Monday, February 19, 2007

On Hearing the Cosmic Suite Without Getting Eaten by the Swedes

As Van noted yesterday, what eludes both atheists and religious literalists "is that form and meaning are complementary." For example, in order to play music, harmony, melody and rhythm are necessary. In their absence, there is only disorganized noise, not music. But to think that music may be reduced to musical theory is also wrong, for form is simply the vehicle but not the substance of music. This is why quite "primitive" musicians are able to convey the substance of music, while many mere technical virtuosos are not.

In Western religion in particular, form cannot be divorced from substance. It is different in Vedanta or Taoism, but not really. For example, the Upanishads represent close to pure metaphysics, but since most people are not metaphysically gifted, the revelation must be presented in a more "human" (so to speak) form, which is why the Bhagavad Gita (which expresses the stark truths of the Upanishads in a more mythological mode) is much more beloved among rank and file worshipers.

In fact, you might say that the East begins with pure metaphysical doctrine which is then embodied in myth and history, whereas the West reflects upon history itself (beginning with the Jews) in order to arrive at metaphysics -- to try to intuit the nature of God through the unfolding drama of history. Both Judaism and Christianity are quintessentially "historical" religions, and in fact, are incomprehensible in the absence of their historical form. You might say that Vedanta is a purely "spatial" revelation or descent -- it does not require time, for time can only "decay" or deviate from the timeless message, which is that Brahman (the ultimate reality beyond being) is One and that Atman (the individualized spirit) and Brahman are not-two.

But Judaism and Christianity are temporal revelations which cannot be understood outside their historical manifestations. It is the difference between a painting -- which depicts everything at once within the frames -- and a symphony, which can only unfold through time, which will in turn illuminate the meaning of what has gone before. As such, it is also the difference between the eye and the ear, which is why it is no coincidence that the West regards God fundamentally as word rather than vision. In fact, is it not written that no one sees the face of God and lives? Curiously, one can hear the voice but not see the face. (Of course, it is a matter of emphasis, for any theology limits things at the front door which it allows entry at the back door; thus, for example, the three who were privileged to witness the transfiguration atop mount Tabor.)

One of the main reasons the West leapt ahead of the East so dramatically is that the former regarded time -- and therefore history -- as fundamentally real, whereas the latter considered it a part of maya, and therefore unworthy of our attention. The Jews adopted a "middle position," in the sense that they lived and toiled within time for six days but returned to the timeless on the seventh (which is the ultimate purpose of the other six). Each week represents in miniature the full cycle of creation repeated endlessly. As such, it combined the temporal with the atemporal, as history awaits the ingression of the messiah.

Christianity obviously widened out that cycle to include all of history, past, present, and future. Instead of repeating the cycle endlessly, it sees us in the middle of one big cycle -- somewhat like a cosmic symphony -- with a beginning, middle, and end -- or the ages of the Father (the Jews), Son (Christ), and Holy Spirit (apocalypse and revelation, as history is brought to its denoument, or the eschaton).

Van correctly noted that scripture is traditionally understood to have four levels, the literal (or historical), the allegorical or symbolic, the moral, and the mystical or esoteric. The latter mode also has to do with the vertical -- with “leading upward” and with “final things," both on an individual and historical basis. And in fact, this is where the pure metaphysics of the Upanishads converges with Western scripture, as we ascend from the logos as deployed in historical time to the pure logos at the tip-toppermost of the vertical, as in Dante's vision of the paradiso.

Thus, as also noted by Van, "To stop at the literal level of the text as a Rev. Jerry Falwell or Sam Harris would, is to leave most of the meaning out, and [to] deify the Bible itself for their purposes (either pro or con) and to miss out completely on the doing of its meaning being actively threaded through the reader's soul." Exactly, for the modern deviation of "fundamentalism" is no less a form of debased materialism than materialism proper. In fact, it represents the reaction of a weak soul to the abnormal conditions of modernity -- an attempt to combat materialism by fully conceding its assumptions.

Quite obviously, the Bible is not "the word of God." It is not the logos. Rather, it is inspired words -- inspired (or even "authorized") by the Word -- about the Word. Once again, this conflation of the Bible and the Word -- or bibliolatry -- is a modern deviation that essentially concedes all ground to the horizontal flatlanders. It is a reduction of that which can only by understood by the nous to that which may be understood by the material ego.

Now, this is a coincidence -- then again, I suppose not. Reader Paul G. just emailed me to say that:

"I read somewhere that India is the most religious nation and Sweden is the least, and that the U.S. is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. How long can this go on, given the condition of our higher education that cranks out legions of Swedes who populate and rule all of our institutions of business, culture, government, etc.? Seems to me something's got to give sooner or later."

Very true. Again, if we think of India as being the land of pure metaphysics and Sweden as the land of no (or patently silly leftist) metaphysics, it means that the United States is rapidly becoming nothing less than a silliocracy -- as anyone can tell by the dangerously frivolous antics of the pro-defeat, America-hating Democrats last week.

We were once a serious nation founded by serious men of vertical substance, but no longer. Today, for reasons of pure self-preservation, our silly liberal elites would never tolerate someone as morally serious as the man who saved our union, Abraham Lincoln, because he would throttle them with his bare hands. As he said during the Civil War, "Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." It is anyone's guess what he would do to copperhead newspapers such as the New York Times who brazenly support America's enemies, but it would be swift and severe. No wrapping oneself in the first amendment to justify treason. (A reader informs me that the Lincoln quote has been disputed. If Lincoln didn't say it, then he was obviously remiss.)

Anyway, Van -- who was apparently en fuego yesterday -- wrote that it has slowly dawned on him that religion involves "erecting a scaffold of illusion, laying out a foundation in God, and a soaring structure of Wisdom, Goodness, and Truth.... [W]ith that scaffold of illusion solidly in place, the speaker and the audience have a footing, a frame of reference for placing what is coming into proper place and perspective. Throughout the coming speech or activity, all involved -- if they have been properly illusioned, will be 'erecting' their words and actions in line with that scaffolding, and at some point the new structure will stand on its own. At that point the scaffold can be cast off, but having guided the building of the structure, it will remain in spirit and be inherent within it."

This is exactly what I meant by the paradoxical use of the term "illusion" yesterday. To paraphrase someone, a work of art is a lie that conveys the truth. If it is timeless art -- say one of Shakespeare's plays -- then it is something that never happened which embodies what always happens. This is exactly how certain more poetical aspects of scripture -- say, Genesis -- must be understood in order to appreciate their fullness. Genesis does not just describe what happened "once upin a timeless" but what happens again and again and again in the field of time.

