Dharma: What is the greatest mystery of all?
Yudishthira: That each day, death walks the earth, and we continue to live as though we were immortal.
— The Bhagvad Gita
A while back, I posted another picture much like this one, both of which were taken somewhere on the Irish Sea. One was taken at sunrise, one at sunset, but, for the life of me, I can’t tell which is which, as they both appear to be capable of passing as either one….. I’m ALMOST sure this one was taken in the morning, but, since I can’t be sure, I’m not going to commit myself one way or the other…. Especially since they can pass for each other…. I will, though, say this… photography isn’t as easy as it looks….
None of which is particularly cogent, or meaningful, in the larger sense. The quote from the Bhagavad Gita is one I’ve used often, as it speaks to a facet of human nature against which I rail continuously, or consistently, anyway…. I’m talking about the human sense of entitlement, that sense of fatalistic egotism that motivates much of humanity’s actions toward each other, and reality at large….. Humans seem to believe in their own immortality, despite having the reality of death staring each one of us in the face….
Perhaps it is this dichotomy that is the true motivation; we know, deep down, we cannot expect to live forever, but, as a species, it is possible to envision mankind stepping into the future, though it may not look just how we had imagined. Whatever is the true case in each person’s existence, many people seem to think that, because they are entitled to live, they are entitled to everything else they desire, as well…. So, they take it, regardless of how the process of acquisition harms others, or denies the simple rights of others, to live, in peace, without fear….
It sounds pretty simple, and, it is…. This simple fact of human nature, this overweening egotism, and the false sense of entitlement that goes along with it, is the root cause of most of what is wrong in this world….. Most of the problems faced by mankind are connected to the danger of extinction as a species we face, due to that same sense of entitlement, which prompts us to continue the use of carbon based fuels to run our society, to fill our ever-growing needs for more and more power, in spite of the very obvious negative results of doing so….
The evidence is clear; if we continue to walk down that path, we WILL die, all of us, and there isn’t anything that will stop it, once the catalytic process has begun….. which it did, several years ago…. Yet, mankind continues to skip merrily down that path, eyes closed to the possibility they just might be wrong, while the pollution continues to pile up, and the moment of no-return draws ever closer….. In fact, we’re so focused on ourselves, and our own wants and desires, the point has probably already been reached, and passed, without us ever realizing what we have done….
SIGH…. I did it again, didn’t I?…. I didn’t mean to rant, but, when I get started on this, I can’t seem to stop myself from ranting about it….. People are SO STUPID! It makes me crazy, to sit here and watch them go through all this idiotic bullshit, spinning madly in place while Rome burns, laughing like loons and cursing the gods…. which are laughing their immortal asses off at the stupid little humans, pretending to be something they’ve never been….
I have an early appointment out in the Big Blue Room this morning, so a large part of this Pearl was completed yesterday…. I have to warn y’all, this one turned into an epic, but, it’s got a lot going for it…. a new, fresh poem nobody has seen before, unless you were one of the two or three people reading this blog back in June of 2012, and a fairly long discussion of “the properties of love”, in the inimitable words of Steve Miller…. Lots of good stuff, so, I think, given the already out of control size and content of this intro, we can easily get by with calling it a finished product…. so, I will…
Shall we Pearl?….
How much a dunce that has been sent to roam
Excels a dunce that has been kept at home!
~~ William Cowper ~~
(1731-1800) — The Progress of Error, Line 415
I cannot tell a lie…. Well, that isn’t true. I can, but, I have a hard time justifying it to myself, so, I keep it to a minimum, and mostly succeed… It’s not usual, I know, for people to even think about it, more’s the pity, but, that’s just the way I am…. So, since I can’t, I’ll tell you right now, I don’t have the wherewithal to rant any more this morning…. The intro took most of my angst away; the emotional power just isn’t there now, so, anything I did write would be a bit frail; I like my rants to be robust, if nothing else….
So, we’re going to do this…. Below is a link, to yet another example of A) how egregiously the governments of the world, ours, the Brits, and all of them, are bumbling around, spying on you, me, and each other, while the public sits and watches as they try to justify their insane paranoia by telling the public it’s all for their own good…. It’s bullshit, of course, but, that’s their story, and they are sticking to it….and B) how the lies aren’t even being addressed by those who are telling them, but, rather, are being labeled as legal, by the passing of legislation making it so….
