Monday, May 31, 2010


which would you rather admit to a sin or an addiction ... which one is more likely to kill you ... say you were addicted to second best ... saving the best for last and never getting to the end ... researching a thirty-year bibliography for a twenty-year project ... sitting between conscientious and thorough when exciting is waiting for you in first class ... now say you were unlucky and the better choice of two fell into decline ... now the best you could get was a B you'd have to settle for a C ... where once you had to go to the doctor's office they send you to the hospital instead ... where once your head and thoughts were in a whirl now they're in a faint ... if only you tried for first even at the end you'd get another minute ... if only you tried for the best even the end would be a beginning ... if decline brings you down turn around and you're on the incline ... do it ... incline ... lean forward ... stretch out ... the patterns that confine you enclose and compose you ... break away ... pull your head up ... here's a thing even when you lose it ... put up your hand


the young woman sent to the creek to do the day's wash early so dawn was just breaking in unpetitioned joy dances for the sky ... the athlete having run a good race having won or lost is verified in his feet ... the saint putting pen to paper the sinner just confessed the baby first smiling see the curtain stirring in the breeze and all the colors of the sun behind it ... the old lady in the constant practice of breaking her back scrubs the floor stops for a quiet laugh ... there by chance bending his knee in the sand he sees the lady in the light crossing the water ... the new student finds the real joy not in hearing the masters but in knowing them ... the old man in the hospital bed hears the nurse who isn't there ... she helps him sit up ... he doesn't die ... but in quiet study in the years yet to follow he remembers ... you know the role you play when you guide a child ... you follow but you let her go ... you know when you listen to another ... something heavy with worry and care ... it isn't long before you look them in the eye ... there

Sunday, May 30, 2010


only if you think there's a purpose and a right to your body and the material world will you agree with what I'm about to say ... there is a world in addition to the material world ... it's as wide or as narrow as the people there will allow ... sometimes they're particular ... like it just this way and they'll have no other ... sometimes they may seem not to be paying attention ... we can think things and do things over here we just never thought possible ... their code is broken ... information is leaking all the way out to us ... and we we just love it ... in fact we love it so much you could say we're dazzled ... upon consideration you'd agree we have good cause to be dazzled ... what say was it the color of the light or the color of her skin ... once when I turned quickly I caught her on the sly ... she was all color moving in a field that meant her as a present for all to see ... and she loved it ... I thought again later what was so attractive had to be right ... wouldn't she alone make everything right 3/3


is there a difference between the theoretical and practical intellect ... between the theoretical and practical syllogisms ... what a strange question ... first of all it assumes there's something called an intellect ... some people say that's just a bunch of nerve endings ... a neural system giving off sparks ... letting out air ... most of which is obnoxious and dangerous ... but let's assume instead as we have above that they're wrong ... it's our assumption against theirs ... we will assume that there is an intellect ... they will assume that there's not ... we must now add to the burden of our opponents' tolerance and say as well there are not one but two kinds of intellect ... not simply one adapted to abstract thought and the other to sense control ... but both motivated by each other in the presence of something supersensory that answers specifically to thought ... there's the rub ... there's a whole other world out there and in here it's everywhere ... we feel it ... the theoretical intellect says be still ... it's just an effect 2/3

Saturday, May 29, 2010


is there a difference between the theoretical and the practical intellect between the theoretical and the practical syllogism ... only if you think there's a purpose and a right to your body and the material world ... otherwise we'd contend as the angels do devoted purely to the truth a mistake or a lie ... or like a flower or a lizard we raise our head to the light with no thought of any real thing with hardly anything you'd call a desire ... but a stop sign at the end of our way saying thoughtless things go no further or what's a species for ... even the most hardened man of matter finds himself talking of form ... aping as if he must an intelligent being ... within a generation or two he'll be sitting in a pew in the church of some abstract delight ... for that's what we have ... an unending pride and a real affection for abstract thought ... sometimes we get it best in a puzzle or a game and we're on the move in the midst of it ... the pot is boiling and we're at the stove ... the hand in thoughtful motion the epitome of our species 1/3


the third party candidate was a nuisance on the stage but the law said her percentage was large enough that she should be there ... she looked too old to serve ... certainly too old to long survive if she did ... and she laughed whenever she got the question ... she said I agree ... a vote for me is a vote for my vice-president ... but I tell you we neither of us want it ... I have good books he has good looks and better business elsewhere ... I'm here under and to serve one master only ... protest ... I'm here to get my equal time to tell these two boys what they're not supposed to be doing and to offer them some motherly advice on their behavior ... my party appreciates the difficult task our voters must manipulate ... keeping us just between the power to criticize ... on one side obscurity and on the other direct responsibility for a job that would probably overwhelm us ... so vote carefully ... let me speak ... then judge not my behavior but theirs ... for on election day you must vote for them ... one or the other

Friday, May 28, 2010


look at it this way ... the same extension we enjoy in time we have in space as well ... there's more than all the room in the world in one corner of his office ... more than enough to fit you in ... over there say in a narrow seat ... you won't have too long to wait ... but does he have an interest I mean what care could he have for an interest in me ... well to be frank ... he'd respond a bit coyly ... the interest he does have in you is simply to return you to what you were before creation ... nothing ... he literally wants nothing from you ... never again to hear to see to understand you ... but you shouldn't worry ... it's nothing personal ... he feels that way about everyone ... and yes he's known about you since your conception ... he found you a bad idea then and of course you've made it worse ... it would be so much wiser if you could just do what he wants and go away forever ... there was I then reflected something of the devil himself in this one ... a union of design and bad purpose ... the same malignant smile


