I found the following quote in Forbes magazine: "I believe that God plays this enormous role in my life. And I believe that it's my obligation to give back..." (Ronald Perelman, billionaire)
Pondering the remark while getting the typical knee jerk reaction to the smug expression of the rich and aspiring rich: to give back... What may I ask are you going to give back? The grandeur of the give back is correlated to the inflation of ego and vanity of the philanthropist---and is indirectly correlated to an impoverished view of the universe! Allow me to explain...If I fully appreciate the grandeur and mystery of the universe and its great, unmeasurable wealth---I stop and wonder 'what is the wealth of man?' Even the richest of the rich---Forbes400 list 2 trillion combined net worth---what kind of dent in the bucket are they going to make in terms of giving back?
Consider the tapestry of dawn, the rainbow ribbons of clouds at sunset, the misty pond's ecological habitat, the crash of the wave, your DNA, quantum numbers, the galaxy...I could go on like this enumerating the incalculable beauty and majesty of nature and in not one of these scenarios would the wealth of the wealthiest turn out to be anything but chump change.
Perelman's remark only highlights a naive vanity, and pride---when I ponder the truth of nature and it's god---the only true God---I realize that the prospect of giving back in any material sense is hyperbolic and absurd. The only give back possible is thankfulness, love and the action of my soul. The only give back is a pure heart. What can I return to god or nature for my existence, can I really donate something as pure and clear as a fresh running stream? The answer is no---I can only give my authentic being---which is my only truth and real worth.
"What profit a man if he gain the world and lose his soul...." These words from the great teacher indicate a rhetorical question whose answer can only be: "none!" This answer should be Perelman's or any other do-gooder's answer about giving back--- if their view of god and the universe were in harmony with Jesus' words---instead they believe in their own wealth and unwittingly ascribe to a faith in the god of mammon and hence must make a return, the give-back, to quell their conscience before the inequality toward their human brothers. Yes, it is easy to calm one's conscience by making oaths to a God you have never seen and scarcely believe in, or at the very least a God whose kingdom you are completely ignorant of, because you perceive the world in terms of wealth and power which is alien to the true kingdom of God.
It’s been well established that secondhand smoke can be just as detrimental as lighting up yourself. And you’ve heard that stress can increase the risk for obesity … but did you know your stress can actually have secondhand health effects on others — namely, your children? New research published in Pediatrics shows that tense parents tend to raise more obese children. In fact, according to the study, the more stress parents report, the more likely their offspring are to be overweight or obese.
For one, the drive-through window is like a siren song for stressed-out parents. When the alternative is chopping, dicing, sautéing and steaming after a long day at work, what the study calls “haphazard meal planning” sounds much more appealing, especially when dollars are scarce. The good news is stress did not seem to affect how many fruits and vegetables children ate or how active they were.
Aside from skipping fast food, another solution for the whole family is for parents to strike stress itself and take time to wind down at the end of a long day. It starts with adequate sleep, which can make a dynamic difference — sleep deprivation slows metabolism and erodes willpower to resist poor food choices.
If your little one overhears an argument between you and your spouse, remind them that everyone argues sometime. Be sure to build breaks and downtime into your daily routine, even if it’s just 10 minutes of flipping through a magazine or taking a stroll around the block. Modeling mellow behavior can teach kids to handle life’s little molehills more effectively.
Try and stick to a structured schedule as much as possible and eat dinner together as a family. This habit alone is known to make kids happier and eat healthier.
With a little practice, stress can be downsized — and so can your kids.
This 'nanny' style communication really made me laugh until I saw the serious side---this is being presented as reputable university and medical advice---but it really reminds me of Soviet images of 'family life', 'healthy living', etc...in the early '80s. I am willing to do everything that Shayna Brouker recommends as essential to good living--the only problem remaining is what to do with my family during the morning and afternoon, and not sure i know how to function without a whole lot more advice! Thanks UF Shands for looking out for every comrade (I mean 'citizen'), but especially for helping me out with such valuable free medical consultation. :)
I am so very thankful for this day! Its crisp, cold wind, its solar radiation, the last flickering of autumn leaves upon the breeze. The greatest gift is not the tree or the, dazzling blue sky, or the big brown dog---it is that I can see these things, I can hear her speaking. This gift surpasses every other miracle.
Here is a wonderful quote from Thomas Merton that I read today in his book, No Man is an Island: "If you go into solitude with a silent heart, the silence of creation will speak louder than the tongues of men and angels."
Ian Anderson resurrects the Baroque string quartet, with drums, piano and flute.
He is the musical 'avatar' of this age, no one even in his league. Also great to see, in these days of corporate 'music' and pseudo-pop stars performing non-acoustically to cowering audiences, a true musical champion!
It occurred to me that to be a "christian" is synonymous with being a fool in the contemporary scene, particularly in the "brain belts" such as Cambridge-Boston or Palo Alto or the research triangle. Frankly, I prefer ''disciple of Christ'' to the name 'christian'. I realize that the term meant a lot to St. Paul but like so many other terms today it has become dilute---far too many come in that name who are not truly devout, who moreover do not have the "mind of Christ. There are many other terms which have lost their potency in today's public discourse---for example, 'democracy'---whatever it may have meant back in the day to the founding fathers or even Lincoln, it has become so dilute as to be meaningless. Another analogous disconnection of term and essential signification is 'war' and 'peace'. The Orwellian doublespeak that Ronald Reagan ushered in with the term 'peacekeeper' is a case in point. It reminds me of James Joyce's line in Ulysses: "Love--I mean the opposite of hate."