I had intended to get into how the three traditional transcendentals -- the Good, the True, and the Beautiful -- are inseparable, and how transcendental Truth -- if it is Truth -- will always be embodied in a form (the "scaffolding") that conveys God's intrinsic beauty, or glory (which is one of the important but neglected proofs of God). But I've probably written enough for today, so I'll save that for tomorrow, pneumalogical weather conditions permitting.

By the way, people sure are disinterested in this stuff. As I've begun focussing more on spirituality and less on politics, my readership has plummeted, as has interest in the book. Oh well. I must keep our motto in mind: the few, the humble, the Raccoons, "an army of the One." But sometimes I do appreciate a little encouragement, because there are times I can't help feeling that I am essentially speaking into a rapidly shrinking void, as we stand surrounded by coonibalistic Swedes who have the disgusting taste for coon pie.

90 Comments:

Anonymous Guy T. said...

I read your blog regularly (and I bought your book too!). I rarely comment here because I rarely have something useful to say, but for what it's worth, there is someone listening!

2/19/2007 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Bob, is it the actual readership or just the commenting? On some posts I find it harder to come up with a comment (and in doing so decide that that is not the point of commenting anyway.)

You would be amazed at the spiritual understanding of many pentacostal types-- encountering God in the Real can really pull you UP the scripture into the logos. Trouble? Some 'purging' (being purged by the Holy Ghost) is real; other of it is just people feeling that rolling around and foaming is how you get the Holy Spirit to work, rather than doing it because of the Holy Ghost.

And only one who has Him can know.

Interesting that you talk about the layers of scripture-- scripture has that artistic view-- wherein, it not only tells what actually happened, but tells at the same time what always happens. This is a key, key, key important part to both the old testament and all of the new; you can see the Saducees and Pharisees (which may be thought of as the various Christian groups- each according to whether they omit genuine scripture -- think Bibolotry -- or add laws to scripture that are not part of it and teach them before it -- think Catechism. Not that the Talmud or Catechism are BAD per se, but are not scripture.) and also the Samaritans can be thought of as some of those Pentacostal churches, and those seeker-centric churches as well. This is an eternal dynamic; the truth-knowers are split in to the adders and the subtracters, and the spirit-knowers are seperated into the seekers and the emotionalists. So Christ's message to the lady at the well speaks over and over again to every time. Even though he only spoke it once.

By the way, some people my church almost hate pentacostals and seeker driven churches... or at least, they express extreme disdain (which is couched in a we-are-better terminology)

I too will be eventually reading things such as the Vendanta, Tao, etc; Partly out of interest in what truth is held within, but most importantly to know the perspective of those who come from those traditions.

Thanks for the interesting stuff today, Bob. I'm looking forward to Goodness, Truth and Beauty...

Almost like the hero, his sidekick, and the beautiful princess!

Hmm.... Maybe Cervantes was on to something!

2/19/2007 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Ricky Raccoon said...

Dr Bob,
I hope you are not concluding from the number of comments a lack of interest. If you are looking at just web hits I wonder if that is misleading.
I know in my case my interest is growing. Many times I feel the urge to send a reply to your daily blog but rather feel I should just sit and ‘listen’...as I have an awful lot to learn.
Also, I recently purchased your book and that is keeping me busy – I have never read a book that caused me so often to reread lines for more understanding and really for the pleasure they bring by just re-experiencing the message…or the re-awakening of messages I always had but didn’t realize I had them. I can’t quite describe the feeling of when things suddenly are shown to make ‘sense’. I can’t recall ever having written things in the margins for my own pleasure. My copy has my notes on nearly every page. Multiple notes on some pages.
Any way that it may be, I hope you continue because you never know who you may reach today.

2/19/2007 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

You and Van, and some of River's recognitions in recent comments, have helped me understand a sense I have of the necessity of marrying certainty and scepticism. The form of religion is not sufficient, neither is the theory. It seems desirable to engage the -- how about "construct" rather than "illusion" -- of the religious lore as something to be adopted & believed at this point-in-time in the passage upward, without a sense that what we hold in our minds at any one point is The Ultimate.

Cynicism is perhaps a premature disassembling of the scaffold. Bernadette Peters, whose high insights seem earned by long toiling up the dogma scaffold, talks with a snort of those who "pull up the ladders."

I'd be perfectly happy to hear, at some Omega point, "That was the most fruitful way to regard it, not the literal event." However, I think a premature Olympian figuring-it-out adoption of that conclusion aborts the whole thing. Learning the dance is doing the steps, neither refusing, nor freezing in, the right heel placed just-so over the left toe.

Incidentally, you may not be selling as much of the first book, but you're dern-sure sketching out the next one or the next. The veri-term for the day is umuss. Spread it, bro.

2/19/2007 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

OOps, I meant the contemplative Bernadette Roberts, though the beauteous Bernadette Peters seems to have delved into another kind of Baba-rich humus, too...

2/19/2007 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous left-leaning fan said...

...people sure are disinterested in this stuff. As I've begun focussing more on spirituality and less on politics, my readership has plummeted...

Here's my two cents: as you criticise the opposition less in making your points, you lose the knee-jerk reactions of both moonbats and self-pronounced coons alike. Don't mistake quantity for quality. Not everyone feels qualified to speak after heady spiritual flight. Some just like to absorb. I really enjoy it when your posts dig deep into spirituality, without aiming the dirt at someone else.

2/19/2007 08:39:00 AM  
Anonymous brian said...

Dear Bob,

You are MUCH appreciated. I read you every day.

Personally I find your metaphysical posts more engaging and challenging than your political ones, but it's all good. I can understand where a lot of visitors might be more attracted to political discussion, but your real "value-added" comes from your spiritual rather than political insights in my opinion.

Thinking about this even more, you really are in a class by yourself - you don't have a ready-made demographic or "tribe" that readers can easily fit into. You certainly don't fit in with more orthodox religious types, given your eclectic and esoteric approach. But you also don't fit in with other spiritual misfits like the New Agers or Integralists, in fact you actively discourage them. Nor do you appeal to the more academic or technical philosophical types (who tend to be skeptical of spirituality anyway).

Coons are an inherently independent lot, and often misunderstood in my experience. We don't even fit in with other rebels. In short, you need to hire a marketing guru ASAP! (just kidding, don't change a thing!)

Keep on "Cooning"

2/19/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Anonymous lurker uncloaking said...

"Ricky Raccoon said..."said everything I meant to say, and much more eloquently.

2/19/2007 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Be still my Racoon heart! Glad my fuego could contribute some fuel for you!

keep our motto in mind: the few, the humble, the Raccoons, "an army of the One."

HuooahhHHH!!!!!

Remember it's always Cycles & Plateaus, round and round and up flat up... much better to let the Quality drive the Quantity than the other way around.

