Sunday, April 15, 2007

Puff the Magic Wizard of Pot, and Other Children's Stories

Those were some outstanding comments yesterday. It just goes to show you what the collective soul power of the coonosphere can accomplish when it puts on its furry transthinking cap. I'm still digesting the comments, but I think I came to a point of clarity that I was already converging upon. In other words, by distorting your comments ever so slightly or sometimes markedly, I can truly say that they told me exactly what I wanted to hear anyway.

Assistant Village Idiot -- father of four fine young men, I might add, each of whom, from what I understand, receives nothing but praise from their parole officer -- expressed it very clearly, writing that "I think if you simply teach the stories of the Bible at first, without trying to relate them to explicit doctrines, they will sink down into the bones of Future Leader. We read Genesis to our boys when they were quite young, trying to give only such explanation as was necessary. We let the stories themselves teach. It is much the same way with the parables and the events of the life of Jesus. They are stories, and in a true Bettelheim effect, teach at multiple levels simultaneously.

"We began many books as read-alouds every night well before the ages they were 'supposed' to be read. We did Tolkien over a six-month period every 4 years starting at age 5, and Narnia in 3 months every 3 years. Let the stories teach."

Let the stories teach. Of course! Let them sink down into the bones. Duh!

A dream from last night, hot off the press: It was in the form of a rather shockingly tasteless public service announcement with a humorous punch line. It looked like it had something to do with rape, as it depicted women being dragged off against their will, with close-ups of terrified faces, as in a trailer for an over-the-top 1950s horror flick. Then the voiceover at the end says something to the effect of, "Take a loved one to the church of so-and-so. It's not as bad as they think." I guess you had to be there, but I did laugh myself awake, which is better than crying oneself to sleep.

Because that is the essence of the problem. I was thinking of the study that came out a few months back, indicating that a mother's religious commitment has no effect on a boy's religiosity. Rather, if they see their father getting up off the couch and dragging himself to church, that makes all the difference. It is apparently one of the reasons why Europe's eventual extinction is being preceded by a brief layover in radical secularville. Their menfolk lost all interest in religion, with the exception of soccer. If that ever happens here in America -- that is, if the silly sport of soccer ever replaces baseball or proper football -- it will be curtains for us as well.

However, I was mildly complaining to myself, "This isn't exactly fair. After all, I wake up each and every morning at 5:00 and enthusiastically worship at the altar of the Vertical Church of the Perpetual Raccoon, or at least I try to." For what it's worth, I really do attempt with all my faculties -- heart, mind and soul -- to have a genuine encounter with O, trancelight it into some peremptorer's new colloquialisms, and spread the godspiel around for the innernauts, with very little in the way of personal gain or profit -- although I shouldn't even hint at such a thing, since the process is so intensely spiritually rewarding for me, and the more I do it, the more I get out of it.

Isn't that enough?!!!

I had to attend Sunday school as a kit, but I couldn't stand it. My dad rarely went -- maybe on Easter -- but even if he had gone on a regular basis, I don't think it would have made any difference, at least if he had only done so robotically, absent a true sense of O-bligation. However, if he had been passionately interested in religion -- now that might have meant something, especially if he had shared that interest with me and my three brothers. But his attitude toward religion was pretty simple, and can be summed up as follows: 1) Only kooks and reprobates don't know that some sort of God exists. 2) You know the difference between right and wrong. 3) Do the former.

In short, not much context. However, in my case, God is the context of everything I think and do, at least when I'm not being forced to do or think about something else. For example, my book is simply the end result of trying to make everything harmonize with a spiritual outlook. I would stare at this scientific fact over there, consider it in light of this metaphysical idea over here, and then will them with my cOOn vision to reveal to me how they related to one another.

So, just as my education is continuous except when I am being forced to attend my dopey mandated continuing education courses, it is quite possible that I would have to disrupt my own church service to attend one. Is this a rationalization?

Obviously.

