Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Blog that Can be Blogged is Not the Eternal Blog

There are times that I think to myself that this blog has come to the end of the line, and that there’s nothing left to say but “any questions?”

After all, even the Bible, the Upanishads, and the Tao Te Ching don’t go on forever. Especially in the case of the latter two, they made their points in an extremely compact and pithy way, and then got out of the way. The fact that they are “closed” gives them all the more authority, for it forces one to look more deeply within the text (and the Self) than to keep looking beyond it. I’m trying to imagine Lao-tzu with a blog, but this would definitely fly in the face of his own counsel to

Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.

In fact, Lao-tzu tells us the score in the very first stanza of the Tao Te Ching:

The tao that can be blogged
is not the eternal Tao.

and in the last stanza:

True words aren’t bloggable;
bloggable words aren’t true.
Wise men don’t endlessly blogviate to prove their point;
men who endlessly blogviate to prove their point get on my nerves.

If Lao-tzu is correct, then instead of eloquently trying to prove my point, it may be time to shut up in order to facilitate some actual truth and wisdom. Seal the loose canon of the Blogavad Pete-a, so to speak, and move on to my next Mission Impractical.

So, what have I left out? Does anyone have any questions or ideas for future topics, or have we pretty much covered the weirderfront?


Lisa said...

Say it isn't so? You can't just stop. I must say that I have noticed some repitition, but that is important for most people. It's like the number of repititions needed before a muscle creates memory is in the millions. Many of us are thick-headed and need it repeated, what about the readers that find your blog at a later date?

I suppose I can accept your decision not to continue, but will miss your daily insights. It has become somewhat of a morning ritual and I like a little bit of routine. Thank you for sharing as much as you have. Maybe you could have guest posts that could ease your daily burden.

Will said...

Well, I do understand.

I would like to see the blog kept open - you never know when the Spirit might move you to share a few words, if only now and then. Besides, this seems to be the time for "major events" in the world, they just keep flowing. When one occurs, it would be nice to have an online rallying place for those who wish to understand things in the spiritual context.

Whatever comes, thanks. It has been heroic.

Here's an O.C. - inspired poem:


I felt in the wind
The Creator's storm-nature -

I beheld in the lightning
His fire-nature -

I heard in the night
His infinite silence -

I saw in the river
His mystery of Time -

I heard in the rain
The infinite sigh of His solace -

I beheld in the sea
His Fullness of Spirit -

I beheld in the desert
His divine Emptiness -

I saw in the oak tree
The infinite planes of His Body -

I beheld in the candle light
His love-nature -

I beheld in the galaxies
His searing glory -

In my own eyes I beheld
the reflection of His dawning son

Until I could not tell
Who was beholding who,

Only that our words
were drawn from Silence

Until there was nothing to speak
But Silence -

(c) wcm 8/06

Joan of Argghh! said...

Not sure I can find anywhere in the archives where you've addressed the idea of eternal punishment. Which is what it would feel like if you quit blogging.

stu said...

I protest! I only found out about the Gagblog 2 weeks ago.

But I guess the muse has decided to take you in another direction. At least now I'll have time to catch up on your previous hundreds of posts.

But if you stop blogging, Dr. Bob, I might have to start actually paying for your services. How full is your clinical practice?

But seriously, your posts helped facilitate transformations in my worldview, both politically and spiritually. Thank you for the free access to such a great mind.

I hope your future endeavors bring you as much enjoyment as you've given to your audience here.

Michael A. said...

Joan has a point. We haven't said a hell of a lot about hell on this blog, have we? Or about some of the other weird facets of Christianity and its fellow religions that convince so many people to not believe in them.

Hell and its mass of contradictions were dealt with very well in THE GREAT DIVORCE, but Jack Lewis can't very well add an appendix to update his work for the 21st-century mind. And there's so many errors of logic in their other arguments (e.g. I don't buy that the Eucharist = cannibalism, no matter what they say) that I can't help but feel that religious logic can still combat them more than adequately.

In your hands it'd be like a steamroller of Higher Logic. Or like Jesus Mendoza from THE BIG LEBOWSKI nailing another strike. "Nobody f__ks with the Jesus."

geckofeeder said...