I have a little devil inside me ... it disturbed me when I first found him but that was many years ago and we've since come to an accommodation almost friendly ... but of course I always expect some kind of a betrayal ... he tells me for instance he's a lower level devil ... that our exchanges won't bear scrutiny but won't invite it either ... he'll come to me some day and say he's had a promotion ... he'll wait a while before he returns ... he'll tell me then rather coldly and hard-eyed that it seems a record of all our bargains has indeed been kept ... and each was reviewed all the way to the top ... nonsense I would respond ... who has time for the likes of me ... he'd sit down and light up a joint ... seeming for all the world his old collegial confiding self ... I've tiold you this before ... angels are not like men ... in our world truth is fixed and so is change ... there's no time therefore to mark it ... a thought doesn't fly from here to the center of the pit ... it's understood down there the same moment as it is here on the rim 1/2

Thursday, May 27, 2010


aren't there times when a good man sets a moral example that's right ... in the way of punishing himself ... where correction and reformation are intended and humility and stregth are the reward ... let's consider just now the slightest of such sentences ... you must sit down and write yourself a lesson ... you must make as nearly a daily practice of these lessons as you can ... sit at the desk and make your brain relax ... open your mind at least the windows and the doors just for now ... now shut up ... not the windows and the doors but the mouth ... be very quiet very careful very relaxed notice everything ... the wind through the lace curtain ... the cold air in the kitchen ... bouille at nancy defending a government he must despise ... standing on the steps with his sabre drawn these last two hours holding a mutiny at bay ... go to the library ... read your carlyle book by book ... remember your lessons as you proceed ... see ... look what you've done ... you are one spirit paying homage to a greater

carlyle, the french revolution, vol 2, book 2


it's not class it's classic ... every social class has its own gentility ... these people form a class of their own across those social barriers ... which superclass is their identity one to the other ... their essential characteristics their signs of recognition ... some written many famous most of them old ... these few each among his large crowd ... now as a culture listens to these people as they are wise so is the culture when it listens with attention and obedience ... what is it that these people know that they deserve this ... it's more or as much how they know it how this wisdom came to them how they learned it ... which is why most of them are so old ... it takes such a long lifetime it takes such a long course and repeated for them to understand ... now they're in the minority of the wise ... each to a minority of one ... one room one bed one last breath ... and the moment each approaches that end with sincerity that moment is his wisdom born ... the closer that moment comes to the last bed the last breath the shorter the course the quicker the run the last sprint to glory

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


it and suprego in their lightly altered identities are matter and antimatter when they meet ... there needs be between them something to keep them apart ... ergo sum ... a reprimand isn't a slap after all ... when the angels fell they didn't flame down like falling stars ... they argued instead ... they're arguing still ... as they left they took the long way into absurdity ... what the truth was successively they were not ... when the galaxies left home it was to lay down a garden carpet for us to follow ... when we got there we complained it wasn't enough ... we had caught the disobedient infection by being unprepared ... form slipped through our fingers and suffered for the passage ... the devil's echo bedevils us still ... we meant what we said ... we just couldn't get the words right ... they went so wrong and widely now we don't know what we mean and have to make it up along the way ... it's a code on the wall maybe close to what it means ... it ergo suprego ... I think it's italian ... something wants to get there and with grace it will


the neopagan brings pornography ... the monotheist the wargame ... the trinitarian whom nobody understands but everybody runs on like oil in the engine brings pot ... pornography is a particular turn on sex and sex is a celebration of life ... in the world of matter as in the world of mind a question of what is and is not conceivable ... most wargames are between two players one of whom will lose ... even solitaire most are between two sides one of whom will win ... though the two-aspect runs the entire game the one-aspect bears it away ... it's what the game meant to do ... more than multiplicity of confusion and lack of focus it conquers duplicity ... pot stops the show ... it always starts by stopping the show ... it takes a minute or two to rearrange the active sectors of the brain ... the waiting ego looks forward to its relocation ... from one step to another the time it takes to turn your head the ego's through the doors almost before the train is in the station ... it beats the time it makes the time so you can take the time it takes to pay attention

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


the things of the world require that you love them ... but that's not what you hear ... you hear that they need to be controlled ... that they're means to an end ... and no number of sermons on original intent will dissuade you ... how else are you to deal with those things that are ends in themselves ... like you ... but truth to tell this world full of ends has means of its own that were ends up to a point and now that they're done with you or you with them they still have their use ... to you ... as means to one end you must always count on or what's eternity for that has no room for you ... but there comes a point when you'd rather it did not ... and that you realize was it when you became the one point that had to count ... everything else could mean what it did only because it lit the way for you ... it was the thing you always feared ... it was true ... you were the subject everything else objective ... other things did end when they came to you ... what then would all these other mean things do if it were true even you must end


the prevalence of id in this society as it was from the beginning is now but soon soon enough never will be again is a conundrum to the logic of the ego that opens a chasm by its feet ... an infinite divide in front of it and behind ... the id forever in the right place ... this is going to change the ground beneath our feet and fill in any chasm even those without a bottom ... the power of the id in love with reason a resulting harmony that puts the ego on the same firm foundation and makes eternity necessary ... if only it were true ... well if it isn't what have you got instead ... you'd think an infinite variety but there'd be only one you'd wind up with ... the infinite justification of death ... this generation now and forever ... the bottom must fall out of the tub for things to go on changing ... isn't that what life is ... changing ... and nothing does change not really till it comes to the end ... and no I don't mean to play the fool and say how peaceful a process it is and right ... it's hateful and violent ... that's what life is

