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Passions in Poetry

On The Beach

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Stephanos
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since 07-31-2000
Posts 3496
Statesboro, GA, USA


25 posted 05-02-2009 12:17 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Dinesh D'souza once pointed out that skeptics, ironically, often take up the mantra of the most rabid fundamentalist, whenever the Bible itself is discussed.  And so a most wooden interpretation is presented and refuted; a method that wouldn't be tolerated with any other text.  Don't misunderstand; I think that far too much is meant to be taken quite literally that simply isn't, sometimes for evasive reasons.  But is it reasonable to think that Jesus equated faith with idleness or a denial of the need of hard work?  I would think that the epithet "carpenter's son" was more than a statement of sheer progeny.  Maybe rather than using such passages to set up the false dilemma between work and passivity ... one should ask whether the text is, instead, addressing the manner and motive of one's living and 'working'.

Stephen  
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


26 posted 05-02-2009 10:38 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephanos


When did you get that moderator star?  It looks good on you  



Juju
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since 12-29-2003
Posts 3353
In your dreams


27 posted 05-07-2009 01:44 AM       View Profile for Juju   Email Juju   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Juju's Home Page   View IP for Juju

Probably not.  I don't think it would matter to me.  I would just continue on and try to do something to contribute to society.

-Juju

-"So you found a girl
Who thinks really deep thoughts
What's so amazing about really deep thoughts " Silent all these Years, Tori Amos

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


28 posted 05-10-2009 06:49 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"Probably not.  I don't think it would matter to me.  I would just continue on and try to do something to contribute to society."


Why?

Where is your obligation?


.


Ron
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Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
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Michigan, US


29 posted 05-10-2009 11:49 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

What in the world does obligation have to do with anything, John. Are you suggesting you are currently working because you feel obligated? To what for goodness sake?

What you do is a choice. If you do it out of a sense of obligation, that too is a choice.
rwood
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since 02-29-2000
Posts 3797
Tennessee


30 posted 05-12-2009 06:49 PM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

I'd already been dead 20+ times, but I found a way back, and I learned how to live better & play more, because I'm gonna die.

funny how that's sort of decided the moment of birth...or is it conception?

Somebody's already paid for my ticket to this show. I'm grateful enough to try and enjoy it as much as I can with everybody else.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


31 posted 05-12-2009 08:24 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm learning how to juggle.

A few months ago, I made a decision to live life like I'm dying.

I have never felt more alive. (And I've had some very lively moments in my life.)



I'm not saying I don't wash the dishes, or do the laundry.

But the change of perspective has allowed me to appreciate the opportunity to play in the bubbles.

*shrug* I get moody too.

Fair winds
Calm seas?

and much love to you John.
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


32 posted 05-12-2009 08:36 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

No sooner than I typed this, I got mail from a life insurance company!

*totally grinnin'*

Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


33 posted 05-13-2009 08:19 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Huan Yi,

                     The original question is a fine one, I think.  But consider that you actually are in this situation, as far as you know, aren't you.  If you think you can plan for security or happiness or health, you are instead putting your trust in chance.  If you put your trust in God, bless you, and I can say that I hope things turn out well for you in the end.  In this life, however, the answer to prayers may often be No for reasons that we can attempt to explain to ourselves with varying amounts of success.  We pretty much are in the situation you describe.

     Stephanos has described one healthy solution to that situation.  I recommend it to everybody.  I agree with his comments about "skeptics" in general, though not necessarily in particular.  Indeed, I can't be sure that he meant them to apply to each particular case.

     I don't know that the religious option has provided an answer for you here, though.  

     I admire Ron's appeal to personal responsibility as well, but I fear that for most people this comes down to a matter of dogma and faith as well, since most people are unwilling or unable to spend the energy and time to look at exactly how something is their responsibility in a realistic way.  They are more likely to cut their actual attempt to understand what they could have done differently with some grandiose and premature acceptance of a guilt that they were not powerful enough to assume in the first place.  "Yes, if I'd tried harder, France wouldn't have fallen, Mon General!"

     "See that you remember that, Private!  Now charge that machine gun nest!  The Foreign Legion is waiting for you to Redeem yourself!"

     Too many of us are willing to take responsibility for things that aren't our fault and not to take responsibility for things that are.  Believing in personal responsibility doesn't grant us the ability to identify it correctly, or even give us the willingness to act on our understanding, should we be fortunate enough to come to the correct conclusion.  And most of these decisions aren't even made consciously at all anyway.

     Responsibility for our actions is handy when it comes time to assign blame, however.

     Another place where it's handy is once a goal is established evaluating the success one has in living up to it on an incident by incident basis.  This can be where responsibility can come into its own, as long as it's tempered by significant amounts of compassion.  Indeed, I think compassion for one's self and for other's is probably the answer to the question you ask.  

     Some work is never done, no matter what, whether you have food or not, or whether you live in a mansion or live on the street.  When you stop doing that work, you have lost yourself.  Sometimes you may get money for it, sometimes not.  The Shakers felt that you might approach any work in the proper spirit, and I suspect they were right.  They weren't bad business folk.  The Buddhists call this Right Livelihood, though it's not an exclusively Buddhist concept.  What do you think, Huan Yi?

Sincerely, Bob Kaven
Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


34 posted 05-13-2009 11:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

One mistake away.  Death is.  All the time.  Either made by us, or someone else.  Just one mistake.  We have to live in a sort of cognitive dissonance in relation to death all the time or else we can't ever make long-term plans.

I think the problem for most is that even when they get that news that besides that one mistake away -- there is an end coming -- that this cognitive dissonance doesn't quite get turned off and most live in a maze of radiation and chemo or whatever other curative solutions are offered by doctors -- and they are trained to offer them and get rather upset if treatment is refused.

I think paliative care is that undiscovered country for most.  I think it's not only important to live as though we're going to die -- but to die as though we're going to die.
 
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