2/19/2007 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

BECAUSE THE SKY READS (after the poet Kabir)

Even if they go
unread

these few small
God-poems

of mine

will become stars

in the night
sky

Why?

Because the sky
reads them

The sky loves
to read

stuff like

this.

wcm 2/19/07

2/19/2007 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In that case, 'scuse me whle I kiss the sky.

2/19/2007 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Jille said...

This is my first comment though I read you every day about noon shortly after you post and think about what you've written while I make lunch.

I also bought your book a year ago and have urged many others to do the same.

Sadly, it hasn't worked which is no reflection on the book.

2/19/2007 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

There are many, many posts where my comprehension outstrips my ability to say anything which would add to the post, or even to ask relevent questions.

Most people have this gap between that which they can comprehend (however dimly) and that about which they can converse fluently.

A small handful of posters here (Van, river, several other regulars) have the depth of knowledge, breadth of inelligence, and aptitude with words to converse more or less on Bob's level on a regular basis. However there are plenty more of us who are attuned to Bob's message, have learned a great deal here, and who are eager for more.

The social utility of One Cosmos inheres in its ability to open spirirtuality up to smart people. Like so many in my generation I thought I was too sophisticated (pace yesterday's post) for religion. While One Cosmos was not the first source that changed things for me, it has probably been the most influential. The approach has to be broken down so it is digestable by people like me: people who are not intrinsically hostile to religion, but for whom the deeper meanings and reality has been unavailable because we were lost in a wilderness of scientism, logical positivism and the sort of sketical cynicism which we were taught was normal.

The question then becomes: how does Bob's message (well, the general notion that spirituality is not ignorant superstition, but rather is the key to our survival and happiness) get out into the wider world? Bob has already pretty much indicated he doesn't want to go down the road of appearances on Oprah (goodbye Slack), but it seems to me that something must be done beyond a blog and a book. I don't have the answer right now. In a few years I'll have 8 digits to play with. I'd like to think there might be something that could be done with money, but then again George Soros has 10 digits to play with, and he's pushing the diametic opposite of Bob's message from what I can see.

I'm glad Bob emphasizes the problems with Christian fundamentalists (specifically, Biblical literalists). These people are driving a wedge in America. They are making Christianity easier to mock, and less appealing to the that portion of the country which is currently a-spirtual but which is not so depraved as to be beyond hope (Hell, I was able to change almost 180 degrees over 10 years).

There are so few "Bobs" in the cultural spotlight. CNN routinely calls upon people like Falwell or Roberston to "represent" Christians.

I don't have the answers, but I'm not going to give up thinking about it. Part of it is simply marketing, and we know how to do that.

2/19/2007 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous faris said...

One Cosmos is the highlight of my daily reading (and I read a lot). Thank you for not being just another dreary poltical site, the internet is saturated with that stuff. (and I agree with your politics, btw, fwiw) The posts and commentary here are unique and I hope you are able and inspired to continue.

2/19/2007 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Late Convert said...

One cosmos has become the blog I most look forward to visiting, and, while anything that's offered here is appreciated, it's not the political musings of the host that attract me - there are dozens of blogs which focus on that sort of thing for the pleasure of those who merely want to muck about in the mundane.

It's now my pleasure to own recordings of the late Beethoven String Quartets due, in part, to a timely reminder posted here. The last movement of the A minor quartet is, for me, wonderful beyond words.

Thank you sincerely for your daily offerings.

2/19/2007 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger robinstarfish said...

marketing idea:
Gagdad Bob's Fortune Coonkies
on the back, web link

2/19/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder just how many religious literalists there really are out there. Does anyone only ever read the scriptures only literally besides a Muslim (because his scriptures are just lietral transh and nothing more) or a leftist (who reads them with an intent to not understand)?

Yes there are some literalists out there but they are hardly religious. They are too commercial for that.

2/19/2007 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Bob, you truly have learned "to separate the fine from the coarse," and naturally, hope to share it. It surely must be visible to you how much the pilgrims that come each day appreciate the offerings.

I'm pretty sure you know that you are not alone in "wondering" about the effect you are having; I hear a kind of existential loneliness at times in many of the comments that people leave here. Certainly, I had my share of it when I was involved with business, and hoping that others would "recognize" what I was presenting.

Chuang Tzu "wondered" as well. He wrote, "Words exist because of meaning; once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words, so I can have a word with him?"

2/19/2007 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

latter anon- there are few TRUE religious literalists among the Christians; most are just spiritually immature and not quite ready (because of fear) to move deeper and higher in to scripture. They read 'My spiritual meat is to do the will of my Father' and hope it just means reading the Bible.

Smoov: God bless you for your affirmation. I doubt that I have the 'intellect' or 'mastery of language' of Bob or Van or Will, mostly I just am unable to shut up when something comes across my mind. (I was the guy in class that the teacher stopped calling on!)

Smoov, about your 8 figures vs. Soros' 10, observe this passage:

(John 6, 4-15 KJV)

And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

(And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.)

When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, 'Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

Philip answered him, ;Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.'

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 'There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?'

And Jesus said, 'Make the men sit down.' Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, 'Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.'

Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, 'This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.'

When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.

2/19/2007 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

I haven't posted much of anything here in a while. It's funny. When I discovered Gagdad's blog about a year and a half ago I really enjoyed jumping in to the squared circle of discussion, sharing my newfound insights, mixing it up with the trolls...
Now I'm not so inclined to do so. I feel like I somehow believe more than I used to, but I know less. And yet I don't even know about the belief thing either. Here's what I mean. I have spent some time reading the Gospels. After reading the four books It struck me on an intuitive kind of level that the guys who wrote them weren't making stuff up. I make the connection from Genesis, and can't escape the conclusion that there in that time and place God did indeed enter the stream of time and human consciousness to bring us the Message. That's the big leap from saying that Jesus was a real wise fellow, and probably a Buddah, and a prophet, and a Guru, and.... No. The guy was who he said he was. Now I can take that on faith and believe it.
Yet. I listen to Van, Dilys, Or River, and I recognize a dimension, or perhaps a depth to their belief that I do not seem to posess. I have had no overwhelming encounter with Holy Spirit. No Damascus road moment. No angels and psychedelic lights. (bummer)
As I said, I haven't been inclined to share much as of late. Much as I hate to admit it, my adventure in the cardiac ward has had repercussions. It sent its peculiar vibe reverberating through every aspect of my life, and I'm not the same person I was before it all began. And the belief thing is just a part of it all.
When I was in the hospital, I was half jokingly expecting some sort of spiritual experience as a sideshow to the whole adventure. I figured, "Hey, this should set the stage- serious encounter with mortality, I been spendin' time doing all this spiritual type thinkin' an' readin'..."
But no lights or angels.
Instead what I saw was that everything that I looked at in the hospital had been someone's job. Whether it was the design on a box of tissues or the manufacture of the stent that they plugged into my heart, everything was someone's job to design, to manufacture, to market, to ship... Wheels within wheels and all of it built on the mundane routine of showing up for work and doing what you do. It's all holy. All of it.

