Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Fool Who Persists in His Folly Will Become Wise... I Hope

One of the reasons I am somewhat reluctant to offer very specific spiritual advice is because different personality styles require different paths and prescriptions. A path that is easy and comes naturally for one person might be impossible for another.

In my case, for better or worse, I apparently have a somewhat unique personality style, so I hesitate in proffering general spiritual advice to all and sundry. But at the same time, I would very much like to do all I can to assist people who are genuinely motivated to grow spiritually.

Partly it is a problem of, you know, your orientation. No, not that orientation, but your spiritual orientation. For while the former is a dubious construct with much political but little scientific justification, the latter is definitely a result of heredity. Specifically, it is a reflection of your "vertical DNA."

In my case, I believe I am a "born mystic." Now importantly, this is not to say that I was a born "realized" mystic--an avatar. Nor is it to make the claim that I am some sort of "realized master" today. What it simply means is that this is my innate orientation, inclination, or "bent." It comes as naturally to me as, say, basketball came to Michael Jordan or the trumpet to Louis Armstrong. This does not mean that such individuals don't have to practice in order to realize and hone their gift. But it does mean that they have a certain "head start" in whatever area the gift lies. It also means that others will have to work much harder to attain what comes naturally to one with the gift.

This, by the way, is why great athletes are rarely good coaches. A good coach must be a teacher, but for a truly great athlete, there is a dimension of their greatness that was unlearned and cannot be taught. As a result, the great athlete who becomes a coach often fails or resigns in frustration because they don't understand why their players are not as good as they are. They think it's a just a matter of effort.

On the other hand, most great coaches and managers were mediocre players who had to work very hard to remain with a team. The only exception would be a great player who happens to have a parallel gift for teaching or for understanding and motivating different personality types.

The comparison with sports is a good one, because we are called upon to be spiritual athletes in one way or another.

Two things I can say about myself. I have always had a propensity to contemplate the infinite and to try to understand everything within the context of the whole. The born contemplative is attracted by the eternal in same way that the born musician might be attracted by a piano. To a certain extent, this state of consciousness is a point of departure for me, whereas it would be more of an acquisition--a signpost along the way--for others. For me, the "interior world" has always been very easy to apprehend, first the psychosphere, now the pneumatosphere.

I have no problem at all "doing nothing," because that is precisely when I am the most active--when I am likely engaged in a bewilderness adventure. Conversely, when I look like I am "doing something," I am often nowhere doing nothing. And this includes many things that the average person would find not only pleasurable, but perhaps the summon bonum of existence. I actually enjoy sitting in a chair in the dark at 4:00am staring at a candle illuminating the face of one of my inspirations.

But again, one's gift or predilection must be nurtured and developed. In my case, as you might imagine, my orientation was a dark secret for many years, even to myself. This is because we all have a "blueprint" inside of us, but require a model outside of ourselves to bring it into being and actualize it. Otherwise, it has the same degree of reality as the blueprint of an unbuilt house.

The problem for someone like me is that there is nothing in a conventional education that allows one to recognize and develop a gift for extreme seeking and off-road spiritual exploration. Thus, I struggled all through grade school, high school, and much of college just to maintain average grades. It was of no interest to me. Nevertheless, I was intensely curious and passionately interested in knowledge. It was just knowledge of a different order. For many years I just indulged this passionate curiosity, allowing it to take me where it led, in a completely undisciplined way.

Only through such spontaneous, unplanned and undirected rambling was the blueprint of myself gradually revealed to me. By abandoning myself to the process, with no expectation of any result, it was very much as if I was "led." I definitely wasn't pushing. Rather, it was as if I were responding solely to an inner flame that I was trying to feed and stoke. I tried to provide it with whatever would help it grow in intensity.

One thing that bothers me about our elite secular fundamentalists is that they seem to think it is easy to know Spirit--as if it simply involves believing some nice fairy tale and leaving it at that. In reality, it is almost impossible for our elite secular priesthood to know anything about Spirit. For it is not a matter of intellect per se. Rather, it is a matter of what the intellect is in service to.

As I have mentioned before, both religious and non-religious fundamentalists are still unwavering materialists, living in deadening servitude to matter. Our higher faculties are easily hijacked and enslaved by the lower, and the problem is only worse in a society as abundant as ours, with so many seductive distractions everywhere.

