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We Are Thus or Thus

Grace the golden orb 

Beams into primeval flame, 

That shoots

Coded desires

To the rounded mask

(Teeming with ideas 

High aspirations 

And multitudes of emotions).

 

The darts, selectively coupling

with fraternal correlatives, 

Slip to the darker side. 

At measured pace

The orb rotates

Capturing to itself a myriad marriages. 

At appointed point

There’s a stop and stillness; 

Obverse stands nakedly, 

In bright rays 

Illuminated,

A meshwork 

of Cause and Affects. 

 

Transformed by appetites

For gold, frankincense and myrrh,

The orb dull-drifts to recesses of darkness;

But is saved by the unions transcendental

That counter pull to warmth of the primordial Source-

Directed  by its own discernments, 

Attractions

Selections

Volitions, 

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Peter’s Principle

Drippingly

Awashed 

in glittering ripples

I wade deeper by paces

Unmindfully,

As the clouds grow darker.

Below the surface 

Jocund schools of fish

And denizens of the deep

Approach,

Curiosity sweeping aside inhibitions

While

Darting between swaying weeds 

And shelter of rockery.

The waters get deeper and darker,

Darker still the sunless wells,

Threatening 

Compelling curiosity;

The weeds too seem changed,

Stronger 

They menacingly

Wave intruders away.

Gasping,

I break the troubled waters,

As darkness covers the sky.

In Desperation

I cry,

“Help me Lord, I sink!”

Helped by his firm,gentle grip,

I surface;

The clouds drift away,

The sea’s calm and peaceful again.

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When Things Are Thus or Thus

Well might one ask, “What need’s truth? We already  have the truths we need; precisely put down, with proofs and principles, by prominent people. No more need for blind faith. With  practical application  and a measure of human ingenuity, we could construct fulcrums and would lift the world. No more fantasies about the man in the moon: now it’s only a body of craters and dunes waiting for someone to stomp on. What need of an invisible deity? We, on our own, are able to travel to Mars – even colonise distant galaxies!” It has been a long journey for the species to reach this assured consciousness. It has been so long, that we forget where we began; and the myriad stages in between. At so many stages we thought that we had reached the zenith of our creativity and achievements – but there has always been room for more progress. 

When we can make and do so many things, we also have the intellectual ability to decide what is good for us: what is right and what is wrong. We do not need axioms brought down from mountains, the entrails of caves, or churned up from the depths of the oceans. For a most of the time, elders believed and practised what they were told. There were  obvious exceptions, and at times very subtle changes, to designed for convenience.  Generations have decided their own parameters of social behaviour, each setting aside the “morality” of the predecessor. With the stroke of a pen years of tradition and ideologies have been relegated to the dustbin of the history. Like a new suit, morality has been consonant with the fashion of the day. Within living memory we have seen radical changes in social behaviour. Arguably, these changes have made us better, more sensitive, and more enlightened than ever before.

Do these attributes and attainments make us better than sheep or goats; two-legged things that strut and fret; drop off, and then just disappear? I think not. For then, roses and green fields would be only fodder. I think not, for  then empathy and sharing in another’s joys and sufferings would be no more than expressions of our gregariousness. Then, all sublime expressions would be just dabbling and babbling  in indolence. To me, these and other noble expressions of humanity, are connects with a transcendent state that’s the sum-total of human consciousness; the essence of all beauty and the perfect form of all perfection. Therefore, I can say, “I believe in the One I belong to – my model and all that I aspire to be.”     

 

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Jubilee?

Reclined in a deck chair

letting an evening breeze, touch,

sooth and refresh

the tired brain and assorted aches and pains

 

the Opera House’s sails majestically 

carry an argosy 

of culture trinkets and symphonies  

toward the harbour bridge

where rainbows 

cascade

into a sullen sea

children laugh and clap

at each sulphuric spark

that mushrooms and pops 

 in a sparkling display

 

tired

this brain wanders off 

the celebration

settling on 

the mute twinkle 

above the vanishing horizon

a constant sentinel at its post

 

What charts and instruments

weighed

measured mass

circumference

distance and composition?

what lightyears were travelled 

to tease

and confound intellects?

