Sunday, June 24, 2007

Follow the Depth (6.07.09)

Reader Magnus Itland left a comment yesterday, "Bob, you write about how you recognized Schuon as a vehicle of grace, but you don't agree with everything he said, and he sure wouldn't have agreed with everything of what you say. It mildly amuses me that this sums up how I relate to you. I see some things quite differently, but that never held me back from riding your spiritual coat tails. I am not in a position to only buy lamp oil from people I agree with in all things."

Yesterday the phrase popped into my head -- or was it an order? -- follow the depth. That's pretty much what I try to do, irrespective of the source, in that each post is simply a murmurandom from the deep space of vertical understanding. I assume it's the same way with you, in that there's something in us that is not only able to distinguish truth from falsehood in the conventional way on the horizontal axis, but also on the vertical axis.

On the horizontal axis, things are either true or false in the unambiguous scientific sense. But only on the vertical axis can you get into "profound truths," some of which might even superficially contradict one another. This, of course, is one of the fundamental errors of atheists and other shallow philosophies. One of the reasons the vast majority of normal people reject atheism is that it's so trite and insipid. Our vertical truth detector knows that nothing can be that simplistic, let alone everything.

A profound truth is one that qualitatively ties together and organizes a greater quantity of phenomena on both the inner and outer planes. Thus, the more shallow the level, the more truths multiply; whereas the deeper one ventures, the more all-encompassing the truth, until one finally arrives at the One: "to know much, you must know little" (and vice versa).

But even then it's not that simple, because on the vertical axis truths can be expressed in such a way that they "carry their own depth." Or, you might say that they simultaneously elucidate and demonstrate. The sayings of Jesus are quintessential in this regard. When he speaks, he is not just talking about the vertical, but at the same time showing it to you, tying together the interior and exterior dimensions of reality. You might say that his death and resurrection are the ultimate case of tying all of the planes together: "it is accomplished."

This is more or less what I meant about Schuon being a vehicle of grace, in that he too has the power to "make present" that which is under discussion, which is always more or less O, approached from a multitude of vectors. As he put it in the preface to one of his books, "Metaphysics aims in the first place at the comprehension of the whole Universe, which extends from the Divine Order to terrestrial contingencies." Further, it offers "humanly crucial openings, which is all the more important in a world wherein the abuse of intelligence replaces wisdom." In my book, I compare these openings to the vertical springs that dot the horizontal landscape. Once your coonvision is operative, these inscapes are hidden in plain sight every where and eventually -- one hopes -- when.

As Schuon wrote -- and which I could add as a disclaimer to each of my posts -- "Everything has already been said, and well said; but one must always recall it anew, and in recalling it one must do what has already been done: to actualize in thought certitudes contained, not in the thinking ego, but in the transpersonal substance of human intelligence."

This is why Schuon's writings -- like the cosmos itself -- never merely contain what they contain. Rather, they are activated in unpredictable ways upon contact with them (indeed, as mentioned yesterday, ways to which he might even object!) by one's own gnosis. This is why he can say in the preface of another work that "there is the order of principles, which is immutable, and the order of information -- traditional or otherwise -- of which one can say that it is inexhaustible."

Paraorthodoxically -- or perhaps not -- although O is immutable, it flows with ceaseless novelty. Conversely, the infinite number of facts on the horizontal plane never adds up to the Infinite, only to the many, or the false infinite. The facts of our existence -- of Being -- are only tied together in depth by virtue of the deeper reality explicated through traditional metaphysics.

Which does not mean that you must be a metaphysician to appreciate this deep unity. Rather it is our prior condition, and available to anyone -- it is man's birthright, and part of what makes him man -- but "extended" and given voice and body through providential religious doctrine and practice. Religion is always fundamentally about deep unity, which is another way of saying deep meaning -- or the depth of meaning and the meaning of depth, both of which completely elude materialistic reduction: the secret protects itself, especially from the cold and greedy hands of the flatlanders.

