liveonearth: (Default)
"Times are difficult globally;
awakening is no longer a luxury or an ideal.
It’s becoming critical.
We don’t need to add more depression,
more discouragement,
or more anger to what’s already here.
It’s becoming essential that we learn
how to relate sanely with difficult times.
The earth seems to be beseeching us
to connect with joy
and discover our innermost essence.
This is the best way
that we can benefit others."
~ Pema Chodron
liveonearth: (Default)
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stand at times of challenge and controversy.
—Martin Luther King Jr.
liveonearth: (moon)
It is much more important to know what sort of person this disease has than what sort of disease this person has.
--William Osler
liveonearth: (bright river)
No man ever steps in the same river twice,
for it is not the same river,
and he is not the same man.

-Heraclitus
liveonearth: (old books)
It's been decades since I read Siddhartha but it had a strong effect on me.  In my youth I was a philosophy major and a seeker, trying on different religious and spiritual approaches.  Eventually I arrived at myself, at the now, at the goals of non-attachment, awareness, compassion, adaptability.  I adopted bits and pieces of many philosophies, most notably Buddhism and Hinduism, without becoming a believer in reincarnation, heaven and hell, or any of the other dogmas.  New age religion in the US is very much a groovified hand-me-down from the culture behind these religions, and reincarnation is the most common belief system I encounter among people who pretend that they are enlightened.  More appealing to me is the stark realism of the German philosophers.  "To exist is to be in the way".

In Demian Herman Hesse suggests that the truth is not any of these religious structures, the truth is something far simpler, but harder to live.  It is not easy to go through this world stripped of comforting beliefs.  Hesse says we create gods and then we fight with them.  Many of his ideas are reminiscent of Nieztsche, for whom I've always had a soft spot.  He is the German philosopher who said "God is dead" and pissed off generations of religious people.

The protagonist of Demian is a young man named Sinclair, and his story begins when he is only 10 years old.  He is early at becoming aware.  Demian is a character who helps him, initially simply to avoid a predatorial character, and later to begin to think critically and to trust in himself.  When they are schoolmates Demian suggests alternate interpretations of Bible stories, especially the one about Cain and Able, and the mark of Cain.  By the end of the book I was thinking that I too must bear that mark, because I have never been a joiner, never been willing or able to submit to authority or dogma.

This book would make excellent reading for a teen who is beginning to sort out a path through all the competing authorities.  It does not provide a blueprint, but it does say that you must find your own path, and that it won't be easy or comfortable.  When Hesse first released this small book in 1919 it was in pieces in a magazine, and anonymously.  Why didn't he want his name attached?  Why didn't someone recognize his voice and thoughts, when they are so distinctly his?  Perhaps it is because Demian is also a commentary on the sadness of war, on the fruitlessness of giving lives for some shared ideal which might be bunk.  Some of the things he writes harken to the Jungian concept of collective consciousness, for example the shared premonitions of the onset of world war one.  Do we really share a consciousness, or do we simply share some of the same inputs, and arrive at some of the same intuitive conclusions?  Jung and Hesse did.

The most fruitful thing a person can do is to become themselves, I agree with Hesse on this point.  To be with people who are also themselves, this is a very satisfying thing.
liveonearth: (blue mountain painting)

Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.

--Kurt Vonnegut.

liveonearth: (davinci cat)

We need to listen to the patients' story
and develop a response to it.
The approach to complex syndromes
may be much more profound
than just trying to point a round peg into a square hole
and get a singular diagnosis.

--Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD

liveonearth: (critter)
You can't talk about the ocean
with a frog who lives in a well;
he is bounded by the space he inhabits.

You can't talk about ice
with an insect who was born in June;
he is bounded by a single season.

You can't talk about Tao
with a person who thinks he knows something;
he is bounded by his own beliefs

The Tao is vast and fathomless.
You can understand only by stepping
beyond the limits of yourself.


From the Chaung Tzu. 17
via Stephen Mitchell, The Second Book of the Tao.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] bobby1933 at But I Don't Know The Frogs Language Or Mind, And Can't Know What The Frog Knows.
liveonearth: (blue skinned alien)

Hating people
because of their color
is wrong

and it doesn't matter

what color

does the hating.

It's just plain wrong.