The trial of our age is the trial of Faust. That is to say, we live in an age in which we have unprecedented control over nature, and in which our material desires can be satisfied as never before. But each horizontal satisfaction, no matter how unprecedented and miraculous, is simply met with an increasingly jaded. "okay. What next?" Paradoxically, this "age of miracles and wonders" is the age of banality, ennui, and spiritual exhaustion.

If there were a "devil," what better way to accomplish his ends than to give people the illusion of the possibility of ultimate satisfaction in the horizontal. You might say that the "satanic mantra" is, "I'm bored. What's next."

Intellectuals struggle with this as much, if not more, than the blue collar worker who simply enjoys overeating, having a few beers, and being with his family. For the secular intellectual is haunted by the idea that there is something more, but has no idea how to go about finding it. As a matter of fact, the intellect must be "raised up" to the realm from which religions emanate. Again, this is something the typical secularist utterly fails to understand. You must work diligently to intensify your mental power and to place it in the service of higher things.

It is the difference between being a mere scholar and a sage. Who in contemporary academia would refer to himself as a sage? And yet, sages do exist--those who have successfully passed from mere intellectuality motivated by the desire for knowledge--intellect for its own sake--on to the desire for higher knowledge motivated by love, that is to say the pure love of sophia.

As I mentioned at the top, this comes naturally to me. My happily crucified intellect is willingly in the service of the "breath from above," as I am specifically trying to fuse spirituality and intellectuality in order to create a new, third thing within that transitional space. In the past, this union has been called the "philosopher's stone," but the secular world would probably regard it as the prattle of a stoned philosopher.

Since I already have a real job, I am not motivated by tenure, by popularity, by book sales, or by any other horizontal measure. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God, just as my little contributions are undoubtedly folly to the world.


Hoarhey said...

Bob Said:
"One of the reasons I am somewhat reluctant to offer very specific spiritual advice is because different personality styles require different paths and prescriptions. A path that is easy and comes naturally for one person might be impossible for another."

I for one truly appreciate your ability to be descriptive of spiritual practice without being overly descriptive and dogmatic. The clues you have left here in the past several weeks have been priceless.

Kahntheroad said...

Thanks Bob. That was a great post.

Finding Fair Hope said...

Aw, Bob. Your contributions are NOT folly. There are those of us who hang around in the loft reading and studying them, sometimes challenged, sometimes inspired, sometimes wishing our website and blogs were half as interesting -- and sometimes just enjoying the three-ring circus that happens in the "Comment" section. Today's post is truly successful; easy to read, possible to grasp, and not even fattening.

jwm said...

On blueprints and models:
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Had no idea in grade school, no idea in high school. Somewhere in the late sixties I got the notion into my head that the highest calling was to those altruistic "meaningful" careers that "helped" others. You know- like social work and stuff... Business, production, moneymaking etc. were all lower callings for the material minded.

But I was too lazy for college, and by the time I was twenty I had secured a job as a school custodian, discovered surfing, and settled into what seemed like a workable lifestyle that I could hold on to as a career, and just cruize on to retirement. Cleaning up a school seemed to fill the altruism component, or come close enough to it that it didn't bug me.

People kept telling me I was wasting my potential. Maybe I was. I left the school district for a job with a utility company. I hated it. Hated the uniform, hated driving all day, hated finding myself up to my elbows in rancid grease and cockroaches several times a day. I transferred into the office, and hated that worse. Eventually it all just got to me. I had a customer on the phone with a billing complaint. Before I knew it I was on my feet in the office, yelling into the headset telling someone they could go to f*cking hell and take their high bill with them.
That was it for the utility company.
I took some time, took a trip to Mexico, and set about wondering what I wanted to be when I grew up. I found myself driving home from the beach one day, and I realized that I was, in my head, giving a lecture to a bunch of kids in their first semester of high school English. That was a revelation of sorts. Shortly after my thirtieth Birthday I enrolled in college.
Fifteen years later, I never saw it coming. Warfare with my inner demons was taking its toll on me. Job stress from an inner-city continuation school was taking its toll, as well. In '97 a confluence of all kinds of rotten stuff brought me face to face with an enraged crackhead gangbanger parent who attacked me in the principal's office...