Monday, May 24, 2010


you have to excuse atheists and all deniers of not only god's soul but of all souls when you remember how tenuous our hold on reality is ... when the most significant thing I might ever say is in a passing remark to a near stranger who then will take the thought on to do great good or evil ... when you say the same thing to one you love and over decades they never do hear you they turn from you ... when you do that thing the thing you do that never does but shame you and you do it again ... when you turn to the books and you read them by the score and they go in one eye and out the other ... when the thoughts you think and the words you say are like passengers on a bus getting off and on and you're the bus ... when you stay awake and think you might do it forever it's not long before you're sleeping ... sleep it's even better than the night that holds it ... when words of triumph are the inevitable prelude to disgrace ... and all this when we have but two things your soul and everything else ... what better choice than surrender


insofar as the will is the spirit under the tutelage of the intellect ... and the mind has supplied a broken premise or chain of reason to the practical syllogism ... the argument must be broken before the conclusion gets out of hand ... the connection between the ego and the superego must itself be broken ... action redirected to another conclusion and brought through it to a better end ... and a wiser spirit ... the intellect that is must be brought to see reason to recognize the truth ... but if the spirit be depraved either too angry or too sad it will resist this movement and the argument will become more and more refined in defense of the broken premise ... which inevitably turns out rather to be a broken promise ... I had the thought I'd get away with this that you'd let me ... the signals you sent were contemptibly clear ... your acting in this new part is ill-timed and misdirected ... we will return to the old agreement ... or if you say not then there's an end to refinement ... we'll say instead forever no

Sunday, May 23, 2010


when you admire the strong silent type it's not because you think they're stupid or weak ... when we praise grant for six separate maneuvers against the fortress at vicksburg we don't call him a butcher ... when we say of churchill in politics or in history that he stood alone we don't pity his isolation ... when in the day clever or stolid we are of good service that night past satisfaction it's peace we have as our reward having done something of essence that it means to be human ... the old man in dementia may have a broken mind and still use a shard to apologize for seeming impolite to tell you his name and to shake your hand a father to his son ... or finally pick any great person famous or forgotten but successful and try to take a measure of that success ... note how much defeat and what kind there is in their triumph ... old man socrates how much longer could he continue his debate with his failing body no longer surely with his jury ... what is it then that we so admire


there are things about the economy of gift that keep it out of exchange ... and the first of these differences is the matter of resources ... in the economy of exchange we take them to be running out but in the economy of gift they're increasing ... they play in simple fact against two different backgrounds starker than night and day darkness and light and all animals know by word or feel this environment that surrounds them ... like plants they turn to one or the other ... like the earth they suffer them both in order and disorder ... in sleep and awareness they still strive to do the right thing manage resources but wake each morning to the gift of a new day ... in failure they agree to stand apart ... what in exchange is a terrible result is it also inevitable cynicism and despair ... in a gift is a terrifying cause ... rebellion rejection pride and contempt ... which way now indeed if time is running out ... which way to turn when you're cornered ... no ... you can exchange only if you're on time ... gift is forever 3/3

plagiarized from paul j griffiths, intellectual appetite

Saturday, May 22, 2010


utopian tyranny purchases a chimerical economy of gift by illicit transactions in the very real economy of exchange ... I take my hope and trade it in for conviction for confidence whenever I call for it ... I take the sad prognosis of things running out and try to moderate the loss down to a minimum ... I get to do this for the most part by reducing the mistakes other people are likely to make ... with a hard sense of reality and a clever use of politics I keep them down to a minimum greed and ignorance especially the second ... I expect we'll get to a point there's a number on the dial and we've got it set ... things are run now by the autopilot and we turn to the young so in their turn they keep the number on the dial ... and we turn to ourselves so we can keep the flame burning brightly to the end ... yes surely before the end and well before the end each exchange will freely be made ... what I have that you need we both will share ... what other than that is a gift 2/3


in the economy of gift everything grows in freedom and righteousness ... in the economy of exchange someone wins and someone loses ... in the first the flower opens ... in the second it droops and closes ... the plenty of the plenty in the first ... the further loss and ultimate in the second ... god and creation the first pattern of gift ... war business healing illness breathing patterns of exchange between more life and less ... knowledge reading learning teaching wisdom patterns of gift ... fighting maneuvering performing or arguing for effect being clever and being paid in respect growing old put in the back yard to catch the evening light models of exchange ... here are all my days what can I buy with them ... what do you get for anything you can buy but a means along the way to the end ... and that's the point of the joke ... or at least the point it can enter ... see I've paid all my days and this is the end I paid for ... and look this is the end and it's for free ... two voices throughout telling the tale of economy 1/3

Friday, May 21, 2010


the id in this world is a lively image of creation but disorderly ... not a natural reflection therefore limited ... but a rebellion though futile against such limits ... not just a bend in the line or a depression in the plane but something there broken and something not there missing ... these are breaks especially the second for which there is no repair ... no wonder on approaching them we think it is the end ... but this is the life of impulse it begins again all over ... too soon ... and where it is an end the survivors turn north or south as quickly as they with their dead eyes can ... the past is dead we make it so by turning away they'd be saying if disdain allowed ... this though is too busy for reflection ... explosive by the minute or as quick a beat the skin will allow the hummingbird heart sustain ... the water's boiling each bubble bursting with impatience to see a real final end ... but this is the world of limit against limit ... the blood pulses against the vessel walls fists pounding


the whole thought of justifying drug addiction must be of course in the mind of the addict ... from where else but in its knowledge of its own structure can such a justification be found ... and where else in the structure will the necessary steps be found but in the moves up from understanding to compassion from calculations to joy from judgment to decision ... overall that is from the ego to the superego ... from the mind to the spirit ... or was it just a coincidence that jesus had to die ... his mind be put out like a candle ... his body consigned to the tomb ... and we waiting the second resurrection be given what to abide ... but his spirit ... why not his mind his knowledge his experience his practical advice his wisdom his living body on the throne so that we might see and believe ... instead we have the addict whose blessing is in what the eye cannot see whose prayer is liquid and smoke whose assurance is the presence inside his intoxicated mind of the spirit whose rushing wings uphold his fainting soul

