak literal truth, it is a virtual guarantee that that truth will be denied once the election is over. We must be vigilant, because those who would limit our freedom are hard at work, campaigning to fool the most folks into believing their BS, and rubbing their hands together in glee, thinking of how rich and powerful they will become, once they have sold their lies enough times…..
“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” — Buddha
Examining the Buddha’s statements can be confusing to a mind more accustomed to Western modes of thought, until one learns to put aside the cultural imperatives and look only at the bare truth or falseness of a statement. In doing so here, we find a far-reaching profundity that is not apparent at first look. Endurance implies conflict; to endure, one must first identify what it is we are to face with our virgin courage. Only if the experience becomes painful, or frightening, or overwhelmingly complex do we face the need to endure these experiences; if they cause no discomfort, no endurance is required. But when life presents us with difficulties, knowing one can always live through it, with the right thoughts leading us into right actions, is a valuable gift indeed. The ability to endure is one of the primary characteristics of the ancient sages, who lived “like ice on the verge of melting”…….
“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” — Lao-Tzu
Water……we are 90%(+/-) water; it’s a basic part of our organism, and knowing all one can about its characteristics can only help us to understand ourselves, and our relationship to the world around us. It is a common mediation practice to envision in the mind a pool of still water, and attempt to merge with that absolute stillness, until reaching a point of merging with that serenity. A rushing stream of water can also provide a meditative focus, as can floating & dreaming in a pool, or merely considering the various properties of water that make it a unique substance, like no other in the universe, and worthy of our interest.
One of the most important aspects of water to consider is this: water can exist in all three possible forms in the universe; solid, liquid, or gaseous. And in all three states, it retains its integrity of being; it is water still, with all its facets present in each. No matter if it is solid as ice, gaseous as steam, or refreshingly liquid as its ordinary state, it is still just water, at a different temperature. Water is also indestructible. It cannot be destroyed by any means known to mankind, it can only be made to change forms from liquid to gas, or gas to liquid, or solid to either one of the others. Pretty cool, yes? So, trying to be like water is an occupation worthy of our efforts; even if we only come to understand it better, it’s a good thing. I myself enjoy meditating on the image of a stream of rushing water, until I get to the point where I am the water wearing down a rock, day by day, eon by eon, until the pool comes to resemble my innermost fantasy, a Mount Rushmore sized bust of Bozo the Clown……
And never, ever cut a deal with a dragon.
I have enough respect for my audience that I won’t try to embellish this one; it is a patently obvious truth, and advice only a BIG fool ignores, generally to his everlasting regret. Anyone who would do so probably also votes the straight party ticket. It’s just not a good policy, not at all, at all…..
All in all, not a bad morning’s work. I will tempt fate no further, and send this on its way…. y’all take care out there…..
I just sits.