Monday, June 30, 2008


well yeah but how will you know when to look when he does come if you're not looking all the time ... if the world is just particles and waves and fields of waves you can just wait and one will come by and sweep you up ... but if it's more than particles and waves you might have to act on your own ... indeed your situation may be more dire than that ... you may have to be looking out even as you sleep ... turning over in bed you may have to keep an eye out behind ... and when you're out in public that will be even worse ... you'll be static this and static that ... how will you ever get free to listen and see again ... no ... better to be just alert 360degrees 24/7 and you can't do that with particles and waves or going with the flow ... what you need is vigilance ... you have to be an on/off switch on all the time and there's only one thing that can do that ... it's desire ... you thought wanting meant needing and having to go without ... you thought of course better then not to want ... float above the field in a field of your own ... once again no ... meaning life you really want to want

Sunday, June 29, 2008


how can you not be a trinitarian when all our most profound categories come in three's ... for example human psychology the id the ego and the superego or what I feel what I think and what I do ... for example I thought faithlessness was a good thing I felt it was a good thing but I did not act as if it were ... for example the religions of the world ... those who worship the god of power terrorists ... those who worship the god of reason scientists ... and those who worship the god of love the only true religions in whatever language they're spoken ... and what better way to tell the powerful truth of this love than to see it assaulted and triumphant ... by its two mortal rivals ... the monotheism of evil or despotism ... psychological or international ... and the heartless despair of a rampant determined dualism as if between god and a rival who had an objective claim to his title ... and as to christianity itself that most trinitarian of all philosophies forget about jesus if he's your stumbled and blocked ... do right he'll find you

Saturday, June 28, 2008


isn't it possible to act consistently in a way inconsistent with the deepest philosophy we think we believe ... to speak like a christian devoted to the meaning of christ but to act like an atheist being funneled down to his death ... to say in debate we should go for the ideal then spend your evenings chasing tail and your nighttimes getting drunk ... your religion would be a matter of the morning and of regret ... a christian a follower of christ in theory ... a pagan in practice ... in grotto in grove and wood chasing venus and the naiads ... or marching with mars if not to war then to sports or games or business ... aristotle never used the words I think but his is the basis for them ... the practical syllogism ... an argument whose conclusion is an action ... modus ponens ... if you loved me you wouldn't hurt me ... modus tollens ... you hurt me therefore you don't love me ... there's a sense in which we are how we feel but it's not a solitary sense ... we are as well what we think even if we don't believe it ... because ultimately we are what we do in relation to others

Friday, June 27, 2008


there's no doubt about it ... she's listening to the good ... or more likely to the goddess ... she lying on her back the goddess lazy deliberate floating up out of her pulling her up as she leaves ... or she sitting up and looking down arguing shouting waiting listening to the goddess localized hammering to get out ... or lounging by the side of the pool under the palms she complaining ... how long will you do this to me before I run out of breath ... even as preoccupied she makes it so but doesn't see it so ... the colors are brighter the skin smoother the water green-diamonized ... all because of this conversation whose tone says no but whose only word is yes ... her syllables are all vowels but she concludes with a guttural consonant an ah as if I told you so and ends with a D to shut duh door ... now in the rest to follow ... now that we know cigarettes are no good ... we ponder twice ... once up north and once down south ... on two-moon planets do all the women have three breasts ... in a world without an ocean would Venus still rise out of the seashell bringing it herself as she does ... the shell and the clear water with it

Thursday, June 26, 2008


you don't have to argue using blunt force trauma to portions of the brain to tell me what it means to the mind ... I take a long night awake and the need for sleep to do it more simply ... you don't have to speak about on/off switches and pools of chemicals and convoluted layers of thought piled up in warehouses of the cerebrum ... from there to the cerebellum and from the cerebellum to the alimentary canal to the plant stem I see the analogy open to the truth as the head of the tulip does to the warmth of the sun ... but over all the fields of the earth I see just the one creature smiling ... they say the hyena's laughing but it's only a bark ... I hear the cat purring but she only means to tell me how she feels ... we'll have no dispute over whether she's telling the truth ... but most of all when I look into your eyes my dear I know the gleam's there on the surface to beguile my own sight that it can go no further ... I come to you I love within you not by observation but by self-knowing