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I'll sign up to fight Carlyle on the platform of the french revolution page by page when he attacks the king and the pope ... but what are they to me that I should enlist in their defense ... well the king might be a hedge to protect the people from the nobles the military money and the law ... and the church would defend the people against the king ... at least that's the ideal ... now right off the bat I'd say pascal had the right to criticize the jesuits but what right has carlyle ... pascal's thoughts go up to heaven and jesus ... how far up does carlyle's ... can he get past kant and hegel ... can he yet safely pass by the incipient public madness that in the century after his will repeat the atrocities of the french revolution and napoleon three five ten times again and again ... what right has nineteenth century western liberal culture to pontificate over the murdered remains of the ancient regime when itself nourished in its thought a set of assumptions and implications that killed the heart in the body and soul so many times over


weakness of will and necessary truth ... is the conclusion to a practical syllogism an action or not ... between the judgment of the mind and the decision of the spirit whatever spark we find will explain the body and the mind ... between the particular and the universal there's a universe of difference but not as wide or as deep as that between the living and the not ... you thought it was just a subtle difference in kind like gas becoming water or wood bursting into flame ... but it was more like a hit and a total miss ... not something not here now but coming but something not here ever ... not look together we can do anything but no this is a thing that cannot be done and they're right ... because this is the discovery of something wrong ... and yet even with the deadly momentum behind that discovery first made and all the privation to follow between what's wrong and what's right they both have a knee to bend and a head to bow before the prince of life ... older than thought the final principle of power ... action ... life

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


if truth were a conclusion that never became an action what difference would it ever make ... if form overlay and underlay matter like a grid ... if matter conformed to such a subservient degree we took to calling it energy and confusing it with form ... if at the conclusion of all our enquiry we were content to stay in the dance as long as we could what privation would we suffer other than the limits of life time and space of physics and biology of desire fantasy disease and death ... I'm not an animal you say ... you left out the word just ... we're not just an animal ... it's just where we start ... half an animal half an intellect something like angelic ... half a life cycle something like a plant's ... half a desire for something that never changes ... and all as flat as the letters on a page though they're in good order from one on consecutively ... what's a number to a name ... what does the name say more than a little water on the head to remind us where we came from ... to tell us again grow up and get something done


there is only the trinitarian solution to the problems of dualism ... and aristotle agrees ... kind of ... let's bring in freud ... we'll call matter id and mind ego ... so far we may find aristotle agreeable by two of the four causes matter and form ... but we'll have to ask him to put the last two agency and the final cause in freud's third suitcase left on the stairs the superego ready to explode ... the four real elements together in place giving constant birth to creation ... how can they not ... what otherwise can unite two such repellent forces rampant matter tasteful form ... how could the one sacrifice so much to stay with the other if they weren't together in on the plot from the beginning ... and what possible plan could so mesmerize form an expert on the topic after all and overawe matter the very definition as it is of power ... what scheme could be so effective unless it gave each the one thing it wanted ... direction ... outside the picture ... beyond the map ... to purpose ... and how could such a cause be final without the person at the end

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


but qui bono ... if these living presences of truth are not living aren't they false as well ... if a cobweb stretched to the center from each of the four corners of the universe and there was not the least spider of creation to greet it ... if breathing were not alive then surely thought would be dead too ... if truth were a conclusion that never became an action what difference would it ever make ... if all the thinking in the world brought the universe to one singular point the last point in the series before nothing and that was it period what would be the point of that ... if order didn't have a pulse what mark anywhere would be better than no mark at all ... for all the beauty of an unmarked field of snow how is it different than sand if they both bear no intention ... how is a touch better than a collision if neither means anything by it ... where's what I need if all I can do is put things in sequence ... where's what I want if my touch isn't me touching ... mind over matter what's the point ... if there is no breath of life in it


I can't speak for all addicts but I can speak to them ... whether or not they can hear or are willing to listen I can do this ... because when we're not straight and sober we're philosophical ... we live among the real presence of ideas ... not just concepts or social constructions ... not in the neighborhood any longer of shifting shapes and dialectical confusions ... but now in a domain where truth is never in compromise but all promise is fulfilled ... it takes your breath away ... sometimes in a rush ... who steps into this universal sanctuary without trepidation ... what fool can be happy in such a moment of fear ... but we suffer it for the sake of the next moment ... for the sake of peace ... the still eternal quiet of that moment takes each of us on a desperate adventure in spirit sitting quiet at the bar rocking in the chair by the table ... I can't speak for all of us but I can speak to you the word of the truth on the tip of my tongue ... the word you hear before I say it

Monday, May 17, 2010


the solution to the problem of pornography and public health is the platonic form and the freudian id ... how can one take the other seriously ... they should at the least show more respect ... they have that kind of obvious distaste for each other you sense a hidden attraction ... they are certainly the consummate odd couple ... but under analysis they begin to fess up ... under acculturation they dress up and take in the town ... what a sight to see and be seen ... the papparazzi as usual fail to do them justice ... worse make them fail to do each other and us all justice ... where we thought to touch beauty's nerve we twang on a broken guitar ... where we thought there that line just there they take an inner tube and blow it up out of all proportion ... what color have they not made garish ... what sweet gesture or classic pose haven't they taken out of focus and frame frozen ... not paid its reward ... not punched its ticket ... how long must they suffer these tawdry affairs before they marry in order to quickly get a divorce


you begin to love freud when you make the call that in some things he's absolutely right ... so too with plato ... taking just the possibility of real separate forms is enough to let you sit down and catch your breath ... all these years on the run and now you cross the border and the land not since the beginning and your time are free ... what you see is real and more real when it cannot be seen ... what you feel in its presence is natural when nature itself is something you can see ... it's enough to get you off your haunches make you stand up straight look the thing in the eye before it passes you by ... this is a thing in time as it makes time for you to stop and consider ... no other object like it does that ... this is a thing takes another sense to describe it ... occult yet in every single human instance common ... the ego debauched loves nothing more than to take credit for this at least for its description ... but the thing itself has its say and hearing it builds us up or tears us down ... the ego must abide ... these are things that do not change ... the ego with its palpitating heart reaches out to touch one 2/2