Since I’m NOT going to rant about it, I’ll follow the link with a seven-star pearl that takes aim at those who are involved in the whole ugly mess at the top of the heap, which, in my mind, is beginning to resemble one of those snake pits we hear so much about…. Hiss, hiss, wriggle…..
Enjoy the pearls, ffolkes, and try not to let the article depress you any more than necessary…. If you must, you can be glad this is the BRITISH government that is being exposed in this article…. at least it’s not our own….. THIS time, anyway…. Of course, ours is busy with its own illegal spying programs, none of which have been shut down, or even restrained, in spite of all the hullabaloo over it…. Ah well, see you in the poetry section, ffolkes….
“This message has been personally tested and certified by Big Brother Bill, Senator Exon, and the Religious Right to be PC, containing only the best of family values, and Safe For The Children ™. Disclaimer: The caffeine made me do it.” — Smart Bee
“The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes and fears rather than with their minds.” — Will Durant
“Americans used to roar for Liberty, now they bleat for Security.” — Dr. Norman Vincent Peale
“Money will buy a pretty good dog, but it won’t buy the wag of his tail.” — Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw (1818-1885))
” — I’d love to, but…the President said he might drop in.” — 4 of 101 Easy Ways To Say NO
“It does take a perverse form of optimism to have any faith in the news media when almost every time they cover something you _know_ about, they get it wrong. Maybe they’re wrong that often covering subjects in which I’m not an expert? Naw, it just couldn’t be.” — Grant Edwards
“It ain’t me; it ain’t me; I ain’t no senator’s son!” — (Creedence Clearwater Revival) The Fortunate Son
Yep…. As I’ve noted previously, it’s all in the wrist….
Yesterday, after writing the new poem, (Which, I have to say, came as a total surprise to me; I thought I was done for the day, intending to find somebody else’s work to post…. Without any warning, it just pumped out, like I’d sliced an artery, or some major blood vessel in my mind….), I was looking at some old Pearls, from 2012, when I came across the following poem, apparently one I wrote, and posted, on a day near the entry I was searching for….
Seeing it again was a surprise to me, I think, not just because I didn’t have it in my collected poetry, but, because I only vaguely remember it, and had completely forgotten it in the process of collecting the poetic works I’ve done here…. I vaguely remember I wrote this at a time when I had all but given up on writing any more poetry in my life…. I suppose it serves as more evidence that poetry produced in times of uncertainty or stress turns out more powerful than other times…
It occurs to me, this kind creative outburst, for me, anyway, is a matter of the necessary internal dynamics undergoing, or perhaps, processing, some sort of energy, which arises from friction between opposing internal emotional responses…. a long winded way of saying I feel conflicted, or repressed, or stressed in some way, so, a poem bleeds out…. Hell, who knows, and who cares? Not me…. If I can do this, then forget it entirely for two years, analysis isn’t needed, and might even cause problems, so, we’ll leave speculation to the critics, and just go on to the poem… Enjoy, please, it’s pretty good, I think….
Unbidden, treasure unfolded…
Taken by surprise, Psyche sits numb
Amidst tall phrases worn of elder time
Seeking a not-new place from which to come
No shiny new horizon, nor altered paradigm.
Sudden regrets shape dreams as times maintain
Shades of memories bring poignant clear sight
Visions of duty, each chosen wild campaign
Shouts echoing clamors to enfold the night.
Arisen from less than eternal havens of sleep
Facing moments created in torment and pain
Destiny weighs upon those chosen to keep
As the sparrow flies now to sever the twain.
Faded pathways lead away, hazy and long
Burned out verges, so long unknown
Images of yesterday, clear and strong
Bleed into today, though t’is but my own……
~~ gigoid ~~
Since I found the above, shamelessly using it for today’s poetry section, I’ll continue with full disclosure, & tell you I also found this during the same search…. In fact, this was the object of the search…. Due to recent events of note in life, the following discussion struck a chord in me; after re-reading it, I see it remains mostly valid…. Thus, will make a nice fill-in piece for this last section, where I so often struggle for something worthwhile, or at least compelling, to write…. This is not, perhaps, all that compelling, but, it is fairly uplifting in its overall tenor, and, as a bonus, contains a nice complement of classic poetry, well matched to the discussion….
My life, described in six words….
“Looked for love, found it everywhere.” — gigoid, to KDFC radio DJ, Hoyt Smith, 2009….
