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Passions in Poetry

. . .a great mystery. . .

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 12-31-2005 09:40 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


“There are things in life that we must endure which
are all but unendurable, and yet I feel there is a great goodness.
Why, when there could have been nothing, is there something?  This
is a great mystery.  How, when there could have been nothing, does it
happen that there is love, kindness, beauty?”

Jane Kenyon

“How, when there could have been nothing, does it
happen that there is love, kindness, beauty?”


Any speculations?  After all, they just may be us attempting to soothe
ourselves with hope, pretense or fantasy.  When Jane said this she was
living in her husband’s quiet family home near a pond with a mountain in the
distance in New Hampshire.  In other places and or times she may have come
to a different understanding, ( read her “Woman, Why Are You Weeping?”).  

I once did a simple poem:

What
If we—our selves
Are the first cells
Of God

Maybe I wasn’t that far out or off.

John


serenity blaze
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1 posted 12-31-2005 01:53 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ohh. Good though, and because I don't always think clearly, I do get a lot of help here.

Somewhere in this forum, I asked if God evolutionizes.

Heh. But this WHY, I asked, because I was thinking, albeit vaguely, along these very lines...

but sigh. I'll be back.

I must clean the house, save the world, and make meatballs too. Happy New Year everybody.

Essorant
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2 posted 12-31-2005 03:32 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"...they just may be us attempting to soothe
ourselves with hope, pretense or fantasy"

From dictionary.com:

Soothe: ...

[Middle English sothen, to verify, from Old English sođian, from sođ, true. See es- in Indo-European Roots.]


Forsooth, isn't that a good thing?    
Local Rebel
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3 posted 12-31-2005 05:33 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

So you look out over a sweeping sunset across the open plains with a range of purple mountains on the horizon and little flowers peek through the tall grass in splashes of yellow and white and violet and think 'beauty'.

But there is a snake eating a rat concealed from human eyes and a spider is laying eggs in the brain of another spider.  A gang of crows is circling another crow and they stand there and stare at him up until the point when they begin to execute him. (ergo the term 'murder of crows').

You see a woman lithe and sensuous and think beuaty.  But she has a heart of ice.

What we consider to be ugly or evil is mostly just details to the universe.  It interprets these events neutrally.  

So.  What?  What if we are cells of God?  What if we are merely iterations of one universe as all possible parameters randomly change from one universe to the next to the next to the next to the next?  

How does that change that we are us?  We live in the knowledge of death.
serenity blaze
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4 posted 12-31-2005 06:24 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

and sometimes in spite of it.
Huan Yi
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5 posted 12-31-2005 07:54 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Anyone ever hear the phrase “cruel to be kind”?

Once I read a collection of reminisces by Japanese
men and women about the Pacific War, and I was astounded
how often their recounted first thought upon seeing a suddenly
mutilated, (suicide with a grenade, torn open or apart by
a bomb or shell), body was “How beautiful”.  

“love, kindness, beauty” strike me as human ideas  evolved
over time at a distance, ( I’ve before quoted from a source as to the
miraculous impact of Christianity on the first two in
Western culture).   Mother Nature certainly was no good
parent in that regard.

Anyone reading of different times and cultures can see
how changeable and varied to the point of grotesque
the concept of beauty can be.

I once asked a Jewish friend about the conclusion
of the Job story and he responded: “God is not a nice guy”.
Seems He improved with time as man improved his condition.

As I mentioned, Jane’s comment was from the perspective
of a woman living quietly in New Hampshire, yet she was
a bad traveler, and especially had a shock when she went
to India.
  

Stephanos
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6 posted 12-31-2005 09:32 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Reb:
quote:
So.  What?  What if we are cells of God?  What if we are merely iterations of one universe as all possible parameters randomly change from one universe to the next to the next to the next to the next?  

How does that change that we are us?  We live in the knowledge of death.



Your right.  Isn't the problem of pantheism, that nature is too incongruous to be called divine?  If everything is "god", then how can we know what his character is, life or death?


Chesterton wrote:

"The essence of all pantheism, evolutionism, and modern cosmic religion is really in this proposition: that Nature is our mother. Unfortunately, if you regard Nature as a mother, you discover that she is a stepmother. The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.".  


If we are "cells" of god ... then are we good cells or bad cells?  It seems to me, trying to construct a deity from yourself runs you into these kinds of problems.  If everything is "god" aren't the problems (by necessity) just as divine as the solutions?


Stephen.
Stephanos
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7 posted 12-31-2005 09:43 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John:
quote:
Any speculations?  After all, they just may be us attempting to soothe
ourselves with hope, pretense or fantasy.



Have you ever seriously asked yourself where the wish came from and why?  Consider the scenario of creatures developing lungs, in a world without air.  An organ with definite purpose, with no possibility of being fulfilled.  Sure, it's not "proof" of God, but the need for purpose, rationality, morals, beauty, and love ... are sure great clues.  Newborn babes desire milk, not because they've seen or even tasted milk, but because they were given stomachs for it.


Stephen  
Stephanos
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8 posted 12-31-2005 09:46 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I once asked a Jewish friend about the conclusion
of the Job story and he responded: “God is not a nice guy”.


Did he actually read the ending of Job?  I don't see how one could come to such a conclusion as that, after having read the whole story.  Even the ancient sufferer himself didn't come to such a pessimism.  


Stephen.
Huan Yi
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9 posted 01-01-2006 12:10 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Stephen,

God answers Job’s question as to why he is being afflicted
basically with a rhetorical  question: “who are you
to be asking ME?”  God comes off as a ticked off
rather than kindly deity, (after all He did let the Devil
have his way).  In this way he’s not that far off from Zeus.

