Saturday, June 27, 2009

Innocence Lost, Found, and Stolen

So, when we die, the mask slips off. But while we live, the mask is in place, to a greater or lesser degree. This immediately brings to mind Adam, whose fall is simultaneous with the placement of the mask. One moment he's walking in the cool of the evening with the Creator, the next moment he's confabulating all over the place. The confabulation fills the gap between divine and human reality.

"Adam, where are you?"

"Er, I was hiking in Appalachia. Yeah, that's it."

Innocence lost. In-nocens, i.e., free from guilt or sin thorough lack of knowledge of evil; blameless; harmless in effect or intention; candid; lack of guile, sophistication or self-consciousness; artless; ingenuous.

So the guilty always wear a mask. The corollary of this is that those who wear a mask are guilty. Which is why they wear it (although sometimes it's for protection -- to hide the true self until it's safe to come out).

"Michael, where were you?"

"Er, I was just sleeping with this boy. I do it all the time. Taking another person into your bed is a beautiful, innocent thing."

Over at Return of Scipio, a (our?) Will made a comment about how Jackson spent his life trying "to reverse the course of spiritual/psychological evolution in [his] egotistical desire to return to a 'land of innocence.'" However, "one can’t return to the land of innocence. If one tries, the result is psychological fragmentation, the center cannot hold."

This is an interesting point, because it suggests that the Fall is associated with the principle of entropy, which results from the fact that time travels in one direction, i.e., that it is irreversible. It is not analogous to a film, which can be run forward or backward. For example, in our world we might see a cup fall to the floor and shatter. But we never see broken fragments on the floor fly onto the table and form a cup. Spilled milk stays that way. Shattered innocence too.

In the case of Jackson, he didn't just wear a mask; he became his own hollow weenie mask. Remember what we were saying yesterday about how in the post-mortem state, there is no "friction" from matter to interfere with thought? One of the perils of great wealth is that it can, in a way, do something similar, so that there is no friction between fantasy and reality. Dreams and wishes can instantly become hearses, no matter how much buggering is involved. But in the process, the real person dies -- slowly and insidiously.

Note also that, instead of being in the image and likeness of the Creator, Jackson had the power to remake (or de-make) himself in the image of himself. He became like a god, and he was his own hideous creation. But this cannibalistic creation fed off the innocence of others in order to maintain its spurious sense of life. Truly, s/h/it was a vampire.

This is why the case of Michael Jackson is so familiar to us. Read Peter Guralnick's great biography of Elvis. Nothing new here. As fantasy displaces reality, it takes more and more energy -- or, let us say psychic substance -- to prop up the fantasy. The fantasy is not real -- it is parasitic -- but like any system, it requires an input of energy to go on being.

I don't want to delve too deeply here into esoteric psychoanalytic theories, but what occurs next is the development of a "psychic twin," or dopplegänger, that displaces -- or exists side by side -- with the real self. Imagine in your mind a kind of ghost that feeds off the psyche, and eventually drains it of substance. This is what we saw in Jackson: by the time he "died," he was already a hideously decayed corpse, kept afloat in a sea of time-stopping opioids. He was just the last to know.

No, wait a minute. The MSM is the last to know. But that's understandable, since the MSM mostly consists of the living dead -- corpses, zombies, and assorted ghouls. So one of their own has... you can't call it "died," since that's redundant. Nor can you call it "grief," since there's so much manic glee associated with it. Call it a "monster party" with all the ghouls in attendance: Larry King, Deepak Chopra, Geraldo, Al Sharpton, all reminiscing about their fellow ghoul. All the corpses are weeping today: Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, Justin, Britney.

But where is the person with sufficient childlike innocence to blurt out the simple truth to these undead souls? I mean, Dude, he fucked little boys!

Regarding his choice of embalming fluids -- we are hearing stories of demerol, soma, dilaudid, oxycontin -- several of these heroin derivatives do have the property of arresting time. I well remember my colonoscopy in 2007 -- yes, it haunts one forever -- specifically, the blissful afterglow of the anusthesia. For the rest of the day, I was absently floating in a kind of Eden, just observing my thoughts -- my existence, really -- like so many passing clouds.