If there were a good, spiritually resonant church right down the street, I'd go there all the time to pray and meditate. Yesterday Gecko mentioned the beautiful Vedanta Center in the mountains above Santa Barbara, which is thoroughly ecumenical and welcomes all religions. It would be a personal dream to live next door to that place, but in order to purchase a house there, it would require several million dollars that I don't have at the moment. As a matter of fact, I read somewhere that the jazz great Charles Lloyd did just that -- moved near the temple in order to focus on the spiritual life. Frankly, you can't not focus on the spiritual life when you're in an environment like that.

(You might remember the photos from my little trip there last August to visit my book. They had me buried next to a prominent display of one of my cut-throat competitors, the Dalai Lama. It almost appeared as if he were looking down his nose and smirking at my book, in that little condescending way of his. See what I mean?


Hmm. We'll see about that. Figuring the Dalai Lama is a pacifist -- what's he going to do, get Richard Gere to lecture me? -- I fearlessly took matters into my own hands and corrected the karmic situation:


Afterwards I decided to go over his head and obtain a blurb directly from the Buddha, who said -- and I quote -- "One Cosmos bring good luck, just like rubbing my belly."


*****

Regarding providing a context for spiritual understanding, Will expressed it perfectly: "My suggestion is simply to track his developing interests/talents and then feed them while stressing their innate spiritual value. For example, if it's sports, stress the self-discipline, sacrifice, team play, etc. If it's music or science or nature... well, you know what to do. If he later develops an interest in institutional religion, give him a smorgasbord of info as to what's out there. But start with the simple stuff. Whatever he's interested in, there's an attendant natural wonder and sense of awe -- I would say work with that, work to increase it, mature it."

Exactly. No matter what it is, there is a way to spiritualize it if you only look at it in a weird enough way. I'm sure I'll naturally do this in the course of everything from sports, to movies, to homework, to reading to him at night -- which I can't wait to do, as I'm sure I'll get more out of it than he does, as per Van's observations, similar to something Jerry Seinfeld mentioned about doing comedy. Although it is a kind of awesome power to stand on a stage and make people convulse with laughter, he said the feeling didn't match the simple joy of making his children laugh.

And as AVI said, there is no reason to analyze or over-intellectualize. For some reason, I had been hung up on this, as if it would be necessary for me to get all didactic and metaphysical on the boy. Now I can see that the perfect situation would be to find a Sunday School taught by a gifted story teller who knows how to engage the imagination of a child. His theology wouldn't really matter at all, so long as he keeps it to himself.

It reminds me of the things that used to fire my imagination as a child, say, The Wizard of Oz. That film operates on such a deep and unsaturated mythological level that I can still watch it any time it's on TV and not be bored.

But what if some pinhead -- say, me -- were to say, "Son, you see, it's all an allegory of the Great Depression. The black and white world of Kansas is a symbol for America at the time, and the 'Wicked Witch of the West' is the evil capitalist, Elvira Gulch, who 'owns half the county' and rules over the 'little people.' The whirling cyclone is the great socialist revolution that will lift everyone into the false utopia of a worker's paradise, run by leftist charlatans such as the Wizard. The Tinman is the helpless and dehumanized industrial worker who will link arms with the farmer, represented by the Scarecrow, to overturn the capitalist order. But Dorothy proves that a heavy-handed state is not required, as she possesses all the resources she needs to succeed in life. She is the American Spirit, reborn and awakened from the bad dream of socialism, now able to appreciate the simple beauty of America, in spite of the hardships."

"But dad, the book was published in 1900."

"Er, yes. Right.... Have I ever told you the real story behind Puff the Magic Dragon?"

*****

He's showing an early interest in being a cardinal (the fence keeps him from destroying my awesome collection of Harlequin romance novels you see in the background):

63 Comments:

Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

I didn't have time to respond yesterday; I would have advocated reading aloud stories, parables, things that fire the imagination. Narnia (the license plate on our car is NARNIAN), MacDonald, etc. - I heartily concur with everyone else in that regard.

