Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Tree of Irony and the Waters of Hypocrisy.

I’m not sure if it should be the waters of hypocrisy and the tree of irony or the tree of hypocrisy and the waters of irony. We all deal with problems of proper association, this one’s mine- or maybe not, since I managed to pick one. I suspect it works either way. Something gets watered, whether it is alive or not. In this particular case we can certainly say both hypocrisy and irony are alive and flourishing.

The peculiar matter of Terri Schiavo; I’d be remiss if I did not address it. It is so rich with both irony and hypocrisy at the most grotesque level. If it were a movie it would be a farce along the lines of “The Loved One” or something out of Monty Python. It would not be a tragedy, except in the sense that the culture as a whole is tragic; should you be immersed in it and if not, once again a farce; ballooning ever more and more out of proportion depending on your distance from it.

I’m not going to go into the technical data of the cerebral cortex vis a vis the brain stem except to tell you that the former is the seat of what makes you, you. The latter is the seat of automatic processes; ‘you’ don’t have to be there for this to go on- heart, breathing, digestion, smooth muscle work etc; Somewhere around four minutes plus of anoxia (oxygen deprivation) and the cerebral cortex is cooked. This does not apply to certain yogis and special cases where the ordinary laws of physical existence are set aside.

The behavior rituals of humanity fascinate me. I can watch for long periods of time and I often do. Sometimes I will sit in a mall food court; sometimes I will sit in a sidewalk café or any location that grants me a view of humanity in passage. I like to listen to people speak as I reason out their intentions. I like to watch them watching each other and eavesdrop in my peculiar fashion upon the interior goings on. I’ve my own censoring devices, lest you think there’s a prurient aspect. I’ll admit in earlier times there was but that sort of thing doesn’t have a sustaining interest unless you’re possessed by an entity that is fixated upon those features. After awhile, recognizing your commonality with it all, you just don’t go there. We must at all costs avoid the tendency toward attributing superior status to ourselves. We can fall from a high place as easily as from a low one.

What I’ve noticed in this case is the swell of associated celebrity that I see in the face of Terri’s sister and parents. The self-righteousness is especially delightful. They’re really enjoying the spectacle. I’ve watched them enough not to feel I’ve misjudged them. I’ve studied the husband as well. Karma never fails to be interesting. It’s never the karma so much as it is the way we carry ourselves though. It’s the way we carry ourselves that defines the outworking of our karma.

The activities of the GOP are as ludicrous as anything life can present us with. The hypocrisy must stink like the garbage dump ringing Guatemala City. Especially in the case of Tom Delay whose activities in office are outrageous. His skimming of Indian casino monies and literally anything he could get his hands on; and the subsequent actions of the ruling party in both houses to protect him are one of the scandals of our time. We’ve not seen this kind of arrogant disregard in a long, long time; this is Huey Long redux. It’s another irony to watch someone who has passed on and is in a vegetative state being used as a football for pandering to a shrill political base which is also in a near vegetative state.

Polls were taken by major news organs. Polls were taken by all of the major news organs and the American people responded at about 87% across the board in support of the husband. In none of these major news organs that took the polls were the polls published. Imagine that. Why didn’t they publish these statistics? It is because it detracts from the ongoing spectacle. It’s better to have the appearance of parity in the argument- the better to profit from the hoopla and madness.

Let’s consider a rather more important feature. Just where is Terri Schiavo at this time? Her body is still in a state of forced maintenance. Is she networking with Walt Disney and Ted Williams? The corruptible body releases the soul at its demise; or should we say that the soul discards the body when it considers its work to be done? One might say, from a point of reason that some limbo effect is in operation.

The teachings of Jesus Christ express the concept that one achieves eternal life through faith. If this is the case then what is the point of sustaining the corruptible envelope? The people most adamant about sustaining the vegetative life are those who most stridently define themselves as followers of Christ. The rich loam of hypocrisy and irony herein would make any farmer weep at his wealth should he possess it.

As I have been at pains to point out in the past, life is a movie in which every possibility of expression is played out and demonstrated for the benefit of a collective enlightenment. The odd case of Bush becoming president is a movie with a sure lesson attendant. The behavior of political and religious interests is another movie with a sure lesson attendant. The Iraq war is a movie with a sure lesson attendant. All of them possess a wider lesson for humanity and a personal lesson for the participants.

Sometimes the only way for truth and balance to reinstitute themselves is for life’s drama to be pushed to the point of absurdity. Oh, I’ve gone on about the poisonous diet of the most flowered aspect of advanced culture. I’ve mentioned cellphones and how the poisonous radiation affects the location of the brain where the phone comes into physical contact; especially in the case of children. I’ve noted a multitude of practices that lead to suffering and death; quite possibly to a place in a bed next to Terri. The irony is that medical practice is so devoted to the suppression of symptoms and indifferent to prevention. Of course, the AMA-Pharmaceutical Combine is a global industry and it profits from the fact that you require its less than tender ministrations as a result of bad lifestyle. Most individuals expend 90% of their savings in the last year of their life on horrendously expensive medical practices that achieve zip. Common sense should tell you that if you have become terminal you should get what morphine you require and expire at home. But...they...won’t...let...you...do...that.

