Labor Day Utopia (brain toils)

Our brain toils
to educate
be apolitical
gain knowledge

one can hope
we can hunger for truth
make peace with ourselves,
as people being selfish.

I understand some see Gandhi or Mandela, even MLK as being selfless.  Mother Theresa.  Or were they?  They labored hard, demonstrated how selfish we are.

If time could stand still a bit, we all took a breath, ….

Great, it is Labor Day (in America) which means we can rest and recoup and take a breather…  Or maybe not.

I pray some day,
we all see the need,
a need for nothing more
than the air we breath,
on Labor Day.

einstein

“In the year 2025, the best men don’t run for president, they run for their lives. . . .”
― Stephen King, The Running Man

Just some thoughts because a Utopian Society has never worked.  Jeanne

Black Cloud

From a distance life remains unfocused.  It runs together to form one big massive clot. 

Oh! how double minded
lazily lying
slumbering thoughts
on the horizon.

She had to know what comprised the cloud that danced tragically upon the firmament.  As she approached the acrobatic figure,  she noticed the birds keeping time with the neighbors coming and goings.

Something was amiss.  Realizing her deceased mother had been gone for years, recalling moments with her, most of which were miserable, drew tears.  The black sunk her for days, growing rage and madness within.

A cloud
moves erratically,
up and down
but always forward. 

She chased the black cloud, hoping he would hear her, wondering if he willingly listened, all the while imagining what their encounter would look like when she finally lied down.

 In sync
he led,
she followed.

They met in time.

The open road invited Dave to take a chance.  What did he have to lose?  Rocking in the passenger seat, he watched the terrified girl he had picked up slowly disappear inward.  Her anguished sobs rolled from her soul as thunder in the east and lightening in the west.

Still, Dave believed in the crisp autumn air.  His silent apprehension tried abandoning the war.  He watched the sun rays reflect off the asphalt and relished the warmth filtering in through the windshield, enough to bring a sweat.  He had thoughts of rolling down the windows but she kept him from doing that.   

Ecclesiastes 11:10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.

 

Self-doubt relationships 

Summer Sky 2017

Disappointed by a desire to evaporate, pray give me strength to stand against a false self forced on by others.

“Who do you see?” she who exists in a pool of rippling waves, sensing her life over.  “I see failure,” the mirror retorts.  She dips her finger to find an icy portrait bound by time.

“Still try dear friend,” a small voice quivers. “Find a piece of you to push through the depressed madness, the canned identity.” 

Self-doubt relationships play in reality and fantasy.  Ego stands disappointed by self-defeat, a desire to evaporate. Is anyone alive? 

(6/26/2017)

Roots (confession)

Church is poetry. Poetry is life. A life well-lived.

Christ before Pilate, David Aronson, 1949, Art Institute Chicago
(I think.)  We all like to believe we are the be-all to end-all solution to the adverse we face.  Complex problems are produced by simple acts gone awry.  Well meaning people get tangled in their desires that eventually overtake all soundness of mind.  We become corrupt in thought not out of kindness but selfishness.  I think I stand in such a bubble.

My bubble bumps my neighbor’s bubble and on and on the bubbles bump.  In time the bubbles burst and the earth is covered in a sticky film that does not wash away easily. It takes effort to see clearly.

The reflection that digs into my soul has both a hatchet and a pick.  A hatchet to chop off major faults and a pick to clear the crevices.  What is left of a person who undergoes such surgery?

Many find religion compensates for the faults of man. Those who object I ask, would you die for another? Most likely yes. Would you die for a stranger? Possibly. For evil of others? Probably not.

What drives a person to hang for wrong deeds that are not their own? Was Jesus a narcissist? A delusional lunatic? In the minds of some yes. So those who have faith, the affect of such love, to believe they are forgiven, not forsaken to their own hands, rest easy. You too may be ridiculed, beaten in the market of ideas but steadfastness is a peculiar trait.

“Well, then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I myself have founded great empires; but on what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions would die for Him.”
— Napoleon Bonoparte

World leaders such as Bonoparte are frowned upon in the “modern” age. Jesus is too. Or anyone who subscribes to such a philosophy.  So the world waits until every knee surrenders to what? If not Napoleon or Jesus, who?