One could get used to that. However, remember what we said above about the entropic, irreversible nature of time. We live in the middle-earth area between Eden and Heaven, so to speak. As Will mentioned in his comment, we cannot go backward, nor can we remain static, on pain of rotting from within. Rather, once out of paradise, the soul is in motion. Where is it going? Well, that depends on you. In conjunction with some friendly nonlocal operators, of course.

In my book, I discussed the nature of this motion, and the saints, mystics, and assorted pneumanauts who represent the exact opposite of Michael Jackson. Caught up in the deathstream that runs from future to past, he marshaled all of his earthly powers to try to return to the lost paradise of childhood. But that way is ultimately blocked by cherubim bouncers with flaming swords. Nobody gets past them, although many celebrities try to crash the gates in their long black limousines.

In contrast, the saint faithfully throws himself into the lifestream that carries us forward to our deustiny, that "return-route to the forgotten country from which humans set out Before the Beginning. Venturing across the great divide separating man from the incorruptible sphere of the gods, our virtual adventurers then found themselves pulled into the orbit of the Great Attractor, the very ground and goal of existence, the unseparate Source of all being, a mostly uninhabited region at the outskirts of consciousness, the Final, Absolute Reality where cosmos flowers into deity and Bang! you're divine."

No lies. No mask. Holy childhood, shabbatman! Innocence found! It's always in the last place you look....


Evolutionary Artist said...

Speaking of insanity in entertainment, I posted a blog yesterday that touches on this very subject. It looks at the phenomenon of fame, alienation, and madness through Pink Floyd's album and film, "The Wall." Very much in theme with the Jackson departure. Check 'er out.


Cassandra said...

Listening to an oldies station this morning. They just played Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock:"

We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden.


Gagdad Bob said...

I was just thinking about the fate of some of the great Motown stars:

Marvin Gaye: drug addict murdered by father
David Ruffin: dead crackhead
Eddie Kendricks: dead crackhead
Smokey Robinson: brain damaged former crackhead
Stevie Wonder: we've heard stories
Paul Williams: suicide
Gladys Knight: gambling addict
Diana Ross: Diana Ross

Anonymous said...

As a longtime musician and having worked with many songwriters and creative types over the years, it is clear to me that music draws people who can easily be said to have a serious rupture in their psyche. (Sadly I don't exempt myself entirely from that assessment).

The so-called "music-high" can be one of the most ecstatic experiences of wholeness and beauty in one's life. Everything is complete, everything makes sense, everything is proportionate and beautiful. Even the religiously skeptical musician often frames it in spiritual terms.

Yet, obviously the high doesn't last. It doesn't necessarily translate into a balanced, proportionate life. With some notable exceptions, this is borne out by examples in nearly all genres of music. Recently reading Ted Gioia's "The History of Jazz" was like witnessing one great genius after another crashing and burning.

The same pattern is not hard to discern in the history Rock etc where the madness is often writ large and in a deliberately flamboyant fashion. Almost as if a badge of honor.

As a mere mortal in the music world I have attempted to find ways outside of music to deal with my own mind parasites. It is a lengthy, perhaps eternal, process. But whatever small progress I make makes changes in how I relate to music. I can perhaps see glimpses of it's true purpose and possibility. That is my hope, anyway.

I don't say this to excuse any particular musicians insanity i.e. you do the crime you should do the time. But merely trying to understand it. Thank you Bob, for your insight. It is very helpful.

wv: demelet

Hamlet on Demerol?

Gazriel said...

Anonymous said, "Yet, obviously the high doesn't last. It doesn't necessarily translate into a balanced, proportionate life."

Who ever said a balanced, proportionate life is for everyone? Ruptures in the psyche are the spice of Life, my friend. They are only really problems when one is completely identified with them. When balanced by the Truth and infused with Light, a harmony can occur which transmutates the disturbances into temporary manifestatons which add zeal to the personal experience of being human.

Dark and Light are One, blending in an endless embrace which transcends and includes time and space. The workings of the Morther can be wonderful when she is getting down and dirty with Daddy!

coonified said...