Saturday, May 15, 2010


who am I seems to be the mind ... when I'm sleeping it's during the game and on the bench waiting to play ... when I take the field it's to receive reports and to judge which ones to send up the line with what recommendations ... the longer in the field over the years the reports coming in are not so satisfactory as before and the ones going out are riddled more and more with inaccuracy ... but at the peak of play when you're on your game there's a more cleareyed view ... the brighter the view the more benevolent the services of the imagination ... they fill up the mind with beauty ... and still the ego wants more ... for the imagination is flighty worse is fickle ... and the ego has seen more much more and different very early on ... as if the object of all that beauty had passed in front of a mirror next door ... you thought for a moment it was truly truly she ... and after a moment and the imagination had returned you began to clothe and unclothe what you had seen ... until in just another moment or two you could no longer say what that was or that it meant 1/2


how is christ different from buddha confucius socrates or mohammad ... the truth was told about these others but jesus is the truth ... when each of these others meets divinity they meet jesus ... and that's true of us all ... we all meet jesus ... we all come face to face with absolute truth ... most of us gradually across a full lifetime ... some of us suddenly ... a few before they die ... myself I can only imagine but I hear of the effects of the contact on others and I feel its anticipation in myself ... don't we all ... or what's a yearning for ... isn't it a short-sightedness to take a means for an end ... to settle for the relative when you must have the absolute ... every good argument comes to this same adroit conclusion ... to the end of disputation ... asking questions can be tons of fun but there must finally be an answer ... not one having us sit down shaking our heads eternally ... nor one having us blast off into splendor endlessly ... but the presence as his spirit sustains us face and voice ... god's living truth

Thursday, May 13, 2010


the housecat soul never seems to be timid ... cornered crouching but never cowered ... there doesn't seem to be any fear in the housecat ... just a wisdom of calculation and caution ... its call of pain is a cry of protest ... its line of retreat prepared and followed in good care and in good time ... the soul of the housecat knows the presence of evil and its danger and almost always takes its angled retreat ... but leave her with her claws ... she uses them too ... she's a master of comfort and a connoisseur of affection ... contrary to canard she's rarely unpredictable ... you can count on the housecat once you know her nature ... she will not turn against you ... you may fail her but she cannot be disappointed ... you may leave her ... again she may protest ... again it will be personal ... for that's what she is ... a proper blend of intellect and will without a thumb or an abstract word ... she's living well within her means ... who can say how she'll end ... as little as your end ... whether or not you'll meet again


weakness of will implies degrees in the power of the practical syllogism ... it's what makes it different from its sister syllogism the theoretical ... as opinion recedes from certainty and loses persuasiveness the practical intellect loses decisiveness ... as one loses truth the other loses action ... the theoretical intellect likes to think of itself as the mind ... the practical intellect is the breath of the spirit in the soul ... in action or despair ... trying for instance would be firming the stomach muscles and holding your breath if the practical intellect had a body as it has a will ... trying it would be judged by adversity ... failing measured by its hope in its desire to be steadfast ... succeeding it would be tested immediately by grace to do in grace the right thing in the right way or not ... in the middle of triumph it must recognize the steady beat of truth and in the center of the truth it must hear the call to act ... nurtured in the lap of that truth now it must stand and take the spirit's hand

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


the ego thought it was talking to the superego but it was talking to the id ... things seemed very snug and spacey just enough story just enough abstraction to make a telling point ... on the average a nice thing to hear ... but not this time ... this time the conversation took on a cynical turn ... and the point it came to turned against the ego ... you only talk to her because you want to live forever and you know that's well beyond your means ... what are you after all what do you do to justify your life ... a smidgin of understanding a touch of judgment a lot of calculation ... what's that to her her decision her compassion her joy ... if anyone should live forever it should be her ... what are you to her ... and what more to the point is she to you ... I tell you my pain my pleasure my drive are more to her than all your thinking your concepts your words and yes even your technique ... what you make is substantial even as you prove there is no substance ... she's substantial ... but to you she's invisible ... you who must see to feel


what would judaism have become if it weren't for christ ... what would christianity look like if in the middle of the desert it gave up the trinity ... couldn't the answers be the same ... one word ... islam ... one god one prophet one law one people ... what a scandal to religion jesus was ... to believe in one god was fierce ... to believe in many was urbane ... but to pick just three no more no less ... even as an afterthought a movement in the oddity of the thinker's brain there would be scandal ... to the sage on the top of the mountain in the middle of the city as close to the absolute as it was comfortable to go it was crude and a folly ... but to the sorry penitent on his knees the old woman dying in her bed all the world groaning in travail for something infinitely better the story made sense ... incarnation and resurrection the hope of humanity the intimate hope ... but the crucifixion wisdom crucified ... the infinite truth

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I can't get much out of the present except that it seems to be sort of me ... I seem to fill it ... especially with my thoughts ... my words ... I work at it till exhausted and somebody turns the switch off and I sleep ... now I have heard a good christian say what would any of this mean if it didn't get its meaning from the god of the past who made a promise ... what would the future mean without that promise ... the god of the past would be passed and surely left behind if he had nothing to say about the future ... and we would be dull rubber pictures if we had nothing to say in response ... fleeful fearful if having heard we choose to run away ... or having heard and obedient to the call determined faithful and full of hope and mission or what's a history for ... the little buddhas when I was young did not ply their trade well ... I was one ... the meaning of life was our call ... as if it hadn't been put on a cross for all to see and in the morning refuted

cf moltmann, theology of hope


the end of history the end of life the end of my life they're all the same ... but I won't be cute ... end here is the good old aristotelian final cause as in purpose or goal ... life during the day when you're sober straight earnest and honest is a mean thing I say ... being almost cute again ... meaning by mean here the thing on the way as in means to an end ... and the end I say is the same for us all ... you probably say the same thing too and we don't have to be happy about that ... you could give aristotle an F saying he named a thing that never was ... for you end might mean final no cause attached thereafter ... as in what an horrific waste that was ... meaningless ... meaningless ... was there ever such a time before and such a generation to end in such a way the viper above the angel ... an old man sitting on a bench trying to catch his breath in between may snarl ... doesn't mean he's impolite ... he's in a fight ... if you had to drag your coffin up the hill the carpenter at the top will make it a cross