Look around. Is this world any more peaceful. Do platitudes of “Be happy” make us so? Will we follow anyone who promises peace? Are we really still so gullible?

1 Thessalonians 5:3 “While people are saying, ‘Peace and security,’ destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

What of the little wars within ourselves? Are these not battles we should wage? I profess they are worthy! Inner battles given to circumspect.

Those who choose to end their inner battle we fight for their freedom to end life? Why is life not respected? Is pain only fought with the sword? Where are we in their hour of need?

“It is a higher glory still to stay war itself with a word, than to slay men with the sword,” –St Augustine

To be continued…

Toby contemplating life

religion*
a tent
men reside
humanity
her stride
peer inside
the rubble
left behind.

(*my intention is never to bash mankind or any particular belief unless and only if it is detrimental to personhood.  And even if a belief harms another it does not mean the philosophy, psychology or religion is at fault.  Deep inside we all are flawed.  End up harming another in some way.  We can be versatile, possess world views similar in outcome and remain miles apart.  Many have felt a belief to be true but have witnessed the belief perverted for personal gain.  Even that thought, perverted and true, will rumble together and result in individual outcomes.  The world is simply love but exists in never-ending controversy.  We are complicated poets.  All of us.)

Save your life before someone takes it

In fear and trembling,
destiny’s road perishes.
With courage, horizons come to light.

Buddhism makes sense if life was as easy as smiling at the future. I strive for a personal peace (which i mostly acquired) making sense of “adult” ideas and ideals, finding myself buried under people’s wants and wishes. The partnership of those concepts drives anxiety. Develops depression.

I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.
–Buddha

To live takes courage, to creatively think outside the box. Potential journeys appear predestined, forged from a void. Mystical visions of a foreign future guided by voices. A message to undergird a developed determination, a way forward donned in pants, carried strength in blind faith and as we all die, meet our end.

I ask, “Are we (not) happy in the pursuit?” I imagine we are, carrying our heart to the fire. This fire burns in countless imaginations. We do not stand in line and wait for the world to shine, we shine in and for it.

There may be a great fire in our hearts, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke. –V. van Gogh

Who rules? There must be order. Rules. Direction. I do not consider myself an anarchist, rather an advocate. All humanity at some point in time has felt invisible, depressed, confused, hungry for love. The greatest way to make change is be change.

What is your aim in philosophy?
To show the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.
–Ludwig Littgenstein

May. Math. Motivation.

To all graduates.  In memory of my brother.  I am sorry I let you down, my pursuit in your honor.  To my son, the future is yours to get and give and enjoy between the toil.

Four years is a lifetime for an 18 year old heading to college and triumph is a Bachelor degree in hand.  The Indiana University chemistry graduation commencement speech was given by a professor who related The Goldilocks Theory of one means against another.  The trial of studies and the triumph of studies, a paradoxical life lived.  We get what we give.  Between the two is gratitude.

““Can a truly absurd universe so convincingly mimic a meaningful one?” 
–Paul Davies, astrophysicist

Live a temporary means of life and death, birth and burial; the golden middle.  Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, desired the difference between two extremes, one excess and the other deficiency.  We need not depression or fire but the calm presence of others who direct us on this pilgrimage.  In our quest for truth we learn to understand our perceptions are skewed by environment and inner thoughts.  In truth lies beauty.  In beauty lies hope.  In hope lies peace.

“He who has overcome his fears will truly be free.”  —Aristotle

Between courage and bondage lies freedom.  Wisdom to know the difference between pain and healing sprouts wings.  Between pursuit and victory lies life.  Now the graduate is set free to move from the cocoon to find self.

“Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.”
–Aristotle

Graduate, surround yourself not as an island who scours the land and sets sail to new beginnings.  Lay roots in other hearts and share generously the fruit of your labor.  We who are left alone are but food for greed.

I have wanted to write this since Saturday and finally found time to share.  Always, J

 

 

Prometheus

People have reached a pinnacle of arrogance which threatens autonomy. J

I am easily misunderstood by the faith community.  I believe enough to question God in a healthy way.  I do not disbelieve by any means.  History, myth and fable shed truth.  We are either bound or set free; chastised or rewarded.