!. What would your next mission impossible be?
2. Are you really done?
3. What do you need to continue?
4. Is it possible you need a real vacation?
5. What does one do when one hits a wall creatively?
6. Is it really possible there are no more questions?
7. Does one ever get over abandonment issues?
8. If it is hard for us super advantaged Americans to deal with you not blogging, how on earth will Islamists ever get healed?
9. Maybe you need a daily Dear Gagdad venue for which you are paid?
10. Do you know Bobbleheads do not take a treasure like you for granted?

geckofeeder said...

How beautiful, Will. Thankyou!

Anonymous said...

I am knowing that your condition is temporary.

You are one of the voices in the darkness that must be there as the world comes to its senses.

There is a best way to handle the Islamic challenge, and it will come from people who understand how the human consciousness gets the way it is.

There is a great need for those who speak plainly about what is happening to express themselves without reservation.

Van said...

Ohh... that hurts... but probably the better question is are YOU still getting something worthwhile from your time out of it?

Not whether or not you enjoy us Bobbleheads, but whether or not the time it takes to do these posts (I'm still stunned how you do it daily) is adding to or taking away from your experiences with your family, friends & life in general?

Bro. Bartleby said...

Perhaps time to let go of the daily morning marathon in favor of a daily morning stroll, not a long tramp, but a short amble at the keyboard for brief reflections of God and His creations.

Will said...

Yr welcome, Gecks. And thank you.

Van said...

Really wish I'd stumbled in here closer to the beginning than the end (new beginning)!

Anonymous said...

I too, will miss you, but it seems to me that the important thing is to appreciate and be glad of the insights given.

With gratitude,


gumshoe1 said...

wonderful poem,will.

Van said...

Nothing quite like a well tuned Poem to put things to rights - well done Will.

Will said...

Thanks to Gums and Van.

Hoarhey said...

Thank you Bob.

jwm said...

Holy cow.

It's been a while since I've participated in any of the discussion here at OC. I've been in a rather deep funk, and I've been trying to stay away from the internet for a while. But this blog, whether bloggable or not, has had a profound effect on me and on my spiritual path. I've grown. I've changed. I've come to see matters of the spirit with a clearer set of eyes. I've made a few on-line friends. This is all very good stuff.
Bob, you have put forth an incredible series of thoughtful, thought provoking, and spiritually enriching writings here. Whatever else may come of it, it has done me a whole lot of good. I am grateful to you for what you have done.
God walks in shoeleather. It has been my good fortune to share this part of the path.


Will- great poem! Drop me a line and let me know how things are going.


Gaude said...

Great poem, Will.

I'm with you re: keeping the place open - where will we discuss What Happens Next, when it happens?
And for newbies, who follow the links.

Bob, you've amazed us all with your stamina - I can certainly understand a break is in order.

Those of us with an already in place spiritual tradition really appreciate the kaleidoscopic twist that your work has provided. A little shake-up in good time is beneficial.

You are... my biggest fan.
regardless of what you decide.

(jwm - good to see you!)

Bruce Kodish said...

seems like some people may be making a precipitous bye-bye.

if you need to fill your well, well...

i've been filling my well at the brass figlagee, a Jean Shepherd podcast.

If Garrison Keiler was not a 'progressive', was 10X as smart, had an 'edge', and loved the human comedy more, he might begin to approach Jean Shepherd.

{LInk:|The Brass Figlagee}

Will said...

Thanks, John, I'll stay in touch.

Gaude, thanks. And yeah, Bob was (is) a conduit for the Fire, no doubt about that. A flow like that just can't happen unless one is a clear vessel.

geckofeeder said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
geckofeeder said...

geckofeeder said...
Impecable timing. You were the one who directed me to this site for which I thank you. Glad to know you're
out of your brown study.

2:33 PM said...

I also would like to encourage at least one last farewell series regarding Hell and punishment,(but like THE WHO or KISS, I have no doubt there will be numerous Farewell Tours..ha ha!).

Back in the 80's I attended the Bering Drive Church of Christ in Houston. It would better be described as a Refugee Camp for C of C survivors. A very unique place which valued scholarship over dogma. I was even the Youth Minister for about a year.

A man there who was an Elder in the church and taught Bible classes was named Edward Fudge. He had written a book about Hell, arguing that "eternal punishment" really meant "permanant death". I used to have a copy of his book, but cannot find it now, and also assumed it was out of print.