I was thinking last night about the bifurcation of the two worlds, what goes where, and what not. As I thought about what I was and wasn't at present, as in being non being, images of faces came to mind: on one side, I'm One face; on the other, multiple and fragmented. The middle ground can be the Father, which qualifies the essence of the face and life.

I remember from Meditations on the Tarot that the first act of creation was one of compression, enfolding, and fragmentation. Actually, I don't know if fragmentation was the first action, but it sure does feel like it. If we started out as one shining face with it's attributes of absolution and love, then bifurcated infinity into many faces, it would be hard to imagine that they would all get along instantly, you know, keeping the attributes of the Person. Imagine a room full of solipsist trying to work out who was the man. Sounds like something Thomas Hobbs would imagine, the war of nature. Maybe worse. The fall has it's origins in the attributes of the Person, but is expressed as a misdirection on the ground.

The face doesn't disappear at death. (I mean face in a physical way, too.) I don't know about others' experience, but it feels like the face incarnates from below, but is only allowed to because of the expanse and powers from above. I'm not saying that it has it's origin in the below, just that it is submerged in the body in a less than optimal state.

Think, we start out as babies with a descent enough psyche. But as soon as matter, or mother, cannot keep up with the demand of that person, the face literally turns away from the external world, and burrows downward into the body. (As Bob said before, they have videos babies distorted faces to prove it.) Speaking generally, that beautiful face, after disappointment and frustration, grimaces with hate soon after.

I suppose one thing that would really piss me off at death would be that I don't actually contain the world. If I were reduced to the part of me below the surface, I'm sure I'm the devil. No denials there.

I don't know where or if I'm going anywhere with this, but I guess the point is that the face below is like the center of any bloom before it opens. It takes time to come to the surface, and there ain't much we can do about the moral deprivation, suffering, selfishness that is the consequence of being shut in a hole. We're basically powerless until until the person blooms in the brain, and is released above. Speaking for myself, that would be nice.

It's all a very organic process. Sometimes I can feel that there's a frozen personality within me, just waiting. And then, I get glimpses of the future, of his first breath and the life that flows afterward. I can't wait.

The more a flower blooms, the more it wants to bloom.

Anonymous said...

Great bunch of posts, Bob!
Thanks again

wv: fiblypor-NOT Obama

will said...

>> . . a (our?) Will made a comment <<

Well, you know, sometimes I test my material out in small clubs before I bring it here to the Tonite Show . . .

Anyway, re: M Jackson and the fruitless attempt to return to innocence . . anybody remember Tim Treadwell, I think his name was? He was the CA surfer-like dude who liked to live with grizzly bears. He embraced nature as a warm and fuzzy, all-nurturing benefactress, and to him, grizzly bears were Mom's play toys. He playfully christened the grizzlies with names like "Mr Chocolate" and "Cinnamon", etc. Treadwill's whole demeanor - at least from what I saw of him in video clips - was disturbingly child-like, as if he was hosting a children's program.

Of course, the grizzlies eventually tore him apart. I don't doubt that Treadwell harbored serious desires to return to the "innocence of nature", a ridiculous fantasy if there ever was one, but a fantasy that has a grip on many eco-enthusiasts.

Bulletproof Monk said...

I'm light of yesterday's interesting discussion on mind parasites, and today's on masks, I offer the early Christian catechism "The Didache" likely complied sometime in the late 1st / early 2nd century. It's a short and easy read, but I find it is always a refreshing reminder of how to stay on the Path of Life and avoid the Path of Death.

Links to various translations are provided. The commentary is quite interesting as well.

sehoy said...

From a very early age, I had a fear of clowns, magicians, mimes and masks.

You hide your face from me and you are in trouble.

Love/hate C.S. Lewis's "Till We Have Faces."

sehoy said...

C.S.Lewis was my spiritual father. Love/hate "Till We Have Faces," because it hits too close to the bone.

I am Urual. So was Lewis. God Bless him

Van said...

First off, an excellent post, one which refuses to condescend to sympathy for the devil.