So as soon as I got enough strength back I went and got a part-time job. I used to teach high school. Now I'm substituting on the custodial staff for the local elementary district. Pushing broom- just like I did back in the seventies. It's a lot harder at 54 than it was at 24, but each day kicks my butt less and less. And each day that I put in, I leave feeling like I've done something. And it's good.

Years ago I had a guy tell me, "Don't ever let them make you into a cog in the clock." It sounded like good advice at the time. At the time.

JWM

2/19/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>'scuse me whle I kiss the sky<<

And while you're at it, please give the sky folk a nice hug because they're all reading you. You're connecting with them, and when you connect with them, we got a sympathetic vibration going, and the Light from Above zooms down the wire so that it becomes a reservoir of Light that one can actually see with the naked eye at certain times, in the early evening, for example. And that Light feeds the souls of many whether they read you or not)

OK, the sky folk don't pay the bills.

But, hey, anyone who hasn't had some moderate-to-severe discouragements lately isn't even in the Game! The Black Hats aren't going to bother with those who already toe their line. (or is it "*tow* their line"? I've always been a bit confused because both expressions make sense)

Anyway, yes, as Vanopolis suggests, this seems to be a Black Hat cycle as of late with the anti-raccoons seemingly in ascendency, eg, the parade of author-atheists, the anti-American dems in congress, etc. And from the genuinely spiritual people with whom I am acquainted I am hearing one story of personal trial and tribulation after another.

It sure can be discouraging. But it's an opportunity for all of us to rely on our spiritual reserves, to touch base with our real foundation. Which would suggest that we are in a period of . . . . being tested . . .

2/19/2007 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Sigh, I'm driven upward in this new management position, but what I really want to do is live simply... I suppose the lesson is that I (and we all, perhaps) need to learn simply while IN the complex world. It's a work in progress...

2/19/2007 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

JWM - We are not so different. I have come to realize that ecstatic experiences are highly overrated and not trustworthy as a reason for faith and believing. My advice would be to steadily move on through the rest of the New Testament, always taking a moment to look back to the OT references that are made by the writers - I really find that fascinating and validating. Try seeing it as if you're eavesdropping on real events as they unfolded over time to real people. For me, this simple approach to scripture, has strengthened my faith far more than any experiences could. FWIW

And Bob, as others have said, what you offer up in your book and here on a daily basis is really unique -- and in many ways, timeless. Current interested audience numbers really don't say much about long-term appreciation (there, I didn't use the word posthumous).

2/19/2007 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Sigh, I'm driven upward in this new management position, but what I really want to do is live simply... I suppose the lesson is that I (and we all, perhaps) need to learn simply while IN the complex world. It's a work in progress...

2/19/2007 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

gack!

.....BBBBBBBBBBLLLLLOGERRRRRR!

2/19/2007 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger ZenGolfer said...

I must echo Guy's comments... As a regular reader, I don't comment as often as I should, but I make this one of my first stops in my blog-reading day, as it always provides me my spiritual sustenance, as I trudge through my daily slog of horizontal-ness...

2/19/2007 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

To think the ancients needed little more than a plumb line to find True Vertical, and from there constructed a Cornerstone from which every other architectural truth emerged.

>>>>

When I was first waking up to music, I played bass. There was just nothing else for me. Had to have bass. I "got" what it was before I learned music. The bass builds the house, and the music can't soar without it.

Meanwhile, this is just a ridiculous word-veri:

qzujmwwu

ack!

2/19/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

jwm -

>>Wheels within wheels and all of it built on the mundane routine of showing up for work and doing what you do. It's all holy. All of it<<

Seeing the light of the sacred emanating from the mundane more than passes muster for a spiritual vision.

If we are truly pilgrims, we necessarily strain and strain for the Vision. This is, as a friend once told me, the last lust - the lust for God - to be surrendered.

When we are broken and exhausted, the simple Truth comes through.

2/19/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Will:
That poem is a keeper!

With you're permission, I'd like to send it out to friends & family.

May I?

2/19/2007 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>By the way, people sure are disinterested in this stuff. ... But sometimes I do appreciate a little encouragement...<<

Bob -
I'm a daily, but silent, reader of One Cosmos. I've benefited greatly from your book and music recommendations and am forever in your debt for turning me on to Michael Polanyi. I'm gong through a phase where I'm interested in thinkers who acknowledge the power of the materialist/reductionist program (i.e, they are not blind), but also recognize or point to its severe limitations (i.e., they are not idiots)-- Whitehead, Godel, Robert Rosen ("Life Itself") come to mind.

Your politically oriented agitprop will induce more comment -- it's just the nature of the beast. But I for one appreciate your spiritual musings and encourage you to continue.

2/19/2007 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

ximeze -

Yes, of course you have permission, you flatter me.

I'd REALLY be flattered if you'd teach Beaky to recite the poem. You know, in front of gatherings. Maybe a YouTube showing.

2/19/2007 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

JWM, FWIW, candidly for me any flashing Damascus moments pale beside the cold Lenten revelation of how far I am from the Blessed are you...'s and how close to the Woe unto them...'s, which is what matters. Siddhis and visions...by themselves, bah!

Your hospital insight is pretty dazzling to regard. The ox resurrects, next, you resolve to, and do, chop wood and carry water; someone should make a woodcut series. David Reynolds writes how his Constructive Living clients struggle&struggle even to approach such a recognition of the world's unstinting generosity and invitation to the dance.

Praying for the school as you sweep might radiate even more heaven there, with you as its delegate. At the center of the turning wheel, no cog only -- master of the the domain of doc.no.cog.gods.good@newlife.net.

Good to track your keyboard's clicks again.

2/19/2007 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Ahem, uh, ah, well, um, they're not lowering their script blocker, therefore, Aha! lower counter numbers, less information exchange. Solemnity, that is once they've realized you're not going to rip somebody a new one and there'll be no piling on in the comments. Fire, brimstone and blood letting every day? Nah. Unseemly.;~)


Joan,
Quiz you. Jim? Woo you?


jmw,
Were you hooked up to "nitro"? That's a headache you'll never forget huh? Funny, the nurse said, "dude, am I glad your moving yourself around, aren't afraid to stand up ...." like that. I said, "That will continue IF you take the ax out of the back of my head." He started laughing so hard, spit out his gum, on me!;~)


Rut roh! uxiaxun Shoulda looked at that BEFORE I made the ax comment - creepy effen computers.