The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.  –Paul Kurtz

The dark night of a soul is a journey I endure.   I found a matter of time becomes minutes to hours and hours unable to be contained by days.  The stories of Prometheus and God understand our need for security and pass their shadows over us.  Knowledge and wisdom our fortitude, Prometheus and God bestow a gift of hope for the future in the destruction of evil and the promise of rebirth.

The bearing of fire, warmth and light, endures for eternity.  The next generation will need storied thought and soulful belief.  Belief in fire guides and water purity.  We best learn to discover while we live.  So then I follow my thoughts…

prometheus   prometheus-eagle-eating-liver1

Why is Prometheus tormented by an eagle while the Prophet Elijah is fed by a raven?

elijah fed by raven
Caspar de Crayer, The prophet Elijah fed by a raven, 1619-1630

Jeremiah 15:3  “I will appoint over them four kinds of doom,” declares the LORD: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag off, and the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.

The Story of Prometheus tells his gift of fire (light, warmth) to man and hence stricken by Zeus for his audacity to befriend humanity while the Prophet Elijah, who ran from doing right, was given a second chance, sustained by God.  How many chances does it take us to do right by humanity?  Does God’s sovereignty over all the Greek gods deem Prometheus’s fire not pure and hence retribution for bringing wisdom, all that was hidden from our eyes?  Is Zeus a metaphor for God?  Is Prometheus, as a god, subject to judgment as man?  There are a few verses in the Bible that fascinate:

1 Kings 18:24  “Then you call on the name of your god,
and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God who answers
by fire, He is God.” And all the people said, “That is a good idea.”

1 Kings 18:38  Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed
the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust,
and licked up the water that was in the trench.

Psalm 50:3 Our God comes and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.

In studying Greeks myths side-by-side with the Word of God, I discover the similarities and differences.   There are many questions, more than answers, hence my quest.  I wonder about the stories woven throughout time and how we can utilize them as a map for the future.  Has our ability to let go of myth and story led us down a path of annihilation of ourselves and the world?  Our map of the world burnt?  Perhaps a post for another time…

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”  Joseph Campbell

Personally I do not consider myself to be an answer at all.  I see myself as an enigma, as my husband calls me.  Enigma: a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.  I suppose in a way I am not willing to follow the crowd and people cannot understand autonomy.

“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”  This is a Joseph Campbell quote I believe.

Then, Roxanne Meshar, M.Div., in her book “God is not Zeus”, contends we want God to be Zeus but says He is not, no matter what we desire.  I counter does God not say He is He?  I am the I am?  Metaphorically Zeus?   We desire to be saved and seek someone or something stronger than ourselves.  We want God to be Zeus.

So how can any of this post help if someone believes metaphors are lies?  Does not an atheist contend and promote skepticism, blaming religion for all problems.  Is religion the scapegoat while dismissing the nature of hearts?  Can any of us say we have never committed a transgression against another?  Are we free of needing forgiveness?  Is it humanity, in all its foibles, that rules the world?  Or is there justice by a higher authority and who might that be?  Why, we ask, is God silent if He sees and knows all?  Why is the I am not walking the earth with us battling evil?  Or can we save ourselves by believing and finding the power within?

“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell

Happy thinking, J

Maybe

Could I be here to counsel more than entertain?
If I reach one I will be satisfied.
If I reach none I have ministered to my soul.

Will darkness cloud my spirit the rest of my days?
If I receive one sunny day I will be encouraged.
If I receive only clouds I will be grateful I lived.  (Jeanne 4/4/2017)

“I got well by talking. Death could not get a word in edgewise, grew discouraged, and traveled on.”   –Louise Erdrich
“Without knowing what I am and why I am here, life is impossible.” –Leo Tolstoy
“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.” –Shaun Hick
Louise Erdrich a Native American author, owns an independent bookstore in Minneapolis, MN.  Go check out her bookstore blog.  Lovely!
Leo Tolstoy  Enough said.  If you are serious about life this is the man to ask.
Shaun Hick  A fantasy writer for young adults but why would that keep an adult from reading “The Ghost and His Shadow”?  More of his tremendous quotes.

untitled

This life is one long road that never ends.

Can’t move from this chair.
My body has carved out a container
to keep me together. Bits of me
left alongside the road,
lost to me forever. My mind
frantically searches what went wrong.
My efforts never enough. I had given up
long before I realized how eager I was to give it up.

The road never ends.