Friday, April 08, 2005

Sometimes you just feel like writing.....

For those of us with a literary flair, sometimes writing is the best way to think. So, quite often, when I need to make an important decision, or I just need clarification, I will sit down and write from the hip so to speak. Quite often, I will discover interesting things about myself or my beliefs about the world from doing so. Below is the result of one such episode.

Ah! Such a creature is man. Capable of the highest of heights and the lowest of lows. So strong and capable is he, yet fragile and forever dependent. Equipped with an infinite imagination. Given the tools to make imagination reality. Oh so simple yet also the most complex of Divine creation. This seeming example of perfect balance, placed in the perfect garden. Duality incarnate. A whole made from opposite pieces! Yet man also was given a will. Will to create! Will to change! Will to build! Will for the best. With will, however, comes choice. With choice, preference. With preference, imbalance. Balance is harmony and is eternal. Imbalance, disharmony and inevitable decay. Thus will has led man (by design it would seem) from that garden of perfection without self discipline. It is only the application of this discipline, this choice to give up will, that man can seek balance. When balance is reached, the duality is seen as it is.... an illusion. The whole cannot be achieved as a summation of its parts. The two would cancel to nothing. The parts were never parts at all! They were always the whole. Greater than the pieces one would choose to carve. There is great peace, calm, and completion in entirety. Yet how is one to truly know wholeness without first knowing limitation? How is up defined except in its relation to its opposite? Ones experience is entirely relative to previous experience. Both beauty and beast may be found in the most treasured of man's creative expression. The choice of will to see is yours. Use it wisely. Carve your lines of distinction well. Make them your own. Wield the awesome tool of expression that has been bestowed upon you. Yet know always this: the final result is always balance. No matter how you choose to define the pieces, will always repays its debt. Thus we find that seeking anything but middle ground is ultimately futile. It is pointless to yearn for extreme. Extreme is a place of power, not a place of balance. Extreme cannot be known without extreme opposite. It is in the understanding of both that the truth is found and balanced finally regained. If you tighten the guitar string too tightly, it will break. If you string it too loosely, it will not play. Ah, the perfection of balance with the experience and knowledge of what is unbalance! The rose in the rose garden is taken for granted. When experienced in the midst of rose splendor the single rose gives to the beauty of the whole and adds its beauty freely to that of the whole. Yet were the rose to be seen without the whole, the true beauty of the individual may be appreciated. Thus it seems that the rose is both. Yet is it not both in equality? Does it not provide fully its gifts to the whole while also prizing its unique individuality? It is no more accurate to appreciate the rose as an individual only than it is to appraise it as merely a necessary piece of the whole. The truth lies in the realization that both are equally true and both are necessary for the entire existence of the rose. The bush is not the totality of a rose, nor can a bush be without the contribution of the individual. The two are inseparable. Even when the individual ceases to bloom, the place is left for its return when next it chooses to express its individuality. Thus the cycle continues. From the complete beginning all the way to the end. Which, happens to be the same as the beginning. The alpha is the omega. The omega is the alpha. Together, they form all that is. And all that is is one.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Late night ramblings...

Here it is 4 am and I cannot sleep. Toss. Turn. Twitch. Wiggle the ol' mouse and voila! the room lights up with a phosphorescent glow. Oh? What's this? Someone has posted to my blog! Oh! And he/she is upset at my pope posting. YES!!! There is a God. Finally, a reader! But no! I've angered my lone reader. Hmmm.... what to do? I could follow the lead of my journalistic brethren and print a retraction. Or I could explain that discussion and difference of opinions is what makes the blogoworld go 'round. But, she/he is unlikely to read it anyway. So, for my own personal edification, here is my response to the response of my views on JP and the Catholics:

Anger, bile, and vengeance. They seep into the human psyche like thieves in the night, stealing away our happiness. Even those of us alert to such insidiousness fail to keep them at bay from time to time. I'm afraid that this is what has happened to our fearless blogger. In a space I originally designated for tolerance and discussion, I have blasphemed. Forgive me. Maybe JP wasn't such a bad guy after all. However, this does not entail that I support the views of the Catholic church. Any institution that can offer a haven for pedophiles while simultaneously denouncing homosexualtiy and seeking to undermine women's rights cannot be an entirely altruistic entity. These allegations are only the most recent of misbehavior by our Catholic friends. I wholeheartedly support belief in whatever religion, faith, or belief you choose. However, when your beliefs have so much pull on society that they begin to effect me, expect me to examine them critically. Christ taught tolerance, forgiveness, and goodwill toward your fellow man. Anyone with any background in history whatsoever will realize that these are not always the same values advanced by the Catholic church. We too often forget that the Church of today, while certainly more tolerant than in the past, is still the same institution that endorsed witch burning not so long ago. Many of the beliefs and dogma of the Church are relics of this past. It is for these reasons that it pains me so to have my news pre-empted by the pope's death. Why not show all of the children in Africa dying of aids primarily because the Church forbids the use of birth control? Isn't that news? Why not show how otherwise normal men and women are forced to hide their sexuality because of an atmosphere of intolerence that the Church is responsible for endorsing? Isn't that news as well? Or maybe even some news about the relief work that the Church is doing in some rural area? There are a great number of good things that the Church is responsible for as well. It seems very arrogant and useless to me for the news to focus on this one man to the exclusion of all the other news they could be reporting. Especially when there's a war going on in Iraq and more on the horizon with Syria and North Korea. Perhaps there's a little more impact on us from these things than there is in the death of a religious icon. Perhaps I should be a good pantheist and just look at this as part of the way things will be. That the play will play itself out with proper rhythm and time despite my protestations.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Aaagggghhhh! I've been Poped to death!

Hello dear reader..... At least I think I have one. Anyway, today has been productive. Preparations are going well for a brave finish to our fearless author's semester of hell. Term paper topics chosen, reading lists being compiled, meetings being held. Oh, and Spanish being learned. Mustn't forget that one. All of which provides the backdrop upon which the drama of this blog is playing out. Which, is why today's entry is mostly rambling. It seems this philosopher has a limit to the amount of philosophy he can choose to digest in a given time period. And right now, much of my bandwidth is being eaten by the bandwidth hog, philosophy of language as taught by Dennis L. Bradshaw, Phd. So, if you want philosophy today, look elsewhere. If you want to hear me rattle on about how annoying it is when someone of inflated importance dies, then read on.

I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. And now he's done it. Pope John Paul II (hereafter referred to as the JP), in a last great attempt to influence this non-believer has finally completely invaded my life posthumously. Everywhere I look, I can find nothing but pope. Kiss his ring ideed. Why does this man command the blind allegiance of neverending multitudes? The history of the Catholic Church is as bloody as it is long. Every kind of unspeakable evil known to man has been perpetrated by some member, past or present, of the institution JP was the head of. The beliefs held and propogated by this institution are responsible for the deaths of untold millions throughout history. It has systematically sought to destroy entire populations, alienate and persecute non-believers, and continues to spread itself like a disease. And when its leader dies, he is allowed to invade my life. News? What news? It's 24-hour popevision these days. Even my favorite websites feel that nothing else deserves prominent status. Why is it that this man who serves as the symbol of an institution that is the essence of organized crime treated as a hero? Just when I thought steroid use in baseball as investigated by Congress was the lowest of journalistic lows. Oh give me a home, where the sheep don't roam.