A lot of thinking in the comments going in to these issues the last couple days. Allow me to be the insensitive ugly American and say it sounds like there's a lot of justifying, excusing, and surrendering going on.

We've all got our demons we must deal with, and we've all got a choice of how to approach their turf... with a battle plan, an offer, or a dismissal. I've dismissed many, but a few refuse to take the hint, and for them I've got a battle plan. But no deals.

I watched Braveheart again today, and there's a line in it that seems appropriate, where the Princess is sent to negotiate with him, offering the Kings gold, gifts and concessions, in return for ending his war.

He replies "A lordship. And gold. That I should become Judas?"
She replies "Peace is made in such ways."
"Slaves are made in such ways!"
Which I heartily second.
The fact that the King sent her, unwittingly, to negotiate with him in order to by time for an ambush, shouldn't be lost on anyone either.

Gazriel, Coonified and the rest, IMHO you are deluded if you think there is Good to be found in going along with, sympathizing with and compromising with, Evil.

Same for the others similar sentiments. Pardon me, but the siren song of self pity is grating on the ears.

When you mix white and black to get grey, the black is not ennobled by the presence of what was once White, the white remains only in the shallowest of caricatures of itself, if at all, the black has won. Just as in any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that wins.

Your battle may be doomed, you and I may never win, but according to Christianity, there is only One who has ever won, so stop putting on airs. Victory isn't the point or the expectation, the struggle is. Picking yourself up and striving towards Virtue, towards the Good, the Beautiful and the True... even knowing you won't fully attain it, that is the point.

Yes you will fail, over and again, and yes it will tear at your soul, but giving in, going along, putting yourself in evils place (which is the action of sympathy) may seem to provide peace, but it is an illusion, true Peace is not made in such ways.

Slaves are made in such ways.

Van said...

Will... I thought that was you over there!

coonified said...

Politically and inter-personally, I haven't sympathized with evil for years. Why would I do that? The outside has always been more real than my dreams.

But from an object relations standpoint, as in my own internal world, I think your right Van. It was an error, although not a habit, to ever attempt to understand evil by entering into it. Communion and identification is the only result of that method. It's like when frisky politicians enter the "system" to try and change it from within: the end result is that they are changed.

Does this mean I can't sympathize with the unconscious suffering of sick people? A rabid dog is what it is because it's sick. Is the fall not analogous to a sickness like this? I mean, it wouldn't stop me from killing it, but it might make be wonder about who it is, who it could have been, so on.

I'm flawed. I know. I'm working on it. Things are getting better.

Thanks for the comment. I figured I would be served by coming around. I really don't want to be evil. It's physical. It's like I have a muscle that nobody else has, and for that reason, it was never nurtured. (That's my theory, at least.) So it's basically having to grow into my body. I'm having to grow a whole freakin' cerebral-muscle from hardly anything. Good lord.

Wished I could M.R.I it and see what it looks like. It's analogous to a knot in a tree. Do you know how knots are formed? It's really the perfect analogy. There's not much out there about this stuff. Hard not to be bitter, sometimes.

It's all unconscious now, BTW, which is good. I don't externalize, dream that much, nor could I seriously evoke anything anyway. Not that I ever have. Not like that. The force works regardless if I believe in it or not. Gosh, I don't even pray. If there's light to be seen, eyes develop.

coonified said...

I do expect victory over harmful forces, though. Doesn't seem like there's another option. It might take more than my life time, but that's the only way. I can't imagine that death is the end.

I don't live for struggle either. Healthy resistance is fine, but collapse is different game all together. I was never against resistance.

coonified said...

Maybe my problem is that I conflate evil with degeneration. But if all degeneration is evil than everyone who dies is evil. Hmmm... Let the dead bury the dead would be...let the evil bury the evil? No. I don't know about that.

Maybe something can degenerate but not in a malicious way. Maybe there's a natural way to degenerate, and a perverted way. Maybe evils come from errors of the flesh that need to be corrected. But, then, life would be like fixing what's already fatally wounded. Well that won't work. If evil is existential, then wherever there's death, there's the devil.