cf moltmann, theology of hope, 8.1

Monday, May 10, 2010


the lord be praised is the essence of worship but we live in a sector befuddled by both praise and worship ... we take the first to be coin paid transfer noted return expected ... but the other to be self surrendered ... why do that when it's for the self the return is freighted ... all these packages in the mail returned to sender the self too busy on its knees to go to the door and sign the receipt too shameless and ashamed to go to the door in such a condition ... you wonder why so often the face and the voice are so pitiful in their need ... if we knew what worship was and praise should be we'd do it all the time ... we are slaves chained to the wall in plato's cave playing on reflections of the fire in a deep dark pit kneeling on the links to feel their impressions oh so sharply remembering the time we meant something or meant to do it something like that ... when all the time outside in the light the universal teaches the particular to sing and to play 3/3


what's the history of your life been like whether you're fifty or a hundred ... is it not the same for all of us a conversation between the left and the right good angel bad angel the devil and god ... it seems like this all the time ... but maybe this seeming just seems to be true ... maybe the real conversation from birth to death is more immediate ... tactical ... an ontic swirl between the body and the spirit mediated by the mind ... a swirl so potently confusing the mind no longer knows its true parent the body or the spirit ... is it the eye looking up or the light coming down ... is the mind the true child of chemical transfusion and muscle straining or law giving and form setting ... if the one why all this effort to be witty ... if the other why all this passion to be wild and earthy ... bastard heir the mind concludes born of the one to the other ... bastard heir the least likely to succeed and does ... because the call came and we attended 2/3

Sunday, May 09, 2010


what would a theory of spiritual health contain ... surely a human should start with the body ... with a link between the spirit and the body ... if the body is ailing should the spirit not be able to heal it ... if the body is healthy should the spirit not feel it ... what about intelligence ... is it only in one say the spirit call it intellect or mind not bound by time or space it deals with the universal and eternal ... but what about the body ... has it no intelligence at all ... is an intimate knowledge of particulars nothing at all ... is knowing how to maneuver round a court or skating rink not savvy at all ... is there no improvement in mind between the shark and the cat on the prowl ... between the human body and the human face ... but unde hoc bonum from the spirit or the body this good thing we call the mind ... what's required when the universal meets the particular ... when eternity meets time ... is it like a firefly landing on the surface of the sun ... this savvy swaying soothing body ... isn't it rather a joy to the spirit 1/3


if you can find a greater sinner than I am I would be afraid to meet him ... and I'm not afraid to meet anyone ... I'm so deep a sinner I can tell you what it's like ... I can tell you what sin is ... it's a disorder a disease of the soul ... it has its accidents of crisis but it's the chronic stage that knows and gnaws ... knowing you're unsound out of order imbalanced you feel disease ... that's it pretty much ... it doesn't change in kind it only worsens grows in intensity eats up all your spare time allowing you infrequent vacations ... if you're lucky to live long enough you're in for an education ... if you're lucky to survive old age will teach you the consequences of sin ... lucky for this education and for your part in the fight ... thought you'd leave the house at noon to buy a pack of cigarettes ... thought you'd go round the bad part of town ... thought you'd avoid as long as you liked all the trouble and disaster of your time ... those consequences of sin ... but you carried the traitor within you gnawing on your heart

Saturday, May 08, 2010


the greater perfection the greater the participation in the essence of god ... if this is the key to ethics it is for theology and philosophy too ... if participation is the reason for excellence the reason for virtue what must that say of the god who made these things ... and if philosophy still holds to her ancient interest still believes in wisdom what would it say to someone who understood nothing of this ... but where is there such a being that this great truth does not understand ... where is the creature whose nature does not tend to order ... whose mind does not revere form ... whose soul does not depend upon it ... and what sad and tragic thing is not about some creature's fall from form into disorder or from more to less to little to nothing ... how is this wisdom then less than the sum of it all if it goes from nothing to everything ... how is this not the greatest given that there should be something something at all ... but that it should have such generosity as to include you and to include me ... the greater our participation in the essence of a god like this the greater perfection for us all


the ego has landed and only just in time ... spongy with the sky or just plain wet from the pond he needs a good rub down before he can go to work ... sometimes he has the time to sit back in his chair and light up a good cigar ... ruminating he calls it like grazing in the grass ... he has a faith when he does it on the past ... like a dark ridge on a crystal ball as he studies it grows deeper ... he doesn't see he doesn't hear but he listens ... now he sees the outline the canyon below expands his ears pop ... the recent past ... a story he has told ... take a feather stir the surface of the pool a slight wind and the effect is ruined ... to see the truth is to obey ... to have faith ... to do what you've always wanted but in this world minced in time ... the smoke rises but it grows thin attenuated stretched past any viable point ... gone ... where ... not the gases they're not what it means ... the smoke that smoke in time is over ... that smoke past time what can it mean ... in that faith is the root of a better hope than this ... it has a full body and a bright eye open clear smiling

cf moltmann, theology of hope, 3.12

Friday, May 07, 2010


the essential point about history is the resurrection ... which is a good thing ... no one likes a story with a bad ending ... and we do love stories ... we love them in our heart ... and we couldn't tell a single one without this at the beginning ... not any more ... not since we first heard it ... whenever we try to tell another story it always has a bad ending ... they're all a twist large or small on the crucifixion ... and that you will remember was the worst we had ... there was a time when natural did not mean primitive ... that was before the loss of eden made us savage ... there was a time when we had a god ... but on that afternoon we killed him ... now we're on our own and this is the world we've got and this is how it works ... it goes on and on until it burns out ... kind of like us we always burn out ... it's a sad thing but you won't find that we're not tough ... and we won't go before our time ... we won't be stupid and set the world on fire ... or explode it in war or population ... we'll disarm and prune the population before it gets out of the bag ... let's clear the air ... is this a story worth telling ... we save the world

cf wiker, ten books that screwed up the world, afterword


we are made in the image of god ... but god is three ... so we are three ... and freud on this point provides some clarity for us all ... but he's wrong about the superego ... it doesn't blindly bind ... it binds to support weakness ... the tutelage of the mind by the spirit in order to bring a discordant matter back under control is the history not only of man but of history ... of course ... and well ... and this is the christian message ... we start at the beginning where something is wrong ... not just a birth pang or some growing-pains we're meant to get through ... but pangs and pains in general and at the start ... not just a big bang in the beginning and then trying to contain it ... but us as a contributing cause ... was it something we said ... unde hoc malum ... that's the devil's sneer ... you can talk about all the beauty you want ... all the lovely desire ... but there's still that sinking feeling ... something is wrong something something is very very wrong ... it's wrong ... it's right here ... it predates our presence ... old old before its time ... that's the fight ... that thing swirling in the id ... and if we had a mind just once we'd smash it and hold our head up high