And in fact, this is why Schuon is never a syncretist, as he is always writing from the standpoint of primordial unity: "it is one thing to manufacture a doctrine by assembling scattered ideas as best one can, and quite another to recognize the single Truth contained in various doctrines on the basis of what we willingly call the sophia perennis." If he sometimes draws from this or that tradition, it is not a result of mixture, but generally for the purposes of illuminating an underemphasized doctrine in one tradition by way of another -- which in turn underscores the totality of each tradition and ultimately reinforces one's faith in their divine origin.

Human beings are mental beings, and to the extent that religion cannot offer a deep and satisfying vision to man's intellect, then it has failed in its saving mission. A religion should not only illuminate your mind, but save it -- and not just from "the world," but from yourself. Can I get a witness? Thank you. Left to his own devices, there is obviously no end to the nonsense man will come up with. But one of the reasons he attempts to come up with these harebrained schemes is that faith and gnosis have become severed from one another in modern times. It is analogous to trying to illuminate what is off the road by following your headlight beams, which is a sure way to miss the splendor of the True, subtly illuminating itself off to the side in the dark woods.

The sapiential dimension of religion has generally been lost, and one of Schuon's central missions was to restore this element, so that religion may once again speak to intellectually gifted men. Religious doctrines "provide a comprehensive and qualitative knowledge of the cosmos," even though it seems that the majority of modern men have lost their ability to grasp "the compatibility between the symbolic expressions of tradition and the material discoveries established by science." (Obviously, my book was an attempt to demonstrate this deep and even necessary compatibility.)

It is as if modern man wishes the deeper truth that reveals the unity of the vertical and horizontal to be of the same character as profane horizontal knowledge, which it can never be. With this benighted approach, man forecloses in advance that which he wishes to know. Today, few so-called intellectuals are even capable of comprehending the arguments of a Meister Eckhart or Denys the Areopagite, for they aren't even in contact with the plane from which they speak and to which their writings apply.

Proofs of God are not linear equations, as in 2 + 2 = 4. Rather, their proof is contained in their formulation, very much in the manner that the "proof" of a great work of art is not separable from the work itself. The genuine work of art is its own proof, its own certificate of authenticity. It is vertically self-confirming, is it not? And although a particular instance, it is proof of the existence of art in general -- as well as of the artist. When we say that "the word became flesh," this is by virtue of the principle that the Divine takes on qualities that are accessible to man, and which speak to him through their very substance. They demonstrate both that the cosmos does not contain itself, nor that man contains himself -- that he is only man by dint of his self-transcendence. Praise God!

Thankfully, man's mind is not closed but open; it is open both horizontally and vertically. It opens out to the infinite -- or, to be perfectly accurate, the infinite opens into us: O--> (k). Praise Bob! And pass the I AM notion!

Although Schuon's writings are the essence of humanism -- being that they not only speak to the deepest level of our humanness, but attempt to preserve and resurrect it -- "humanism" has come to take on its opposite meaning in our disordered times. Thus, so-called humanists are actually profoundly anti-human, and specifically present us with a doctrine that cannot speak to the total man -- and therefore participate in genocide, both literal and symbolic -- or should we say, both vertically and horizontally. This de facto subhumanism can only speak to the fragmentary husk of man, not to the kernel (of which it naturally denies the existence) and embodies "the will to make oneself as useful as possible to a humanity as useless as possible."

Which is why Schuon's humanism is so useless to most people, whose own uselessness precedes them in advance of any encounter with the Real. For, to paraphrase Schuon, they blame the truth for their own refusal to admit it.

Follow the depth. And avoid the deeply shallow false lucidity of the terrible simplifiers.

Ho!

36 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

[Sorry, unrelated request to Alan - I think it was you that included a link to some boneheaded materialist philosopher a week or two ago? I've put up a post regarding it on my site & would like to include the link. Thanks.]

6/24/2007 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"... follow the depth."
Wo! That caught me up short, that is the precise thought that's been rattling around in my head the last few days!