-Muhammad Ali

liveonearth: (Tempest in a Teapot)
The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look.  It works in reverse, too.  When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person.
--P.J. O'Rourke
liveonearth: (moon)
This young man is 21 years old and just starting his last year of college, and this is his second album. Each track has a different sound, except for the strong, honest, edgy vocals from HG. In person he is a little bit shy, but get to know him and you'll find a compassionate and humorous young man. The sadness, frustration and anger that come through in his music are less evident in person, hence perhaps the title.

If you ask me he is finding his voice. When I first met him he had a head-down posture of a subordinate sulking teen. In the last two years he has begun to carry himself upright and to meet my gaze, and to have his say when he wants to. This change in posture correlates with what a yogi might call an opening of the throat chakra.

His album is a commentary on the struggle of young adulthood to find meaning, solidify an authentic identity and rise above the limitations imposed by the judgements of others.

You can download the whole album for free right now at:
https://soundcloud.com/hayden-gehr/sets/voiceless

Cult Notes

Jul. 7th, 2015 09:27 pm
liveonearth: (moon)
I don't really have time for a thoughtful post about this but I do want to get my notes off of this ripped up envelope and into digital legible form.
deciphering notes on a tattered envelope which I just squashed a fly in )
liveonearth: (hwy 666)
Factoid: 1/100 people in the US and Europe live in a cult at some point in their lives

Distinction: living in not same as belonging to (do second generation adults *SGAs* who are plotting to escape count as members? perhaps not)

Sources not viewed by my own eyes: International Cultic Studies Assoc in Florida, European anti-cultic groups ...

This factoid in combination with the assertion that most people in cults do not call them that, means that lots of people have probably been in something Lisa would call a cult, but who would deny it.
liveonearth: (Homer Simpson "D'oh!")
You can always count on the Americans
to do the right thing -
after they've tried
everything else.

--Winston Churchill, first person to be made honorary US citizen
liveonearth: (moon)
The sophistication of truth
Posted by Seth Godin on September 30, 2014
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/09/the-sophistication-of-truth.html


A common form of complexity is the sophistication of fear.

Long words when short ones will do. Fancy clothes to keep the riffraff out and to give us a costume to hide behind. Most of all, the sneer of, "you don't understand" or, "you don't know the people I know..."

"It's complicated," we say, even when it isn't.

We invent these facades because they provide safety. Safety from the unknown, from being questioned, from being called out as a fraud. These facades lead to bad writing, lousy communication and a refuge from the things we fear.

I'm more interested in the sophistication required to deliver the truth.

Simplicity.

Awareness.

Beauty.

These take fearlessness. This is, "here it is, I made this, I know you can understand it, does it work for you?"

Our work doesn't have to be obtuse to be important or brave.

Seth Godin is a writer, a speaker and an agent of change.

SOURCE
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2014/09/the-sophistication-of-truth.html
liveonearth: (head in pattern)
The awakening to the mystery of life is a revolutionary event; in it an old world is destroyed so that a new and better one may take its place, and all things are affected by the change. We ourselves have become mysterious strangers in our own eyes and tremblingly we ask ourselves who we are, whence we came, whither we are bound. Are we the being who is called by our name, whom we thought we knew so well in the past? Are we the form we see in the mirror, our body, offspring of our parents? Who, then, is it that feels and thinks within us, that wills and struggles, plans and dreams, that can oppose and control this physical body which we thought to be ourselves? We wake up to realize that we have never known ourselves, that we have lived as in a blind dream of ceaseless activity in which there was never a moment of self recollection.
—J.J. Van Der Leeuw from "The Conquest of Illusion" (George Allen & Unwin), 1951.
liveonearth: (god_quotes)
Can't help it 'bout the shape I'm in,
Can't sing, ain't pretty, and my legs are thin.
But don't ask me what I think of you,
Might not give the answers that you want me to.

Now when I talk to God I knew he'd understand,
He said, "stick to me I'll be your guiding hand,
But don't ask me what I think of you,
Might not give the answers that you want me to.


"Oh Well" -Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac

*not that I agree with this song, but it's food for thought
liveonearth: (business dance)
If you limit your actions in life
to things that nobody can possibly find fault with,
you will not do much.

--Lewis Carroll
liveonearth: (dancer romani)
Your spirit is the true shield.
- Morihei Ueshiba

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