Something in me went dead calm. I walked out of the office, through the crowd of jeering thugs (students) got into my car, went home and totally broke down.
Before I knew it the school threw me into their workers comp system. That's right- they came to me. I had three years of internal hell, hired-gun shrinks, lawyers- Bob knows the drill. I'll spare the crappy details. They setlled the case, and I ended up with a disability retirement.
For five years I kept myself alive with artwork. I took all the poison, all the chaos, and did my level best to turn it into beauty.
But I burned through the artwork at some point. Sometime in '03 I dropped a project midway, and realized I was just done with art.
Adrift. That's where I am. The career is gone, art is over, the warfare with my internal demons continues. Fifty three, and wondering what I'd do with myself if I could find a way to grow up. Still can't find the blueprint. The only thing that's left right now is something in me that has latched on to the Religious Question and won't let go. Forgive me for going on so long. I'm gonna' post this now before I change my mind.


June said...

I have to say that the more I read this blog, the more I feel I have in common with you. By the dates you listed as the period when you worked as a retail clerk, my guess is that you are several years of wisdom ahead of me. This makes me want to ask your opinion on a number of issues, and not just your opinion, but why that is your opinion.

I have a friend who is a scholar in a field in which there are few scholars. He spends most of his time reading and writing cholarly works. Once I asked him how he had spent his summer abroad, and he said "mostly in the basement reading."

We are from two completely different intellectual planets. Once during a long conversation about the state of the world during which I disagreed with him several times, he became extremely interested in my point of view. I wasn't sure why and asked him. His answer was this: "I'm trying to see if you know something I don't."

gemma said...

I'm new here and I love it. I especially love your description of doing nothing. A bewilderness adventure is amazingly perfect......I'll be back as they say, and I'm bringing friends.

ZenGolfer said...

Another great post, as always...

I was laying in bed last night, trying (yet again) to give shape to a question that has been haunting me for years, one that I've been unable to ask, for my mind lacks the clarity of its structure to even ask it...

However, since I've been reading this blog, there has been a steady progress towards clarity, at least it appears that way to me, or to my mind...

I'm not quite ready to ask the question yet, soon, but not yet... And I expect that once I do, there won't be an answer to it per se, but maybe just another door will open, to allow me to see the next question I need to ask...


Sal said...

I love the "vocation" posts. This was excellent.

The conviction that materialists have that "Spirit" is easy: I guess this is the source of some major snarkiness at Kos and DU. That is such an anti-thetical idea to a lot of us that I wouldn't have ID'ed that by myself. I mean, I knew they thought "Spirit" was dumb - hadn't considered they thought it was easy. Interesting.

Thanks for telling your story. Those of us who, for whatever reason - grace or sheer dumb luck- found our callings early need to be reminded that that's not the case for everyone. And even we never stop questing and learning.
So, thanks.

Kahntheroad said...


Thanks for sharing.

This is such a strange blog...every time I post something (or decide not to) I get that strange feeling; that maybe it's not appropriate, or it's airy dirty laundry, or it's just narcissistic. But what's really odd is that it would even occur to me in the first place to discuss such personal matters at all, let alone on the comments section of a blog!?!

A few weeks ago I posted something and regretted it - because it felt like indulgent whining. When I got home I came back with every intention of removing my post, but was greeting by some great advice that helped me over a bump, and is still with me.

And it's not just stuff about myself; any ideas I put forward here is not some little quip that you'd toss out on, say, Little Green Footballs. These are things I've learn to shy away from discussing even with friends. Offering up any opinion on this stuff makes me cringe, because I feel like I'm telling myself I know - that is, 'know' in the (k) sense - more than I actually do.

So, again, thanks for sharing JWH. We can talk about esoteric stuff all day, but what I find most fulfilling is hearing about the roads others have taken to this little blip on the infinite grid.

As Bob said today, "different personality styles require different paths and prescriptions. A path that is easy and comes naturally for one person might be impossible for another."

For me, hearing these personal accounts offers context to the spiritual paths of others, so I can learn much knowing where you have been and what has, and hasn't, worked for you.

It makes more sense than hearing it in generic terms (plus it still hasn't entirely sunk in that there are other people who actually see anything close to the big picture I'd been glimpsing).

Anyway, that's what I want to say to anyone who feels inclined to share experiences - speaking for myself - I look forward to them.

Maybe a little later I'll follow my own advice ;)

karrde said...

Your first paragraph reminds me of a quote from Tolkien:
(I'll have to paraphrase it from memory. It is early in the Fellowship of the Ring, after Frodo starts travelling across the Shire, escapes a Black Rider, and then meets some elves for the first time.)
"It is also said, 'Do not go to the elves for advice, for they will say both yes and no'," Frodo replied.