That is the path of understanding and peace. The preponderance of what we face on the surface of the world, will seek to crush us and sweep us away. It is only as you go beneath the surface, that you gain the strength, the solid foundation of the Vertical Depths, needed to understand and withstand it. Without it, we are like kids standing on the beach, tipping over as the few inches of surf sweep the sand out from beneath our feet. With the steadiness attained only by following the depths, you become the pier whose pilings are sunk deep beneath the surface, and are not disturbed by the constant swirling of the surf.

Back to the post...

6/24/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Bob said: "the secret protects itself, especially from the cold and greedy hands of the flatlanders."

Jesus said: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will."

I never understood why some say that faith consists of mindlessly following a set of teachings. There's nothing mindless about religion at *all.* One's whole person--mind, physical strength, spirit--is engaged in the transformation brought about by contact with God's depths. This has been my own experience, at least, and that of most of the believers I know.

"A religion should not only illuminate your mind, but save it -- and not just from "the world," but from yourself. Can I get a witness?"

Amen, brother!!

6/24/2007 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Amen for a child's job!

6/24/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I've got notepad so full of quotes from today, I've nearly copied the entire post! Read, reread & read again while rereading individual parts over and again, my frontal lobe is going through so many swirls that I feel like a Quaker.

I can't re-post them all...'ll try to settle for these two:

"Paraorthodoxically -- or perhaps not -- although O is immutable, it flows with ceaseless novelty. Conversely, the infinite number facts on the horizontal plane never add up to the Infinite, only to the many, or the false infinite. The facts of our existence -- of Being -- are only tied together in depth by virtue of the deeper reality explicated through traditional metaphysics."

and

"Which is why Schuon's humanism is so useless to most people, whose own uselessness precedes them in advance of any encounter with the Real. For they "lay blame on the truth for [their] own refusal to admit it. Follow the depth. Avoid the deeply shallow false lucidity of the terrible simplifiers. "

A tippy top of the top-notcher-most post today!

ohh... can't do it, one more:
"Religion is always fundamentally about deep unity, which is another way of saying deep meaning -- or the depth of meaning and the meaning of depth, both of which completely elude materialistic reduction: the secret protects itself, especially from the cold and greedy hands of the flatlanders. "

Wisdom doesn't depend upon the expanse of our knowledge, but upon the depth of our understanding. A funny and cautionary thing for me to keep note of, with my tendency to tout knowledge of the classics as being requisite for attaining to deeper understanding... it's important to remember, that it is the depth of our knowledge that leads us into wisdom, not the particulars or quantities of surface stuff. A simple knotted rope will serve as well as a broad sweeping staircase, for us to ascend to those vertical depths.

One deep truth gnown deeply, trumps a gazillion factoidial's we may know widely.


"Praise Bob! And pass the I AM notion!"

Indeed!

wv:wdmxhed - didn't I just say that?

6/24/2007 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

Bob, you wrote, "...follow the depth."

Took a walk thru the woods real early; light rain falling, about 55 degrees, deeply verdant, and noisy with birds. Afterwards, sat down to this post. Seems to me that your "lamp oil" today was exceptional.

"A profound truth is one that qualitatively ties together and organizes a greater quantity of phenomena..."
Were you "summing up" many recent threads by way of this post? To me, it seemed to tie many of them together. For instance, almost in passing, you linked the word 'insipid' to atheism. Until recently, I had never considered atheist's "ideas" much one way or the other; but through your posts, linked articles, and websites and books, have sampled quite a bit of it. Like Magnus, I can think for myself, but I surely agree with you: in a word, insipid.

"...Although O is immutable, it flows with ceaseless novelty." What a delightful way of expressing it on a Sunday morning!

And, "...Schuon's humanism is so useless to most people, whose own uselessness precedes them in advance of any encounter with the Real....they blame the truth for their own refusal to admit it." For some, this would be called "mean-spirited," I suspect. But I take the idea of "use-fullness" very seriously, and thought it was exactly correct.

Finally, I'm reading your statement that, "there is obviously no end to the nonsense man will come up with," and I look to the sidebar, where the hair color ad asks, "What will you GET AWAY WITH?" Indeed.

Thanks, Bob.

6/24/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Susannah said "One's whole person--mind, physical strength, spirit--is engaged in the transformation brought about by contact with God's depths."

Oh... you've got some lucky children.

6/24/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

follow the depth...

The Dowser
stepping off the grid
subterranean waters
deep calls out to deep

6/24/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I knew I could trust my fellow Raccoons to requote & comment on the many deserving thoughts from today.

Walt said "Were you "summing up" many recent threads by way of this post? To me, it seemed to tie many of them together."

I think you're right there Walt. I'm going to toot my own horn a bit here, but truthfully I think my post this morning was probably just picking up on strains of the coming melody Gagdad strummed today, from the previous days, so... I think I'm actually tooting his horn... or maybe doing a cover of it (why won't that self-consciousness go away? It's just a little toot? 'Out, damned spot! out, I say!'), in my post today The Reasons of Unreason, and why we'll always have Paris (Hilton, that is),

These two [Deterministic misophsophers and Paris Hilton] are the inevitable consequences of Free Will exercised... without willfully taking into account the wider perspective of the whole of life – that which can only be grasped at through consideration of The Good, The Beautiful and The True.

While The Good, The Beautiful and The True are denigrated or dismissed by our logic chopping intellectual e-lite’s, we are guaranteed to be plagued with a steady and continuous flow of these walking embodiments of metaphysical mistakes.


From Gagdad's post today, quoting Schuon ""Metaphysics aims in the first place at the comprehension of the whole Universe, which extends from the Divine Order to terrestrial contingencies." Further, it offers "humanly crucial openings, which is all the more important in a world wherein the abuse of intelligence replaces wisdom." "

Amen again.

wv:kvjkdohh ... King James version of Homer?

6/24/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

This talk of following the depth reminds me of a dream I had earlier this week, which I should have written down but didn't. The one detail that stands out, because it should have been frightening but wasn't, was that I was swimming from a big cruise ship to a smaller lifeboat, following a group of other people (family, I think); the smaller boat would take us to the shore. I lagged behind, and began to sink down below the water, to where it was very cold and dark. Nobody knew I was missing, and I thought I was just going to drown. Somehow, though, I swam or was pushed out through the side of the water (rather like the side of a big wave), and was carried down it to end up safely on shore, where I was reunited with my group. They still didn't realize I had been missing, and chided me for dawdling. I followed them, but the experience had changed me somehow.

WV: gtmgo (go team go!)

6/24/2007 11:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Johan (cosmic swede) said...

Very fine post, Bob. As Walt said, it summed things up, intentionally or not. I had just put some thoughts about understanding in general, the horizontal and the vertical, and the use of analogy in a post. Now I got some "soul food" of how to expand and make them deeper.

By the way, it looks like I got a reader of Kaffepaus (Coffee break) to buy your book, Bob:

The Swedish coon-tribe is now known to have multiplied with at least one hundred percent!

6/24/2007 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Man, I've recently been surfing the tech-o-sphere, that is, tech blogs. Now, since we techies make the stuff, you'd expect us to have the most sophisticated, hi-tech blogs?

... nope. Quite frankly, after the Orthodox wisdom & the sharp sophistication of the Dextrosphere, these places look juvenile.

It's hard to understand, but then again, some of us are folks who still use the command line. (Nothin' wrong with that! ;)

Disappointing, but provides plenty of ammo.

Paraorthodoxically -- or perhaps not -- although O is immutable, it flows with ceaseless novelty. Conversely, the infinite number of facts on the horizontal plane never adds up to the Infinite, only to the many, or the false infinite. The facts of our existence -- of Being -- are only tied together in depth by virtue of the deeper reality explicated through traditional metaphysics.

This is the best paragraph, by the way. My mind immediately remembered math, where 'infinity' is just an arbitrarily large number for the 'purposes' of math. In reality, it is a concept, just as zero really is. Why are there not many Gods? Because you can't count to infinity.

Wo!

6/24/2007 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van's "face on the surface... will seek to crush us and sweep us away. It is only as you go beneath the surface, that you gain the strength, the solid foundation of the Vertical Depths"

and

Julie's "swam or was pushed out through the side of the water"
got me back to pondering how/why, certain/many, forms/functions, supposedly unrelated or unconnected in the horizontal, are in fact similar/complementary & can be described using each other.

How the profound Truths of the Parable of the Sower are neatly wrapped up in a 'gardening story', heard by those with ears to hear as one/many things, and as something quite different to a flatlander.

How working to integrate 'deep thoughts' is very like Walt's setting-up & tending to his Winter Garden now, even tho the harvest comes 'later'.

The water/wave analogies got me thinking about what it's like to purposely swim out to where surf is breaking, not to ride the waves to shore, but to 'become one' with the eternal powers of ocean & sort of 'bob-along' there, buoyed up, just at the place where the surge will turn into a wave.

Gets me thinking how my parents affected my ability to swim.

Mamina had every lesson available, taught all of us kids (siblings & others) the techniques to get along in the water, yet has never really 'been a swimmer' herself. She taught me to love clear water pools to swim laps in: back & forth, back & forth, with the discipline, technique & stamina to get to that 'alpha-state'.

Dad was a ocean-surge rider. As a 5 or 6 year old in Sicily, where our garden faced the beach on Mondello, I can remember that when a nasty storm was brewing, Dad would put his swim-trunks on, and he & our Canne Lupo (James Wolf Dog) would go out to ride the surf. M. would send us down to the gate to see if they were both still floating. Both would come home eventually, exhausted & very happy.

He taught us to swim from the boat-pier, way out to a raft-thingie moored to the bottom, half a mile away.

Day-after my sister & I had to be rescued by a swearing lifeguard on the beach at Rio from the deadly undertow there, Dad took us back in at the same spot, so we could learn how 'feel' that undertow & how to get out of it, by swimming sideways, a-la Julie.

A-la Van, Dad taught us to walk out to the first set of large waves & to dive THRU them, coming out on the other side. Keep doing that until you're out beyond the rows of crests, to the place where the first swells build.

Ya have to keep ducking under & thru the waves, to get there. Many a beach lifeguard has said they hate to see us show up, not that they worry about US, but that we give a dangerous example to the less ocean-savvy.

Pondering how similar/analogous 'follow the depth' is to learning to get out to where those surges start to crest & just sort of bob-along there, buoyed up by the swells & able to ride a passing wave to shore, should we choose to.

6/24/2007 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

juliec:
Odd. I just started reading the Old Testament. I'm going slowly. That picture of swimming through a wall of water reminded me of this:

Exodus 14, 22: And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

They got out OK, too. (sorry for the spoiler)

Ximeze:
That was wonderful. The sea is teacher. I'm sure Ben would agree.

JWM

6/24/2007 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze,
Good to see you & read you.

6/24/2007 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey, guilty pleasure to note. Just saw the bio-pic about Monkee's, 'Daydream Believer' Enjoyed it.

Then there came an add for hasbeen Brett Michaels, looking very old, wearing makeup & eyeliner still, apparently is going to do a 'reality' show of how he makes his way through 20 babes to choose the one he likes most. One of the contestants boasts she's going to get her some rocker ass. What the hell kind of reality is that to choose?

Looks like a movie about the pre-beatles beatles, with Stu Sutcliff, is coming on...

Lazy day? Yep.

6/24/2007 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ok - potential wierdo confession.

I'm sitting on the couch, distractedly reading & watching TV with the 8 yr old, Mom & Brothers are out... and I see a cloud of smoke wafting through the living room, about 4 ft off the ground.

It hits my nose, burning wood, & I'm off the couch bolt upright, "What's burning!?". She just looks at me like I'm daft. "Outside! Now!" she runs out front & I'm tearing through the house looking for the source of the smoke. None. Nowhere. It starts to dawn on me that the smoke alarms that go off if I even eat too much chili, aren't even making a peap.

She's standing on the porch staring in at me. "Did you smell smoke?" I yell.
"Nnoooo"
"See the smoke?"
"Nnoooo. Can I come in now?"
"Uhm... yeah, it's fine."

Wierd.

6/24/2007 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I recently set our smoke alarms off by running the shop vac underneath one.

That is weird, Van.

6/24/2007 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Very weird, Van; Perhaps somebody's trying to tell you something?

Ximeze, what a delight to have you back! That's a great story, it takes me back to all the times I've swam in the ocean. I've never been caught by an undertow, but I've been rolled by some fairly brutal waves in Maui. I, too, love to go out to where the swells are just about to crest, and bob along with the motion.

JWM, oddly enough in my dream, it was rather more like an Exodusian wall, and not a wave; it was stationary, and the ground was quite far below it (A couple stories, anyway). In fact, I think everybody else took an escalator down; I was the only one who rode down the side.

6/24/2007 06:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Memo to Van:

All inscapes are numinous, but not all *pleasant*. To say the least.

6/24/2007 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Van: The Shekinah! The anchoress reports that she has seen it, although as more of a mist.

6/24/2007 07:48:00 PM  
Anonymous cosanostradamus said...

Holy Smokes, Van!

wv: notvff - "no tv, firefly"

6/24/2007 08:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Notice of New PAC said...

I'm organizing a PAC called "LOBSTER" which stands for "Left of Bob But Still a Raccoon" for all of us here who like what Bob writes but wish he would wise up about politics.

Anyone who wants to join, email me at garuda.2@hotmail.com

I am not affiliated with Nagarjuna.

6/24/2007 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous joseph said...

new pac,

I was thinking of starting one called, "to the right of Bob, but still a raccoon".

6/24/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

It was a wierd one. Not quite sure what to make of it. I rather like my non superstitous take on the world. Liked.

Had another brush with the wierd this weekend, this one of a more earthly, 'normal' evil. The 8 yr old has a friend from school, that's been over here to play a few times, nice little girl. My wife had met her mom, but we didn't really know her parents, and she was asking if she could spend the night. Felt a bit uneasy about it, figured I'd start with where they lived and work up from there. Well I googled the address to see how far from us she lived... the little map popped up... several blocks away, but not too far... what was that below the address? Sherrif's report... registered sex offender... holy crap! Looked deeper into it... the little girls 'dad' is a registered sex offender, assaulted an 11 yr old girl some while back.

No, there'll be no sleep overs. Or any other 'overs'.

What was evil's greatest accomplishment? Convincing people that it doesn't exist? Convincing people that it's fine to let it go with a 'registered' label? NoSireebob, no problem here, taken care of with a nice sterile clinical label, no need to worry about werewolves or vampires, or any other type of evil, what a quaint term.

I checked the registered sex offender site... think you live in a nice neighborhood? So did I. Try finding an area that isn't peppered with them.

6/24/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

garuda, why not just stick with the pack you run with already, that way you won't get left behind.

6/24/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

You always know true LIFE when you see it. I think my own version of "follow the depth" is "follow the life".

Is "thrilling" an OK word to use to describe today's post?

And Bob, Bill Withers Live? - Can't wait to get it (BW always been on Mrs. NoMo's list).

BTW - We went to see Shakespeare's "The Tempest" last eve and it was also a little thrilling to hear this again:

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep..."

Sweet dreams, all.

6/24/2007 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

JWM-
Aye! I would agree. The sea can be a cruel mistress if you don't do your homework though.

Come to think of it, she can be cruel anyway, but when she calls on you, you better have the right answer ready if you stand any chance of survivin'.

Speakin' of divin' and depths and stuff, I was thinkin' of those too, as I examined my younger self's take on the subject (cool pic alert!).
As I was writing, I thought of what Bob said about Bion's exercise of re-examining his younger thoughts and ideas (which I'll be doin' much more of, thanks Bob!), and I realized that young Ben was light years away from where I Am presently.

And yet, there was one thing that hadn't changed at all.
My sense of chivalry. I gno much more about chivalry now, but despite the lack of knowledge and wisdom I had in those doltish days, I was still chilvarous, in manner and action (albeit, clumsily so).

There may be some hope yet for the young and foolish Ben afterall!
I won't tell you how Y. Ben ended up, yet (unlike JWM with Exodus, blast you John!), but I'm sure that most of you Raccoons who have been readin' my stories and comments have a pretty good idea.

If you think you do, fill me in,
O-->k? Ha!

6/24/2007 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-
That smoke thing is weird!

A Seattle news team (yeah, who knew there was real journalism there?), had a report about sex offenders a few years back that raised many of those same points.

Another thing they discovered was the lucrative pan-handling going on, and to add to that, how many sex offenders are turning to pan-handling (begging) to get money.

Pan-handlers in the Seattle area averaged (back in 2004) anywhere from $75-300 dollars a day!
Many often use dogs or puppies to play on peoples guilt all the more.

After that report, I checked the photos of our County sex "registry", and noticed that many of our small town pan-handlers are one and the same!

If you do give money to pan-handlers that's something to keep in mind.

That's not to say there isn't some folks who really are in financial dire straights, but even so, we are very circumspect about it.

As far as I'm concerned, rapists and child molesters will never get a penny outta me, whether they need it or not.

The photos are easy to access (in the US at any rate), and it's a good idea to know where they live in your area, and what they look like.

Thing is, they should've never got out of prison to begin with, and all "registrating" every 6 months (or more) does is create a false sense of security.

6/24/2007 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ximeze-
I loved your analogy!
That's a lot of swimming. Wow! I know I can't swim that far today without a major retraining program (and the ocean, of course).

That's good advice about undertows.
I got caught up in one when I was 7, in Miami.
Fortunately, there was a good lifeguard nearby.

But, in life there will be some undertows and strong currents and storms, and they almost always come when we least expect it.

6/24/2007 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

In the house that wisdom built, every flight of stairs you go down you get a better view.

On visualizing Bob's answer, I realized that it was much the same as in his parable of Matterhorn. A higher-dimensional object cannot fully be described in lower dimensions. If you try, you will get contradictions and absurdities, yet together these make sense when you know what you are looking at. Rather, they don't as much describe the object as remind you of it.

The real thing ties together, completes and corrects the scattered representations of it on the surface.

As such, it is not surprising that Bob answers a question fairly precisely by continuing to talk about what he was already talking about. Jesus was even more like that, sometimes it is as if he never stopped to listen but just continued even though various events had transpired in between. I assume this is a property of O's firehose rather than the people who hold it -- although in the case of Jesus, there may not be a difference. You may say that with Jesus, the medium really was the Message...

6/25/2007 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Ben,
Yep, I found the state's site with the pictures & addresses. I agree, they never should be let out - a sentiment confirmed by the notations on their records - 2nd time, 3rd time offender - gee, what a surprise. If they're not going to be put to death, they should at least be locked away permanently.

"a false sense of security", yeah, for some soft hearted & soft headed reforming do-gooder perhaps, our sense of security is out the window.

6/25/2007 05:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I got caught in the under tow once at laguna... musta been about 7. My brother & I were playing in the surf & I dived into a breaker and is suddenly felt like something took a tight grip upon my whole body. Spun me around & bashed me onto the bottom several times - I remember that sense of panic on realizing I couldn't do anything, my strokes were useless, just kept yanking me down, tumbling over, bashing against the bottom, and then my feet hit & I spasmed out a leap & it shot me out of it.

I remember my brother's annoyed look when I broke the surface, "Where were you!?" & he shot me a power splash into my face. Kids.

6/25/2007 05:24:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Tis the voice of the Lobster; I heard him declare, "You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair." ... “Come, let's try the first figure!” said the Mock Turtle to the Gryphon. “We can do without lobsters, you know."

No wise fish would go anywhere without a porpoise.

--Lewis Carroll

6/25/2007 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Dilys, that bit of rhyme is permanently lodged in my brain, too. Nice bit o' context, thanks! :)

Van, I don't care what anybody says...times have changed. I don't let my kids out of my sight. Yep, I believe that "red light" comes straight from the Spirit.

6/25/2007 02:38:00 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

I love Bill Withers. "Aint no Sunshine When She's Gone" comes to mind when you mention his name. And, of course, "Lean On Me."

6/25/2007 08:08:00 PM  

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