Church is poetry. Poetry is life. A life well-lived.
(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
(*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.)
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.
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.
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.”
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
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…
Why is Prometheus tormented by an eagle while the Prophet Elijah is fed by a raven?
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
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.
In fear and trembling, destiny’s road perishes.
With courage, horizons come to light.
within the inner heart
the dark dirt
rich in humus
capable of birthing crimson petals
roots dug deep,
layered with decaying thoughts
and ill intent.
i struggle -war against myself.
i promised loved ones to fight on, assured them
I’d take courage as my trusted companion.
who retreats from such a place?
who is man?
searching to understand humanity -i seek strength,
flourished with rest. life is a push and a pull
the agony produced welcomes the visiting ecstasy.
the masterpiece finished, resting upon my back, i look upward.
do i glance a figure rising in the east? or do i imagine such a beast?
this unending battle
placated by resistance -thoughts.
why, why should i spend days
contemplating fellow man?
shan’t i go about my way in frivolity and vain?
what course is provided anyway?
this war will never be won, no matter which way i turn.
the dark halls of history no longer inspire to do well by my neighbor
they only haunt the will to see clearly.
i watch you emerge from behind the mask,
i ask “How will i win this war?”
The relationship between the giants of earth and the soul awaits the echo.
It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science. –Carl Sagan
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. –Albert Einstein
The conversation began at the breakfast table, where so many of my rabbit trails begin. I shared a poem and Jeff chimed in, residing in the chemical structures floating in his mind, “Djerassi penned novels and poetry”. Oh? In his opinion, he rather thinks not much of his literary work and many chemists found him quite arrogant when it came to his scientific pursuits. The point of the conversation for me was not to write a chapter of a biography. Rather, I considered the relationship between imagination and the quest for truth.
Carl Djerassi, an organic chemist, is most notably known as the father of the birth control pill (Two Poems). He started an artists retreat in the mountains of California, inviting those in pursuit of blending life with the unseen. To create reality, images nonexistant, foreign forms. The retreat honors his daughter Pamela, who committed suicide July 5, 1978. You can read the story here Pamela Djerassi
Another connection resides which often becomes a source of creativity: death. Found this lovely video. Enjoy. Perhaps it well help you mentally and creatively deal with grief and trauma.
spoken at midnight
the people pine
shake the earth,
the path least understood.
The reed lies bruised
while the world is mute,
with fear time stands still.
The edges of the box
sharp and long
lowers, slowly into the ground.
We face the same questions. We answer with brutal answers.