Add one more ingredient and you're there - Far Side books. Our future leader would spend hours perusing the pages long before he could read. We still remember the day he flipped a page, paused and turned back to the previous one. He stared for a minute, then laughed. He got the joke for the first time! He spent years after that memorizing them all and to this day there is not a situation that arises that he can't relate to a Far Side panel.

4/15/2007 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"Now I can see that the perfect situation would be to find a Sunday School taught by a gifted story teller who knows how to engage the imagination of a child. His theology wouldn't really matter one iota."

Engaging.
Gifted.

When we were going to a local Catholic Church, my wife volunteered to do sunday school for the first graders (maybe second, I don't recall).

My wife is a gifted storyteller (at least verbally), and she kept the kids engaged.

Once, my wife asked me to take over because she had something she had to do at the time.

Easy enough for a certified Navy Instructor right?

Anarchy ensued. I'm talkin' mass chaos! Pun intended.

I'm the opposite of a gifted story teller (for little kids anyway).
The room looked like the WTO riots in Seattle some years later.

4/15/2007 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Cosanostradamus-
Far Side books are a perfect example of gifted and engaging.

No need to mention, hilarious!

4/15/2007 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous marduk said...

One thing not to be neglected is to ask God to walk with your son (it never hurts to ask).

The Teacher may respond to a parent's earnest aspiration for their progeny, one never knows.

My mother gave me faith by pulling off a small miracle-- "I need a parking space," she said at the crowded shopping center. "The Divine will give me one now."

There it was, and in we pulled our Rambler station wagon. I was eight and impressed.

4/15/2007 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Its hard to add much to all the previous coon wisdom on the subject. Having participated with my family in various formal religious settings over the years, I believe that gathering together with likeminded souls can enhance, but not determine. With or without the involvement of others, the responsibility for the "foundation" is your own. Provide your kits with the Truth in Word and deed and their desire will be to build their own hearts and lives as a reflection (Proverbs 22:6).

(Obviously, pray for guidance and wisdom on the subject as well.)

We've been traveling the last few days to visit family and friends, so am a bit rushed.

4/15/2007 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous looptloop said...

Keep the recommendations coming...I can use the advice. I have two little Loop's with a 3rd a-brewin'. Looking back on my own catholic introduction to the spiritual, it was rather spooky and enigmatic in the least, and often bordered on being downright fearful; wouldn’t want to inadvertently disconnect with my young ones in any of the same way. By the way, looking back on the church as an adult, not-so-spooky.

4/15/2007 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm exceedingly impure. How should one go about a purification of their being?

4/15/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Anonymous:

In your case, ciprofloxacin.

4/15/2007 10:25:00 AM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Colonic irrigation?

4/15/2007 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

There's that weird synchronicity thing again...just Friday I was looking to see if there was an online Far Side comic of the day to add to my blog. Unfortunately (for me, anyway), Gary Larson has requested that people not post his comics on their websites, so that idea is right out.

Speaking of sharing it with kids, though, my husband got a copy of the complete Far Side collection for Christmas this year, and I have a few pictures of a great moment when he shared it with three of his nephews, who had never seen it before and giggled over it for hours.

4/15/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol


seriously though guys... lets say, mmm hmmm.. "anonymous" was lustful, prideful, greedy... and "anonymous" knew this... what is anon to do?

4/15/2007 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

I believe there's a 12 step program for that...

4/15/2007 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous paul g's mom said...

Boys are so very visual. I got Paul G. an illustrated Bible at a very young age, made a custom cover for it, and even had to re-bind it a time or two. He wore it out. The comic-book art style kept his interest, the narrative was true to the concepts, and the stories were thus "planted" in his conscious life.

I'd bet he's totally forgotten that.

:)

4/15/2007 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous walt said...

Recently, someone implored Bob to "tell him what to do."

As I recall, he replied, "Become a model of how you want the world to be."

4/15/2007 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous GLASR said...

Although your artistic talent with the lens far from rivals ROBINSTARFISH, those pics were funny! ;~{) HA!

PS Don't forget the Greek and/or Latin, key. :~}

4/15/2007 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Walt, I think that sums it up quite nicely.