As to:

“Have you ever seriously asked yourself where the wish came from and why?”

Fear, dread.  Wanting something, even a fantasy, (or lesser insanity as Ernest Becker
called it), to mitigate the individual comprehension of mortality.  Newborn babes
desire nourishment because of the unconscious drive to live.  We want to believe
because in one form or another we want to live forever.  

John

Baba Michi
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10 posted 01-01-2006 01:14 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

  Well, I think the whole point of the Job story is that, despite the fact that life will inevitably give us grief and hardship one moment, and then give everything back the next, putting our faith in God in the context of whether or not things are goin' good for us at any given time is incorrect.  God might've come off a little ticked, but it wasn't because Job felt terrible about all the things he was going through.  He was ticked because
a) his friends were trying to bs him about the cause of his misery
b) he was communicating his sorrow with his friends, instead of with God.  
  Job had a covenant with God, which he should've "stood up like a man" for and expressed concern about solely to God, because, as Stephanos and I established earlier, God meets us on a relational basis.  Emotional input is essential for faith; vulnerability and honesty create strong, intimate bonds.
serenity blaze
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11 posted 01-01-2006 01:44 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"Emotional input is essential for faith; vulnerability and honesty create strong, intimate bonds. "

So would you say, it's not the belief, but the process of believing, which would be/should be the basis upon we should place our faith in order to expect some result?
Huan Yi
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12 posted 01-01-2006 01:47 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


"So would you say, it's not the belief, but the process of believing, which would be/should be the basis upon we should place our faith in order to expect some result?"

Then I've just won the lottery . . .

Actually Pascal's wager is better.

serenity blaze
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13 posted 01-01-2006 01:56 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Nod, following that principle, you must have really believed that you would then. Tell y'what? YOU poll all the lottery winners and ask how many actually chose numbers with a firm belief and actually put that firm belief into motion via prayer and ritual to actualize their dollar/prayers into actuality.

You do that. I'll just guess, randomly, and say "O".

(you won the bid, and now you want the lottery too? Gettin' confident now?)

grin

(hadta do it yanno)

*peace you*

and hey?

Happy New Year.

Baba Michi
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14 posted 01-01-2006 02:09 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

Serenityblaze,

  Not at all.  I think that whether or not someone believes in God depends on their own intuition and experience.  

  I was simply clarifying the way God "came off" in the chapter of Job, and that his anger with Job wasn't because he (Job) was being impudent in asking why he was suffering, but rather that he was asking the wrong people.  
serenity blaze
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15 posted 01-01-2006 02:13 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you Baba.

I kind of thought so, and for reasons of my own, the Book of Job needed some clarification for me, too. Still does, actually.

Suffering seems like such a bad Lot. *weak smile*

(line up to spank me);
Huan Yi
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16 posted 01-01-2006 02:13 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


SB,

"I'll just guess, randomly, and say "O"."


Oh I think you're very wrong there . . .

And Baba, as I recall God shows up
and Job does direct himself to HIM,
hence the "who are you . . ." response.


John

serenity blaze
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17 posted 01-01-2006 02:18 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

got proof?
Baba Michi
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18 posted 01-01-2006 02:20 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

John:  Yes, but what did Job do before God showed up?  Did he pray directly to God?  No.  God is always accessible to prayer, and the bible doesn't mention anything about Job getting on his knees and asking God why he was allowing it to happen.  
Huan Yi
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19 posted 01-01-2006 02:21 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


SB,

Watch some poor immigrant someone drop
enough to feed his family for a week
on tickets; you can bet he's praying.

Baba,

So God had a watch and a short fuse?

John

serenity blaze
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20 posted 01-01-2006 02:23 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Actually, no I wouldn't bet he's praying.

I'd bet he is gambling.
Baba Michi
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21 posted 01-01-2006 02:28 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

Well, you'll hate the way this sounds, but according to the bible, Job had a special covenant with God for whatever reason.  

  Hunger and mortality are the way God engineered the universe.  Yes, they're very unpleasant, and I wish they didn't exist.  However, they do exist: fact.  If human beings haven't come up with a way to rationalize why they do by now, we probably won't.  The important thing is whether or not we maintain our spiritual integrity, something that will last, as opposed to becoming fixated on our physical sorrows, which will come and go.  
Huan Yi
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22 posted 01-01-2006 02:28 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


SB,

If my mother could pray for Clinton, (Monica was a “tramp”),
I can believe out of desperation someone would place far more
than he should and pray for God’s help.

John
Baba Michi
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23 posted 01-01-2006 02:30 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

Also, the amount of time which transpired between Job's first smiting from the devil and the time God shows up is a more than reasonable amount of time in which to have attempted to pray, and can hardly be called short.  
serenity blaze
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24 posted 01-01-2006 02:36 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

John? I think I mean by "process of believing" more than, say a dollar token and a dream of millions.

Sadly, I understand what you are saying.

I got to watch gambling be "legalized" here--which simply meant that the state made gambling profits publically accountable here in La.

But that is not my point.

Not this time.

A "process of believing" would be my phrase for "insert-religion/ritual of choice" here.

My ideas regarding religion are much like diets--most any with reasonable guidelines that adhere to reduced caloric intake and increased metabolism will work--you just have to pick one and stick to it.

That's more along the lines of what I meant.

Forgive me for the teasing.

I had a teensy bit of wine tonight.



I thought it was water!

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