Oh well, I've hit double bind, which is where I just stop. Can't do nothing but just live and grow and see what happens. Nothing I can do about the grow part either. I tried to force it, and that's called preoccupation with darkness, not that I did for long. Just because I wasn't here doesn't mean I was preoccupied with that. That's like scratching poison ivey rash. Just makes you break out more.

Susannah said...

It may not be the typical coon's cup of tea, but we have found the book Victory over the Darkness to be very helpful in breaking bondages. To encapsulate (very poorly, I'm sure), it's a matter of affirming/realizing/walking in (via faith) one's new identity in Christ, and verbally repudiating the old. Somehow this just seems to create a clear channel for the power of God in one's life (Heb. 11:6, maybe). The author (Anderson) believes in actual spiritual strongholds (demonic), which might be a point of difference with Bob (I'm not sure about that). But I do agree with Anderson on that point. It leaves room for the psychological elements as well. It's more a "truth encounter" than a "power encounter," anyway. Just putting it out there in case it helps someone else too. I think, in the end, we all need healing in some form, and the only place to find it is by going back Home. Striving under our own power will never do it. It's pure grace, but willing is involved as well in order to appropriate that grace.

Van said...

Coonified said "I can't imagine that death is the end."

I hear ya. Sounds good. I've found that a lot of the things I once thought sounded good, weren't good, so I'm not going to count on it.

"I don't live for struggle either."

Neither do I, but struggle seems to be an unavoidable part of living - not the point of it in any way - just a part.

"Does this mean I can't sympathize with the unconscious suffering of sick people? "

Sympathize and empathize mean very different things. Not to be a grammarian - lord knows I'd be a laughable flop at it - but the Underground Grammarian convinced me that the words we use, and how we use them, can make the difference between using words in thinking, or being thought by words.

"Gosh, I don't even pray. If there's light to be seen, eyes develop."

Afraid I've never been one to do so either. Lately however I've been thinking that that thought was no wiser than thinking all things religious were nothing but fools repeating "talkin' snake stories". Dismissing the customs and ideas of millennia because they don't announce their answers to our impertinent adolescent demands... maybe not so smart. Giving our own hardly formed shallow 'judgment' the power to pronounce judgments on the custom of ages... the phrase 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' comes to mind. You might want to consider that that might be similar to telling the stove you'll give it wood as soon as it gives you some heat.

Maybe the eyes, and the aye's, need to be developed before the light can be seen.... Well, easy for me to piously type it, but I'm not following my own advice yet either.

Thinking about it though.

will said...

Yes, Van, where there's a way, there's a will.

Also, to add to the list of departed Motown stars: Flo Ballard, who I always thought seemed more substantial than the reedish Diana Ross.

Van said...

Susannah said "It may not be the typical coon's cup of tea, but..."

Stylistically, what you mentioned is not my cup of tea, but the substance beneath its appearance, I think is probably pretty solid. Thought without action, is like trying to get to the roof of a three story building by climbing up and down the first flight of stairs over and over again.

However you put it, "affirming/realizing/walking in " what you believe, is going to be infinitely more powerful and effective than just 'thinking it over'. And as far as spiritual strongholds, demonic or otherwise go, even as a secularist I believed that was true... from a certain perspective. As someone who barely escaped a momentary obsession with Pink Floyd's "The Wall"... there be dragons.

NoMo said...

You said it! - "Yes, someone has to say it of Jackson: perverse wishes were the hearses in which this bugger rode."

Vainglorious song of the lost:

"I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that change."

Yep, more "hope and change". Just bizarre. Entropy personified.

Gazriel said...

Van said" sounds like there's a lot of justifying, excusing, and surrendering going on.... We've all got our demons we must deal with, and we've all got a choice of how to approach their turf... with a battle plan, an offer, or a dismissal."

I was going to respond to this whole-heartedly, but for some reason I just can't seem to care enough. I guess I am surrendering yet again.

Read the Tao te Ching, my friend, and remember to laugh once in a blue moon.

Speaking of Taoism, from one of its sages, speaking on the nature of the Tao, in all its Wateriness:

"In action it envelops vacuity within various manifestations; in resonance, it responds to luminosity through perfect confluence."

lance said...

