Friday, September 21, 2007

International Day of Peace (September 21)

If only the world could have a day set aside where everyone would stop, listen, reflect and share peacefully...

International Day of Peace

Imagine by John Lennon

"You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one."

"What's So Funny Bout Peace, Love and Understanding" by Elvis Costello

"Understanding" by Last Town Chorus

Hi, good to meet you, my personal perspective is a solipsistic distillation resulting from my promentalshitbackwashpsychosis, but what the hell I'll give it a shot and funk them if they can't take a joke.

I've been searching for rare insights that circulate amongst a chosen few. Good news though, I'm using my time wisely here in Lexington, KY searching amongst the Moonshine Clans of the Alphane Mountains for the secret recipe that will allow me to unlock the paradox of a program centered around the mythical "critical theory." So far only manic giggling whenever I mention my desire for answers ... the whispering behind my back almost broke my determination but I hung in there until an elder Magi of the Clans began to take pity on this Lost Boy from the Western Lands. She claimed to have originally come from the City of the Red Night where they teach their young that one cannnot seek "the" answer, instead they must explore the "multiplicity" of questions, for it is in the masking of "possible" questions that power rests upon and the prying free of these nuggets from the earth's moist grasp is the quest of the Moonshine Clans of the Alphane Mountains.

The ancient Moonshine Magi cackled, swigged from her jug, and said "this is where the neophytes can get in trouble." In the act of chasing these shy questions the hunter notices that the landscape often shifts and reshapes each time a question is revealed. It seems that the Clans learned long ago that when one unearths a question revealing its essence the disturbance of the surrounding landscape generally causes an accompanying reveiling of surrounding questions. In fact, she warned that often eager groups of diggers, banded together for strength and safety, often bury smaller groups/individuals digging nearby. This is why a true Digger of the Clans of the Alphane Mountain always stops and retraces their steps reflecting on the pathway they are traveling and seeking to understand what disturbances their digging causes. The Magi seemed to derive much amusement from my comment that the Bushes that cover the Western Lands have long forbidden self-reflective contemplation in order to freeze traditional concepts and to fuel the travel back to the future-past.

I asked the Magi how do the Diggers of the Clan of the Alphane Moon retain their reflective ability while eagerly unearthing large concepts and revealing troublesome questions. "How do they dream the impossible and imagine the unaskable?" The Magi leaned back and swigged from her jug and chuckled at my Western ignorance. She stared at me like an adder stares down a mouse and dared me to think upon it.

After a long uncomfortable two days I unkinked my frozen limbs. The emptying of my mind allowed me to recognize that the best way to build a hearty, enrichening intellectual-spiritual bouillabaise, is to blend it with (an)other body(ies) of knowledge. The clans, following the wisdom of the Dispossessed, require all learners to travel to other realms (physical, spiritual, and mental) in order to experience different realities and to act as multi-conduit translators (within and without their clan)

Its obvious that the Magi is still toying with me. Perhaps I still must quest for these answers on my own, perhaps I still must travel, perhaps I should look into the interstices of our collective understanding for missing clues?

I screamed, "Please help me! What is a traveler to do when there is no map to guide me" ... the Magi just cackles!!! "Foolish Lost Boy of the Western Lands, when will you learn that the quest is the journey and that as soon as you pin down an answer, it only means that you have reveiled other healthy questions--questions that must then be once again revealed."

Shaking and confused, I picked up a large jug of Alphane moonshine and stumbled into the forest to look for questions.........

  • The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.
    These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep, loving concern.
    Beautiful people do not just happen.
    -Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

  • My heroes are those that defend the weak, that challenge the abusive, and seek to deepen our understanding of life upon this world.

    (I'm thinking about my own personal philosophy these days and these are just some thoughts...)

    On Existentialism--what I like about the body of thought ...

    1) As humans we all exist, but it is our essence that makes us unique. What you are (essence) is the result of your choices (your existence) rather than the reverse. Essence is not destiny. You are what you make yourself to be. Our lives are not given to us, but must be developed consciously with care and consideration.

    2) Living in the moment is essential, but we also interact and adapt based on pur past experiences and future expectations. Yes, we are fundamentally time-bound beings, but we are also, much, much more than that. Unlike measurable (quantative), "clock" time, "lived" time is qualitative: the "not yet," the "already," and the "present" differ among themselves in meaning and value. We need to be aware of all of these. The impetus of living in the "moment" is that we should not let the past hang on us like a weight causing us to drown, or allow the possibility of an uncertain future intimidate us to the point of inaction. Remember the lessons of the past, recognize the possibilities of the future, in order to fully live in the present.

    3) Radical Humanism. Existentialism is a person-centered philosophy. It's focus is on the human individual's pursuit of identity and meaning amidst the social and economic pressures of mass society for superficiality and conformism. It is our responsibility, as free and conscious beings, to create meaning out of life and to develop an authentic essense. It is also, in my opinion, in this regard, our duty to help others develop their response-ability to do the same (for me as a teacher this is the core of an existentialist pedagogy). In this we are cultivating free, ethical and responsible individuals who care about their community. My radical humanism does not discount other beings in this world... it is holistic, in the sense of recognizing that humans are just one set of beings that live and share in the development and continuation of the broader ecosphere.

    4) Freedom = Responsibility. Existentialism is a philosophy of freedom. It requires that we step back and reflect/reassess on what we have been doing and what effect our thoughts/actions have on the world. In this sense we are more than just individuals, we are members of larger collectives and our personal ethics always extends beyond ourselves (existentialism is not vulgar egotism). In this we can only be as "responsible" as we are "free." Response-ability, the ability for people to respond to the problems of their society and the impetus for them to care beyond themselves, is only realized by free, authentic and ethical beings. Where there is mindless conformism, shallow consumerism, or brutal oppression, you will see a breakdown in the development of response-ability (both in the ruled and rulers... or, manipulated and manipulators).

    5) Ethical considerations are the primary questions. We all understand ethics and freedom differently, this is a given, and we must bring each of our understandings into play and sharpen our ideas through open/free public discourse. In this we, as individuals, as a community, as a society, and as a global ecosystem, should consider ethical questions. Each individual is responsible to develop and consider the authenticity of their own personal lives and their society.

    Existentialism is a philosophy of living authentically in the world, but in the realization of our authentic self we also have an ethical responsibility to ensure that others have that same opportunity. My authenticism should not be at the expense of your opportunity to realize yourself (for example, we are not bloated ticks that feed off the misery of others in order to realize some twisted sense of self).

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