In preparing for this post, I Googled Edward Fudge, and, lo and behold, it can be found on Amazon titled "The Fire That Consumes: A Biblical and Historical Study of the Doctrine of Final Punishment".

Go Ed!!! The book has a new cover, and has obviously been re-published from the one I had.

Not only that, but this view has a name/label now, the "Conditional" view.

And there is a new book.."Two Views of Hell: A Biblical & Theological Dialogue" in which he defends his views.

So Bob, can you give us your thought on Hell?

Anne said...

Thank you for everything, Bob. Will you be leaving your site open for a while so we can all go back enjoy any issues we may have missed? A message board, if it's possible, might help ease the separation anxiety. :)

Anonymous said...

Sucks that I came to the party later than everyone. Never participated much, but did lurk in the background to get info and the info I got was incredible. So, I thank you for that.

Alan said...

Encore! Encore! (sound of one hand clapping) Encore! Brava! Encore!

Oh, and my question is "Was it really Mr. Green in the Conservatory with the Candle Stick?"

Officious Oaf said...

It is not that topics are runnng short- they are infinite in number and scope- but rather I suspect you are coming to realize that writing weighty daily blogs is a weighing task.

That being the case, and knowing you can't cover all the topics in this life time anyway, why not publish two or three times a week?

Furthermore, it will give you and your readers more time to comment on the ones you do publish.

Somewhere someone said that it is quality that counts, not quantity...unless you are in the public school system, and you are definitely not in that.

Michael said...

You have covered a lot. A whole lot.

Recently, I have not visited your blog so much. Not because I don't like it, or because it isn't good, but because I know I will find something there really good, and worthy of reflection and rumination - and I don't always have the time, and there were those other three essays I wanted to ruminate over, and if I read the first paragraph I'll have to read the rest, etc., etc.

If I feel that way, you might to, but from the reverse side.

If you go quiet for awhile, I could see that, and see why, and see why it might be a good thing. Not forever mind you. Some of that stuff you just have to share.

But even the NFL has a halftime.

Fred said...

I don't feel (ever) like you're endlessly blogviating to 'prove' a point ... you are opening eyes and bringing endless happiness to hungry souls and hearts ... repeating the truth but in new and different ways for new and different ears and hearts ... it's not endless repetition ... it's totally fresh and new and different ... it's like you! You're not endless and previously proven and now done and finished and gone. You're new like a fresh baby! Did Jesus 'endlessly blogviate'?? ... does he get on your nerves?? Come on - where's your spirit?

Roy Lofquist said...

Dear Dr. Godwin,

I heartily agree with all of the comments. Once a week, once a month, once in a while - please.


Fred said...

"Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin' brings," ...

'Eyes Of The World'

Right outside this lazy summer home
you ain't got time to call your soul a critic no.
Right outside the lazy gate of winter's summer home,
wond'rin' where the nut-thatch winters,
wings a mile long just carried the bird away.

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,
the heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own.
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin' brings,
But the heart has it's seasons, it's evenin's and songs of it's own.

There comes a redeemer, and he slowly too fades away,
And there follows his wagon behind him that's loaded with clay.
And the seeds that were silent all burst into bloom, and decay,
and night comes so quiet, it's close on the heels of the day.

Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world,
the heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own.
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the mornin' brings,
But the heart has it's seasons, it's evenin's and songs of it's own.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own,
And sometimes we visit your country and live in your home,
sometimes we ride on your horses, sometimes we walk alone,
sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own.

Tamquam Leo Rugiens said...

Just a touch grandiose, dontcha think, Bub? Divine Revelation One Cosmos is not. Mishna, maybe.

Even though the Scriptures are closed the action of the Holy Spirit continues. Don't be a boob! Keep your peace until insight is granted, then speak.

So, off the Pity Pot! Maybe YOU don't have anything to say today, but HE is not finished.


Bubba said...

As mere humans, we nevertheless sometimes transcend and know when we have done well and our best at any given endeavor.

As for waxing poetic, I bow to an expert:

The Windhover

Gerard Manley Hopkins

I CAUGHT this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Hoarhey said...

I've flicked my Bic and am holding it high!
Gag-dad, Gag-dad, Gag-dad, Gag-dad ;)

donnastadler said...

