New Civilization News: I is another *    
 I is another *23 comments
picture22 Feb 2006 @ 21:57, by Uncle Remus

"Are you a captive somewhere? Are you in economic chains? Caught against your will in a spiritual straightjacket? Are you a wage slave or a boss? Do you live off your wits? Have you undergone shock treatment? Do you dispense shock treatment? Were you denied, at some point in your life, your rightful inheritance? Are you an outcast? Do you smoke pot? Do you crack the heads of dissenters? Are you a dissenter, and proud of it? Were you last seen somewhere? Do you want to be seen? Are you even visible? Do you enjoy a sinecure? Do you view life as hopeless? Are you happy? Miserable? Overflowing with existential angst? Do you admire power? Raw power: refined power: power within a velvet glove or in a steel mit? Do you believe there will be a tomorrow? Or are all our days yesterdays? Do you vote? Do you cry? Do you make love? Do you ever go to a movie? Are your papers in order? Are you an expatriate? Has Interpol come after you? Do you still live in your native land? Have you learned yet that the Soviet Union collapsed? Do you care? Are you a student in an exclussive Islamic university? Do you hope to visit Disneyland some day? Have you? Are you a chess enthusiast? Do you play softball? Do you like girls? Have you a girl? Does she truly love you? Are you faithful? Do you prefer the night to the day, or vice versa? Have you ever felt the breeze standing on the end of a pier at dawn? Are you under investigation? Do you believe in God?"

-----21 Feb 2006 @ 00:22 by Quinty

I found the above quote in the MUD of NCN, where it was left, almost unnoticed, as many things found in the mud often are. I found it, and for reasons having actually very little to do with the original context of the comment or the person to whom it was addressed, or, for that matter, with the content of the article on which it was posted, I took a liking to it.

And I thought to myself, what a shame that it appeared there, out of context, and buried in the middle of a thread where it is almost certainly bound to be overlooked.

So, I picked it up---a sort of a finder's keeper kind of a thing.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is an almost poetic quality to it. Beyond the stated purpose, beyond the apparent search for clues in the life and sensibility of another person that might enable one to understand better how and why a person writes and behaves as a person does—and for many bloggers here, as on any internet community (but most specifically here on NCN, I suspect,) who read the blogs and comments of other bloggers, there is always, beyond the simple enquiry as to whether a person is real or not, a vicarious study of how any given member of NCN, somewhere, elsewhere, models the life and conduct of being a member of NCN. (What makes one tick. What is it one thinks one is doing here---fill in the blank---on any given thread? on NCN? on Earth?) BUT there is also a hunger much more human and direct---something which is song-like, almost a litany of sort, it has a quality to it that is both primeval (like the song of the whales at the bottom of the ocean,) and very modern at the same time (like the ongoing day to day whispers of million of minds in a crowded city,) the song of humanity, a multitude of instruments in an ongoing jazz performance. Or mayhap just the day to day collective statics in the background of a more meaningful symphony---or is that all there is: those day to day preoccupations? Do you live for the present, the breeze you feel on your skin while standing on the end of a pier at dawn? Do you live for the future, for that girl, who might truly love you, or not. Do you love her?

Do you love any, do you love none,
Do you love many, can you love one,
Do you love me?
---Suzanne vega Knight Moves

Do you hope to visit Disneyland some day?

Are you a chess enthusiast?

If I were you, if I took the color of your hair, your obsessions, your dreams, the weight of your body, if I were you, if I followed the same instincts as yours, if I had the ideas of your brain, the needs of your body, if I were you, the other, the loved one or the adversary...

Such is the premise of Julien Green's novel, "Si j'étais vous" (If I were you.)

