Friday, April 30, 2010

The Goal

“Let go of body and mind, until you reach a state of great rest, like letting go over a cliff ten miles high, being like open space" Huai-t'ang

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What is REALLY real?

When working with my clients, I often tell them the old story of the three blind men and the elephant: Three blind men encounter an obstacle (an elephant) in their path. The first blind man reaches out and feels the trunk of the elephant and declares it is a hose; the second blind man feels the elephant’s tusk and thinks it is a sword; the third touches the elephant’s leg and insists the elephant is a tree. They end up in a hopeless argument, not being able to agree on whose reality is really real.

I use this story to point up a major tenet of postmodernism: Our sense of what is real depends upon our perspective. Indeed, we all have our human truths that are vital to us and our socially constructed reality—that’s fine and the way it should be. The point is, we should be extremely leery of declaring these human truths absolute Truth with a big "T." 

I recently ran across a wonderful quote by Robert M. Pirsig that illustrates this same human conceit of taking a partial sampling (the extent of our human reality) and declaring it everything. I combined the Pirsig quote with a photograph I took at Ogunquit Beach many years ago.

“We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.”

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Have We Become A Media Mind

Last night I attended a Poetry Society of N.H. public reading, War and Remembrance, at the University of N.H. with Paul Nichols, best friend, Vietnam combat veteran, and one of the featured poets. The poems read vividly depicted the brutality, immorality, and soul-sucking destructiveness of War–along with addressing the causes of this abomination.

I was particularly struck by the words of Burkhard Hoene who died in 2006 at the age of 46.  Some of his poetic journal entries were poignantly read by his brother last night from the Poetry Society's anthology, The Other Side of Sorrow.  An excerpt from his poem, what package is this? accompanies  my photographs below:

just who are we when we become
a media mind?

what is it that builds the power
of a such a country as ours?

similar resources, similar
television, similar people,
similar topography.

yet we have become the 
cause and barometer of how 
the world feels a about itself.

Is this an open society?

What is an open society

when it behaves as we do?
what values do we accept
and what values do we
impose on ourselves?
what values do we impose on others?

can we remain
can the blind remain

forgive them for
they know not what they do