Van said "Allow me to be the insensitive ugly American and say it sounds like there's a lot of justifying, excusing, and surrendering going on."

As if it would be possible to stop you from doing just that if you felt led to do so. :)

lance said...

Bob, your last two posts have really been making me think. Thanks. I found what you mentioned about reaching back to rediscover innocence and basically finding caricature most relevant. Thanks again.

Van said...

Gazriel said "Read the Tao te Ching, my friend, and remember to laugh once in a blue moon."

Read it. I'll see your cha ching, and raise you a Confucius:

Love of goodness without love of learning
degenerates into simple-mindedness.
Love of knowledge without love of learning
degenerates into utter lack of principle.
Love of faithfulness without love of learning
degenerates into injurious disregard of consequences.
Love of uprightness without love of learning
degenerates into harshness.
Love of courage without love of learning
degenerates into insubordination.
Love of strong character without love of learning
degenerates into mere recklessness.

Failure to discriminate between what is worthy, and what is not, leads into the comment caption"That which desacralizes a given reality, itself in turn becomes the new sacred reality. --Ellul", and right on into the six degenerations.

I also don't limit laughter to being mooned, preferring to indulge in it daily.

Van said...

Lance said "As if it would be possible to stop you from doing just that if you felt led to do so.:)"

Yeah... I suppose that, and using 'IMHO', is a bit of a stretch....


Van said...

Now that I've got my Confucius open, let me bookend that:

I have never seen one who really loves goodness
or one who really hates wickedness.
One who really loves goodness will not place anything above it.
One who really hates wickedness
will practice goodness in such a way
that wickedness will have no chance to get at one.
Is there anyone who has devoted one's whole strength
to doing good for even as long as a single day?
I have not seen anyone give up such an attempt
because one had not the strength to go on.
Perhaps there is such a case, but I have never seen it.

There's a reason mao tried to stamp him out.

Dorian Gray said...

Yes. I see the resemblance.


Ricky Raccoon said...

BTW, in Van’s defense, he laughs at all of my jokes.
Or at least from now on.

wv: cornwifi (Now in new butter flavor!)

Van said...


Gazriel said...

"The supreme goode is like water,
which nourishes without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao" - Chapter 8 of the Tao


In my personal experience, it seems that those who have been graced with an authentic relationship with God, who are truly Awakend or on the path of Awakening, hold a degree of shame for having psycho-spiritual disturbances. One moment they may be in the rapture of mystical unity, and the next they may be in a state of suffering, convinced of a reality other than that of the Highest.

This plays into what I call spiritual self-coonfidence (I had to through that other o in there). What I have realized is that it is the shame of being in the presence of darkness, of evil, that causes the problem. If one can objectify the 'mind parasite' within awareness, that is all that needs to be done. Be alright with being in its presence, and it has no zeal. If we look around, there is evil everywhere, and that is me.

So much of my life is a manifestation of pathology, of insanity, of darkness. But the truth of the matter is, while I used to use so much Energy trying to erradicate it from my body-mind, I have learned to ride the wave of this existence and draw Supreme Goodness into harmony with even the ugliest aspects of myself. You mentioned something about black and white creating grey. I prefer to look at it like the Taoist symbol, where yin and yang not only are side by side and flow with one another, but also have a spot in each other's heart. At One while being distinct, not melding to create grey.

How do I know that this balancing and synthesizing isn't somehow deluded? Because I experience the Love of the Holy Spirit deep within my heart in times when I used to be riddled with anxiety, fear, shame, regret, and feelings of unworthiness.

After the descent of the Holy Spirit into the vessel, that which was done in service of self (the action of ego) becomes in service of Awakening, Love, Consciousness, Freedom, Fullness, Wisdom, Stregnth, and Justice. All of this "should I or shouldn't I?" chicanery becomes less and less important and, like Krishna explains to Arjuna in the Gita, one accepts their path in life and rests with the Lord at all times.

Let The Freak Flag Fly said...

Oo Yeah!

Ricky Raccoon said...