Further, I might suggest that if you are truly seeking to change certain behaviors, you could do worse than cultivate the opposite in yourself: If you are too lustful, try being loving; too prideful, seek humility; too greedy, try giving to something you know is right. In a nutshell, volunteer for your local Veteran's organization, Big Brothers or Sisters, or something similar that involves interacting with people on a personal level in ways to which you are unaccustomed.

The important thing here is that you must actively do something to make those changes; wishing you were clean does not make it happen, you must actually put forth some effort and take a bath.

4/15/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

>>"anonymous" was lustful, prideful, greedy... and "anonymous" knew this... what is anon to do?<<

Oh, I'd say making an effort not to be so would be a good start.

Your willpower hasn't been surgically excised, has it?

4/15/2007 01:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh, the Dali Llama.

Penn and Teller had a bit of information about him on one of their "Bullshit" episodes. It's available for viewing on google video.

Wonder if Richie Gere ever viewed it.

Move the Llama's book, Bob. Move it right into the remainder bin.

4/15/2007 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey, nice pic of Cardinal Cocacola'!

4/15/2007 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Annonymous,
What Will said is a good place to start.

What do you think you should do? You are probably as good a place to start looking for answers at, as any other. Might want to ask yourself why you want to be less "lustful, prideful, greedy"? Because it's frowned upon, or because you see it as being in some way wrong? What makes it wrong? Follow those questions back to the roots of your thoughts & actions and try to understand what needs to be corrected. What will be the implications of those corrections?

You've apparently already managed to get some perspective on yourself - try to keep that detached ability to observe yourself, see if you can recognize the point where a train of thought or actions are taking shape that will usually lead to things you don't want to do, if you can begin to recognize that train before it leaves the station, you won't need to max out your willpower in stopping it, and will have a better chance of following Will's advice and establishing new more welcome habits.

Anyway that's an reply from Athens, but don't forget Jerusalem - you've got to involve your spirit in making changes as well, and that advice is above my paygrade.

Of course this is assuming that you just have a case of the 'what the heck am I doing and why?!''s that we've all had at one time or another, and are mostly able to temper or correct them. If you've got something more ingrained or serious to deal with you might want to get a ref to someone in Bob's line of work.

As I think Walt said the other day, Free Advice - take it for what it's worth.

4/15/2007 03:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Then the voiceover at the end says something to the effect of, "Take a loved one to the church of so-and-so. It's not as bad as they think."

LOL I would almost pay to see that PSA!

wv:avkti - no, I hanvn't had a kitty since I was a kid

4/15/2007 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Very impressive analysis of the Wizard of Oz. Bummer about the 1900 though.

4/15/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

"In other words, by distorting your comments ever so slightly or sometimes markedly, I can truly say that they told me exactly what I wanted to hear anyway."

Nice wide-step there, Bob.

For the visual child, art books. Seeing how man has portrayed the sacred through time was a big factor for this kid.

Music, of course, you've got covered.

When the spirit moves - something, please, about Coons as kits. A recent experience reminded me of what a complete dud I was as a kid. Just couldn't get the hang of it. It was like a foreign country.

Looking back, the search for the Good, Beautiful and True translates in kid terms into priggish dork.

Doubt that will ever happen to the T-man, but I bet some of us could relate.

4/15/2007 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"that is, if the SILLY sport of soccer ever replaces baseball or proper football"

Ooooohhh, thems fightin word bubba! A gratuitious snipe & unworthy of you. Speak not of that of which you gno nutting, grrrrr grrrr.

You want SILLY? I could point to those rediculous bubblebutts on your BB players (the world's slowest & most boring game) or those neanderdopes smashing into each other on purpose & calling it a game, but I won't stoop that low. Harrrumph!

But then, did you not come down on the side of DOGS too? Oh dear, oh dear. Clearly you have work ahead Grasshoppa, if you want to evolve to a higher level.

I pray that FutureLeader gets the Soccerbug & thereby forces you to attend endless #s of games...I mean help you expand your horizons...would serve you right you dirty rat...

