Sunday, August 26, 2012

Buddhism and Anarchy

I'm reading a history of John Cage and what shaped him, especially his interest in Zen and I have over the winter read a lot about anarchy. I am seeing parallels in Buddhism's 'non-doing', in Cage's silences, the abstracts of his contemporary painters (Rauschenberg's white paintings), the sense of being, is-ness (all that from the book), and anarchy's model of flattened hierarchy and direct action, a do-ness. Direct action also reflects my own devotion to self-organization. I would not tag myself either a Buddhist or an anarchist. This morning I searched for 'parallels between anarchy and Buddhism' – I am not the first to have made this connection! There are essays noting like paths, and strong rebuttals, and it seems to me that seeing an overlaps depends on how one defines the terms in the first place. There are many Buddhisms and many anarchies and some intersections.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Joseph's children

My father's father Joseph came from Poland. Soon he changed his and the family's surname to Bond, divorced his wife and went to California, leaving seven young children behind in Boston. From those three aunts and three uncles, I have three first-cousins. And I have a sister.  I have this idea that Joseph sired more children, that I have half-aunts and half-uncles and half-cousins. I have this idea that sometime, somewhere I will learn about them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Ordinary words

Some words are too big, too intense – compassion, love, suffering, joy, freedom, madness – I substitute caring, kindness, discomfort, contentment, confusion … more ordinary processes, milder, attainable. 
A Lord speaking to his people would have known how to connect by using familiar words for familiar experiences.  A Lord would have known that exalted language would not carry the message of is.
And all the re- words pull backwards, into what Brach calls 'the trance'

re-gret - to weep again
re-member - to keep in the mind
re-cover – going back to prior state


If humans haven't yet adapted to gluten, then since the times of agriculture, every single body was a little 'off', a little not their best, a little less than optimum, ...  If alongside that body less-than-optimal, what if mind too also developed less-than-optimal, less resilient, more discomfort, more stress, more irritability, more aggression, less innate ability for self-control, more impulsive ... what if consciousness as it is now is a bit off-track, and better human health all round would have led to a more cooperative participatory less hierarchical system of governance and finance ...  We tend to look at 'human nature' as inevitable, but if we've been going down a wrong track for thousands of years, ... ? If the planet's diet were gluten-free for a decade or a millennium ... maybe we'd all get along together better.  There'd certainly be less of us, since the ballooning population depends on gluten for calories.  I can imagine this as a science fiction, futurist kind of story.


And now, and tomorrow, attend

Between the illusion of memory and the delusion of hope stands the now of connection, connection to Gaia, connection to each other, and connection to all the components of the self. After now comes forever; after connection comes merger.


listen to stillness after the trash truck retreats
feel the light and dark at noon
see the undone tasks

now look away
feel the pulses
listen to a tummy gurgle
know now