I can certainly accept that their will be evil, but it can’t possibly be right to let it lie there in harmony. If it takes all you’ve got to fight it, then that’s what all you’ve got is for.
There is only One to surrender to. And I understand the role of Saints. I also understand the role of soldiers. If the Founders were wrong to fight, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, nor likely born except into slavery, and “not born” surely must not have been His intent. I can’t believe All This was created so we can be steam-rolled by evil. The problem is, not everyone wants to live in peace and harmony. That also is a reality, although not the highest, our job in the here-below. I look forward to resting beneath my own vine and fig tree 24/7. Right now we are being stream-rolled.

Van said...

Gazriel, I understand you want to just go with the flow, and I see that portion of Chap. 8 quoted often, in order to prop up that trope. However, the remaining two 'verses' (I couldn't find your exact translation, but this site lists numerous line by line translations one after another, maybe you can get a better understanding of the fuller meaning there) should not be ignored. Here's the full chp (Legge translation):

"1. The highest excellence is like (that of) water. The excellence of water appears in its benefiting all things, and in its occupying, without striving (to the contrary), the low place which all men dislike. Hence (its way) is near to (that of) the Tâo.

2. The excellence of a residence is in (the suitability of) the place; that of the mind is in abysmal stillness; that of associations is in their being with the virtuous; that of government is in its securing good order; that of (the conduct of) affairs is in its ability; and that of (the initiation of) any movement is in its timeliness.

3. And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about his low position), no one finds fault with him."

When he speaks of the 'low places that people disdain', he is not speaking of evil, or worse of living and let live with evil, it is a reminder that wordly position, status, fame, is of no worth in fretting over; being virtuous, good, is. The highest excellence brooks no peaceful co-habitation with the lowest evil within its own soul. And being 'undisturbed' in your virtue, your practice of it being without conflict or contradiction with your understanding of it, being One in body and mind, like water, such a person can flow into any worldly position whatsoever, and be unaffected by that place, nor disturbed when the tide flows out from it again.

In no way, IMHO(!), does anything in either the Tao, or Confucius, nor any true and wise teaching, teach that you should embrace your inner evils and just let them be, go with their flow, be unconcerned in their being exercised.

You delude yourself.


lance said...

"3. And when (one with the highest excellence) does not wrangle (about his low position), no one finds fault with him."

oooh I like that a lot. It really says something to me about not being hung up on ones status in life. It reminds me of Fight Club, which I guess Fight Club, should have reminded me of the TAO but anyway. The Narrator is looking for his inner animal and finds a Penguin and the Penguin looks at him and says slide. Just let it slide. I have always liked that idea in terms of my consumerism and deciding what I need or do not need to purchase. That I do not need the status symbol of a new car or a new huge house. That being worried about my status in life does not benefit me. I need to let those worries slide.

Gazriel said...

Van said, "In no way, IMHO(!), does anything in either the Tao, or Confucius, nor any true and wise teaching, teach that you should embrace your inner evils and just let them be, go with their flow, be unconcerned in their being exercised...You delude yourself."

I reterate: the truth of the matter is, while I used to use so much Energy trying to erradicate it (evil) from my body-mind, I have learned to ride the wave of this existence and draw Supreme Goodness into harmony with even the ugliest aspects of myself. You mentioned something about black and white creating grey. I prefer to look at it like the Taoist symbol, where yin and yang not only are side by side and flow with one another, but also have a spot in each other's heart. At One while being distinct, not melding to create grey.

Does this mean to not act according to Good? Of course not! But there is no maliciousness toward evil, toward my fallen brothers and sisters, or myself. I care for them as I would any other, the only problem is that they can't recieve that love. So they may need to have their asses handed to them.

My personal evils I accept total responsibilty for and am vigilant in recognizing their habits and confusion inducing ways. That has drawn me into the Embrace of the Highest, so that is what I will continue to do.

As for the Tao te Ching quote, mine is from Stephen Mitchell I find lovely in its fullness; the complete quotation is as follows:

"The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

"In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep it simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, do not try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simmply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody wll respect you."