O has a way of making us eat our words, don't forget, & the above scenario greatly appeals to my Coonsense of Poetic Justice...that'll fix ya!

4/15/2007 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said "I pray that FutureLeader gets the Soccerbug..."

Perhaps ciprofloxacin could help with that as well.

4/15/2007 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

BTW, as a way of helping to rationalize with "Rather, if they see their father getting up off the couch and dragging himself to church, that makes all the difference"

Put that together with:
"I was mildly complaining to myself, "This isn't exactly fair. After all, I wake up each and every morning at 5:00 and enthusiastically worship at the altar of the Vertical Church of the Perpetual Raccoon, or at least I try to.""

Doesn't the Minister get credit for going to church when he's just doing the speaking?

If FL began to see and wonder about what you were doing at 5:00 a.m. each day - that might leave quite an impression all itself. It would certainly open the door to a bit of Vertical story telling.

4/15/2007 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Uhh, ximeze, I noticed your name suddenly went missing on the One Cosmos home page. ;^)

4/15/2007 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

Bob, I was RIGHT THERE when Willie Davis made three errors in one inning, AND when Koufax pitched a no-hitter 1-0....and...
(try this: ask her who Junior Gilliam was!)
....stand UP for WHAT'S TRUE!!

4/15/2007 06:05:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Walt:

I have never been quite the same since that day -- I am speaking of the Willie Davis calamity. I was secretly listening on the transistor radio at school and fainted in class, and was too upset to return until the following February. I've never been able to catch up since then -- I always feel a few months behind the others.

4/15/2007 06:14:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

Some years later, I was working in a store in San Francisco, and got to wait on Maury Wills; he was "The Man" (I remember #104, as well)when Ricky Henderson was but a child.

4/15/2007 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze,
We did a season of that succer game... crowd of kids running everywhichway... a game that can end in a Tie!, pointedly rejecting the key and oh so human hand... and those world famous exemplars of sportmanship, the soccer fans.... icky-poo-poo.

Baseball - the only game where the players will need to play as part of a team, and where each will also have there moment to stand as an individual, the entire team depending on them. Doesn't get anymore American than that. And as for boring... perhaps to folks with hyperchronic ADD that can't follow a sustained idea in play... recall the bored and quiet look of those thousands of fans at the Cardinals stadium during the last world series? Not!. And by the way, note the team mascot of the World Champion St.Louis Cardinals is a bird!.

Mistress Sophia laGo-Go... your pupil needs a spanking again.

;-) s.w.a.k.

(Was it Matie who asked for an example of Regulars disagreeing on something? Try searching out posts regarding Sports, Music, Evolution & Greeks & Romans)

4/15/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Walt:
Gilliam as in Monty Python?

4/15/2007 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous walt said...

I believe that was Terry;
and all Coons, I believe, should see his movie, Brazil.

Junior was...er, played...oh, ask Bob.

4/15/2007 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous georged said...

Well no particular interest in the dalai lama here but anyone who trashes Mother Theresa is pretty low.

4/15/2007 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van:
Get a grip buddy, those SoccerThugs are the only thing with a pair still standing in most of Europe. They're likely to save those elite Euro pussies from national suicide.

As for fans, this country has its share of boneheaded sports rioters too, or has selected memory set in?

4/15/2007 07:03:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hmm... the sports rivalry thing always turns out bad.

All I can say is, I played full back until they let girls in and in the first scrimmage I got kicked in the face. I was, um, 10?

Me: "Ok, this game isn't fun anymore."

Ruined an illustrious career no doubt.

Anyway, I've always thought the offsides rules were kind of socialist.

4/15/2007 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said "Get a grip buddy, those SoccerThugs are the only thing with a pair still standing in most of Europe. They're likely to save those elite Euro pussies from national suicide."

...hmm hard to argue with that one...

"As for fans, this country has its share of boneheaded sports rioters too"

Gasp! I am Shocked! Shocked I say! As if anyone here would through bottles at ball players... or um, uh... well... Shocked! Shocked I say!