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


the trouble with the two piles of books in front of me is that I can't see through them ... there are only six or seven books in each stack but the principle would be the same if they went from the floor to the ceiling ... I could not see through any one of them and any book is worthless if you cannot see through it ... you might at first put it down to its good-looking nature ... to its being hard-cover illustrated or expensive ... there's no denying the beauty of such a creature open in your hands on your lap ... but that's why we have paper-back editions to hold and handle hard on the beach or the subway ... point is in public and on the move ... making it clear the object is the word and not the page ... and to get there you have to go into the book and under the printing on the page to hear the word spoken to see the idea begin to take form ... none of which is simply given but has to be worked out in honor interest and being a person ... which are indeed the stakes in being here alive ... but even here we fail if we stay inside the book ... indeed stay inside the word itself ... if you don't know who's talking

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


science of the kind Darwin practised isn't simply an affair that links cause and effect but one which in Aristotle's scheme accepts only two out of four ... when Aristotle said cause he meant it four ways but Darwin accepted only two ... matter and motion ... he would not accept either form as a cause or a guiding purpose ... form he took only as a description and purpose only as wishful thinking ... most particularly as if to consecrate this diminution he extolled the small over the large ... micro now became the very essence of macro ... indeed matter itself he puts out of sight with its omnipresent large amorphous universality and will have in its place motion ... evolution now means that things change all the time so that any boundary any species anything that doesn't change is swept out of deepest reality and put as a figment into our imagination ... thus tables people and galaxies are reduced to elements so unstable they're even now burning out and drifting apart trying if not by design then by the necessities of the accidental to become smaller still

Monday, June 23, 2008


say soar for philosophy or glide for religion but say heaven both times ... and what a taboo in my community there is against that word ... the old folks they used to talk about it all the time ... just the one man talking and the rest listening ... but the rest of us label it either a myth or a folly giving the first just a temporary dignity over the second ... but what a folly to call heaven a myth as if it belonged to a category of things that could be true or false ... heaven if it's true at all never could be in a category that includes the false ... it's not heaven in a myth that's true or false ... it's all that other stuff ... all the intrigues and adventures all the wars and the murders we used to call purgatory and hell ... point is it's out there on the fringes where purgatory starts letting up that the sacred kingdom begins ... known in my community to be sacred so that we have the taboo against speaking or thinking about it ... known to be a kingdom because all we've done in the history of government is try to imitate it ... its boroughs over the water ... its cities on the hill ... they always show us morning ... over there there is no night

Sunday, June 22, 2008


there's only one pattern worse than reading for yourself ... that's reading in neglect of yourself ... the first just means you're selfish ... the second means you're a danger to yourself ... reading all this volatile stuff and so much of it contrary to the good of your nature how do you think it's going to affect you ... at least precede each act of rebellion with a tract of moderation ... each call to alarm give a succeeding prayer of wonder ... and consider for every death there's more than enough birth ... and for every sorrow there's ultimately more joy eternally so ... consider too the nature of this progress from the least religion to the most ... sex science and charity ... each with a grotto of its own but only one of them wider than the universe ... only one of them the path to god truly ... the other two being adjuncts on the faculty ... the least and the less religions trail behind the most ... even as consent and agreement follow in the service of helping your neighbor ... the most is after all the best because it gathers up the most it can get from here to eternity

Saturday, June 21, 2008


you say darwinian that you're a realist but the christian he says he is too and a better one than you ... you say you understand how life on earth developed with or without creation ... the christian says creation isn't an incidental ... creation is origin ... you say where's your evidence ... the christian responds the big bang and the little bang ... the origin of the universe and the origin of species here on earth in a cambrian explosion ... you darwinian are amused to ask what is the origin of species ... and it pleases the christian to answer ... species come from phyla and phyla come from kingdoms and kingdoms come from god ... all right you darwinian reply and without god do we not still have species phyla and kingdom ... for what's any one of those but our human way of talking ... what do we ever know of nature that isn't just our human nature's way of trying to figure it out ... and what's the clearest we ever get ... a rule that's generally true ... a law we haven't managed yet to break ... all our certainties are built on sand ... precisely replies the christian ... that's why you're not a realist ... you're an idealist

Friday, June 20, 2008


the joy of reading ... what does that mean ... I support the meaning most elevated because I think it is the most necessary as derived from the meaning of the word joy ... which I take at all points to be the most successful kind of prayer ... it's not just being happy it's being happy in all the right ways as long as it lasts ... there are physical and mental forms of happiness but joy is a function of the spirit and spirit is the highest part of the soul the most given the most immediate the most easily taken away ... the body and the mind they may not be in the best condition but on the whole they're more durable and reliable than the spirit ... you may be sixty you may be dying but the body ran a good course ... you may be twenty and know nothing and least of all about the spirit but you're learning ... these are the things with all their terrifying aberrations we rely on for their consistency and longevity as markers pointing to the spirit hidden in full for the sake of the pure ... that's why we read ... the active mind in the quiet body following the traces of the spirit where the language spoken is truth and the answer is joy

