News Briefs 04-01-2005

You can donate to the tsunami relief effort (through the American Red Cross) easily by going to Amazon.com (I realise it's good advertising for the big A, but it's such a simple and easy way to make a difference that it deserves mention)...

Quote of the Day:

You know all that money we spend on the military every year - trillions of dollars? Instead, if we use this money to feed and clothe the poor of this world, which it would do many times over, then we can explore space, inner and outer, together, as one race.

Bill Hicks

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samgill's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
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9 years 36 weeks

As a casualty of the "New Age" movement, I think Mr. Hicks' quote is a wonderful thought, with very little practical value. During many years of looking for an idealistic movement of like-minded folks on the leading edges of conciousness I found that one thing common in the various groups--they are anything but like-minded, and mostly judgemental to boot. I am sorry to say that given an either/or vote, I go with the military spending, until some one figures out how to change our irascible human nature, which often roils over into evil. More practically, let's keep spending on both--ways to change our nature and military protection, while we work on the former.

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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9 years 36 weeks

Ah the wonderful/terrible dichotomy; three basic things have taken man to domination of the planet, and the top? of the food chain. Our creative minds; our opposable thumbs, and our aggressive nature. Lose any one of the three, and you take a different path. Without our aggressive/inquisitive nature, there would be no exploration in the face of deadly peril. Without our creative minds, no inventions to take us there. And without our opposable thumbs, we're basically foragers instead of voyagers.

I think the answer might be to embrace our nature, rather than change it, and channel the excess energy into creative areas, rather than let the overflow wreak mayhem. We will need to come to a better understanding of our basic nature, and our place in the world, with all its attendant privileges and responsibilities. Rather than picture ourselves "standing outside it all", we need to see ourselves as an interdependent part of all nature. Most of our religious doctrines fail us, because they lead us to believe we are somehow better than all the rest of nature, and especially better than men of a different faith.

We all need to take the Red Pill, and come to an understanding of how we have consistently been controlled and manipulated for others' gain over the centuries. The rabbit hole goes deeper than anyone can imagine, and I can state with practical assurance that the powers that be don't want us to know about it, much less explore it. Those who handle our strings want us ignorant, dependent, and afraid. Look around you, and you will see how well they've accomplished that objective, and we've consistently helped them at every turn.

There is a way out, but it involves the maxim: "To continue forward, sometimes you must take a step back." I wonder how many of us around the globe would embrace such a journey?

Regards,
khefre

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
- Albert Einstein

samgill's picture
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I think the recent response around the world to the tsunami in Asia is ample proof of compassion. Somehow I don't think that is what you have in mind. I see no value in promoting the Red Pill for people who are trying to make a living, worship their god, and raise their kids. All the esotericism in the world is useless if it cannot be communicated to average folks, unless, that is, you support some sort of elitist society....And laying the blame for ignorance at the feet of some "they" is tantamount to abrogating personal responsibility--a key element in any "Path" as I remember. Besides, the "they" aren't that darn smart; "they" haven't a clue what you are talking about.

the shadow's picture
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24 June 2004
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Hi sarngill (sorry if I have spelt your name wrong,I have sight problems).
The average folk of whom you speak are maybe just a little more ready than you realise for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
From cradle to grave we are over-organised, over-governed, over-regulated and must totally conform to the mores that our government and religion (sometimes hand in hand) have thrust upon us.
Thinking for yourself is called radicalism, and very often the average folk do not have the means or the knowhow to better inform themselves.
It is not that they don't want to, it is that they don't know how to.

The rule of the Catholic Church for centuries was that Catholics must never enter a non-Catholic church on pain of mortal sin.
Keep them in the dark and feed them bull-s$$t.The Catholic hierachy knew that if the general population knew there was another world out there they might want to join it.

The government is the same with its secrets.

As for world-wide compassion for victims of the tsunami,I have not seen it.I have heard people say that they should not be expected to give to people who are not like us.I have heard them say the victims brought it on themselves.And I have heard them say it is nature's way of keeping the population down.

There is a move though among the average folk who are learning that they too have rights, to want their experiences heard and ratified.The yearning for spiritual information is out there, unheard by the churches,and capitalised on by the New Age movement.
When your country offers you nothing but unemployment and contempt for being unemployed,and the churches ask you for money to keep them going, you bet they are going to look for alternatives.

shadows

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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Take the blue pill. Compassion in the face of sensational disaster is easy; compassion on a daily basis towards our fellow man, our planet, and all of nature is harder to come by. I am not supporting or espousing any kind of elitism; just an awakening of the goodness within us all, by embracing reality. Are you saying that the average person is unable to grasp man's place in nature, or just can't be bothered? Check with the Pueblo indians of the American southwest.