Well, back to the foolishness of Christ's cross. As history 'advances' and more things are 'known' (history does not advance ---progress is a belief system; and knowledge is not equivocal with amassing and manipulating information) be that as it may in worldly terms or in the mind of someone who has no indwelling of the Holy Spirit, for example, someone like Bill Gates appears to be 'smart', whereas someone who echoes Paul in saying that all earthly knowledge is indeed foolishness compared to the knowledge of Christ. Further this knowledge of Christ is of a different order than earthly knowledge or what might be called 'science'. Science asserts so-called finite certainties like 2+2=4 or E=mc2, whereas knowledge of Christ testifies to a relationship with a person best characterized by the word love.
Indeed in this climate the one who loves Christ is "dumb and dumber" getting dumber everyday compared to the world that gets "smart and smarter". This reveals a curious inversion of values---at least in the milieu where I was brought up intelligence was considered to be a good thing, a value to be sought for. However, as I go on now with new eyes that see with Christ's mind, I see that what I considered to be intelligence was not good but was a very subtle conditioning via education within my cultural milieu. To quote Dylan" "I was so much older then I'm younger than that now..." I was so much smarter then, etc...
Personally I thank God today for my growing ignorance of worldly affairs. The world powers that be that put The Holy One to death on the cross are still the same---there is nothing new under the sun! And we are still mocked for being enlightened in Christ, and the smug religious leaders and politicians, and peacekeepers go on reviling, cursing and murdering the innocent (very often in the name of Christ---but this is obviously antichrist). Everything is upside down.
The mind that was in Him, that is in me penetrates with understanding to the core of reality. It is the primary 'word' from which the material world is born (genesis). Hence to be enlightened in Christ's mind is to penetrate all understanding and grasp true knowledge. Paradoxically this enlightened grasp of truth which goes far beyond philosophy is by worldly standards 'foolishness' actually a more pithy term would be 'idiot', 'insane', or colloquially 'loser'. Yes, by this world's standards I am a loser, and so is Jesus Christ!
Consider the Beatitudes---worldy teachers and preachers cannot communicate anything meaningful about Jesus' teaching because the teaching is idiotic, backwards, stupid, insane. Parents cannot teach their children to imitate Jesus because he was uncool, stupid, demonstrated zero ability to defend himself in front of the court---and did not seek money, fame, ambition or a wife and kids. If a kid acts like Jesus in America he or she gets punished because Jesus teaching is the antithesis of American virtues, ethics and values. The term Christian Nation makes as much sense as 'peace keeper'---it is perfect double speak. To be honest a Christian nation would also lay down its life for its friends, would turn the other cheek, would never kill, etc...
The paradox that Apostle Paul reveals is that to be in Christ is loss for world but gain for the Kingdom. And the kingdom is not a purified American picnic or whatever materialistic fantasy is promulgated. The kingdom is present, yet hidden, is infra and yet beyond, timeless, neither large nor small, true, full of life---both within and without.
The Stalker---what an incredibly rich and original person! I love the film more each time I see it. The 'zone' is completely relevant in the context---the film's theme grows more poignant as we advance into the 21st century. He is the priest of our time!
The year is off to a good start. I feel that this year is about clarity and manifestation; clarity in self acceptance and manifestation in clarifying my desires precisely, visualizing them and allowing them to come into focus.
I discovered my Portlandia files written in the '90s: poetry et al. and I will type a section here:
Hornblowing squealing out of rhythm/ warm breeze blowing over. A drunk lays on top of his radio, passed out not a half block from the parade.
Everett is the beginning/ fat sticked snare drummers/ electric bassplayers with their amps on rollers---Nerf footballs in the air. Energy building in the last few minutes before the parade begins.
We got casualties and statistics/we got flowersellers and ice cream vendors and Burger King overflowing. We got authorities on the streets and in cars/ we got pillow-lined curbs and runners/we got skaters and fags and dragqueens/we got streetpeople, bag ladies and young families. There are little ones and fat ones and old ones and lovers. There are flagwavin' balloon wavin' color bedecked plastic toys wavin'. There's walking down the middle of streets, walking on sidewalks, steppin' on toes and walkin' between... There's folks on trucks propped up/there's music players in costume---red and white and black all shiny and new. They were drinking coffee and coke, and beer and fruit drinks---eatin' fruit bars and candy---everybody getting ready for the parade. Leaning on walls crazy bastards screaming..too many runners running. Sure as hell if I ain't part of it....
Here is a photo of Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and well known proponent of atheism.
I agree with Dawkins on so many things---natural selection, the preponderance of religious myth and its destructive role in American intellectual life, particularly with Christianity. It is simply anti-intellectual.
I am also anti-religious and I agree with Christopher Hitchens as well as Dawkins that the world would be a much saner and safer place without religion, especially Christianity. However, I am still a theist in that I understand that the entire universe is based upon a 'god' particle, if you will.
I say 'god particle' because I do not want to mythologize 'god' as the great religions have done. To my way of thinking, the essential point about god is that god is incommunicable, ineffable and radically mysterious in a natural sense. That is to say of all the natural species, there is a species which is not natural which makes possible for the coming to into being of other species---it resembles Aristotle's 'unmoved mover(s)'.
This god species or particle is entirely simple and underlies every complexity in the universe---for example if a physicist discovered the most simple particle that composes the material universe, this is the direction we are looking in. Even though the universe may have begun in a simple unified singularity and then moved in a direction of complexity, this point is unchanging, always the same. As in music, a wonderful chord from which all complexity (nature) springs forth and into which all nature falls home. Further this integral is continuously present to every point in the universe as its origin.
There is more to write but I leave it for another day...