Living a CHRIST like life, trying to project GOD'S beauty, HOLY SPIRIT smite me - it's darn hard, ya know? - smite me uh, um, ah, later, much later, after the Lenten Season, a few Lenten Seasons. Sacrifices? It's only Forty Days.;~)

2/19/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Bob:
Think Star Trek (Orig). Bozos at NBC didn't get it & finally killed the series after 3 yrs.

Look at what has transpired with the concept over the last 40 yrs. IMO the first, Core One, replays more fully than all the adjuncts.

Would love to say something profound or inspirational, but that's just not me. How do I put into words what your work & this site means to me? Have try to think back to BeforeOneCosmos(BOC).

I'll quote Will:
"When we are broken and exhausted, the simple Truth comes through."

Yes, broken & exhausted. Mind, Soul & Spirit numb, turned to stone. Despairing of ever having the strength to remake a life, caught in downward spiral, into a Real Life. And alone, so profoundly Alone.

That was PreCoonVision & the community of Coonsters. What a breath of fresh air to stir up & awaken me to Life, Truth, Beauty, Love, Trust, Decency, Humor.....

A group as crazy as I felt, and saying it was Normal! Sudden halt of downward motion, a chance to regroup & change direction.

Sometime I feel like a leech, sucking it all in. Wish I could do something in return.

I'll just quote you, from your own comment on that "good man" blog:

"Gagdad Bob said...
I just found your blog and there's not much I can say except that I absolutely loved your book and that now I shall pray for you and your wife. May God give you the strength to continue sharing your Light. It's a very rare gift."

Back at ya, Bob

2/19/2007 12:41:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Will-
Truly an ageless poem of the ages.
Thanks!

2/19/2007 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Is it any wonder that the Swedish Chef wasted so much food while trying to make it palatable by tossing it?

Besides, no one could understand that suckular regressive gibberish.

2/19/2007 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JWM said "everything that I looked at in the hospital had been someone's job. Whether it was the design on a box of tissues or the manufacture of the stent that they plugged into my heart, everything was someone's job to design, to manufacture, to market, to ship... Wheels within wheels and all of it built on the mundane routine of showing up for work and doing what you do. It's all holy. All of it."

JWM, you got way better than a spiritual sideshow of sugar, bells and whistles, you got the real Meat of the soul.

wordverif:ujdsboy hmm

2/19/2007 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said "...The bass builds the house, and the music can't soar without it..."
Oh how Right you are!

2/19/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Pesonally, I love it when you get all vertical on us. It is much deeper and cuts down on all the riff-raff. Inspiralational indeed!

Thanks as always...

PS. Good to see you back on your feet, JWM!

2/19/2007 01:02:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

JWM-
It's good to hear from you.

I hear what your saying. I've had a few 'road to damascus moments' and immediately tried to recreate them, in several ways.

The experience of spiritual ecstasy
became my focus, my...god.

Fortunately, through brutal Grace, I soon realized my error.
But that 'feeling' beckons still.

Eventually, and still, I learned/am learning to embrace moderation in all things. Pain really helped me to understand this more fully.

Not to say that spiritual ecstasy is 'bad'. Only that it isn't all it's hyped up to be, and certainly isn't the end-all/be-all.

Congrats on the new job! Custodian is a noble position in deed!

2/19/2007 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Ben, thanks.

Great new pic of you on your site, by the way. I sense that it truly captures your soul, your real essence. I recommend it to all.

2/19/2007 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

OMG He's so cute!

Beaky commeer, lookit:

What a Prince!

2/19/2007 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous wired said...

I'm here everyday... I just don't post but I don't know what I'd do if you didn't do what you do. I'm a new Coon surrounded by Swedes and this is my life-line to the vertical.

Reading "Meditations on the Tarot" now. I will be picking your book up soon. :-)

2/19/2007 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael A. said...

USS BEN 12.52 pm:

Hyerm de berm de Bush's war de bork bork bork...

2/19/2007 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

This is what we're up against:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/02/17/science_and_faith_tw.html

Probably 90% of the people I work with would more or less agree with this post. Digg, Boing Boing, Slashdot, Wired--pretty much all of the mass-audience websites are populated almost exclusively by Swedes.

As an aside, some time ago when I first started reading One Cosmos I chanced to have a Wikipedia article on Sri Aurobindo open on my monitor, when a recently-hired assistant to my assistant (or something)--a young woman of Indian extraction--who happened to be delivering mail stopped in her tracks, eyes lit up and shining brightly, mouth open, when she exclaimed: "How do you know him, sir?" and "He hangs on every wall in my village!"

Guess who I'd rather do lunch with, her or the Director of Sales, North East?

2/19/2007 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

Bob and all the Coons out there,
I must agree with the many of you who come by every day, but say little. Like River, I sometimes feel compelled to throw in my two cents (and I suspect that's about all the value I add ; ), but most days I am content to simply read and absorb. For what it's worth, there are very few websites that last as a daily read for me - most every other site has lasted a couple of months at best, before the messages/ ideas therin get boring or stale. Not so here.

Don't be discouraged by the traffic numbers; when it gets a little quiet, in all likelihood it just means we are listening very carefully.

2/19/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Booger the Cat said...

Glasr:
Yeah.
Nitroglycerine sucks.
All hangover.
No buzz.
:(

JWM

2/19/2007 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

I can no longer imagine a day without stopping by the OC. A heartfelt thanks, Bob, for the energy you expend in remystifying the cosmos. And to the merry band of wiseacres from whom I also learn much.

jwm - It's all holy, indeed. I picture the janitor in Bruce Almighty.

A model image for the Coonifesto Marketing Team can be found here.

2/19/2007 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

JWM:
Just reread your 10:35:07 comment & had a combined visual flashback.

At one school in So.Am. there was a football field length covered concrete walkway, up 3 flights from the soccer field, facing out onto the river. After school hours it was very peaceful there, with only the sound of tetherball chains being tossed about by the wind.

Every evening it would be cleaned (of the mess we students had made) by a few men with wide pushbrooms, using some sort of mixture of sawdust & turpentine. The sight, sound & smell are there, all of a package.

Other half: zen monks washing and sweeping the temple grounds, doing their 'chop wood & carry water' practice of Zen in Motion.

Fusion: JWM as Monk with pushbroom, practicing Zen in Motion, cleansing world surfaces, leaving the unmistakable, pleasant perfume of OM behind.

2/19/2007 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Cosa:

Priceless!

2/19/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Booger the Cat said...

Ximese said:
Fusion: JWM as Monk with pushbroom, practicing Zen in Motion, cleansing world surfaces, leaving the unmistakable, pleasant perfume of OM behind.

Ummm, actually, the aftermath of lunch hour at a grade school smells pretty gross.
;)

Thanks, all for your comments.
What a cool cult.