...Who hasn't daydreamed at least once in his or her lifetime about what it would be like to switch identity with someone else, to be elsewhere? This power is given to Fabien. New Protéus, he can become whomever he likes, just by whispering his name into the ear of anyone he wishes to be. Thus begins the eerie voyage. A journey for knowledge because to be another, is to have all beings at one's disposal. From each one Fabien can steal what he wants, the beauty, the intelligence, the richness, nobility of soul; only innocence is forbidden to him, because even though migrating from body to body doesn't confer his avatars the ability to cumulate his experience, enough residual memories of each of his misadventures remains so that paradise is forever lost to him. But what an intoxicating journey it is: to be the loved one and his/her lover, the murderer and his/her victim, the common man or the hero---Man, in one word, along with mankind's procession of desires, dreams and horrors! However, the memory of who he originally was, Fabien, the one and only, remains somewhere in the bottom of his memory like a path left by a hare in the grass. To become himself once again, considerable efforts will be required on his part; but once back in his body, his heart cannot bear the weight of the feelings of all those whom he had been. And It breaks him. Is this death? Is this an awakening? Was this only a dream or is this the viscous cycle of Man starting over and over again, and forever, the never-ending search of who he/she is? If I were you---can one ever be sure one is not somebody else?

Si j'étais vous, si je prenais la couleur de vos cheveux, vos idées fixes, vos rêves, le poids de votre corps, si j'étais vous, si je suivais vos instincts, si j'avais les idées de votre cerveau, les besoins de votre corps, si j'étais toi, l'autre, l'aimé ou l'adversaire... Qui n'a pas fait ce rêve de changer d'identité, d'être ailleurs ? Ce pouvoir est donné à Fabien. Nouveau Protée, il peut devenir qui lui plaît, en murmurant son nom à l'oreille de celui ou de celle qu'il désire être.
Alors l'étrange voyage commence. Voyage de la connaissance car être un autre, c'est avoir à sa disposition tous les êtres. A chacun Fabien peut voler ce qu'il veut, la beauté, l'intelligence, la richesse, la grandeur d'âme ; seule l'innocence lui est défendue, car même si en passant de corps en corps il ne peut accumuler l'expérience, il en reste assez de trace dans chaque avatar pour que le paradis soit à jamais perdu. Mais quelle ivresse : être l'amoureux et son amour, le meurtrier et sa victime, l'homme commun ou le héros, l'homme en un mot avec son cortège de désirs, de rêves et d'horreurs ! Cependant, le souvenir de ce qu'il est vraiment, Fabien, l'unique, demeure au fond de sa mémoire comme la trace d'un lièvre dans l'herbe. Pour redevenir lui-même, il faudra des efforts considérables ; mais une fois sa peau retrouvée, le coeur ne pourra supporter le poids des sentiments de tous ceux qu'il a été. Il s'en brisera. Est-ce la mort ? Est-ce le réveil ? N'était-ce qu'un rêve ou bien à tout jamais le cycle infernal de l'être en proie à recommencer éternellement sa recherche de lui-même ? Si j'étais vous, est-on jamais sûr de ne pas être quelqu'un d'autre ?


* I is another, "Je est un autre," is a famous quote from Arthur Rimbaud from his letters (aka The Seer’s Letters) to Georges Izambard (May 13, 1871) and Paul Demeny (May 15, 1871). The following extract is from his letter to Paul Demeny:

"For I is someone else. If brass wakes up a bugle, it is not his fault. That is obvious to me : I witness the unfolding of my thought : I watch it, I listen to it : I make a stoke of the bow : the symphony makes movement into the depths, or comes in one leap upon the stage.
If the old fools had not found only the false significance of the Ego, we should not now be having to sweep away these millions of skeletons which, since an infinite time, ! have been piling up the fruits of their one-eyed intellects, proclaiming themselves to be the authors!
(...) The first study of a man who wants to be a poet is his self-knowledge, complete ; he looks for his own soul, he inspects it, he tests it, learns it. As soon as he knows it, he must cultivate it. That seems simple : in every mind a natural development takes place ; so many egoists proclaim themselves authors ; there are many others who attribute their intellectual progress to themselves ! - But the soul has to be made monstrous : after the fashion of the comprachicos, if you like ! Imagine a man planting and cultivating warts on his face.