What higher form of personal responsibility could you wish than to understand and fulfill your place in nature? As for what "they" are up to, it's not a behind-closed-doors, spy novel awareness; it's their greed, lust for power, and desire for control manifested as manipulation of our daily lives. We help them by abrogating our personal and civic responsibility, ceding power to mommy/daddy big government, and indulging ourselves in the obscene glut of consumer goods and rank entertainments they have convinced us we need to be happy.

I'm trying to understand your anger, and failing. Are you angry with me, or because the old mythologies don't work anymore (even if you're allowed to pursue them), and the new-agey ones don't seem to work much better?

Regards,
khefre

Greg's picture
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30 April 2004
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1 hour 38 min

I agree, Bill's thoughts aren't about to become reality. Why? Because we are a largely unevolved species who are overly proud of our ability to think clearly and critically.

However, I think the whole concept isn't about finding a 'movement' or 'group'...it's about taking responsibility as individuals to evolve as best we can. That's the whole reason we're in this downward spiral...people want to be part of a group, so they are nationalistic, racist or whatever, they each want to preserve this little group they've got going and so they feel they need a military to do that.

It won't be until we take responsibility as individuals, and think as a species/planet (rather than as nations/races), that we will finally be on the right path. Trouble is, everyone's too shit-scared to do it.

Unevolved, scared little species...

Peace and Respect
Greg
-------------------------------------------
You monkeys only think you're running things

Richard's picture
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Responsibility as individuals will come as the need to belong to a group has been annihilated from human consciousness and replaced with the consciousness of the nature, the ‘number’, the real and absolute name and identity of the source of consciousness, which will by its own purpose know what direction and function is his to pursue. This phenomenon will replace the social structures that we know today with an appropriate architecture of consciousness that is absolutely efficient in its organization because of the perfection of the organized consciousnesses.

For the individual, this means the authority over his own life in a more absolute fashion. This means the end of the use of the individual experience for the benefit of a group and a culture that becomes the mind frame of those who don’t yet own a consciousness that has attained a level of maturity that does not anymore need a social incubator.

As birds need to be thrown out of their nest so that they learn to fly or crash, human civilization will be taken away from the tethered immature souls that have not yet been fused by their source. This will force humanity to reconsider their actions when the consequences of their total unconsciousness can’t be disregarded anymore. Humans do not have the will to separate themselves from the apparently comforting embrace and illusory protection of their cultures which they tend to believe superior since they have forfeited their right of mind for an impression of security projected by a larger group. The more spiritual ones and even esoterists fall in the same trap and, even if the groups are smaller, feel their security stemming from their own spiritual pride and impression of spiritual superiority. The mechanisms are the same and, even though the form is subtler, the illusion remains, reinforced even by the higher vibration of the illusion-form.

Civilization is the last rampart of human unconsciousness since it reinforces the false impression of security in man. This impression will be taken away so that man as an individual starts creating part of his own consciousness that will become his real security since it will be based on the individual’s ability to not have to belong to any group to know what needs to be done for his own good.

Once man is secure in himself, he will have no need to control others. The need to control and dominate others comes from the inability to evolve and grow. The environment then needs to be changed to fit the still nature of that person. Likewise, the current civilization, which socially is the sum of the interactions between the individuals, takes over the same reflexes and constantly attempts to secure its basis by dominating other societies by one mean or another. This is the cause of the current state of slavery of the planetary mind.

Then, groups will only be the result of perfectly free associations rather than associations for the sake of a false sense of security. The only security that is real is the one that stems from one’s own consciousness. For this security to be real, that consciousness needs to develop a level of reality by exiting its experimental state, which is its karmic state and karmic ties, which is its link with death and his severance from life.

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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Neat story about the lonliest whale; and the tie-in to Bradbury's "The Foghorn" made me go to Amazon and order "Golden Apples of the Sun", one of his anthologies that contains the story. At one point or another I know I've owned all of Ray Bradbury's tales, but as new books come in, the old books are usually taken to the senior citizens' center for them to enjoy. I probably have purchased some paperbacks several times due to these strange but deliberate "brownian movements" of my library. Bradbury is something to be savored, IMHO, like fine wine. And, like appreciation for fine wine, the partaker needs to have matured somewhat as well. I wasn't aware that Bradbury was recruited by John Huston to become heavily involved in the screenplay of "Moby Dick", but I'll bet one of his contributions was the line by Ahab to Starbuck: "This conversation was rehearsed by thee and me a thousand years before this ocean rolled.."

Regards,
khefre

"..but it is a mild day, and a mild, mild sky." Ahab

the shadow's picture
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>this conversation was rehearsed by thee and me a thousand years before this ocean rolled>

Imagine being able to write a line like that!!!

shadows

khefre's picture
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Bradbury is as close to genius as it gets, I think. I know he did a lot of Star Trek stuff that he never got full credit for, and his short stories are legendary. In the movie from the book of the same name "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Bradbury uses part of the wonderful carol written by Longfellow "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", which except for the words "Christmas" and "Christendom", could express the fondest hope of any religion: peace on earth, good will to men. In a confrontation with Mr. Dark, the last of these two stanzas is used.

'And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Longfellow's son was in the cavalry during the American Civil War, and was badly wounded. During his son's convalescence at home, HWL wrote the famous carol. He must have been a man of remarkable faith, having lost his wife early on, and allowed his son Charles to enlist in the CW. Sometimes when I get depressed, I repeat the last stanza of the carol to myself. Since all Gods are one God, and all men are one flesh, the belief holds true across the board, unless you have no active belief in a deity.

The phrase "peace on earth, good will to men" has become a standard theme over the years, but I believe the actual wording as voiced by the angels to the shepherds is: "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth, peace among men of good will, with whom He is pleased." There is a world of difference in the statements, but at this point in history, I'd take either.

Regards,
khefre

P.S. If you want an interesting experience, download the ebooks "God's Debris" and its sequel "The Religion War" by Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert (they aren't comedy, but philosophical fiction, and they're cheap) from Amazon.

the shadow's picture
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24 June 2004
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Ray Bradbury must be getting old, because I remember reading his stories many many years ago.
My late husband owned all his books but I don't remember what happened to them.Bradbury was his favourite writer along with Rider Haggard.
I know the Longfellow poem very well, and I love it.For my own fun I memorised many of his poems when I was young and still remember them.
I will look up the books by Scott Adams, thanks for the tip.

Psychologists will tell you that music is the most evocative and moving of all the arts, but for me it has always been words.
Nothing has ever moved me like words.
As a child who mostly grew up in orphanages I memorised a lot of stuff for company.
The first book I ever read, at a very early age, was Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin.
So I memorised parts of it.
Then I found a copy of A Tale of Two Cities, and memorised the first and last chapters.
Dickens of course was very wordy but those 2 chapters are to me the best he ever wrote.
I can still quote it for my great grandchildren today, not that they would want to hear it.Maybe later on they will.
I was not very good at my schoolwork but my head was full of these wonderful words.
A line can become like a mantra and give peace and reassurance.

The Raven, by E.A.Poe was another I memorised along with The Ancient Mariner by Coleridge.

Nice to see that someone else appreciates the power of words.

Cheers,

shadows

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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9 years 36 weeks

We have much in common, especially in a love for the power of words. I've always liked Frost because of his earthiness, and have committed many of his peoms to memory. They are my companions when I need to regain my perspective. I've loved Shakespeare since high school, because it became apparent to me that the way an idea is presented is at least as important as the idea itself, and might be even more important. When Hamlet is asked by his treacherous uncle where Polonius is, he replies: "In heaven; send thither to find him, and if they find him not, seek him in the other place, yourself."

Poetry is a favorite, with Poe, Longfellow, Blake, etc. - I love descriptive poems like Walter De La Mare's "The Listeners", with the lines:

"Aye, they heard his foot upon the stirrup, and the sound of iron on stone, and how the silence surged softly backward when the plunging hoofs were gone."

If you've ever been in deep woods, you know about how sounds are like ripples in a pond, and how the quiet seems to damp them out afterward. I like the simplicity of Haiku,
like Basho's,

The butterfly,
Resting on the temple bell;
Asleep.

You can easily picture a Buddhist temple courtyard, in the warmth of the early afternoon, the noon meal completed, and the world in quiet reflection. So much imagery and sensory delight from so few words. Ah, we humans are so lucky to have the gift of language. I wonder if the whales and dolphins are similar? Perhaps some whale songs are like seas chanteys, to keep them company on their long journeys, and passed down through generations from the elders of the pod to the youngsters. Anthropomorphism? Perhaps, but it gives me pleasure to think we might have kindred spirits in that regard.

Regards,
khefre

"We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out."
--Ray Bradbury

the shadow's picture
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24 June 2004
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Frost;I can feel the snow and smell the apples of his poems.

Robert Burns, who wrote a poem to a mouse whose home was broken up by a plough...
Wee, sleekit,cow'rin',tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
And another, Holy Willie's Prayer mocking a hypocritical minister.

Blake's Tiger, best poem ever written.

Emily Dickinson to whom I came late when my son bought me a book of her poems.

Walt Whitman's Song of Myself...
Failing to fetch me at first,keep encouraged,
Missing me one place, search another...
I stop somewhere waiting for you.

George Herbert's Love Bade Me Welcome.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning...
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways......

Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw........
Don Juan dies and goes to Hell where he meets Ana, daughter of the man he killed.
Ana says,"Is there justice in Heaven?"
Don Juan says,"No, but there is justice in Hell.
Heaven is far above such idle human personalities.
You will be welcome in Hell Senora.Here is the home of honour, duty, justice and the rest of the seven deadly virtues.All the wickedness on earth is done in their name.Where else but in Hell should they have their reward?
Have I not told you that the truly damned are those who are happy in Hell?"

Rudyard Kippling, who lost his faith in Empire when his son went missing in action in the Boer War.Kipling spent the rest of his life searching for his son's body.He wrote about the war dead.
They will come back,come back,
As long as the red earth rolls,
He never wasted a leaf or a tree,
Do you think He would squander souls?

And a quote from American poet Henry Beston...
We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystic concept of animals, for the animals shall not be judged by man.
They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time; fellow prisoners of the splendours and travails of earth.

I could go on and on for hours.

The whale story caught me like no other for a long time.Yes, I think they would sing sea shanties,about mermaids and mysterious creatures of the deep.
The thought of a lone whale makes my heart ache.
Is he looking for someone and crying for his lost love?Whales do love the same as we do.

I am going to re-read all the Bradbury books, they are in the local library.
Love the last quote....what power the man has to arrange his words thus.

Regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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We do, indeed, have much in common. How pleasant that we can share our interest across the miles.

I have been a student of the American Civil War since I was about twelve, when my parents took me to the Gettysburg battlefield. My Great Grandad was there with the 20th CT Volunteer Infantry - he survived, but his letters and diary were lost years ago. During my study, I came across Clara Barton, our lady of the battefield and the founder of the American National Red Cross, who followed the Army of the Potomac and did her best to care for the wounded. Walt Whitman did the same, and his hospital sketches are exemplary of his compassion and simple eloquence.

At one of the museums in Fredericksburg, VA, a particularly bloody and futile battle, there is a section from Clara Barton's Diary.
---------------------------------------
December 12th, 1862 -- 2 o'clock A.M.

My dear Cousin Vira,
It is the night before a battle.

The moon is shining through the soft haze with brightness almost prophetic. For the last half hour I have stood alone in the awful stillness of its glimmering light gazing upon the strange sad scene around me striving to say, "Thy Will Oh God Be Done."

The acres of little shelter tents are dark and still as death. As I gazed sorrowfully upon them, I thought I could almost hear the slow flap of the grim messenger's wings, as one by one he sought and selected his victims for the morning sacrifice....

Already the roll of the moving artillery is sounding in my ears. The battle draws near and I must catch one hour's sleep for tomorrow's labor.

Good night dear cousin.

Yours in love,
Clara
---------------------------------------

"slow flap of the grim messenger's wings" - I stood in the room that contains her diary passage, preserved under plexiglas, and listened while a young woman read the passage to her aging mother, who could not read well. When she had finished, I thanked her, noticing we all had tears running. It was a special treat, hearing the words from a woman's voice, as if it might have been Clara herself. At Antietam, America's bloodiest day, Clara stood in the Piper farmhouse, her white dress soaked to the waist in blood, as she helped the surgeons with necessary amputations. What courage and resolve she had. Her diary is worth reading, if you haven't already. It (and Whitman's sketches) point up how powerful words are; the power to heal, to wound, to delight, and to fling wide the gates of hell.

Regards,
khefre

"I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them."
--Clara Barton

the shadow's picture
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24 June 2004
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Thank you for that remarkable insight into some of the happenings of the Civil War.I know nothing of it but have always promised myself to study it before I die.I find so little time for what I want to do.
Australia has produced its own poets in a very different form from the European and American, being uniquely Australian.
A.B.Banjo Paterson is probably the most famous, with The Man From Snowy River...
but I like best his Clancy of the Overflow....
I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge,sent to where I met him down the Lachlan years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just 'on spec' addressed as follows; "Clancy, of the Overflow".

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumbnail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it'
"Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are".
And so it goes.

Henry Lawson and Will Ogilvie, John Shaw Neilson and C.J.Dennis.The age of the Bush Poet is gone I think.
What I like particularly is to read the lives of the people who wrote the words that move me so much.
John Shaw Neilson was a ganger on the railways and barely literate.Henry Lawson a drunk.

And a good old Irish blessing........
May those who love us, love us,
And those who don't, may the Lord
turn their hearts around.
And if He doesn't,
May He turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.

Regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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9 years 36 weeks

Being mostly Irish myself, I know the quote well, and appreciate it. Irish immigrants in America took part in the ACW on both sides, and fought like demons; with the enemy, and amongst themselves. Fierce, brave men they were, lovers of life and living. The German immigrants were always full of consternation at how the Irish managed to come up with beer and whiskey at their encampments. The battle of Fredericksburg was a long and drawn-out day in which the Union (north) army attacked the entrenched southerners up a long, exposed piece of sloping ground. It was suicidal, akin to the Charge of the Light Brigade, but on foot. The Confederate army (south) were firmly placed behind a stone wall, with plenty of artillery support. The Irish Brigade was one of the units sent up that murderous slope - and the records state that they put a sprig of green in their caps and turned their shoulders to the galling fire as if it were a sleet-storm.

Australia and its culture are largely a mystery to me, my own fault, partially, as I was never exposed to the folklore or literature, and have never gotten around to exploring it. Aside from what I know about the Aborigines (not a whole lot), and movies like Snowy River, The Earthling, Crocodile Dundee :D, etc., most of my knowledge is more about the geography, geology, and so forth. I know that Anzac troops were tough, fearless, tenacious fighters, respected by all their allies.

A friend who had corresponded with an Aussie maid (pen pals) for nearly twenty years had her and her husband stop by here in America during their vacation. They almost didn't stop to see us, due to our close proximity to New York - they thought the whole area was crime-ridden (see what believing the six o"clock news will do?), and discovered that our neighborhood, a small suburban town, was pretty much like their own. We had a fabulous time (I even purchased some Fosters to make them feel at home), and I think they had a more realistic view of America and Americans when they left. I think I will become more familiar with the references you gave - cute poem, somewhat reminiscent of Frost or Robert Service in their whimsical states.

The passage that first attracted me to Robert Frost was discovered in my junior year of high school (11th grade). It's from The Death of the Hired Man.

"Part of a moon was falling down the west, dragging the whole sky with it to the hills. Its light poured softly in her lap. She saw, and spread her apron to it. She put out her hand among the harp-like morning glory strings, taut with the dew from garden bed to eaves, as if she played unheard some tenderness that wrought on him beside her in the night."

Even his simplest is a wonder in observation.
Moon Compasses

"I stole forth dimly in the dripping pause
Between two downpours, to see what there was;
And a masked moon had put down compass rays
To a cone mountain in the midnight haze;

As if the final estimate were hers.
And as it measured in her calipers,
The mountain stood exalted in its place;
So love will take between the hands, a face."

Robert Frost

Regards,
khefre

"And were an epitaph tp be my story,
I'd have a short one ready for my own;
I would have written of me on my stone:
"He had a lover's quarrel with the world."
--Robert Frost

the shadow's picture
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24 June 2004
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Here's a little favourite poem of mine, written in 820AD by PO CHU I and translated by Arthur Waley.
The Red Cockatoo
Sent as a present from Annam-
A red cockatoo,
Coloured like the peach-tree blossom,
Speaking with the speech of man.
And they did to it what is always done
To the learned and eloquent;
They took a cage with stout bars
And shut it up inside.

When my daughter married for the second time I gave her a book of Robert Frost's poems so that she could read The Road Less Travelled.
I don't suppose she ever did read it.

Yes the Irish are fierce fighters and fierce lovers.But the Anzacs were die-hards and ill-informed romantics.I wrote previously on this forum about my opinion of them and Wilfred Owen's words....

I collect, of all things, epitaphs.Here is one written by Frank Hardy, communist and philanthropist to his good friend and spoken to him while he was still alive,fellow communist and philanthropist, eye surgeon Dr Fred Hollows.....
Belief with me is out of season,
As the tears that beckon to my eyes.
But if an afterworld confounds my reason,
I will seek you in the kind mens' ward of Paradise.
All of Australia cried when Hollows died.He stole equipment from the govenment medical services and went bush to operate on the blind eyes of the blacks.
Another one.....
Rest on her lightly O Earth,
Lightly she rests on thee.
Pliny the Elder on the death of a 6 yr old girl.

regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
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1 May 2004
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9 years 36 weeks

The Cockatoo poem is prophetic, and shows how long some have been afraid of speech they can't control.

The American Indians of the plains and southwest have sentiments rather like Pliny's, knowing as they do how interdependent man and nature are. Their word for harmony is "beauty", and they work hard at fitting into nature as best they can. If you want to worship God, respect yourself, your fellow man, your fellow creatures, and the Earth. Take what you need, but not more than you need, and use what you take, with respect and reverence. Replenish what you can, even if it's simply to leave things alone for a time so they will grow back.
------------------------------------------
The Grandfather and the Wolves

An old Cherokee is telling his grandson about a fight that is going
on inside himself, a fight between two wolves.

One is bad: Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good: Joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asks his
grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one I feed."
-------------------------------------------------------

Regards,
khefre

"If you live on this land, and you have ancestors sleeping in this land, I believe that makes you a native to this land. It has nothing to do with the color of your skin. What I was taught is that we're flowers in the Great Spirit's garden. The beauty is in the different colors of the garden, which reflect Great Spirit's beauty. I think that it's part of our job here to break down walls and appreciate our differences while celebrating what we have in common."

--Hopi Elder

the shadow's picture
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Its funny Khefre, I did not see that in the cockatoo poem about speech you cannot control, I was too upset about the locking up of a bird which should be flying.But you are right, that's what it means.
Here is a little poem by me....
It is an evil evil thing
To kill or maim a bird on wing,
But 'tis a greater sin I know
To keep their brothers caged below.
Wonderful sentiments from the Hopi.The Australian aborigines have a similar sort of relationship with the land.They have the Dreamtime,a place in the beginning of Time when the earth was created and all the animals came into existence.They also have the Wandjina Man, a mouthless person who speaks no evil.People mistake him for an ancient astronaut in cave drawings, but he is really part of the Dreamtime.
And of course the Rainbow Serpent who figures in all their paintings.
I have been meaning to ask if you have read Tom Robbins.In the first book I read of his Still Life With Woodpecker, I was so impressed I copied out the last page which is words at their finest.
Americans have an excellent record for good writers for your fairly short history.

Regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 36 weeks

I like your poem - ever since I was a child, I could never understand why anyone would cage a bird, or even put a fish in a tank. I've had cats as companions for most of my adult life - my wife and I both work, so a dog doesn't make sense. Our cats have been a delight as friends and family members - our present cat, Stinky (it's a long story), comes and goes as he pleases, and because we treat him with respect and consideration, he reciprocates.

The idea of the Dreamtime fascinates me - and there are tie-ins to other religions/beliefs with the same underlying concept. One way it was expressed to me is that the Gods went to sleep, dreaming all of this that we perceive as "reality", and leaving humankind in charge of it all, to care for and preserve it. Do you think the Gods will be pleased with our efforts when they awaken? No wonder the ancient "uncivilized" tribes of Earth shake their heads in sadness and dismay at what our society has wrought. IMHO, the greatest "evil" in the world is that which goes against nature. When a "savage" kills his prey in order to survive, he thanks the Great Spirit for providing, and the creature for its sacrifice. We prey by proxy, going to the supermarket to buy pre-packaged chicken, or steak, or fish, or even vegetables. I wonder how many people are mindful of where their sustenance comes from, and take the time to thank not only the creator, but the source of the food itself. Ooops! There I go again, preaching; sorry. It just seems to me, the older I get, that we're on the wrong track. Progress is good, no doubt, but I wish it could come in a win/win fashion across the board, you know?

Regards,
khefre

"When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no living thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.
When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."
--Tecumseh, Shawnee

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
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7 years 19 weeks

That quote from Tecumseh is really beautiful.Where do you find them?There is not much in Australian literature about aborigines except a few poems by Judith Wright, a part aboriginal woman.The bora rings were still around when I was a child;they were sacred areas where the blacks had their corrobories.Where I lived in the country,a local squatter in the 19th century built an non-dimensional church on the bora ring land, which I thought was pretty inconsiderate.
Bora Ring
The song is gone;the dance
is secret with the dancers in the earth,
the ritual useless and the tribal story
lost in an alien tale.

Only the grass stands up
to mark the dancing ring;the apple gums
posture and mime a past corroboree,
murmur a broken chant.

The hunter is gone;the spear
is splinted underground;the painted bodies
a dream the world breathed sleeping and forgot.
The nomad feet are still.

Only the rider's heart
halts at a sightless shadow,an unsaid word
that fastens in the blood the ancient curse,
The fear as old as Cain.

You are right about the Dreamtime.There is a special magic in the aborigines' legends,something so old that if we let it, it will re-connect us to the beginning of Time, as it does them.

My parrot has pinched 3 keys from my keyboard.I'll have to get a new one.A keyboard, that is, not a parrot.We like each other.

Regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 36 weeks

I'm going to save the Bora Ring poem. When you travel into the heartland of America, you find similar situations; places once sacred to the indigenous? people that dwelt there, but now overspread or tainted by the "new temples" of Western man. Whole cultures were wiped out, or worse, subjugated and indoctrinated to the new faith of an invading culture.

"Only the grass stands up
to mark the dancing ring;the apple gums
posture and mime a past corroboree,
murmur a broken chant."

Like the abandoned kivas and medicine wheels of the American continent - the circle the symbol of eternity, the dance and song and stories around the fire a way of worshipping, passing knowledge along, and preserving a way of life.

American Indian lore and wisdom can be found on the web, and there are many quotes and stories like Tecumseh's. The Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and other tribes of the southwest have tried to keep their culture viable and intact, but you know how that goes. A culture that once lived upon and off of the land, with great respect and reverence for their interdependence with all of nature, is easy prey for invading cultures who offer all the temptations of modern civilzation. Still, there are nuclei of tribal purity - their lore and legend tells them that the time of turnover is near, so they keep the faith and watch, and wait. Time will tell.

Most aborigines, I think, share a common thread; the "Great Spirit", that which has no name but is responsible for creation, is assumed. "Gitchee Manitou", some tribes call it. There is no argument, because its handiwork is self-evident to those who live closest to the earth, and depend on it for survival. It stands outside the field of time, not subject to duality. But there are a plethora of lesser "deities", with attributes very similar to our own human ones. They are the intermediaries between man and Great Spirit, and are often represented (because man needs a point of reference for focus) as animals, or objects of the natural world.

The whole of nature; birth, growth, fullness, decline, and death are paraphrased in the cycle of the moon, as well as in the seasonal changes of the earth. The Navajo call the Earth "changing woman". You don't need to be a member in a "club", believe certain things, perform certain rituals, or anything else to be a part of this cycle; it just is. Your actions just make your experiences, and those of the creatures around you in this life either pleasant or unpleasant. Somebody will likely beat on me for oversimplifying, but this isn't an essay test. :D

Which keys did your parrot abscond with? Might not have any significance, but maybe there's a message...

Regards,
khefre

When NASA was preparing for the Apollo Project, they took the astronauts to a Navajo reservation in Arizona for training.
One day, a Navajo elder and his son came across the space crew walking among the rocks. The elder, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question. His son translated for the NASA people. "What are these guys in the big suits doing?"
One of the astronauts said that they were practicing for a trip to the moon. When his son relayed this comment the Navajo elder got all excited and asked if it would be possible to give a message to the astronauts to deliver to the moon. Recognizing a promotional opportunity when he saw one, a NASA official accompanying the astronauts said, "Why certainly!" and told an underling to get a tape recorder. The Navajo elder's comments into the microphone were brief. The NASA official asked the son if he would translate what his father had said. The son, laughing uproariously, refused to translate. So the NASA people took the tape to a nearby Navajo village and played it for other members of the tribe. They too laughed long and loudly but also refused to translate the elder's message to the moon. Finally, an official government translator was summoned. After he finally stopped laughing the translator relayed the message:
"Watch out for these white guys—they have come to steal your land."

--Vol. 24, No. 3 Navajo Wisdom
from Our Daily Frybread ©

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
Last activity:
7 years 19 weeks

Khefre, that's hilarious!I must tell everyone.
My parrot took the bottom left 3 keys, control,windows and alt.He twisted them with his beak so although they are in place they are interfering with the other keys.
Last week I heard a talk on the radio(I cannot see the TV very well so listen a lot to the radio)by Canadian half-Cherokee author Thomas King who wrote Medicine River and All My Relations.I think the former was made into a movie.
I was very impressed.
He said that Indians in NA were starting to write their experiences down which is terrific.
There is a difference here I think in that our aborigines are still at the stage of shock at having everything taken from them.The few remaining traditional blacks in Arnhem Land would sing you their stories, as that is how they tell them.
The English settlers here looked at the aborigines and called them the most miserable people on earth, which shows how little people can tell on first meeting someone.
They called this place Terra Nullius meaning empty land and took it over, not realising that the oldest culture on earth was available to them here if they could see it.
When the first explorers went inland they died, because they would not eat the food the blacks did,( which is being flogged off in trendy eateries now as native food)although the blacks tried to help them.
In the movie The Gods Must be Crazy where the little fellow goes to jail and nearly dies,you can see a parallel of what is happening here.When an aborigine is jailed, away from his family, his culture and his land, the sense of shock is so great that many choose to die.Young men jailed for a weekend kill themselves rather than endure it.
They are not good at expressing themselves in words so we know little of what they think,but we know that a very rich culture is being killed off.
The traditional blacks can live in the desert and find water in places you would never believe;they find food and as they are nomadic they know the look of every tree and every rock and how they should look.The black-trackers are legendry.
Have you seen Rabbit Proof Fence with David Gulpilil? He is stunning, and a very spiritual person.
Europeans need to know that you don't need a church or cathedral to find the presence of God.He is wherever you look.

Regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 36 weeks

I haven't seen RPF, but I'll see if either Blockbuster or my local library have it. I also haven't read Tom Robbins, but he's on my list now too.

People who live a compartmented existence, i.e., most all of us in western civ, have no concept of real freedom - the capability to go walkabout, to live off the land (assuming you know how and it's permitted), and to put down roots wherever you choose. Any kind of confinement is anathema to the uncluttered, unfettered mind of the aboriginal spirit. Time was, you could walk nearly coast to coast without running up against a fence; now? Everybody feels compelled to outline their particular compartment.

There's something to be said for a truly oral tradition. It's too easy to screw with the written word, reference the current penchant of our "feel good" society for revisionist history. When the storyteller recounts the tribe history around the council fire, he'd better get it right, because there are lots of listeners who will catch him out if he editorializes without notifying them first. But publish enough "spin-weighted" books, and Voila!, you've got a whole new tradition that bears no relationship to the truth. Books, however, make knowledge freely available to those who can't sit at the council fire, but without the integrity of the tribal elder, they lose their value.

Trustworthiness, they say, is a combination of Competence and Integrity - if you are short on either, you are less trustworthy. Unfortunately, hidden agendas and "feel-good" politics very often color the content of today's texts and lessons, automatically making many educators less trustworthy.