JWM

2/19/2007 03:42:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

...and I can't get rid of the stupid "booger the cat" nic either. (last time I let that animal near the PC)

Blogger hates us.

JWM

2/19/2007 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Zu-Zu's petals Bob,

Not that I think you're anywhere near this state, but as an illustration, recall again Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life"; he thinks he's hit bottom - until Clarence the apprentice angel arranges his never having been born. Sure he's got his hearing back, but he does't have Zu-Zu's flower petals in his pocket, or Zu-Zu, the other kids or even his wife, and all the townspeople's lives have been horizontalized for want of him. Finally as his life is restored to him and as the word goes out, the entire town of Bedford CoonFalls comes filing through his living room to show their appreciation for the 'little' things he's done day after day.

You're making more ripples in the water than you will likely ever realize Bob, and speaking from experience, I garaundamntee you they're making real and lasting affects upon lives in the world. Right now. You of course have to do what makes the most sense for you, Mrs. G & Future Leader - Zu-Zu's petals take precedence, but what you are doing now is making a difference, is causing rethinking & reshaping to occur in the minds, souls and lives of people, and be it a select few or many, there is no thing of more significance that one person can do in this One Cosmos than that.

It is in fact a wonderful life, and what you do at One Cosmos makes it that much more so.

2/19/2007 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog and recently bought the book. Keep up the good work. The Swedes might be beaten yet!

2/19/2007 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

JWM:
Blogger may have it in for you, but Beaky wants to say:

I love Booger, Fergus, Oscar & Merlin. In that prior photo Savannah looks kinda scarybig, sooo....

ps to will: can you set that poem to techno noises? Really dig those & can learn them really fast.

2/19/2007 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Bob,
the inarticulate among us are still reading and profiting - know that we're out here, soaking it up and applying it.
And being very, very grateful.
But having to fall back on "yeah, what Will or Van or Dilys or Joan et al. said" in lieu of our own comments.


JWM - so good to see you! We worry...

My own epiphany involved green beans, tuna and toilet paper. But the realization was exactly the same.

Or as someone once said: the whole point of everything material is for people to be able to go to Mass.
Or something like that.

Bob- how to pass on the Good, the True and the Beautiful? So want to hear that.

kcgps? Lose you navigational device?

2/19/2007 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

I just got a chance to follow the link to Cornerstone-forum, heart rending... yet ....

Aeschylus said 'There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief', and that is certainly true... and yet there is more to it.

Looking at Her picture as an adult, above the picture of her as a child on the swing waving, and the caption below "May she rest in peace", and his thoughts by her side in his last post ... it makes me think of what Dante was saying about the four levels of meaning. He thought that you needed to actively seek out each level, and ideally you would be able to realize all four at once... I can fleetingly imagine it as being a sensation of significant depth, an intellectual Chord being strummed through the soul.

There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief, and no life well lived can be recalled without it, yet the sense of fullness her page conveys, short though it may have been; there is no flavor more savory than that of biter-sweet, and it causes deep reflection and remembrance... it's not just Poetry we need to read deeply, but our lives to be lived in the same way.

Zu-Zu’s petals indeed.

2/19/2007 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Sal said:
"My own epiphany involved green beans, tuna and toilet paper. But the realization was exactly the same."

Now that's one story I would like to hear.
Hey Sal!
Good to see you too.

2/19/2007 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous uss ben said...

Van-
Your last few posts were beautiful and wonderfully written!

2/19/2007 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

But then, Van's posts often are : )

2/19/2007 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

I've been able to comment less lately (dull roar from the coon squad ;-) because my life has gotten busier but OC is part of my daily spiritual practice - so keep it up Bob!

Van said "I can fleetingly imagine it as being a sensation of significant depth, an intellectual Chord being strummed through the soul."

I sing in my Church choir and many composers past and present have figured out consciously or unconsciously that when the word "Christ" is sung, a full chord harmony should be sounded signifying the union of heaven and earth, God and man, spirit and body that Jesus Christ represents. It is incredibly powerful being a part of it.

2/19/2007 05:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Stu said...

Hey Bob,

I don't comment much any more and when I do, it is usually anonymously.

But I'm still here reading the posts and commentary every day. The blog provides a welcome infusion of verticality into my largely horizontal work days.

I've noticed that every couple of months you start to question the blog. I think it's happened 3 or 4 times since I started reading, where you second-guess your purpose or effectiveness.

For what it's worth, I can definitively tell you that regardless of the size of your readership, you are having a profound impact on both individual lives and the zeitgeist at large.

Your hard work is genuinely appreciated by your readers. And your morning musings are obviously central to your own spiritual fulfillment.

But the truth of the matter is, personal fulfillment and external gratitude are not what your blog is for.

JWM spoke about the miracle of being a cog in the wheel of life. (a free cog in the life divine, I might humbly add)

I am also reminded of what is said about the genuine spiritual masters: that their work in the vertical realms, undertaken on behalf of all of humanity, far outreaches any of their worldly teachings.

The same, I believe, is true of your writing, Bob. This is what your blog is about.

The translation of difficult spiritual truths into words that can be understood and assimilated by your readers.

Like a radio or a telephone that encodes a message so it can be reintegrated by the receiver.

I have seen palpable changes in both myself and in the world since I found your blog. Of course, they are mirror images of each other.

You shine a very bright light on this mirror.

2/19/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

About the ecstatic stuff- yeah. Seeking it means that you aren't seeking God, just the feeling he may convey. I had a harsh reminder of that today-- had to shut off my music and turn on some Jazz, because I was repeating the same song over and over for the absolute wrong reason.

Still a work in progress o'er here. But He's been good, He's been good.

I'm also coming to recognize that ordinary things can get spiritually 'polarized', negatively, positively, kind of like they may become an anchor for a mind parasite... had to deal with a nasty one today, and it made me realise part of my getting-up-in-the-morning problem.

Aside from my staying-up-late issue, (which obviously has a great influence) there is the issue of my bed-- which I have had since I was in high school (I've always been tall.)

Needless to say-- those were some of the hardest years of my life, and that bed has been there through it all-- at least in my mind.

Why do anything but lull around in that same bed I've been lulling around in for 10 years? Exactly.

Gonna have to ask for a prayer on that one.. to make sure I'm not being led astray for one. (I often awake thinking I am somewhere else, or with great heaviness... it is very puzzling to me.)

Anyway, I'm jus' sitting 'ere, in your intertubes, redeeming the time, dying daily, bearing my cross (not crossly I hope,) seeking the spiritual meat, and trying to see through the maya. Allo, where's Grace?

2/19/2007 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

ximeze - you're telling me that Beaky can learn to recite the poem if it's set to techno noices/beat?

