Repression Envies Freedom

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Repression Envies Freedom

Happiness in life comes
when you stop seeking approval
and calmly accept being a transparent failure,
while continuing with your art.

For a poet,
art comes before love,
and love comes before food.
For a mother,
food comes before love,
and loves comes before art.

Repressed people resent
those who live freely.
Happy people are untouched
by those who resent freedom.

A happy life is a free one.

17 January 2018

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When Purgatory Fails

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When Purgatory Fails

It is so sad to see karma’s futile attempts to purge some lives of their stubborn insistent ignorance, and to have your sympathetic efforts to help resented as annoying interference and hurtful contradiction, thus reducing your possibilities for compassionate action to silent compliance while absorbing repetitive litanies of self-pitying complaints. And, how enervating to remain tethered to another’s self-wounding, because of your guilt against abandoning a human bond you want to value. Many kind hearts harden over time simply from a need for self-preservation, and much love erodes over time by straining to withstand ceaseless withering rains of impervious self-defeating inertia.

17 January 2018

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Old Songs of Youth’s Promise

Anthony Tarrant reminded me of Wooden Ships by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, from long ago, and it got me thinking of the past. I shared Anthony’s post (on Facebook) because it moved me, and commented on it. So, further below are two responses in kind: music of unadorned art and sincere feeling far, far beyond the simplistic garish bombast of corporate “music” today.

Wooden Ships – Crosby Stills Nash and Young
https://youtu.be/3Q3j-i7GLr0

Takes me back to a lost world, lost dreams, and a different kind of people, both men and women. There was still the same kind of superficiality, the same kind of selfishness and venality as today, but I remember a much greater sense of optimism and even brotherhood (prompted mainly by anti-war sentiment) than I see today. Back then, it seemed evident that society would continue to improve, perhaps too slowly but inexorably. For me, that dream died on election day, 1980 (and then December 8 of that year). That’s why I had such resurrected hope in 2016 with Bernie Sanders, and was so angered by the petty and ignorant criticisms of him by idiot right-wingers and effete self-important and disconnected boutique leftists. This, and songs like this were like the aroma and pleasurable smoke on the breezes wafting a lovely girl’s hair as we looked with dancing eyes and knowing smiles out a big open window onto the springtime of our Sentimental Education (Flaubert) not knowing of dark chapters and separating currents to come far later. And here I am, marooned on a island of memories none now knows the language for understanding.

Don McLean – Vincent ( Starry, Starry Night) With Lyrics
https://youtu.be/oxHnRfhDmrk

Soldier, We Love You (Rita Martinson)
https://youtu.be/7iMusPYq83g

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Anthony Tarrant
https://anthonytarrant.wordpress.com/

Anthony also maintains a presence on Facebook.

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ADDENDUM, 15 January 2018

I just took a trip back to 1969, here it is:

Crosby, Stills, & Nash, CSN (1969 Complete 1st L.P./Classic Vinyl)
https://youtu.be/fM8hpsrmUe0

I heard this album about 10,000 times back when. The first two songs in particular are icons, hits, and paint a sound picture of some of the living in those times. Actually all of the songs on this album blend into one complete work, like the movements of a symphony. Back then you could walk past a college dorm and hear this album pouring out of one open window after another. Quite a reality.

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The Obvious Paradigm

Solar Powered Desalinator, homemade

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The Obvious Paradigm

The American consensus: a demise under capitalism is preferable to a continuation under socialism.

Fracking has made coal mining unnecessary. The upkeep of nuclear wastes makes nuclear power pointless. GPS guided missile technology makes nuclear weapons obsolete. The abundance of freely available solar energy and the great expanse of publicly held sunny lands makes privately metered and polluting fossil-fuel energy unnecessary, both for the power and as an expense. Fossil fuel energy is only necessary for the maintenance of militarism, and only for those who consider militarism necessary. Global warming is Earth’s fever from its infection with fossil-fueled capitalism. Solar-powered socialism is the obvious paradigm for a just and prosperous humanity in balance with Nature.