;-)

4/15/2007 07:29:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Ximeze - soccer is an all right sport, but it's what it represents - Europe, the 3rd World, you know, exactly what we are not. Soccer is the great global equalizer, and that's not a compliment. We ' mericans were supposed to break away from the tired old pack, have our own idioms, our own sports, our own music, etc.

They've been trying to insinuate soccer into the American rhythm since I was this high (gesturing helpfully), and it just has not worked. And it hasn't worked because this is the USA, dammit - we are supposed to be different from the rest of the world. If soccer really does take hold on the American imagination, it's pretty much over, lights out.

4/15/2007 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

Ximeze, the one big, telling difference between our sports rioters and the Euros is that the Euro rioters are actually organized into clubs, with presidents, elections,insignia, everything. It's like an ancillary sport.

4/15/2007 07:49:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin dupree said...

Will is right. It starts with soccer, but pretty soon you have the metric system, then then the UN in control of things, then women stop shaving their legs, and that's pretty much the end of the world.

4/15/2007 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Gimme a wing and/or a prayer tonight folks, I've got a hard week ahead and some probably painful decisions to make.

I hope it gets a little smoother after your first quarter-century...

4/15/2007 08:16:00 PM  
Anonymous pissquatomy said...

I would say the Dalai Llama is higher up on the spiritual pecking order than Bob. I mean, c'mon--
Bob's very handy with words, does Yoga passably well, but still--is he directly plugged into The Big OM like the Dalai? Unquestionably, no.

There are certain others that are "up there." Byron Katie comes to mind, as does Eckart Tolle. Bob is a man on the ascent, but he is not yet playing in the majors.

Bob will have to give Petey a larger speaking role if Bob is to make his bones as a mystic. The whole liguisto-philosophico-politco thing that Bob's into will never a mystic's reputation make.

4/15/2007 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Like America, Bob is forging his own, new niche.
Mystopoliticophilosophocoonimaestro. :)

4/15/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

River-
You got it Pal.
I wish I could say it gets easier after 25.
In some ways it does.
In others...well...all I can say is: don't give up.

4/15/2007 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

Hoarhey!
Bravo Zulu!Mystopoliticophilosophocoonimaestro
is much better than mere mystic. :^)

4/15/2007 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

"...then women stop shaving their legs, and that's pretty much the end of the world."

I certainly hope not, Cuz.
I mean women not shaving their legs...how barbaric!

4/15/2007 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous weasel said...

>>Pissinmypotty said--is he directly plugged into The Big OM like the Dalai? Unquestionably, no.<<

I beg to differ. He is just as plugged in as the big Dalai! After all the Master said "I am Divine you are debranch apart from me you might as well live in Tibet", or something like that.

Anyway, who is to say who is greater. I love the story told by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri about the 14th-century German mystic John Tauler.

"The devout Father John Tauler relates this personal experience: For years he had prayed God to send him someone who would teach him the real spiritual life. One day, at prayer, he heard a voice saying: “Go to such and such a church and you will have the answer to your prayers.” He went and at the door of the church he found a beggar, barefooted and in rags. He greeted the mendicant saying: “Good day, my friend.”

“Thank you, sir, for your kind wishes, but I do not recall ever having had a ‘bad’ day.”

“Then God has certainly given you a very happy life.”

“That is very true, sir. I have never been unhappy. In saying this I am not making any rash statement either. This is the reason: When I have nothing to eat, I give thanks to God; when it rains or snows, I bless God’s providence; when someone insults me, drives me away, or otherwise mistreats me, I give glory to God. I said I’ve never had an unhappy day, and it’s the truth, because I am accustomed to will unreservedly what God wills. Whatever happens to me, sweet or bitter, I gladly receive from his hands as what is best for me. Hence my unvarying happiness.”

“Where did you find God?”

“I found him where I left creatures.”

“Who are you anyway?”

“I am a king.”

“And where is your kingdom?”

“In my soul, where everything is in good order; where the passions obey reason, and reason obeys God.”

“How have you come to such a state of perfection?”