Thursday, May 06, 2010


you know gluts are bad things ... they stand in the way of good things happening ... the traffic jams they cause can make you sick to your stomach ... a minor roadblock here and you can start to stumble ... a little one there and your arm begins to throb ... big ones bring a man down ... they leave him looking for a pulse an eviction order in his pocket ... bad things happen and good things aren't allowed so who would like a glut ... well it must be us we get them all the time ... here now they made the wrapper to slow you down ... if it weren't for the spoon you'd eat it by the gallon ... there's a glass ... you mean to drink how many more ... here are the books ... how many have you read ... how many do you own ... it's just that when he said it I knew it was something I should know but the time I never had the time to return or the heart to throw it out ... there were so many things in my head ... not the dates ... the dates were actually helpful ... not the characters they had a solidity on their own ... no it was the ideas ... they came in one by one but their friends crowded in behind them ... I can't think straight


1st lesson it's not about you but it will be when it counts ... 2nd lesson it's not magic magic is taken and this is given ... it's more about talking ... you do most of it but you get a good answer when you need it ... it's not like counting to three and then saying presto ... it's like opening your eyes to the truth and finding out that you're not alone but there's someone there with you nobody can see ... not a disturbing my god what was that ... but a passing nod of hello are you here then ... in the space of two rooms you promise what to do ... from blue to yellow to white eyehurting light ... but not your eyes ... you're sitting down to write ... this is a very mellow hope ... it means you can stop trying at least for now ... trying ... trying all life generally is and fighting lots of fighting ... trying to be clever ... but this perhaps tomorrow this will be delusion ... whose is it to last ... not the point point of order ... the point here is not trying ... nor rash or in any way a burden ... not a gall and bitter to the tongue ... thin as a wafer light as a cloud ... who knows what blessing it will bring

Wednesday, May 05, 2010


some boundaries in pacres are conceptual ... others are for the rhythm or the sound ... but it's all flexible ... like life ... rhythm meaning and sound ... with a pause or two for emphasis ... like history or a story being told ... like history when it is a story being told ... not like an opinion being argued or a theory being weighed but characters and events with a beginning middle and an end and significant words being said and powerful ideas being served ... a good story ... you know what I mean ... with a good ending ... it's always about desire high and low ... tragedy and comedy in that order ... when tragedy is heroic and comedy broad ... when words are meant to reach god and fall just short of the angels ... when they whisper in your ear and make her smile ... when they mean to give us meaning and do it with a pause ... you get the emphasis because of the pause ... your attention is alerted ... the dark age is about to close ... the light air of promise is in the dawn ... that's what a day is for ... all the others just support it ... oh what a morning ... there never was another like it ... the pause ... everything begins (2/3)

cf moltmann, theology of hope, 3.6


we're prudent sometimes ... god is providential ... he provides ... you are alone recovering slowly in your old age ... you turn on a tv show monk ... you resolve your past and lasting social bazaars of odd behavior ... you've indulged yourself for decades in an intellectual gluttony ... you see an ad for intellectual appetite two kinds one much more vicious than the other curiosity and study and why this is so ... you are being told but you do not pay attention ... you make promises but you do not keep them ... you are frightened down to the last pit of your stomach ... first you're nauseous then what's worse so is your mind with a final fear ... you can turn like a swivel but there is no way to turn ... you're alone all you can think about is yourself ... you're very clearly on the brink ... somebody calls ... it's your friend ... you are led by two steps to plead an indisposition not of the old but of the old made new ... how curious you ponder how well all that was done ... and the game and the internet to follow ... some tv ... and the books ... the book ... of course ... god is dead it says hanging on a cross until tomorrow (1/3)

cf paul j griffiths, Intellectual Appetite, and moltmann, theology of hope, 3.5

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


I tell you you can go through twenty books till you get to the one you should be reading ... or sixty and suddenly three appear ... you could be turning pages or flipping screens and a short written argument will rise up and nip you on the wrist ... something like this ... abortion is eugenics ... sex call her goddess becomes the highest point of meditation in the culture ... she rules with a utile whip ... pleasure is the greatest good ... pain the worst evil ... prod or jerk ... between them we must go till we tire wear out and get recycled ... we grow strong we ripen we go soft ... the last sharp pang or yearning that's what it's all about ... and the pain it's the only obscenity we know ... at the least such vulgar low taste ... at the worst an irretrievable invasion occupation and ruin ... what a fool we would make failing to evade it ... what idiots imbeciles or morons we must be to waste the best we have on anything called a god ... if there's a calling and you can hear it it says you are the god ... with your own hands take the species ... hold it ... mold it ... make it a better

cf benjamin wiker, ten books


every man meets a judge at the end of his life and the judge is always a woman ... or so you would think by the way he acts ... always trying to please the ladies ... every woman meets a judge at the end of her life ... and so on ... our mutual attraction must be fatal but it doesn't have to be mortal ... the broken coin is mended and laid on the closed eye of death when death is no more ... we must pay our way but we will go together ... thus not in death but in completion ... you can see it in the prudence of the fathers who don't give a detailed description of heaven ... who can imagine a time when men and women will always be agreeable ... it's why men enjoy boys night out and so do women ... a time to celebrate our separation while we still can ... it's like time and eternity ... what man can understand the sweet face of woman smiling over her shoulder and not follow ... what's a split second if it has no place to go being there already ... man is for woman as she is for him ... a good reason for desire ... and there'd be no time without desire ... no reason to be