"That is said?" Gildor laughed. "We do not give advice too freely, because advice--like any gift--is a dangerous thing."

I fear they they are talking about something different than you are saying. But the idea of advice being dangerous to give is very real, and is exemplified by the quote given.

LiquidLifeHacker said...

Wow, you shared alot with us today. As usual though I am not sure how much mystical or mysterious thought is left rolling around in my head now after reading it Ha Ha....because sometimes I sense "nurturing" and other times I sense "challenging" but I am always inspired by your openess and/or at times 'lack of it' when you do share your own personal choices. I enjoy reading your words and get caught up in them and sometimes I follow and then you walk to the edge and then suddenly you stop! Perhaps that is part of being "born a mystic" and trying to fullfill your ideals that are being inspired to you at the time and then finding suitable words to express them. When they are not stop. I can understand just leaves with me questions.

To help us all to have more understanding on what you did share here today, since you have shared with us in the past that you really do not belong to any denomination or church per say and that not too long ago that you walked out of the shadows of liberalism, then is your "esoteric Christian mystic eastern influence" all you can now place upon where you are or headed? Are you getting ready to walk us around a corner? Are you planning in the future on seeking some kind of mystical training, *I think they have those types of schools, but not sure, guess you can have your own personal guru or teacher and perhaps you have already* I know that you also stated that you had an anglican background, but do you feel more that your strong convictions are evolving more towards a cosmic universe in universalism? I ask this honestly and sincerely and not at all critical of you, I just want to understand clearer, because at first I thought you just used the term "vertical" as a 'safe' variable for all so that there would be a "common variable" and it wouldn't be offensive to anyone, which I do feel you work really hard not to be towards anyone and as I have said before that I dont' have a problem with that because I get that analogy, but your "knowledge" in trying to recognize it as a divine knowledge or as a 'vertical" knowledge can get confusing to me at times because we do all share the same maker but in our own chosen path we can't serve many masters at one time can we, although I do think inspiration is helpful from all around us even outside our own perceptions and I think we all do that indulge in that openness on some degree, as we test them to and against our accepted truth in our own enlightenment. Everyone brings a unique experience to the table and we all learn from those things.

On your awakening to the direction of your own spirit, as you have been on an inspirational journey of study with ancient writing,in development of putting your own inspiration into a book, you have stated that you have found most truth in Judeo Christian teachings, so I have taken that as it is your foundation for what you are building upon, you can correct me if I am wrong in that assumption, but I suppose we, the readers, all get inspired by your words and yet I am compelled to ask where you feel you are headed in leading us?

*hearing Petey mumble the word "UP" with the music of van morrison's 'into the mystic' playing in the background*

If you have the time and are up to it, I really do want to know your views on universalism and unitarianism when you get the chance.

Bob, I really do believe that you genuinely want to help others and share... is your quest to recieve and share a kinda kinship of your inner-self that's entirety includes the universe that places "truth" as it cannot be understood in any one realism type or is it about everyone just creating their own spiritual reality and calling it vertical? Maybe that comes off as a stupid question but I do wish to know. Because when you say that you want to assist people who are genuinely motivated to grow spiritually added with that it can include many paths....isn't that like saying behind every path or behind every religion is the face of God? I use to believe that at one time, thinking that God made all of us as individuals so surely He would accept us approaching Him in individual ways but then I realised that it's not about losing our individuality or gaining it for that matter by choosing a set group of ideas, but to realise that as we grow and change to be closer to God that we must not forget that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are individuals in God's purpose. I suppose what I am pigeonholing you into is "your path" and if its a path of many paths leading to the same vertical, then can you tell us what and how you see it that way and why you have chosen these directions? Why did God say the path is narrow? Is the path broad from many paths then narrows only at the launch?

I have gotten long winded for sure, and I know that you have a cold, bless your heart, and might not be up to answering everything at once or even at all, and I do appoligize for not being a good writer and not condensing my thoughts, but I really want to understand your path/paths and by no means Bob should you ever feel that your contributions are folly because we all influence one another and it's important to recognize that even in the littlest of our shared details. I have been enriched on many of your words and have applied them in places that I have had trouble finding words before. I thank you for that.

Lisa said...