9 June 2018

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Trump Is America’s Child

Donald Trump is America’s child. He was nurtured insulated from the world’s potential reactions to naïve ignorance, and stupid and irresponsible behavior. In this, Trump is the icon of the kind of child so many American parents have striven and sacrificed to raise: an envelope of their combined genes isolated in a protective bubble from the realities and wide spectrum of ideas at loose in the world. Wealth is ignorance-, stupidity-, and irresponsibility insurance; the everlasting cocoon of American dreams.

Many millions will pity Trump for the cascade of ridicule falling upon him now, and love him the more for this suffering because in him they see themselves: with the same afflictions but without the same protections. They are all overaged children lost in a hostile sneering world, a world they do not understand and hatefully resent because it withholds its unquestioning approval and effusive indiscriminate love.

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Perennial Stoicism

Stoicism is a wonderful topic, which Kathryn Morse (a friend of mine) brought up today by pointing me to a video, linked here:

The philosophy of Stoicism – Massimo Pigliucci
19 June 2017
https://youtu.be/R9OCA6UFE-0

Here are some ideas and books I thought of, as a result.

There is the idea of a “perennial philosophy,” which phrase Aldous Huxley used as the title of his 1945 book on comparative religion/philosophy, and which wikipedia defines as: “Perennial philosophy, also referred to as Perennialism and perennial wisdom, is a perspective in modern spirituality that views each of the world’s religious traditions as sharing a single, metaphysical truth or origin from which all esoteric and exoteric knowledge and doctrine has grown.”

I see the Western version of the perennial philosophy of “stoicism” and self-command as being the combination of four elements:

1, the magisterial cosmic consciousness of Herakleitos (Heraclitus);
2, the truth-bound pragmatic Cynic (Dog) philosophy of Diogenes;
3, the philosophy of Epicurus (the actual philosophy of being appreciative as the route to being happy, not the later and still existing complete misrepresentation as ‘lazy pleasure seeking’); and
4, the stoicism of Zeno (as described in the video).

I see the Eastern version of this same philosophical nexus as being Zen Buddhism in particular, and Buddhism in general.

Here are four books I like on the Western tradition:

1. Herakleitos And Diogenes, translated from the Greek by Guy Davenport (during 1976-1979), Grey Fox Press (San Francisco), 1994 (4th printing).

2. The Epicurus Reader, by Brad Inwood & D. S. Hutchinson, Hackett Publishing Company (Indianapolis), 1994.

3. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius, Dover Publications (Mineola, NY), 1997, a reprint of an 1862 version by George Long published by Bell of London. (Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations is perhaps the most popular volume of stoic literature.)

4. Man’s Search For Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl; original publication in German in 1946, earliest copyright in English in 1959, last preface by Frankl in 1992, most recent edition published by Beacon Press (Boston) 2006.

Four of my favorite books on the Eastern tradition of this ‘stoical nexus’ are (original texts from oldest to newest):

1. The Dhammapada, translated from the Pali by Juan Mascaró (by 1971), Penguin Books (Great Britain), 1973.

2. One Robe, One Bowl, The Zen Poetry of Ryōkan (‘Ryokan,’ without the bar over the “o”), translated by John Stevens, Weatherhill (NY & Tokyo), 1977.

3. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, compiled by Paul Reps (transcribed by Nyogen Senzaki) in the 1930s and published by Charles E. Tuttle (Rutland, VT, & Tokyo), republished by Anchor Books (Garden City, NY), ~1960s (my guess as it’s not stated).

4. The Way of Zen, by Alan W. Watts, Vintage Books (NY), 1957.

I discuss a great deal more about the topic (the Eastern wing), and some of these books, at the following website:

Asian Philosophies, Oppenheimer, & the New Age
https://manuelgarciajr.com/2017/03/28/asian-philosophies-oppenheimer-the-new-age/

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You Asked

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You Asked

If I told you the truth
you would be unhappy.
If I lied
you might later find out
and then be unhappy;
or you might never find out
and then I’d be unhappy.

A child’s best gift to a father
is to accept his wisdom.
A child’s best gift to a mother
is to reassure her love.
Parents’ best gift to their children
is to let them live their lives,
and let them see you live
being happy without being afraid.

4 January 2018

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