I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer."

"Car Je est un autre. Si le cuivre s'éveille clairon, il n'y a rien de sa faute. Cela m'est évident : j'assiste à l'éclosion de ma pensée : je la regarde, je l'écoute : je lance un coup d'archet : la symphonie fait son remuement dans les profondeurs, ou vient d'un bond sur la scène.
Si les vieux imbéciles n'avaient pas trouvé du Moi que la signification fausse, nous n'aurions pas à balayer ces millions de squelettes qui, depuis un temps infini, ! ont accumulé les produits de leur intelligence borgnesse, en s'en clamant les auteurs !
(...) La première étude de l'homme qui veut être poète est sa propre connaissance, entière ; il cherche son âme, il l'inspecte, il la tente, l'apprend. Dès qu'il la sait, il doit la cultiver ; cela semble simple : en tout cerveau s'accomplit un développement naturel ; tant d'égoïstes se proclament auteurs ; il en est bien d'autres qui s'attribuent leur progrès intellectuel ! - Mais il s'agit de faire l'âme monstrueuse : à l'instar des comprachicos, quoi ! Imaginez un homme s'implantant et se cultivant des verrues sur le visage.

Je dis qu'il faut être voyant, se faire voyant."

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23 Feb 2006 @ 12:35 by jstarrs : Yes, it's lovely, isn't it?
Thanks for bringing it, like a lotus, out of the mud.
Actually, I prefer to call it NCN beach-combing, it has a less sullied feel, don't you think?
He's another soggy 'tribution (like Rimbaud, not an NCN member but what the hell!):

Dearest G., Let me say - modestly - you
Have unmade a great, though tired, man, who
Had only just glimps'd his summit, age fifty-two.
So you have dump'd me. I mean this: good for you.

I'm more man than I was before we start'd,
Yet what's left behind's much less than what's depart'd.
The best part of me - ugh, awful. I'm retard'd;
This, easily the worst poem I've yet , uh, undertaken.

Assam-stained mug; knuckled Pall-Mall butt, old Tamla 45;
The Penguin Book of English Verse, ed. Keegan, overdue;
Picked nostril; wrecked rhyme scheme; Conklin half-alive;
A study of this Flushing, Queens one-bedroom minus you.

I only read one poem, anymore: Marvell's Definition.
Spin solely Motown-mope, sweet Marvelettes' rendition.
(I only watch one film, too, Village of the Damned,
but that because the tape within my deck is jamm'd.)

Lordly Marvell, Hull's peer, Milton's savior: peerless;
And the Marvelettes' complaint - cosmic postmen won't deliver.
If Smokey Robinson's our 'greatest living poet' (says B. Dylan),
What of N. Ashford and V. Simpson? Not chopped liver.

Tilting on his axis, one beatnik -- aging, aching, stalling,
Grew horny hopes of untold planets realigning:
Mets winning pennants; critics melting; editors calling;
Bosom friend's prodigal in my arms; George resigning.

So - I boarded Fate's Tyrannick train: no shocker.
Bermuda honeymoon's scotched, at great cost:
Chlamydia, slipped disc, moldy Chinese takeout, chronic fatigue.
Lesson learned: Old beatnik shouldn't woo young rocker.
(Hey Ivan: clever travel agent told me hope's not lost:
Ticket's convertible: St. Pete! You, me, Grapefruit League!)

To G., On The Occasion Of Our Broken Engagement
- Harris Conklin, February 2006

. . . . . . . . . .  