If I am deluded, Van, it is the holiset, most splendid, conscious, alive, vibrant, blissful, full, devout, and treasured delusion of all times, and I thank the Lord everyday for its presence within my Awareness.


Beelzebub said...

Heh, got er.

Van said...

Gazriel quoted "When you are content to be simmply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody wll respect you.""

Dude! I didn't realize that Lao Tsu was from Cali! My mistake, never mind.

But seriously, while I think your interpretation is dangerously flawed, I said what I had to say, and we disagree. It happens. I don't think you're trying to mislead anyone or push an agenda, I had my say (go figure), and will leave it there - thanks for playing.

Gazriel said...

I respect your opinion, Van, offer a shake of the hand and a bow of the head.

I wonder if Lao Tzu would smoke a phatty with me if he were around?...Probably not.

Van said...

Gazriel said "I wonder if Lao Tzu would smoke a phatty with me if he were around?...Probably not."

Lol... and a shake and a nod back at ya.

Mike O'Malley said...

Hmmm... from the UK Sun:
THE horrifying state of pop superstar Michael Jackson in his final days can be revealed by The Sun today.

Harrowing leaked autopsy details show the singer was a virtual skeleton — barely eating and with only pills in his stomach at the time he died.

His hips, thighs and shoulders were riddled with needle wounds — believed to be the result of injections of narcotic painkillers, given three times a day for years.

And a mass of surgery scars were thought to be the legacy of at least 13 cosmetic operations.

The examination showed the 5ft 10in star — once famed for his on-stage athleticism — had:

PLUNGED to a “severely emaciated” 8st 1oz. It is understood anorexic Jackson had been eating just one meagre meal a day.

Pathologists found his stomach empty aside from partially-dissolved pills he took before the painkiller injection which stopped his heart. Samples were sent for toxicology tests.

LOST virtually all his hair. The pop pin-up was wearing a wig when he died and pathologists said little more than “peach fuzz” covered his scalp.

A scarred section of skin above his left ear was entirely bald — apparently the result of a 1984 accident when his hair caught fire as he filmed an ad for Pepsi.


This begins to recall the climax of an episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker where the hero, Kolchak, is apprehended by the Hollywood CA. police just as he finishes driving a wooden stake through the heart of a celebrity who is known to Kolchak to be a 400 or 500 year old vampire. After much lurid TV and tabloid fanfare Kolchak is quietly released by the police and charges are dropped after the DA's office receives the autopsy report on the 500 year old "remains" of the "victim".

"Vampire", good call.

Just what is it about celebrity creeps such Jackson and Nobel Peace Price winner Yasser Arafat that shields them from public approbation as homosexual child rapists?

And then there is Jesse Jackson and the Jackson family who seem to have believed the Michael Jackson died of foul play. Again from the UK Sun:

A second autopsy demanded by the Jackson family was carried out at a secret location on Saturday after the first ruled out foul play.

Family friend Rev Jesse Jackson said the family were deeply suspicious about what caused his death.

Dr Murray was hired just 11 days ago by AEG Live — the firm masterminding Jacko’s 50-date residency at London’s O2 Arena, which was due to start next month.

Sources claimed the family were preparing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit against the cardiologist.

Recall that Rev. Jesse Jackson at the time Martin Luther Kings' death. Andrew Young reported that "Jesse(Jackson) put his hands in the (MLK's) blood and wiped it on the front of his shirt." And then went out to do a TV interview about the assassination.

Mike O'Malley said...

and now the obligatory follow up...

Second Jacko autopsy stuns family

US Editor
Published (7/1/09)
THE Jackson family were reeling last night after being given the results of a private autopsy they had demanded.

Relatives had asked for their own report on the singer's body after the LA Coroner's office ruled out foul play.

But the second autopsy has confirmed the findings of the first, which were revealed in The Sun on Monday.

The news was broken to Jacko's mother Katherine at her home by the coroner who conducted the private examination.

Family lawyer Brian Oxman said the findings were consistent and that the star's body bore "a number of unique and significant marks and injuries".

He told The Sun: “The second autopsy is done and the coroner came to see Katherine last night.

“Any autopsy report would note a number of unique and significant...