I think it is great to hear personal stories from Bob and everyone else about how they are traveling on their individual spiritual path. It is nice to know that we can all approach this from different paths and these paths may entwine along the way, as well as diverge at other points.

I personally find it very difficult to stay in a completely vertical realm without acknowledging the horizontal at times and nurturing a sense of balance that is required. I am definitely guilty of "dumbing down" the spiritual side of this amazing blog with some of my comments and I do apologize for that. I just have a difficult time separating the two realms in my own process of self-discovery and rely on a type of humor, that not everyone can appreciate, to compensate. Like LLH, I too, have a hard time expressing complex yet simple thoughts into a coherent written sentence and like Kahn, it is strange for me to confess certain things on a public blog! I do feel that I am learning and re-learning things here from everyone. I also hope the cosmic launch site can be another forum for us to discuss a broader range of topics and not impose on Bob.

Gagdad Bob said...


This is more difficult than the WIE interview. To a certain extent you just have to take what I write at face value, and ask if it is helping you understand and deepen your own experience.

"you really do not belong to any denomination or church per se"

--Well, I do and I don't. At the very least, I am definitely in the line of a venerable tradition that goes by various names and extends back to antiquity. Call it the Vertical Church of perpetual Slack, if you like.

" and that not too long ago that you walked out of the shadows of liberalism, then is your "esoteric Christian mystic eastern influence" all you can now place upon where you are or headed?'

--Yes and no. For those born of the spirit, the wind bloweth where it listeth. You'll read all about it in the WIE interview.

"Are you planning in the future on seeking some kind of mystical training,

--Definitely not. I don't believe in anything that can be reduced to a technique.

"I think they have those types of schools, but not sure, guess you can have your own personal guru or teacher and perhaps you have already*

--That I do. None technically "living," but that is of no consequence.

"I know that you also stated that you had an anglican background,

--No, not really. My father was British, but I never heard the word "Anglican" as a kid.

"but do you feel more that your strong convictions are evolving more towards a cosmic universe in universalism?

--Well, I do believe there is a universal religion, but it is not a synthesis or a syncretism of existing ones. It is the Religion of which religion is a reflection.

"you have stated that you have found most truth in Judeo Christian teachings, so I have taken that as it is your foundation for what you are building upon, you can correct me if I am wrong in that assumption, but I suppose we, the readers, all get inspired by your words and yet I am compelled to ask where you feel you are headed in leading us?

--It's very difficult to define, because on the one hand it simply is what it is, but what it is is also in the process of being revealed to me. So it's being defined as it comes out--like a musical solo. You don't know what it is until you're finished playing it.

"lwhen you say that you want to assist people who are genuinely motivated to grow spiritually added with that it can include many paths....isn't that like saying behind every path or behind every religion is the face of God?

--First of all, I have no desire to convert or change ANYONE who is at peace with God--so long as they are truly at peace.

But most people are not at peace with God. To the extent that I can help in that area, that is what I want to do--not by making dogmatic assertions, but again by helping people interpret and deepen their own experience. It's very much analogous to being a psychotherapist. You can't just tell people the truth about themsleves., Rather, you must help guide them toward its discovery.

LiquidLifeHacker said...


This is more difficult than the WIE interview.

Ha Ha...I am sorry Bob, I didn't mean for it to be...forgive me then. I just had all these questions pop up when I was reading your post today. I will wait for the WIE interview.
Thank you though for answering the things you did...I am sure there are others that will appreciate it too...

I really do appreciate your honesty Bob!

*walks back to her seat and throws a spit ball at the back of jwm's head*

Lisa said...

Wow, Liquid is getting rowdy!!! I love it!

BTW, where is Will today? He always has something worthwhile to say.

ben usn (ret) said...

Thanks for sharing, Bob.
That is a rare gift to have. Filled with responsibility, it is no wonder you are careful how you dispense it.
Knowing the truth is one thing, but knowing how, or when, or if to tell it, takes much wisdom.

Thank you for sharing, JWM. I shall pray that you find what you are seeking.
My wife has the same dillema, and it is one that I cannot help with (I know, for I have tried).
I feel guilty sometimes, because I am content, in a peace that surpasses all understanding, and yet, I cannot share that with her.

jwm said...

Thank you ben usn.
Thanks Sal and Khantheroad too. You guys rock.

BOB! LLH is throwing spitballs- Make her stop!

Will said...

Conspicuous in my absence, eh, Lisa? Thanks for the compliment.

Been kinda busy preparing for the date that lives in infamy, you know, April 15th.

Also, I feel like krupola lately, so am using it as opportunity to stare at the wall as does my cat, Fergus.

One more thing: If I ever again hear you say you're "dumbing things down", I going to personally come there and kick your &^%.

Lisa said...

And my advice to
Those who die.
Declare the pennies
On your eyes.

'Cause I'm the taxman.
Yeah, I'm the taxman,
And you're working for no one but me.

Good luck and feel better, Will! I can't help it sometimes. I am a natural blonde but I now dye my hair chocolate brown. God knows, there are enough blondes in Los Angeles! I also have a thing for the Black Irish. ;0)

kahntheroad said...


ben put it well, " it is one that I cannot help with (I know, for I have tried)."

That was a realization it took me a long time to come to. When I'm in my better moods I often feel that I've figured something out, and, thus, for a while I thought I could dole out the advice I constantly berate myself with, hoping someone else might believe it, and maybe I'd even convince myself.

But it seems that growth is a process, like grieving, and rather than throw around cliches sometimes its best to to just offer support and understanding.

Of course, if there is a specific question, that's another story (I've gotten a bounty of practical advice from this group).

I can't say my struggles are anywhere near yours, but did spend years in a directionless spiral before finally found my calling through a series of inexplicable accidents that have lead me from atheism to faith (in something or other).

So, from my own narrow experience, if there is one thing I have developed faith in - even at the lowest of times - is summed up in the title of Bob's post today.

I believe I will fulfill my quest with all my heart; I know that blueprint is there. What holds me back is fear, old habits and impatience.

But, for what it's worth, your story inspires me, and it shows genuine sincerity and courage that, based on all I've come to believe, gives me faith that you'll find what you seek.

After all, did you ever think you'd come across someplace like this?

Mysterious ways indeed.

Will said...

Uh huh, Lisa.

You're dumb like a fox, as they say.

Fergus the Cat is an orange Black Irish. (maincoon) He goes around mumbling stuff about Charles Stuart Parnell, also "wicklow sheep".

And he waves a lot. He's waving to you now, for obvious reasons.

Lisa said...

Must be the grin....Did you kiss the Blarney Stone?

I happened to go out drinking one night in County Cork with the son of the man that holds people as they kiss the stone. I forgot his name, but he often worked at the castle with his father. Let's just say, if you are a female, wear a turtleneck!!!Luckily, I went during Christmas. The Irish are a lively bunch! Boys will be boys!

Will said...

Lisa, I've never been there, would like to go someday. My grandmaw was an actress at the Abbey Theater in Dublin. She knew Yeats. After she married and moved to the States, she continued to correspond with him.

How a little patch of land can produce these World Class literary figures is something to contemplate.

Sal said...

Contemplating my former blundering arrogance re: many things spiritual is a needful, but painful part of my life. Wiser (I hope) is better than know-it-all any day.
I have experienced a purification of intention where others's spirituality is concerned. But it took a long time, 'cause some of us learn the hard way...

jwm said...

Hmmm- so my cantankerous Manx is not the only feline who insists on the full honorific.
Fergus the Cat
meet Booger the Cat. (She's giving me that look.)


Lisa said...

Well, since the topic of cats has come up. I feel it is appropriate to share my PT with you. I have a 5 pound chihuahua that thinks she's 50, named Pinky Tuscadero. I will try to post a picture on cosmic launch.

What's even more bizarre Will, is that you mentioned "wicklow sheep". Fergus must have known that PT destroyed her sheep and got stuffing everywhere yesterday and the sheep had to be "retired". She just loves giving kisses,fetching beanie babies, and chasing Duke the Cat. He tolerates her and refrains from using cat violence! These creatures are my local operators!

Michael Andreyakovich said...

The Irish are the Jews of Northern Europe. A vibrant culture, full of strong-willed people, struggling for centuries and millennia against its various oppressors - of course something diamond-like is going to come out of all that pressure. The Jews became the funniest people in the world, and the Irish became the best writers. (Not the hardiest drinkers, mind you - that's the Scots.)

sajoan said...

I really liked how you are able to put into words, the ideas that people like me find hard to describe or put into paper. I have watched the movie Gandhi several times and listened to Alan watts lectures. I find my self with a cluster of ideas and feelings and feel that are difficult for me to express. Reading your article has taken me a step ahead in my development.