While listening to the radio one day, the DJ was talking about a meme activity he had been told about via an email earlier that day from a listener. The challenge was to describe your life in exactly six words; he gave several examples of those who had already responded, and asked the listening audience to call in with their own. After a couple of moments the above six words floated to the surface of my mind, almost unbidden, so I called in, and, to my surprise, my call was taken, and my quote was put out over the air.
For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope and fear (believe the aged friend),
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,–
How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.
~~ Robert Browning ~~
(1812-1890) — A Death in the Desert
Considering that what I said to Hoyt in the above six words, upon reflection, is something I can, and still do, say is as true as the day, it felt kind of good to have it shared over the air…. Fortunately, it didn’t lead to any more than 15 seconds of fame, the time it took to say my name, and my contribution…. It isn’t as if I was hoping it would lead to an appearance on Letterman or anything, but it did feel pretty good, as I am proud of the quote…. (Still am, in fact, and it still rings true…. gigoid, from the future, which is now the present, but used to be the… Oh, never mind….)
Of course, though finding love has never been difficult, I’ve never found the rest of the secret, the other part, about getting love to stay, other than that love between friends that is so important. Our culture, so tenuous in its support of monogamy, provides people with so many ways to leave a relationship without penalty, no one seems interested in making them last an entire lifetime any more. It’s like, “Oh well, that didn’t work… there’s lots of fish in the sea….”, and off they go into the dating world again…. Frankly, it makes me dizzy….
I can’t say I know what the problem is in society that dooms relationships these days; if I did, then it wouldn’t be a problem, as I’d know what to avoid…. What I do know is that on (at least) five occasions in my life, I’ve given my heart to a woman, and spent all my energy giving my all to that relationship, faithfully and fully. On all of those occasions, the woman eventually decided, for their own personal reasons, that they didn’t want to continue, and left. I guess they like Will Shakespeare more than I do… as they seemed to take on his attitude…..
“I dote on his very absence.” — William Shakespeare ( Though I hold most of his work to be crap and nonsense, even he came up with something coherent occasionally….)
I’ve been fortunate, I guess, in that, of those five times, only three were painful in their intensity, leaving my heart shattered, my life in tatters; two of them were relatively amicable breakups. (Sure they were; that’s what I keep telling myself….) But, I’ve just gotta say, it hurts when a woman I’ve loved for 23 years, and intended to die with, decides she’d rather pursue other options; it hurts, and it hurts a lot…. I can testify, from the evidence of a more recent nature, it also hurts when a woman has said she loved me for ten years, and has been lying the whole time…. That kind of betrayal brings a very lasting pain, and is slow to pass…
I hear you reproach, “But delay was best,
For their end was a crime.” Oh, a crime will do
As well, I reply, to serve for a test
As a virtue golden through and through,
Sufficient to vindicate itself
And prove its worth at a moment’s view!
. . . . . .
Let a man contend to the uttermost
For his life’s set prize, be it what it will!
The counter our lovers staked was lost
As surely as if it were lawful coin;
And the sin I impute to each frustrate ghost
Is–the unlit lamp and the ungirt loin,
Though the end in sight was a vice, I say.
~~ Robert Browning ~~
(1812-1890) — The Statue and the Bust
Pain is an old friend of mine, though, in all its various guises, and I know it always passes in time. Now I am looking for love again, in my own time, still trying to find that one woman who can be both loving and honest. The ones I’ve known so far have all had a problem with that last part…. it’s not something our society teaches well. But, until I find her, I’ll have to make do with the pain…. But, I know she is out there, somewhere….. There’s got to be some woman who would enjoy being worshiped by an old, fading, but faithful, romantic curmudgeon with a soft spot for dogs, cats, kids, & a good laugh, along with a severe case of wanderlust to complicate the issue….
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wide waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.
~~ Lord Byron ~~
(1788-1824) — Stanzas to Augusta
This was found along with the above discussion; it’s too good to NOT include, so, you get it today, as a bonus pearl…. It’s pretty much a stand-alone anyway, requiring nothing to make it whole and complete….
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character.
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings.
~~ The Buddha ~~
I can’t think of a single thing that needs to be added here, so I won’t….. As Nike says, “Just do it….”
For a post created willy-nilly over the last 18 hours, this isn’t bad…. It’s also an epic Pearl, well over a couple three or so thousand words, I’d estimate…. Not bad for one I intended to get done quickly, so as to be ready for the business I have in a couple of hours…. In fact, I’m so happy with it, I’m outta here…. See ya, tomorrow, ffolkes….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious