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Posts Tagged ‘Essence’

A New Years Poem
I have a desperate attraction to new beginnings
Sometimes the numbers on the calendar look so beautiful
I think
Today’s the day I drink less and run more
No smoking, all veggies
Honesty, integrity, self-reliance, perseverance, creativity,
No fear, live large,
Dream big, be bright, believe in love and believe in yourself!
And I do
Today is an auspicious day
Today is my new beginning
Sometimes I just feel it, on a Tuesday
Today’s the day I keep doing yoga
I don’t back down when I’m right
I go to bed at a reasonable hour, pay my bills on time
Clean out the toe jam, learn all those languages
All the little steps start here and I’m climbing
I can feel it now, right now, and I won’t look back
This is it!
Today is an auspicious day
Today is my new beginning
Then I find myself making the same mistakes
Who manufactured the grooves in my record?
How would it feel if the dj scratched me across the turntable?
The dissonant rip, like a zipper coming undone
A cut away from the 4/4 time that I was trying so hard to hold
But this is why the crowd came to the club
To hear the sound of the universe tearing into a new song
The maligned has become music
We throw our hands up and we dance
I am scratched across the turntable and the crowd is screaming
We are scratched and screaming
And the dj takes it back, and the song plays
All of it is beautiful
Every moment new
Every moment auspicious
Every moment beginning
Molly Trad

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spinoza-final

Driven indoors by the rains and tired of bad movies and worse novels, I decided to curl up with a little Spinoza.

Spinoza’s first name is either Bento as his Portuguese family named him or Baruch as the Dutch Jewish community referred to him or Benedictus as Christians called him. He lived in the mid-Seventeenth Century at the start of the Enlightenment. Many consider him along with Bacon, Descartes and Locke one of its founders.

To me at least, I think Spinoza and Francis of Assisi, are two of the few Saints produced in the 1200 years of western historical tradition (a small list that includes Groucho Marx, Hildegard of Bingen and Maria Callas). Although they may appear to many to be polar opposites, one rational the other transcendental; one believed in avoiding pain; and the other welcomed it; one thought this life is all one has to live and the other welcomed an afterlife, they have many similarities.

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They both believed God and Nature were one and that to live a moral life we should behave frugally, and treat generously ourselves, humanity and nature. They also believed acceptance of ritual whether religious or social, although they may be necessary for one to live comfortably in one’s culture, are often independent of and at times inimical to a moral, kind and generous life. Spinoza refused to accept the rituals of his Jewish culture were synonymous with rational thought and morality and so willingly suffered excommunication (cherem) from the society he loved. Francis, who rejected the materialism of his society as inconsistent with his ecstatic morality, also separated himself from those he loved.

If Francis is the patron saint of the environment, Spinoza most certainly could be considered the patron saint of science.

Spinoza Factoids: On the Chair’s table in the Dutch Parliament, Spinoza’s Tractatus theologico-politicus is one of three books, thought to be most representative of the beliefs and ethics of the Dutch people; the other two are the Bible and the Quran.

In the early Star Trek episode, “Where No Man Has Gone Before,” the antagonist, Gary Mitchell is seen reading Spinoza and the dialogue implies that Captain Kirk also may have read him as part of his studies at Star-fleet Academy (which may be the reason why to me Kirk always appeared a bit constipated. On the other hand I am sure Captain Picard read Spinoza and he was better off for it.)
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consciousness

“Well, here I am. Where am I?”

“You are here.”

“I am? Who are you?”

“I am you, who else could I be?”

“OK, is this all there is?”

“Well, some think so. They think everything else is just your imagination. They call it many things, but I like Monism best.”

“A bit lonely isn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s why most of us believe there is you and there is everything else. We like to call that Dualism. There are some who have been toying around with three, but none of them seem to be able to understand it, so they are always fighting about it.”

“OK so how do I know about this other? It seems a bit hard to figure out .”

“Reason.”

“What the hell is that?”

“It is what you use when you think about the other.”

“Wait a minute, now we have me, the other and reason. Sounds a lot like those crazy people.”

“Well maybe, but we think we can make it better. Some guy named Pythagoras suggested replacing reason with mathematic, you know, number. We already have one, two and three and somehow one way or another they seem to encompass everything.”

“Well OK. but I still am not convinced. When I look at the other, everything seems to be moving around. How do I know what’s going on?”

“Essence.”

“Say what?”

“Essence, everything has an essence; that is what it is and what you see is the essence of the other.”

“Sounds like bullshit to me.”

“We have the answer.”

“Who are you?”

“We are the Liebnitz-Newton Siamese twins and by using numbers we can stop things from moving around so that you can know where they are, where they come from and where they are going. We call it the calculus.”

“That’s great. We now have, me, the other and number, which is sort of like the holy spirit and with the use of the holy spirit, I can find out whats going on over there with the other.”

“Uh, not so fast.”

“Who are you?”

“I am Einstein and I have discovered through number that what is over-there depends on what you are doing over here.”

“Crap! Let’s see if I got this right, according to number what goes on over-there is contingent on what I am doing here. Doesn’t this sound a little bit like old-time Monism? There is me and then there is that that depends on me.”

“Well no, there is still the other but it is relative.”

“OK, I will keep that in mind. Can I go about my business now?”

“Excuse me, my name is Planck and I think there is something else you should know before heading off. According to number, that business with the calculus that lets you know where things are and the like, well is seemed to not be quite accurate. You see things in the other are here and there but not in between.”

“We seem to be going backwards.”

“I am afraid I have even more bad news.”

“OK, hit me with it. Who are you by the way?”

“I’m called Heisenberg, and according to number you really cannot know about the other because every time you try to, you change it.”

“Aren’t we back to where we started? And doesn’t that mean…?”

“Yes, everything is possible and nothing is also.”

“Oh, my.”

“Hi, my name is Goedel and you really need to know this. You know that mathematics and number thing you worked all this out with? Well, you made it all up. You see it all depends on the assumptions you choose.”

“Crap and worse, I am really back to where I started, I feel like I am deaf, dumb and blind without arms or legs crawling face down through a sea of mud.”

“Don’t worry about it. We are working on something that will make everything work out. Its called ‘Strings’.”

“Strings, first we have one, then two and then maybe three and when they did not work out we now have strings. What the fuck are strings and what number are they?”

“Well we don’t really know what they are but we do know that they are not one two or three, but precisely seven, or ten or eleven or another number. We don’t know that either, but we are working at it and you will just have to be patient for a while.”

“Hmmm. OK, what do I do in the mean time?”

“What you always do, fight a few wars, foul your nest, bugger your neighbor and things like that”

“Well all right, but hurry up, I don’t think I have much time.”

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