23 Feb 2006 @ 17:04 by jazzolog : Actually
I prefer primordial ooze as a description for jazzoLOG...but mud will do, as both are home to a Pisces. For more of Paul's writing, and a glimpse of his magnificent biography of his father, comb this beach~~~  

23 Feb 2006 @ 19:42 by uncleremus : Beauty in the mud
Beachcombing is fine, but I like MUD better. Besides the obvious play on words (i.e. MUD as in Multiple User Dimension), mud brings to mind images of the {link:|wetland} - to me anyway.
As it turns out, wetlands often are coastal, so, jstarrs could probably have it both ways if he so chose
- this is a picture of the Camargue, France:

{link:|Waiting at the Shore}: thank you, jazzolog, for the link to {link:|Luis Quintanilla}'s biography.  

23 Feb 2006 @ 20:18 by vibrani : Love
love changes everything.  

25 Feb 2006 @ 08:32 by i2i : The seashore of consciousness
Something in the quote from Quinty and the summary of the novel by Julien Green reminds me of that poem by Walt Whitman, {link:|The Sleepers } (Leaves of Grass). The poet imagines himself in different roles. He becomes other sleepers, and he dreams their dreams:

"I am the actor, the actress, the voter, the politician;
The emigrant and the exile, the criminal that stood in the box,
He who has been famous, and he who shall be famous after to-day,
The stammerer, the well-form’d person, the wasted or feeble person..."

As he identifies himself as merging with other beings,

"The homeward bound, and the outward bound,
The beautiful lost swimmer, the ennuyé, the onanist, the female that loves unrequited, the money-maker,
The actor and actress, those through with their parts, and those waiting to commence,
The affectionate boy, the husband and wife, the voter, the nominee that is chosen, and the nominee that has fail’d,
The great already known, and the great any time after to-day,
The stammerer, the sick, the perfect-form’d, the homely,
The criminal that stood in the box, the judge that sat and sentenced him, the fluent lawyers, the jury, the audience,
The laugher and weeper, the dancer, the midnight widow, the red squaw,
The consumptive, the erysipelite, the idiot, he that is wrong’d,
The antipodes, and every one between this and them in the dark,"

he establishes a spiritual and psychological kinship with them:

"They flow hand in hand over the whole earth, from east to west, as they lie unclothed,
The Asiatic and African are hand in hand—the European and American are hand in hand,
Learn’d and unlearn’d are hand in hand, and male and female are hand in hand..."

Hand in hand, a multitude of beings, like so many waves along the seashore of Consciousness.

We see only the sea waves, not the oceanic bottom.  

26 Feb 2006 @ 20:18 by uncleremus : Spindrift ~~~~o~~~~

We see only the waves, not the oceanic bottom.

Thank you, i2i, the metaphor is well chosen, and an arresting one too, to me anyway, as it might be to anyone who remembers the tsunami that hit Thailand not so long ago (December 26, 2004). Unlike wind-driven surface waves, tsunamis typically are an "oceanic bottom" phenomenon that involves the entire water column from sea floor to surface. While scientists have developed a better understanding of what sets a tsunami in motion, the psychological tsunamis and deep currents that emerge from the floor of humanity collective unconscious (and collective consciousness, too – i.e. our society, our culture, the media, the web, etc.) remain largely uncharted. Exploring the wetlands of NCN, I ended up on a site by the name of {link:|Spindrift}, which must be (or was, at some point) familiar to i2i, as I have seen a few of her posts there. Well, as I was getting a bit weary with all the beach combing and what have you, I decided to take a break and stop there for a drink at the {link:|Inn of the Wild Ass}. And I found this bit of creative writing from a member of NCN:

Consider this:
A million souls randomly selected.
A million of dreamers:
239,477 followers of the Ceturo-Dehjian faith,
231,201 faithful of the Bodo-Huddinist confession,
125,600 Ethno-Ammans,
60,133 Meiit’Sans,
A hundred Shamans,
A handful of Mages and a few Vrijis,
Thousands of prayers on thousands of lips.
To whom? To what?
Do we live in our dreams or in other people’s dreams?
Is there a Greater Dream? Who is the Grand-Dreamer?
A Psychic Gravitational Cradle? A Vectorial Sum?
An Oligarchy? A Monarchy?
Aaaah...take the reins of your dream, and you are a Sorcerer,
Interact with The Dream, and you are a Mage!
But of what do dreams dream? And who is that flute player?
And where are they going, these children, following silently?

