Title picture at the end of the page. Click on the highlighted texts for explanations of persons or books referred to. Click on photograph to enlarge it.
While you read through this, links and all, here's a concert for you. Rolling Stones from 1972 courtesy of Sugarmegs. If you need longer to contemplate these things here's a live concert courtesy of the Grateful Dead and the Internet Archives with the Grateful Dead at Richfield Coliseum in Ohio near Cleveland on 1991-09-04 to smooth things out. I happened to be at this concert.
I can't find anything more important to do than engaging in the present moment. As a matter of fact I never could sing while I save. These days I find myself watching the ducks and migrating waterfowl to better understand the life I am part and parcel of.
I see they mainly need food and sometimes I feed them when it gets cold and food is hard to get. It's my 'widow's mite' of $12 dollars a month for cracked corn, my attempt to serve my companions within the source of my being.
If another creature grabs them and eats them, well is that reality or not? It is a reality that cannot be denied,it's how 'Being' has unraveled. I cannot see myself separate from this scheme of things. I'm just a player in the moment. A lot of people make a big deal out of it and they end up not enjoying it.
In many ways I see it the way Saint Paul stated it in these passages: Acts 17: 24 - 28 KJV.
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
Neither is worshiped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
It's hard to believe Saint Paul deliberately separated man from his environment making him supremely important while denigrating the rest of creation after the reading the following statement. "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;" Romans 1:20 KJV.
The sentiments involved in uniting these relationships of the seen in the outside world with the eternal are convincing to me. Who can watch 60 seasons come and go without assimilating something from the flow of time that reveals the imprimatur of the source of 'Being', most call it God. I prefer not to. Each passing year brings a deeper realization that something really big is going on?
The various ecosystems explaining the unseen make more sense explaining life than the Seventh-Day Adventist description of a 6 day creation week of 144 straight uninterrupted hours from start to finish.
Today the black magic of language is used to obliterate the perception of the self evident unity that is apparent in the processes of nature. Contemplating nature enables a person to contemplate himself apart from any name or title he might be designated by. When the linguistic boundaries erected by convention do not influence him, man is able to understand that he and nature are not able to be separated. Proposing such a separation would immediately be understood as absurd. It follows then, that if we are out to conquer nature, we are at war with ourselves.
I see a strong connection to the Hindu thought and the Buddhist thought that we, everything, comprise a unity, all one. Paul specifically represents the 'Christ' figure in his gospel in this way as being a universal factor unifying everyone as 'One Blood'. One family. Saint Paul made special note of this unity of the human race and the meaning of the Christ event as "peace", and "good will toward men."
I recommend 2 books. "Love's Body" and "The Denial of Death". These two books influenced me decades ago. They gave me a way to appraise human history.
The book of Revelation in the new testament suggests an economic totalitarianism to come. Economic systems are made by man. They tend, ultimately to nullify the spiritual nature of humankind's relationship with God through creation. Jesus referred to the processes of nature as the means by which his father provided for his children on earth. It is the divinely appointed means of knowing God. The understanding of the monetary system in the 1st century as an incipient and growing obstacle between humankind and his source of being is an idea that could only have been an immature plant in the soil of the human mind at the time it was written. We will very likely see the blossom shortly.
It takes a blind man not to see the ultimate conclusion of the capitalist experience. Humankind's decision to irrevocably conquer and separate itself from the source of life and replace it with a factory, is like a prisoner hanging himself in the prison whose construction he superintended.
In the bible God is represented as bringing seed time and harvest with the coming and going of the seasons, and rain. This is what God does, he,she,it, whatever the combination, is involved in sustaining the life process. That is how Jesus referred to his father and his kingdom. God is that which is responsible for life continuing. Compare that to the current debacle of the American food supply due to factory farming required by the monopolistic impulse of the free market.
I'm not religious. I've got no axe to grind. I don't care what you think is gonna transpire, you and I have no details we can rely on. We may have a foreboding, a premonition rising up within us, telling us something is about to happen. I think it's grand that we don't know what it is.
But ultimately, whatever happens, well it happens. I can tell you this with certainty; those that have, are not going to let go of it, they are not going to share it with the 'have nots' without killing a lot of 'have nots' first.
Everything I decide in a moral or ethical sense I attempt to do, first of all, in a Taoist / Zen influenced context. These influences ground me in the present.
After the existential confrontation with Taoist and Zen thought I place Jesus first because he was the first spiritual teacher that I was introduced to. I gained from Jesus the realization that we should look out for each others needs on the same ongoing basis that his Father sent the rain to grow the crops that fed everyone. This visible providence of the source of being is analogous to the 'way' that can be named. According to St. Paul we are capable of understanding the most profound aspects of God by contemplating the natural world.
Buddha is not second except in the linear way I have to express myself with language. The concepts of Impermanence and Emptiness are not out of harmony with the application of life experience or Jesus' teachings.
Krishna corresponds to a concept alluded to by the eternal quantum flux described by quantum theories and the present experience of impermanence that is called 'living'.
Krishna's dialogue with Arjuna reveals that life is eternal and that not to engage in it the way you feel you must is to suffer loss. Fight he says. Do what is required of you where you are.
I place the Taoist / Zen interpretation first because I am confronted head on with experience I have to deal with.
Paul Tillich, perhaps the last century's premiere theologian, redefined the concept of God, the source of our existence, as the 'ground of Being'. I am being led to recognize as myself. After that I have to react to this conception with the moral and ethical guidelines I impose on them. That I believe is the humans moral responsibility
Finally my stream of thought has wound down to a trickle. The pictures below are what I did today. I'm satisfied with my labor.
Photography Copyright 2010 by David H. Roche
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