I’ve consumed enormous amounts of alcohol and drugs, smoked unfiltered cigarettes and run riot for periods of time in all manner of excess. No doubt I let it go on longer than I should have, but I’m not very bright sometimes and evidently more willful than I give myself credit for. Truth to tell, I have no idea why I was as I was. I do know why I am as I am now. Good diet is one of the things that carried me through with very little attrition from what I can tell; that and long periods of abstinence. Legal pharmaceuticals caused me more harm than all the other things combined. Doctors invariably caused me harm. I avoid them.

You know, I live in this small town. I have no real social life, nor do I miss it. If I’m not working as I am at this moment, on this project, I’m working on another project, or reading a book, or meditating, or reflecting on something. Perhaps I’m having my meal which comes about sometime in the afternoon, or I might go to the library, or walk in the woods which surround me here. Maybe something will happen from the things that I do, or maybe it will just go on as it does, or maybe something else will happen. I could sit back and think about what I want. To tell you the truth I can’t really think of anything. I’ve an idea for my walled garden but that’s a given in the process anyway.

I gain no real satisfaction from anything except my projects and my meditations. In my meditations I can come into communion with the mind and location to which I am directly bound. I can increase my sense of residence in that particular realm which is the particular kingdom of mine in God’s vast, incomprehensible estate. I cannot make sense out of what others do. But I know there is no endeavor that I have not at some time been engaged in. It is with supreme gratitude that I recognize the place to which the divine has taken me. I cannot express how grateful I am. I cannot contain it. I cannot explain it. It’s a simple, simple thing. It’s not at the corner store, or any store. It’s not to be acquired in a particular country. You can’t buy it and you can’t sell it and you cannot transmit it generationally. It’s the waters of the spirit freely given. Why it would not be the chief interest and industry of every man women and child is a puzzle. Perhaps it is... by diver’s ways.

Regardless of the travesties, tragedies and inequities of manifest life, we are all directed there. It is hard in any moment to comprehend this but I have that assurance. It brings a smile to my face and I find it hard to be at odds with anyone knowing how very true it is.

Until we Walk Across the Bridge

You can travel in the depths below
You can climb the highest ridge
and I will walk beside you always
Until we walk across that bridge
I will walk beside you all the way until we walk across the bridge

Until we walk across the bridge
oh sometimes we cannot see
that through the fullness of the landscape
you are walking next to me

Our minds make us seem different
but that was never so
we are one and always have been
take me with you when you go.

When we walk across the bridge
when we walk across the bridge
when we walk across the bridge
when we walk across the bridge

Until we walk across the bridge
always hold me in your heart
our eyes make us seem separate
although we've never been apart

until we walk across the bridge
after that the work is done
The New Jerusalem is rising
and now the bridge is gone
New Jerusalem is rising
and now the bridge is gone.
Yeah, now the bridge is gone

You can vanish in the depths below
You can climb the highest ridge
and I will walk beside you always
until we walk across the bridge
I will walk beside you all the way
Until we walk across the bridge

till we walk across the bridge
until we walk across the bridge
until we walk across the bridge
until we walk across the bridge...

Visible sings: ♫ Walk Across the Bridge ♫


Anonymous said...

I dare anyone to find that much truth in any other single piece written on the subject. I double dare them.


Anonymous said...

that's brilliant. i love the way you wander about with no obvious clue as to your final destination until you are all of a sudden there. just a top flight essay!

Anonymous said...

Good Work. Great song!!!

Anonymous said...

Not really sure what to say about this other than that I am glad, very glad, that you do what you do.

My search for God has been born out of gratitude. I know for many others, suffering has led them to that point. There are just so many things to be thankful for in this world and I find it impossible to not seek out the source of all those blessings. Your work is one of those blessings.


Anonymous said...

Three points at least. In any case, the deciding, game winning score. I love the song lyrics. I can't remember if I've heard that one or not, you've got so many. I'll be heading over to check it out. That was a super read which mirrors my thinking on that dreadful business.


Anonymous said...

There's been a lot of good writing over at The Fray on this issue. This tops them all because it includes far more and it is better written on the whole.

Coming here is an eyeopener to me because of the comparisons I draw between your work and everyone else's. You always include the missing dimension. Everything is always presented within the context of the divine. There's a sense you capture that just doesn't exist anywhere else. I can't define what it is. I just know it when I see it.

a 'friend'

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Good writing, always consistent and most important always interesting.


Anonymous said...

If the religious right wants one more house plant to water what's wrong with that? Will anyone notice it on the shelf next to the millions of others?

Anonymous said...

I, for one, miss the sharp edge you brought to a lot of your perspectives. It appears you are going for a kinder, gentler Les Visible. There's nothing wrong with that but the occasional Sturm und Drang made for a nice contrast.

Anonymous said...

Even though it seems impossible the hypocrisy becomes ever more blatant, the shouting down, the weaseling, the outright lying. I can't imagine that this behavior by our legislators and public figures can be allowed to continue indefinitely. Thunderbolts from the sky are due.


Anonymous said...

There are many good points in your article. I am a born again Christian and I have no quarrel with your conclusions. Then again I am no fan of that loathsome hypocrite in The Oval Office either. Keep writing, I will be a frequent visitor.

Bernard Evans
Sarasota, Fla

Anonymous said...

You don't live in America. At least your masthead indicates that. I don't know how long it has been since you have been here or if you have ever been here but the way you talk about it makes it appear that you have close contact with it every day.

I'm curious as to why you reffer to America so much. I imagine that Switzerland is not as interesting to write about. You've got real talent. It shows itself the most when you write about the things that are not at the level of our senses.




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