Regards,
khefre

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
Last activity:
7 years 19 weeks

Well said Khefre.I wonder just how many thousands of years our ancestors sang their stories and sagas around the camp fire.
I believe that hundreds of years ago there were no fences at all and everyone grazed their animals on the common.This had been a long-standing tradition, until someone I guess got more animals than he should have, and so people began fencing.
I read that there is a plan somewhere in Europe to bring back the common.I have been very disappointed that in Australia no matter where you go, how far west there are fences.
I am feeling very smug at present.I found out yesterday that our library has a whole stash of Ray Bradbury books, and some even in LARGE PRINT.I came home with a swag of them and am nearly finished The Martian Chronicles.It is as I remembered,and such a delight to read again.
My favourite story so far is the one of the future man from Earth meeting the past man on Mars.Neither of them is real and yet for a moment in time they connect.
Fabulous.
I cannot thank you enough for the post on Bradbury that has brought this to me.It has opened another dimension in my life, and one that I truly needed.
My son is ordering Greg's book from Amazon for me, so things are looking up in the book department.
I saw Simon Cox's book on Angels and Demons remaindered at Bookworld yesterday for half price and will hopefully get it today.
Here is a little poem from America that you may be familiar with;it came from Wisconsin,1885.
Taxed on the coffin,
Taxed on the crib.
On the old man's shroud
And the young man's bib.
To fatten the bigot
And pamper the knave,
We're taxed from the cradle
Plumb into the grave.

Representative Thomas R. Hudd.

Regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 36 weeks

How really strange that one of our favorite tales from Bradbury's "Martian Chronicles" should be "Night Meeting". I remember reading that for the first time many years ago, well before anyone thought of doing a TV movie, which can't do the stories justice - they're better crafted in the mind's eye, as Bradbury would wish. I found myself yearning to see the tall towers and lights of the city, and the elegant boats sailing the canals on their way to the festivities; it was almost an ache..; well, maybe there's some racial memory there, or maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic. I'm glad you're re-discovering Bradbury - one of the supreme delights of literature is re-visiting old haunts witha fresh perspective, or perhaps like slipping into an old, comfortable sweater. Imagine the terrible disappointment if revisionism spread to every literary venue; suddenly that old, comfortable, threadbare sweater would become a neutral-colored polyester jogging suit. Ptooie! Read Bradbury's comments about how the editors at Ballantine "adjusted" the content of his "Fahrenheit 451".

Cute poem, and true. Tax season is here, and I usually postpone it till the last minute, especially if I owe. I don't mind paying my fair share; I just wish they'd use the money more wisely. I have to agree with the self-proclaimed time traveler John Titor; this era of American society could become known as the ones who had it all, and threw it away. Let's hope that will not become reality; after all, didn't Scrooge say "Men's ways foreshadow certain ends; if the ways be departed from, surely the ends will change." Question is, which way is up?

I'm almost finished with Crichton's book "State of Fear" - really interesting, and the quoted sources in it made me reverse my thinking about the banning of DDT. I'm willing to unlearn what I've painfully "learned", and re-learn from more authoritative sources. One of these days I may get to Greg's book, but I've got a lot of reading piled up, and the topic is pretty far down on my list of interests. Enjoy Bradbury, and pass along any tidbits from Greg's.

Regards,
khefre

"And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
'You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me!'"
--Banjo Paterson

the shadow's picture
Member since:
24 June 2004
Last activity:
7 years 19 weeks

Bradbury wrote The Martian Chronicles in 1951 and I think that would be about the time I read it,or sometime in the fifties.I know what you mean about a yearning for these places he described.I wonder why.I felt the same, and also when I read Arthur C.Clarke's Rendevous with Rema.Clarke is not a writer, he is an idea's man, but the ideas in this book were fabulous as were all the Rema books but I think he had another writer with him.
Also with Childhood's End and a few more of Clarke's early books, I don't like the later ones much.
I always think that Waltzing Matilda is a joke.We have no decent anthem and WM has been adopted as one, but it was written in jest in the small country town of Longreach in the 1890s and put to the tune of a Scottish song.They were tough days when a swaggie had to suicide because the police would have strung him up for stealing a sheep.
One song I really love is Woody Guthrie's This Land.I wish it was ours.But then I loved everything about Guthrie and was devastated to learn he died from Huntington's Disease which is an appalling disease.
I finished reading Bradbury's The Day it rained Forever last night and loved it, but now have to finish some borrowed books so I can return them.I still have a couple of Bradbury books so will save them for the weekend.
Stories like Night Meeting should never be made into movies.I was horrified years ago when The World According to Garp was made into a movie and although I enjoyed it, I still feel they should leave these books alone.Do you remember in Garp when he warned his soms about the undertow, and they thought he said "undertoad".In my family the undertoad has become a common word, used whenever family members are worried something bad is going to happen.
I loved most of Irving's books as I think our Rick on TDG does, but gave up reading them after a while.
To me nothing could beat Garp, and Hotel New Hampshire, and Cider House Rules.His earlier books were strange.
I must ask you a tricky question.Do you know how to put 5 consecutive "ands" in a sentence?
I do.
Tell you later.

regards,
shadows

khefre's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
9 years 36 weeks

Let's move this to my blog, to better live with the spirit of the site. :D

Regards,
khefre