Because this I CAN DO. Even as we speak, I am surrounded by gleaming synthesizers.

2/19/2007 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Stu!

2/19/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger PSGInfinity said...

Watching "24" while I tap this out. Obviously, you've struck a deep chord in a small pool of loyal follow travelers. I feel at hOMe hear, even as I spend days not bleating a word. I've found I have to visit your blog last because the collective insights blow my mind.

Van, your stuff yesterday was amazing! I couldn't begin to understand any of it on the first reading, and that IS saying something, so congrats!

Smoov, I love the thought of your expertise and resources helping get Bob's message out. I trust your instincts, and I hope you're right.

The last troll snapped some of Bob's issues into focus for me. Clearly, there are people who would benefit from the pool, but who get confused when they jump in, or get washed away in the crosscurrents. Bob's work would benefit from an overview, light on the puns, to help orient newbies to the stream. A Greatest Hits section would also be useful, to allow sneekers an opportunity to gain some more insight before they go their merry way. Tagging his work to allow indexing would of course be really useful, and in fact a foundation for further relevations.

Word Verif: wednsg

2/19/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Will:
Crank them synthemsizers up.

Maybe even throw in the guitar.

boogr th' cta

2/19/2007 06:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

Sal: My own epiphany came with a bladder infection, an argument with my aunt, and a bottle of defective painkillers.

I've learned not to seek the ecstatic Experience, because It seems to have come to me only at the lowest, most miserable points of my life.

("hkknnk"? what kind of word is that?)

2/19/2007 06:54:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Between Norton password manager and the Blogger word veri mind-trap I am stumped here. Sometimes I get my usual handle, jwm, and sometimes It posts Booger the Cat. Preview is no help. It previews BTC and posts JWM, or vice versa. Is this an example of being hoist on one's own sock puppet? Or maybe it's just a cruel and ironic twist of fate, destined to wring cliche's out of me forever.
Only time will tell.

vdumy?

JWM

2/19/2007 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Bob,

For what it's worth, I read One Cosmos virtually every day. I may be one who is most interested in your political commentary, but that's only because I have a poor grasp of metaphysics (though today's material I seemed to understand well, and I really enjoyed it).

I suppose that like many physicians, I am a lousy metaphysician!

But don't be discouraged; your work is very valuable.

Today I especially appreciated this idea:

If [a work of art] is timeless art -- say one of Shakespeare's plays -- then it is something that never happened which embodies what always happens.

Jamie Irons

2/19/2007 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

I can only imagine the tone of voice here:

"Because this I CAN DO. Even as we speak, I am surrounded by gleaming synthesizers."

Did you tent your fingers in anticipation? I know I would have.

Also about the ecstatic experiences; it is not unusual and in fact quite understandable that the re-awakening of Christian ecstatic experience in the USA happened among those most destitute-- black folks in the city. I recall Carlton Pearson put it this way:

"The Holy Spirit had to come among those not too proud to say [says something in tongues]"

I am a very emotional person, and have always been, so I have a very thin 'veil', or perhaps the term might be chancel, between myself and the ecstatic. My mom says its our French blood, which is not something I would discredit just because Genes don't code for the Spirit...

Anyway, because of this it came come through to me very steadily and in a kind of lower key-- not that I can control the Spirit, (though I could certainly stop Him if it got too much) -- the problem here is still the same; I seek the same song to get in touch with the Spirit, but he moves, like the wind, whither he wishes. So then I'm trying to 'conjure', at which point I'm definitely not going to get Mr. H. Ghost.

Its the danger of drug addiction as well. My desire is to pray continually (and thus keep my mind like cup ready to be filled) and be in some kind of low-key emotionally ecstatic state; But I have to be careful, lest the idea of being in that state become the goal.

Being that I am River Cocytus, it is not unusual that this state expresses itself to me as a kind of bittersweetness; sad but happy; the true state to me is not one of mad ecstasy, but one of quiet contemplation on the glory of the almighty. Tears of joy, etc.

Some of the old church mothers knew this state well.

But it must be sustainable... otherwise it becomes at dint of effort, and peaks and valleys; like an addiction.

Oh, to see His face where his Glory dwells... if only in metaphor.

Oh, I'm bound for Mt. Zion...

2/19/2007 07:57:00 PM  
Anonymous juliec said...

River -

I had to wiki Cocytus, having never come across the word (to my knowledge) before seeing it here (for that matter, there are a few names whose meaning eluded me initially, such as Cousin Dupree - I finally wiki'd that out of curiousity a couple weeks ago...). Interesting reference, and oddly appropriate.

I learn something new here everyday.

vjookox??
voodoo jukebox, perhaps....
sounds like a good name for a rock band

2/19/2007 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

JWM- I just meant the epiphany of cog-ness, that one's job is just one step in an enormous interconnected dance.

2/19/2007 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger Gaude said...

CinemaVertical alert:
"Ushpizin", an Israeli release about metanoia. Can you leave your old life behind?

2/19/2007 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

River:
Perhaps it would help to free yourself from that koodie-filled bed. Get rid of it, toss it into a cleansing fire or just call the goodwill.

You can't move forward if you won't let go of the past.

2/19/2007 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

"...the Bible is not 'the word of God.' It is not the logos. Rather, it is inspired words -- inspired (or even 'authorized') by the Word -- about the Word. Once again, this conflation of the Bible and the Word -- or bibliolatry -- is a modern deviation..." So well put, Bob. Worship of the words is yet another form af legalism. That is, the doing of something to earn what cannot be earned. Facing the true freedom that results from grace is daunting. Surely there is something I can do to be deserving?

But alas, "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 3:23-24 TNIV). Inspired words to hear and digest -- not worship.

wv - koyaanisqatsi (OK, just kidding)

2/19/2007 09:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob C. said...

Apropos of nothing, Bob, have you ever read the books of William Peter Blatty? Legion in particular is a startling mix of murder mystery, horror novel, and metaphysical treatise. There are certain passages that, when read, never fail to remind me of One Cosmos Under God and Lewis' The Problem of Pain.

2/19/2007 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger ximeze said...

Will:
Beaky is totally into techno sounds, be they city-truck backup beeps, car alarm arming chirps, heterodynes, whistles, morse code, phone rings & on. She replicates them perfectly.

She learned a friend's call-sign & someone else, a WWII flyer, correctly transcribed CQCQDE(callsign). On the money she was!

EuroTecho really gets her head bobbin. She gets all fired up, bobbin & dancin along. Great fun to watch.

She loves to sing. Is that helpful?

2/19/2007 10:04:00 PM  
Anonymous a low form of life said...