— On the Color of Dreams, Garah, Master Archivist
[CXI: G^19, Library of Entelos]

Good question isn’t it? And so is the implied subjacent question about "individual self-determination" and the concept of "inclusive deliberative democracy within communities," a theme close to heart to many people, politicians, historians, economists, system thinkers, and to many here on NCN:

Are there enough "well-intended people on the planet who would like for society to work, if there would just be a workable way for them to relate on a small and large scale"? So asks Ming (22 Jul 2002 @ 00:03 ), on a {link:|post about communicationism}.

"It's going to take an act of God, to get a community together, out of all the goofballs, freeloaders and hangers-on that we have to choose from," responds another NCN member on the same thread (in a rather familiar pattern.)

That comment is followed by a rather lengthy comment by another member of NCN, part of which I am cutting and pasting here, the part that relates to our topic ("I is another"), some aspects of which echo or address to some degree some of the questions presented or implicitly raised above by Quinty.

"Goofballs", "freeloaders", "hangers-on", such hard words for people who, all things considered, were just simply brought up into this world and are now just simply doing what most biological entities are doing---or used to be able to do---on this planet, that is, "live", just simply "be alive" and "live." My cats do it every day. But your cats are not "homo sapiens", will you object. And you would be right. But not everyone is a reformer or an innovator or a revolutionary. And, I agree with Ming, there are plenty of those around, so many educated people, people of good will, people of knowledge, intelligent people, sensitive people. People who are not communicating with each other, who are isolated or confined to their own limited narrow field of action, people who have to earn a living, people who feel they are at the mercy of the corporation who "owns" them, people who feel they are "too little.”…Society exert a terrible power of absorption on all those journeymen who live life day to day, not just those who are struggling to make ends meet, but also those who do well, lawyers, doctors, bankers, technocrats, they do well financially of course, but they are playing a different game, society is draining their life-force in other ways…, and then you have the people who work all the time, not just those who need to hold three jobs to make a living but those who do so because of the whole absorbing nature of their profession, like scientists or searchers, obsessed with their work, or people who just find there are not enough hours in a day to take care of all the things they need to take care of. None of those people stop and look at the big picture nor would they even know where to begin if they did. And then there are the people who just drink beer and just like to watch sport on TV, or soap operas or maybe they don't drink and they just watch their toes or their belly button. They don't know what to do. Have any of you taken a good hard look at some of Invictus's posts lately [another member of NCN]: young people, educated people, eager people, bright people, THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO! So they join NCN of course, and they find out that WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Oh, we are trying to go there, all right, we just don't know where "there" is, or even what it is for that matter, but, hey, don't you worry about it, surely as we are entering the 5th dimension, the gates of universal understanding will open up and flood humanity with brotherly love. And then you have the left-out, the marginals, the bums, the dispossessed, those who have lost their way, those who do not play "the game", those "who know better" or DO NOT know better, and also the uneducated, the physically impaired, the mentally impaired, those who have lost their mind, those who have lost their faith, those who have a weak heart and those who are losing heart. And I am only just talking about the people of the richest and most developed nations on the face of the earth, here! Life is "happening" to them and they are constantly re-acting, they do not have time to think, they all are on that overcrowded, highly competitive moving escalator, some are moving up, some are moving down, but constantly they are moving and shoving and trying to retain their balance and what they can keep of their sanity. And then, then you have the activists and the people who try to make a difference, altruistic people, or people who act altruistically out of "enlightened selfishness" (a term coined by Bertrand Russell), there are people trying to live off the grid, people who join Green Peace or the Peace Corps (I tried to talk one of them into joining NCN today.) And they, too, find that it's all they can do to survive the terrible force of absorption that life is exerting on them. Activism is so demanding and a constant battle. It's very difficult to remain in "ordinary" reality and keep functioning like an "ordinary" citizen AND still remain an activist. At times, you start to wonder whether the people you are trying to awake are really asleep or whether YOU are loosing your sanity and becoming abnormally obsessed or paranoid like those people you see talking to themselves in the bus. ("How dreadful!", you think, "this is beginning to sound like ‘Brazil’ or ‘the Matrix’.") Then of course you realize that if more people begun talking to themselves (i.e. "to think for themselves") we would not be where we are now. It's no accident that people have always been actively DISCOURAGED from "talking to themselves" (I mean by that, "being left alone with their own thoughts")---it interferes with their being "talked to" (i.e. told what "they should be thinking") and modern society has only reinforced that pattern (TV, cell-phones,...) People are ABSORBED, totally absorbed by society---like by a living organism---and are never, ever left ALONE with themselves. Mother Teresa once said that "God is the friend of Silence"---things are born in quiet that cannot be heard in the din of our overly verbal days. This brings me to the cacophony and the duplicitous game of politics (which I almost forgot.) Politics is ASPHYXIATING to the mind and the soul and the spirit. And as a result, our greatest minds---people who could actually make a difference----are shying away from politics (and the few who go there do not last long---or do not live long.)"
-----end quote-----  