I would miss you terribly. You don't have to write every day, you know. Many people don't. Wait until you get inspired again, which I know will happen! We'll be patient.

richard_223 said...

Awhile back you mentioned something about Buddhism - its passivity working against progress, the material necessities most folks need for survival - could you say more on that?

ben usn (ret) said...

Hi Bob.
I believe we all hav ideas on what to blog about, but the important question is: Do you?
Clearly you have been inspired by the Spirit, and the presentation of your inspiration has been a work of beauty and truth.
True. High. Art.
There are many aspects of familiar topics that you haven't covered, and some entirely new topics, but do you want to? Do you need to? Do you get anything from your readers? What does your heart say? What does the Spirit say?
What is/are the
It seems to me, if I may be so bold, that you are not sure yet.
In any sense, you must seek and find.
Whatever you find, you are still the most obnoxious man in America, and I will respect any decision you choose,
be it temporary or permanent.
I appreciate your art, and I hope and pray for your joy and peace, as you grow in the Spirit of Truth.
For you have given much already.
Thank you, and God bless you.

PS- Your poem was a masterpiece, Will!

PPS- Don't go Shane...I mean Bob!
Sorry, my selfishness got the better of me for a moment!

phil g said...

I understand the need to take a breather; the quantity and quality of your daily wisdom is truly awesome (the old Greek meaning of awesome).

One tiny favor...could you at least keep updating your music list? You've introduced me to great new music...I was kind of in a musical funk.

Thanks also for your reading list, there's years of study ahead of me.

Cheers and God bless

Tusar N Mohapatra said...

Why not take up Savitri, Canto by Canto?

Van said...

Anyone remember the old, old, old Bob Newhart show? Where Bob (coincidence) was a Psychologist (another coincidence)? The show finale had Bob closing his practice (coincidence), and all of his group therapy patients who'd kept coming but were never cured (coincidence) were milling about, wondering what to do next (coincidence)... I don't know where I'm going with this, except that even though I'm fairly new, can I be Mr. Carlin (coincidence)?

Oh, yeah... after a while Bob came back with another show, and another after that, with a lot of the same actors popping in for cameos (more coincidence).

It keeps on rolling. The closest that I can get to the Tao Yin-Yang symbol is a '69'... not quite what I had in mind, but could be worse.

Van said...

Oh yeah, Bob, if you want to sell those books, set yourself up with PayPal - people like me HATE writing checks and licking stamps.

How bad do I hate licking Stamps? Well, I didn't know until yesterday when I licked the stamp, that you no longer have to lick stamps. Yech.

I would have bought your book months ago if I didn't have to go through the ordeal of writing the letter & writing the check, and the envelope, & the stamp and the mailbox... exhausting. Yes, I could have gone through Amazon, but I wanted the personal touch, and then you'd still have the books, so it was just easier to go to the default "I'll think about that tomorrow..."

looptloop said...

"…something that all of us have…something that has complete mastery, complete knowledge of everything…but it cannot think, therefore it cannot speak of what it knows…"

-so as Castaneda alludes to here - the signposts/words must fall away long before the journey is sated – but for most of us, the road feels like quite the winding stretch, forked beyond comfort – what to do now…hopefully Bob doesn't take the training wheels off just yet.

Thanks G-Bob for all the uplifting energy/intent so far.

Dan Spomer said...

Doc, a while back some of us were discussing how to embark on- or continue- a vertical journey even if our significant others were based more in the horizontal.

I, for one, would love to delve into that a bit deeper, as it really seems important here...

But, yeah, you don't HAVE to post every day, even though I enjoy reading every day.

Thanks for everything you've done thus far. It's been invaluable to me...

Arthur Dent said...

Does the idea of 'turn the other cheek' imply that Jimmy Carter holds the moral high ground as far as his POV on NK and the current war are concerned?

Joan of Argghh! said...

Can the Other be entreated?

Is coincidence His incidence?

And, can I really "choose an identity" like the great Blogger Comment Master commands? Cuz that's just rocks.

Vanderleun said...

Well... there are 3 questions I feel are still unanswered.

1) Why is a raven like a writing desk.
2) Is it true that there is always one more question than there are answers.
3) Are there as many holes in the wind as there are leaves in the tree?