Monday, May 03, 2010

HOW WE MIGHT ALL BE MESSENGERS OF GOD (and still not angels)

oh why did I say that ... I don't even mean it ... I certainly didn't mean it that way ... I talk too much ... I ought to shut up ... I ought to shut up completely ... let's stop the respondent there just short of despair ... we find ourselves slipping unfortunately like this in freudian ways ... on the other hand sometimes we say something really clever or profound without first giving it a thought ... if I didn't know freud better I'd think we were channeling from the grave or from the stars ... all I was aware of was the tapping of my shoe the clench of my fist the turn of my own hand before I said that truly hurtful thing ... but having said it I can't pretend it wasn't I who did it ... me the one on the inside and at the center ... but I only spoke what I was listening to ... it wasn't mine ... I was only repeating it ... say rather it was the id in the cellar ... I will go upstairs now and stick my head through the roof ... if I must speak but cannot claim to be the author I'd rather wash my mouth out in starfire and speak directly to the moon


the thing about a pacre is it isn't automatic ... you have to play it ... take your time ... I think ninety seconds may be too fast ... do your homework first ... read it up and down ... get the pitch right ... you want to make it sell ... get the pitch right ... it has at least something to say ... what the something is try to get it right ... the thing to remember about the pacre it doesn't last long ... play it while you can ... the pacre doesn't last long and then it's over ... it doesn't linger ... saw it yesterday but it was gone before tomorrow ... heard it just around the corner ... can't remember a thing it said ... the pacre is the child of the age ... it knows it's running short on time ... let it play while you can ... play it with some kind of devotion ... give it some care ... give it some respect ... remember it's an orphan ... a last survivor ... for any one pacre there never is another ... think of it this way ... a pacre should be light and shouldn't be demanding ... it shouldn't take itself too seriously ... it should sing but it's just a little aria ... it should be clear like the first or last note of a trumpet ... it should drive like the beat of a drum ... and when it's done ask yourself is it true

Sunday, May 02, 2010


all right ... this is just a suppose ... but suppose freud was right ... that we were made up of an id an ego and a superego ... the id is a reflection of the aweful power of the father ... volcanos ... the surface not to mention the center of the sun ... the grip of the jaw and of the hand ... energy waves tides of the ocean and the milky way ... the dig of the ditch the swing of the hammer ... the murder the birth of the child ... the power of the mother the power of the father ... the power it seems divorced from morality above good below evil pulling them both apart urgently ... it seems we find ourselves on the run from the start ... the whole tribe village city nation is on the move and talking as they go ... a journey yes but it's an escape too ... an escape to heaven a retreat away from hell ... out of sin into innocence ... the whole damn race on the move ... that's a lot of dinners to prepare along the way before each night ... a lot of thinking again when we go to sleep ... a different kind of walk and talk in our dreams but just as boastful and worried as during the day ... the ego is burdened and burning with the fires of the id ... don't look down ego ... look up above for the superego


I like these multiplayer multicharacter political military historical games ... when your ally seems to gain too much too quickly your own war effort slackens to give the enemy time to beat up on your presumptuous friend and hopefully weaken himself in the process ... but more than this is the simple pleasure of the swoop down ... over the mountains and the lakes across the plains into the cities and ports ... it's this glide down from the rulebook to the board from theory to practice the universal to the particular that stirs old embers in the intellect ... of change of plans in the middle of the night ... of a map on a table in a campfire's light ... summer the high season for campaigning ... for young nations to force their way in among the old ... for an illegal nation to be punished by another outside the law ... the game itself the friends the elegant moves the plot unfolding the story being told ... it's all play inside a metaphor ... a mimicry ... son to the father ... a lesson being taught all the time ... yet over and over again ... ever ... always ... new ... isn't this the way of the world with the maker and mover moving himself in time

cf moltmann, theology of hope, 2.6

Saturday, May 01, 2010


if you understand music you understand sex ... of course there are some who say to try to understand either is to show how small is the chance you'll ever succeed ... but let's say they're wrong ... and that we understand the rhythm and the beat the violin and the drum ... understand them so throughly we're on the the march as soon as they begin ... and not your trudging stoop shouldered kind of march but a triumphant swimming kind of procession ... full of sound but not verbal ... full of meaning but no way your normal kind of discussion ... long threads of narrative sharp angles of arguments without anyone speaking a word ... around the corner or down the block across the way whatever there may be someone singing ... but not here ... here the phrases are much shorter ... later the lyrical the dialog the dramatic monologue ... right now the whisper the moan the sigh ... hip swinging back gyrating knees bending kind of dance ... suddenly the arm goes out the finger pointing ... there now says the wise one ... here now ... that's what we've been saying all these long hard generations ... this now is always


a devil rides us as a monkey would a horse ... he pulls our neck back we rear ... we forget we've got a monkey on our back ... we lose our balance ... we fall down ... with grace we rise again ... human ... with a monkey on our back ... and more and more like a horse as the devil begins to ride ... if it were just the two of us the devil and his ride with nothing and no one else is that the closest to hell we can get ... could we take it one step further and run away with ourselves ... alas it's impossible to run away ... to be totally alone ... wherever you go you go there yourself ... and the two of you you and yourself are never alone as long as you have each other ... but after a while you've got to wonder who is this other ... and the inquiry the investigation conversation dialogue and debate go on ... who can say the number of witnesses called ... the kind of evidence given ... who can say at any point it's not the devil prosecution or defense ... who can say when I was at my most intense densest real that I was doing a good thing ... ah I can shake my head from ear to ear move my shoulders up and down blow smoke and snort