Thursday, June 19, 2008


you might have an ambition to become a writer so that it's everything you do ... so of course your reading is part of your writing ... you might have friends with whom you share an interest about which you all can read ... then your reading is part of that friendship ... but you might have neither friends nor the ambition to become a writer ... why would you read then ... first let me cheat a little and propose a third penultimate solution ... you might be playing a wargame and want to read a book to better understand the game ... but if we don't have a wargame to intrigue us the reason may still apply in the sense that we still have a game to play which too is penultimate ... this time to life itself ... the game I mean is understanding ... ah then you may say not penultimate to life but to action ... all understanding is penultimate to action if only to moves in a boardgame ... well no I feel obliged to answer ... unless we agree to obscure the issue and call understanding an action which of course in one sense it is but not I think to your pragmatic way of thinking ... the understanding I mean is not that of the active player but of pleased admiration

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


we live our lives as though we were in charge though we know that's not true ... the truth is it's a bargain to keep the number down ... to start with we have to give a third away or if you're a little hyper a fourth to sleep and whatever kind of thinking we get into there ... the rest of the day we're not so much in charge as in conference ... there's a lot of important things going on if only a foot or two in front of us ... we're very busy but we're never alone ... not even in our thoughts ... around the table our thoughts sit with us powerful witnesses ... a community as yet in dissent ... well then who then must be the one to speak with one voice ... that's when we're in charge ... or so it's said we are ... take a point at that point to turn around and look again at the table ... now consider if you will what original thought you brought to that meeting of minds ... think of all those in your life who have sat at that table ... and don't forget the scribes who translate them to you even as we speak ... the clerks of memory and language you so often take for granted ... now to those of you who can turn around again and simply take charge of things I say how intelligent to know who you are

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


calling it phallic because of its mushroom head weeping in white or its rocket shaft halfway up the arc from perpindicular launching a spray of satellites out into space ... colony scattering as it were ... my thoughts my mind my purpose from here to the end of the universe ... at least back to venus ... ah well pass the tissue ... calling it phallic because of any of this is fair up to a point but after that it loses the point which is no longer a point of origin but of destination ... the alarm that gets the engine ready that's the origin as far as phallic gets it ... as far as implant a little needle in the brain and give it a remote electrical stimulation which sets off a vibration which puts the whole process on the train ... that's all you've got ... just a series of origins ... you have no destination ... you can take all your implants and change a lot of behavior ... mold it if you want to call it that ... but you're still not going any place you haven't been before ... you're going to have a lot to say about who gets to do what ... unless there's a war ... from the people seeking beauty

Monday, June 16, 2008


so you're watching tv on the pilgrims ... and king james shows up and says he will be obeyed as was the centurion in the bible ... but the king might have remembered it wasn't the authority of the centurion's command that impressed jesus ... it was the authority of his obedience to jesus that did that ... now jesus being the kind of man he was wasn't often surprised ... but the simplicity and efficiency of the centurion's action and thought ... the purity of his assumptions ... surprised him ... must have pleased him ... must have strengthened his hope for mankind ... and this follows because it's what would take place in the mind of any thoughtful man ... and jesus was that ... indeed based on this last most reasonable assumption we can say a lot about jesus and how he might have thought about things not to be found in the bible ... we can for example read what other thoughtful people think that jesus might do ... or we can listen inside instead to the voice of reason always by our side inside our head ... for he's the third one at the table as we sit inside arguing with iago

cf a&e on the mayflower (11/06) and tom wright on luke

Sunday, June 15, 2008


some things are just wrong like needlessly exposing your flank an army's or a person's ... always wrong simply given a repetition of the circumstances ... I'm not saying that it doesn't take skill and good judgment to figure out the initial patterns and then to recognize them in repetition ... I'm saying when all the subjective pitfalls are cleared and the forms as they truly are are finally set their connections and relations are fixed forever necessary and eternal ... but all this is common sense you say but where's this eternal stuff ... things stay the same unless they change ... it's not even a platitude it's a tautology but who says forever ... perhaps you mean one moment after another without stopping ... time without end ... but what if there were another kind of eternity not time without end because there is no time no change but one big ball in which all that has happened or will is happening now but without the ing ... past tense and participles get shed ... person and point of view as well ... leaving only happen all ready complete ... changeless ... therefore eternally true