Well, I'm a troll. I feel compelled to oppose you. I read every day, hoping that you'll make a mistake so that I can put you down. I want you to hurt like me. I want you to feel as unappreciated and small as I feel.

I especially love the variant known as Cousin Dupree. He hurts me but I know that in some ways, every time he lashes out Bob takes a hit as well. So I try to make Dupree come out. He and I share a common quality: the failure of compassion.

For me, One Cosmos is all about emotions. Bad ones.

I feel so inadequate and unwanted after I read Bob's posts; I am envious of his brilliance and of his readership but I'm too much of a loser to do anything about it or write my own beautiful Blog.

All of my comments are either ignored or booed. Each time my stomach churns with pain and defeat.

I strive to sympathize and identify with the people Bob attacks; I take each strike on the leftists as personally as I can (even though I am too dense to be a leftist) so that I can feel the goad of deep resentment that is like an amphetamine to me.

I can't stop. I must read and wallow in my feelings of shame and inadequacy. I derive some sense that I actually exist when I do this. Otherwise, I might just dissolve into a puddle of slime.

So, to you Bob I have a mixed message: please keep blogging, I need it.

And yes, quit. That would be the ultimate burn. I might feel happy for five minutes.

2/19/2007 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Bob, some of us are just not prolific commenters but link to you constantly on our blogs. Here's what I commented re my quoting of this "Swedes" post:

[ Careful, I resemble that remark. I'm not a Swede, I'm a Norwegian(STRIKEOUTWORD) Norwegian-American(STRIKEOUTWORD) American. (My dear departed Dad insisted that there were two things I needn't be exposed to: eating lutefisk and washing dishes. The former kept me from being totally unmarriageable and the latter nearly gets me divorced on a daily basis. But I digress.) Anyway, I nearly ended up a Swede until the miracle of becoming a father made me look "up". Don't be swayed by the "polls" -- that's about the only thing that could make me stop reading you ;) ]

Not that the linkage traffic from my blog -- more of a personal research "linker" notebook really -- would give you any visibility ;);)

And BTW, you probably get half of your non-existent book royalties from my recent multiple purchase of your book to spread the "uplifting logos" to the more salvageable around me -- one of which is about to be Son #1 as he's become a voracious reader and from near birth able to ask dozens of questions in under a second. Well once he got over the colic anyway... ;) ;)

/commenting (probably for a number of months!)

2/19/2007 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Ximeze - yes, that is indeed helpful.

To what end it is helpful, I am, to be sure, not entirely clear.

One thing is clear, however: Beaky is totally cool.

And let us admit - Beaky should have a little spot on YouTube "performing" to some techno rhythms, no?

2/19/2007 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Will, man, that last post above was excellent...you kill me! ;) low form of life ha ha!


word verif: qcfnty
Quackfinity!~!!

2/19/2007 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

you even snuck one in before i could finish!!! damn, you're good.

2/19/2007 10:56:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Will said:
"But, hey, anyone who hasn't had some moderate-to-severe discouragements lately isn't even in the Game!"

Check!

The King's Gambit most likely.

2/19/2007 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

a low form of life said...
"All of my comments are either ignored or booed. Each time my stomach churns with pain and defeat."

Now that somehow makes it all seem worthwhile! Finally I can go to bed...

2/20/2007 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read you daily but I am not a blogger. I have your book. Your intelligence and knowledge are not just educational but inspiring. Please do not feel unappreciated.

2/20/2007 03:56:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Bob, I would like to add that, I find the political commentary very supportive, partly because I agree with the depth of your passionate opinions, and partly because I CAN i.e. they refer to something I already have "organized." But you add a twist, which is unique: presenting the politics as though aimed "upward", at the vertical; always integrating the day-to-day with the higher, nudging us to "think vertically," and showing the relevance of the one to the other. The metaphysics alone would "pull" me here, but the political rants "hook" me, and act like a ground wire.

2/20/2007 04:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Dougman said...

a low(/higher) form of life said...

"I derive some sense that I actually exist when I do this."

That started the Goo Goo Dolls lyrics runnin' through mind,(..Yeah ya bleed just to know you're alive/
And I don't want the world to see me/cause I don't think that they'd understand/where everything's meant to be broken/I just want you to know who I AM)-Iris,i think the title is.
A delicate balance of Pain/Pleasure
or Heaven/Hell
A well rounded diet?

Dougman

2/20/2007 05:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

there is no flavor more savory than that of bitter-sweet, and it causes deep reflection and remembrance... it's not just Poetry we need to read deeply, but our lives to be lived in the same way.

And that's as good a way to start a morning's meditation as any. Thanks, Van. One can feel the foundation way beneath that solemn exhortation.

Far from sentimentality, real Poetry reflects life lived in all its facets of pain and joy; and if it's really good poetry, pulls the reader into the Light that shines through each of the flat surfaces and bright corners.

I like all kinds of poetry, even the slightly cynical kinds that serve as frightening reminders of what the horizontal life produces even in its most so-called brilliant moments.

But when a poet can take all that flat-line pain and nail it to the crossbeam of the vertical, the transcendent moment of the Real appears. It often makes the hair on the back of one's neck synapse to attention as eternal gnosis parades along our mortal spine.

.....

Addressing the ecstatic: I think many are capable of experiencing indescribable joy in worship. Others, not as far along in their spiritual maturity, seek to bottle it up and sell it like Simon the Magician. Or they caught up in the moment swirling around them seek to gather it up like Manna and have it whenever they like. Either way, seeking the ecstatic and not the Source leads to rottenness.

But there is an experience beyond the ecstatic and few speak of it.

2/20/2007 06:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Biker Lady said...

I think Bob threw us a curve ball with this post... what do you racoons want from me? Politics or a Spiritual feast? Can we do both?

If you're not paying attention to politics - then you're a racoon on a spiritual high - nothing else.


Just because you come to Bob's table doesn't give you the right to pick and choose what you like and separate the two into what makes you feel good and ignore your civic duty.

Come down to earth baby racoons... and stay out of the dens of denial.

Bob is pointing out - in his God inspired - many colored hats that he has put on, he is able to show us just how the "Vertical Man" can and should direct the "Horizontal Man" who must live out his days on this earth. And all before he gets to be glorified.

It's called being an American, civic duty, speaking truth, and not to power, but to overcoming evil.

Bob has rightly pointed out what years of these self-indulgent lazy minded peoples have given up and given to..."the dangerous, frivolous antics of the pro-defeat America hating Democrats."

Politics drives every part of our lives and underneath this political world is the spiritual battle between good and evil. So you racoons out there who want to direct Bob and his many hats - maybe you should stop trying to pick and choose from Bob's table and instead pray for him and his family daily. Or the "Coonfest" could come to a screeching halt!

2/20/2007 06:58:00 AM  

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