“By silence. I practice silence towards men, while I cultivate the habit of speaking with God. Conversing with God is the way I found and maintain my peace of soul.”

Union with God brought this poor beggar to the very heights of perfection. In his poverty he was richer than the mightiest monarch; in his sufferings, he was vastly happier than worldlings amid their worldly delights. "

4/15/2007 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

walt said..."believe that was Terry;
and all Coons, I believe, should see his movie, Brazil."

Amen to that brother. Numerous times would be best, but ONLY the director's cut (long version). Under no circumstances watch the US release and think it was the real thing.

4/15/2007 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Cosa,
Is that why that movie seemed a bit, umm, confusing? It's been a few years since I've seen it, but most of what I remember seems as sensicle as some of my dreams. It was good, though - I like the end, when they're driving down the billboard-lined highway. Very surreal.

4/15/2007 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous USS Ben said...

"Assistant Village Idiot -- father of four fine young men, I might add, each of whom, from what I understand, receives nothing but praise from their parole officer..."

Just think, if AVI didn't read to his sons, they might still be in jail!

Proof positive that reading stories works.

4/15/2007 11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous will said...

I'd have to say Pissquatomy is lower on the troll pecking order than, say, Interlocutor. I mean, c'mon, PissQ has a way with being stupidly fascile, and he does Aggressive Ignorance passably well, but is plugged into the Great Troll In The Dark like, say, Benedict? Unquestionably no.

There are certain others that are "up there". Interlocutor comes to mind, as well as about ten million anonymous's. Eckhart Trolle, too. PissQ is a man on the ascent, but he's not playing in the troll majors as yet.

Make no mistake, however - PissQ shows promise. Anybody who can conflate a "mystic's reputation" with actual mysticism is a dullard to be reckoned with.

4/16/2007 12:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

PissQ:

It's called humor -- that was a joke about the Dalai Lama. He is obviously a sweet man.

Having said that, it would have been a worse joke if this country had been founded by Tibetan Buddhists instead of Christians. There are spiritual principles that work in one's head, and those that actually change the world for the better. If you want to speak of a spiritual pecking order, give me James Madison over the Dalai Lama any day. One revolutionized the world, while the other can't even help Richard Gere think coherently.

The other DL is harmless so long as people don't put his principles into practice on a wide scale. There is nothing noble or praiseworthy about pacifism.

4/16/2007 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "If you want to speak of a spiritual pecking order, give me James Madison over the Dalai Lama any day. One revolutionized the world, while the other can't even help Richard Gere think coherently."

'Say goodbye to Mr. Spalding! That ones outta da park!

4/16/2007 05:22:00 AM  
Anonymous mizze said...

How can Exalted One help it if he opens his heart and the world pours in?
He opens our lives to quick celebrations
drop-in friends and spontaneous Bobservations
where strangers enter now and then
share his table
and leave as friends.

Three times, I'm sure, When his blogosphere was shared with strangers
we entertained an angel, unawares.

4/16/2007 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous joan of argghh! said...

Van,

I do NOT spank!

Everyone may now go back to more esoteric meditations now, thank you.

Ximeze is entitled to love soccer and defend the hooligans. And she has a good point about the erm... manliness of the fans. They may just be England's last best hope. If any crazed Islamist is stupid enough to touch that third-rail /holy grail of Western Europe, why, it would be like someone taking away our NFL. I imagine it would not be a pretty sight, all the armchair warriors hammering their remotes into swords, and squinting like Eastwood saying, "a man's gotta know his limitations."

4/16/2007 05:57:00 AM  
Anonymous mizze said...

Speaking to Joan's comment "...it would not be a pretty sight", Conservative Swede has made a prediction about Europe over at the Gates of Vienna blog and it's not a pretty one.

But we are headed for the moment when the perception of the idyllic order will break apart in Europe, followed by the illusion of the imperial protective shield along with the system of modern democracy. This will be a truly revolutionary moment. The awakened Europeans will not only have the Muslims against them, in this fight, but their own political elites, leftist storm troopers, and a Wilsonian Uncle Sam. Bush II would have reacted just like Clinton, had there been another Serbia in Europe. And so will Giuliani or Hillary (let’s hope for Tom Tancredo in 2012).