27 Feb 2006 @ 03:42 by judih : good quote
could have said it myself if i had the patience to actually hammer it out...and so, it's been said, and the state of matter seems to now await...

is there hope of a bottom floor wave? a huge pillar of upward movement to getus outa here?  

27 Feb 2006 @ 10:42 by jazzolog : A Stick In The Mud
I saw my first crocus budding yesterday. Ohio is a disaster,
but Spring here is Illyria deliria. Up with the holy grass!  

27 Feb 2006 @ 20:40 by Hanae @ : Mud filtering system
Yes, well, "the world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful," isn't it? (e.e.cummings has such a way with words)

Ohio disaster: the good news and the bad news:


- Since 2001, Ohio has lost 161,400 manufacturing jobs (16.4 percent of all manufacturing employment.)

- The state added just 3,600 jobs total during 2005, a gain of less than a tenth of one percent of the Ohio job market, according to {link:|Policy Matters}, an Ohio research organization.

- Ohio's unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in December 2005, and just last month Ford Motor Corporation announced more job cuts impacting more than 1,700 Ohio workers.

- Policy Matters also reports that household income fell for the second straight year and median hourly wages for Ohio workers fell for the fourth straight year in 2004.

- Twelve percent of the state’s population, 1,362,000 adults, do not have health insurance, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. That’s an increase of almost 100,000 since Bush took office.

- Today, 11.3 percent of Ohioan’s live in poverty according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

- Since the start of the war, 105 Ohio residents have been killed in the war.


er...le'me see...

- There were no gay marriages in Ohio in 2005?

And now a few inspiring words from Reverent Robert H. Schuller's daily companion, "Hours of Powers," which is filled with uplifting motivation and is the perfect year long companion as one strives to become the person one is meant to be {link:|link}:

"A faith that is committed to success in the pursuit of an excellent and noble idea will require fine tuning. Fine tuning happens as you develop the practice of filtering the thought that come through your mind. Gradually your conscious level will rise as it relates in sensitivity to what is positive and what is negative, what is good and what is evil, what is productive and what is counter-productive, what is constructive and what is unhealthy.

Your faith will be strengthened or insulted on a daily basis by the thoughts that enter your mind.

You can choose many of your thoughts by selecting the reading material, the television programs, and the deliberate exposures that you choose to encounter.

Still, there are the thousands of unsolicited stimuli that hit the average brain from a variety of unpredictable sources in the course of a single day. Consequently, a filtering system must be built into your mind that screens out the negative while allowing the positive to pass through."