It will start with street wars, then civil wars in one or two European countries—maybe in England and Holland, where we have already seen unrest caused by “white hooligans”. It will spread like wildfire over most of Western Europe. Next we will see extensive migrations within Europe. White people will flee to countries such as Poland, while the Muslims will escape to countries such as France. Mid 21st century, Europe will look like a chess board, now in a situation of more conventional warfare. We will see Europeans building city walls around their traditional cities, but for the first time in history to protect the country side from the cities.

… I hope and pray there’s not another Wilsonian president in office when this get started.


But we are headed for the moment when the perception of the idyllic order will break apart in Europe, followed by the illusion of the imperial protective shield along with the system of modern democracy. This will be a truly revolutionary moment. The awakened Europeans will not only have the Muslims against them, in this fight, but their own political elites, leftist storm troopers, and a Wilsonian Uncle Sam. Bush II would have reacted just like Clinton, had there been another Serbia in Europe. And so will Giuliani or Hillary (let’s hope for Tom Tancredo in 2012).

It will start with street wars, then civil wars in one or two European countries—maybe in England and Holland, where we have already seen unrest caused by “white hooligans”. It will spread like wildfire over most of Western Europe. Next we will see extensive migrations within Europe. White people will flee to countries such as Poland, while the Muslims will escape to countries such as France. Mid 21st century, Europe will look like a chess board, now in a situation of more conventional warfare. We will see Europeans building city walls around their traditional cities, but for the first time in history to protect the country side from the cities.

… I hope and pray there’s not another Wilsonian president in office when this get started.

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.com/2007/04/jacksonians-vs-wilsonians-who-is-to.html

4/16/2007 06:31:00 AM  
Anonymous mizze said...

Lo siento for the double quote above.
I'm operating an archaic tub of a puter this morning.
But then again, maybe it was necessary to repeat?

4/16/2007 06:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said "I do NOT spank!"

Ahhhh... some penance? Grovelisms or something? Did you hear what she said about Baseball?! Maybe just a wee taser shock?

And I do agree about the soccer 'ooligans... if they could just be convinced that Islamists were out to end Soccer - that might get the 'ol eurosaber to do more than rattle.

4/16/2007 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

mizze said "… I hope and pray there’s not another Wilsonian president in office when this get started."

Pretty bleak outlook. The only thing that'll prevent a Wilsonian reaction here, is if they find themselves another Churchill - they're going to need it. Of course then we'll have another set of worries....

oh great, wv:pejoyegd - been reading Arthurian tales - Pay Joyous Guard?

4/16/2007 07:49:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Thank you O Mysteress, for coming to my defense. I bow before Thee.

Notice it was the guys who attacked? Venomous words dripping with sour grapes & barely hidden Jealousy, a distinct sound of grinding teeth.

Really Van, a wee taser? Did we get our nose out of joint, just because we suck at succer & can't compete on the pitch?

It's ok guys, we still love you. It IS hard to carryoff those shorts well & not look a fool. xoxoxo

4/16/2007 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said "...suck at succer & can't compete on the pitch?"

ehh... probably true. Body slam the little buggers? - not a problem, compete? yeah... no chance.

"It's ok guys, we still love you. It IS hard to carryoff those shorts well & not look a fool. xoxoxo"

Having spent the 80's strutting about stages(rather successfully I might add) in spandex, I'm impervious to such comments.xoxoxo

;-)

4/16/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze,

It IS good to have you back.

4/16/2007 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

SPANDEX!!!!!!
OMG say it isn't so.....

There was a very amusing, spot-on joke about 'fat chicks & spandex', couched in science-nerd language, which presented something about '.....is inversely proportional(ate?) to....inches of.... covered by spandex', or something.

Gotta email the geekfriend who told it to me many years ago. Definitively a keeper.

Thanks for the welcome back: it IS good to be back.

4/16/2007 11:08:00 AM  

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