President Bush said of the Schullers, "I appreciate the efforts of the Schuller family and all those committed to spreading the message of God’s love and mercy. Your work helps put hope in people’s hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives".

I bet!

See? There you have it. Doesn't that make you feel better now, jazzolog, that rosy feeling that everything is going to be alright?

How do you feel about HB3 (Ohio House Bill 3)?

27 Feb 2006 @ 20:59 by jstarrs : Jazz?
April is the cruellest month.  

28 Feb 2006 @ 00:06 by uncleremus : Judih's question
Judih asks (27 Feb 2006 @ 03:42):
"Is there hope of a bottom floor wave? a huge pillar of upward movement to get us outa here?"

It is a good question, because typically bottom floor waves come from the blind side of Humanity. Our History is replete with them. Some good ones, but many, many dark and devastating ones, too. So, although it might be tempting to just say, as I’ve heard, that "it's all good," that both aspects are two sides of the same coin, the question is, can we just trust our fate to such deep oceanic movements, and go blindly with the flow, so to speak, and, as Hanae put it above, trust that "everything is going to be all right," or that thinking "everything will be all right" will make it so ("and so it is," the saying goes,) or that it doesn't matter, because, ultimately such things are beyond our immediate control, or things will be as things will be, or as God intended them to be (and “it would be presumptuous of mankind to think any differently”,) or that the Harmonic Concordance will take care of it by 2012, a mere 6 years from now? (I oversimplify greatly, of course, but this is the general idea anyway, some of the prevailing memes out there.)

There are those who think we can: {|The Sun, Harmonic Concordance and the Shift Ages!}

Ultimately, I think it matters little what we think. I think it matters greatly however when “we are made" to think what we think---i.e when the above beliefs, like Christianity or Buddhism and what have you, are exploited and perverted for the purpose of keeping populations politically servile and oblivious to the state of the world and to the impact they have on the world they live in, and to the positive impact they could have in their/our world if they put their mind to it and started to look at things critically and analytically instead of taking things for granted. (Disclaimer: I do not have anything against uncontaminated Christianity or uncontaminated Buddhism, or uncontaminated religion in general. And I do not have anything either against people who believe in the Harmonic Convergence, I gave the link above because the article is a fairly representative one on the topic, and because the person who posted it is a respected member of NCN.)

I think it doesn’t matter what we think, because none of the “que sera, sera” beliefs above really dismiss the need for personal responsibility and the necessity to take action in the here and now, none of them really do, except where they are misrepresented, either through genuine or willful ignorance or through deception. Bottom Oceanic movement can make us seem puny, but there wouldn’t be any oceanic movements if it were not for the presence of the water. And the water is us. Each and every one of us. There would be no water without us, no oceanic movements. And, most religions agree with that. Christianity says so. Buddhism says so. Heck, Atheism says so. In countless small and large ways, WE are the oceanic movements.

So, I suppose it does actually matter what we think. Not our vision of the greatest scheme of things in so far as whether there is a paradise or not, or whether if I behave “righteously,” Allah or Jesus will great me, when I die, in the world beyond, or whether if I get “spiritually enlightened” I’ll transcend this universe as a radiant Buddha or slip through the Harmonic Convergence. Or whether there is even such a thing as “I”. (God knows such beliefs haven’t done much to curb humanity’s inherent barbarism as a whole.) None of those beliefs matter so long as they do not cause one to abdicate one’s role as a full and integral part of the Ocean (whatever the origin of the Ocean might be.)

But Ocean is an imperfect metaphor. Oceans are passive. They don’t make things happen. Things happen to them. Winds, earthquakes, meteorites, glaciations, evaporation, etc. And, yes, things happen to mankind, too. So, ultimately, beyond one’s official religious faith, it all comes to one’s intimate vision of Humanity and of one’s place and one’s role in the world. Do you make things happen, or do things happen to you? That is the question. The unanswered, unanswerable question. Determinist thinkers believe things happen to one (causality, you know - the Omega is in the Alpha, that sort of things.) The "you create your own reality" people believe one makes things happen. And then there is a whole crowd on either side and somewhere in between who holds one position or the other to various degrees, including those who believe that sometimes things happen to you and sometimes you make things happen, and those who believe that things will happen to you or that you will make things happen depending on what your beliefs happen to be to that regard. It is interesting to point out that even hardcore determinist thinkers who believe free will is an illusion, easily concede that it is nonetheless essential, if humanity is to thrive, that mankind continues to act and behave as if it had free will. Ultimately, of course, as highlighted in one of Ming’s posts, {link:|Unexpected Revolutions}, "if we actually try deliberately to transform the world, the question becomes which decisions and improvements we can fairly easily make today which will have the most beneficial effect on the future. What memes can we create that surprisingly turn into something hugely wonderful later on."  

28 Feb 2006 @ 07:14 by jazzolog : The Joke's On Me
I just learned there's a city in Ohio named Elyria. Horrible industrial place I guess. The Illyria I was referring to is from Shakespeare, and not the computer language of the same name. I tried valiantly not to quote cummings, Hanae, but then my comment followed someone as eternally creative as judih...and I really didn't dare. I never got what Eliot meant about April, Jeff, unless he was thinking about Australia, in case it's miserable there that time of year. Maybe it's that in The Waste Land, even in the Easter month, Resurrection never comes.  

28 Feb 2006 @ 20:20 by jstarrs : He was referring.. a Walt Whitman poem, :

"WHEN lilacs last in the door-yard bloom’d,
And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night,
I mourn’d—and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring."

He then went on to rip off a host of other sources to come up with something that made people scratch their heads and look for clues, like a pretty hip crossword puzzle. Sort of.

28 Feb 2006 @ 21:45 by i2i : Synchronicity?
I don't know how accurate jstarrs's comment really is, and, if it is, how he came by his insight as to e. e. cummings's method and purpose, but how synchronistic it is that it all comes to this poem by Walt Whitman.

It would appear that not only has {link:|Lincoln been doing some Time travel} lately, but he is also found here wandering the mud of NCN, lol!  

28 Feb 2006 @ 21:56 by i2i : stanza 1 and 2
Those were about Lincoln, you know:

"When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring.

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring,
Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west,
And thought of him I love.

O powerful western fallen star!
O shades of night --- O moody, tearful night!
O great star disappear'd --O the black murk that hides the star!
O cruel hands that hold me powerless -O helpless soul of me!
O harsh surrounding cloud that will not free my soul."  

28 Feb 2006 @ 23:50 by uncleremus : No, Jazz, I think the joke's on Me - lol

How did we get from Quinty to Lincoln? I have no idea.

Nor did I expect this post would generate such a thread, meandering in such capricious ways and in so many unexpected (yet, delicious) directions. So, I guess that the joke's on me! But, hey, all are welcome here. You too Abe! Is Abe's ghost wandering the mud of NCN? Who is to say? I know Abe is not a member of NCN, but never mind that, maybe he ought to be made one, posthumously so.

I mean:

"He loved books."
"They changed his life."
"He changed the world."
---{link:|Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books}.

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8 Jun 2016 @ 09:10 by Best Source @ : The next
The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought you have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.  

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Other entries in
1 Jul 2010 @ 12:14: Happy Birthday Canada
25 Oct 2008 @ 05:37: Politics, economy, culture and society of New Civilization
10 Apr 2008 @ 13:52: Survival
8 Apr 2008 @ 18:19: Freedom and Self-Selection
1 Mar 2008 @ 16:56: Whimsical Gardenings
30 Jan 2008 @ 18:06: A Bigger Flag to Fly
25 Nov 2007 @ 11:18: A Mournful Thanksgiving
8 Nov 2007 @ 01:49: The value of connections
12 Jul 2007 @ 14:58: Auroville.
5 Jun 2007 @ 20:31: Biocities.

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