 

was a notional starting point 

vacated

by this travelling glow-piece

(product of a disintegration) 

millions of light years ago

presumably 

in another galaxy?

 

all will be answered

and the world will accept  

till

fresh intellect and instruments

prove void

the labour and hypothesis.

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Being Right Isn’t Always Right: A Moral Case

What good’s a liberty gained by depriving others the same right? Belligerent attitudes now dare weak politicians, to subvert the laws that give basic rights to simple folks, to live simple lives in the traditions of their ancestors. One battle after another has been won by the same modus operandi; with the growing certainty that one day the war will be won.

Religious groups have not done themselves any favours. The sins of leaders are to be worn by the unsuspecting followers. Most Faiths are easy targets, and their defences weakened by a loss of morale, and a feeling of hopelessness under the incessant pressure of “Secular” forces. The lifestyles and misuse of power, by a few, further weakens  the will of those confronting compelling empirical evidence posed in the fluid environment of commercialism and technology. Persistent arguments and the hammering of guilt, have led to self-doubts and a turn to other diversions for solace and personal dignity.

It is easy to pursue a campaign against religious thinking that is nebulous and cannot be proven in sensual terms. Just a manipulation of the meaning of “Secularism”, offers, virtually, unbridled liberty. The argument becomes, “ Faith against Science” – and such epic allusions. With insufficient “evidence” to prosecute an argument, the weak submit to stronger arguments; fearing associations being made with superstitions and mediaeval hangovers. In vain, traditionalists turned apologetics, quote chapters and verses from texts made obsolete to this new rationalism. A myriad set about dismantling the fabric of faith, hope and a living Love. 

The LGBTI movement began, legitimately, to empower males and females to assert their sexuality. It is a fact that people with sexual preferences outside the norm, had long suffered vilification, discriminations and were criminalised by all parts of society. It has been a long hard slog for them to gain acceptance and the respect of the community. So, increasingly people are “coming out” in the community. Institutions that have been building bridges of reconciliation must be congratulated.

Problem comes when one group tries to debunk and  overpower the other. Each group’s expressed freedom needs to be respected and acknowledged by all. Institutions should show flexibility and an enlightened approach in their interactions with twenty-first century sensitivities. It does not mean that they should surrender their entitled rights to flourish in freedom and to practice  their cherished beliefs. Whether or not (and how) these differences are accommodated, is a matter for individual consciences and the respective institutions. But, to compel a school to accept students and staff, holding opposing stands to the institution’s values and mission statement, would tantamount to bullying, and an unacceptable form of behaviour. Morally, those who say they stand for human rights, cannot demand rights over the rights of others. The armed forces have some exemptions under the discrimination acts. When I do not like a particular TV programme I am free to switch channels. So, I feel that to force an institution (against its moral code) to accept individual/individuals philosophically opposed to them, is ethically improper as it amounts to undermining the very grounds for their foundation.    

Liberty!

Liberty! Sweet Liberty! How many sacrifices are made in your name. How much pain endured. Yet. Maggot-driven egos can subvert the message and the goal. Seeming to uphold the Civic Rights of some; how easily are the rights of others wronged. Cries of “Slash, Burn!” Counter-productive to the cause fill the air with a blinding haze. If it is peace we desire, let us hear the wisdom of people like St Ignatius:

“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.”

Belief And Beliving

The irony of Pilate’s throw away line, “What is truth?”, still lingers after two thousand years. It has, no doubt, been the subject of more serious discussion from the dawn of civilisation. For some it remains “a sacred cow”, only to be considered by scholars in the context of words uttered with finality at some time, to be locked away in miles of compactors to collect dust for ever after.  Some argue of its transient nature, something to suit the convenience of time and place. Arguments go on ad nauseam among scholars. 

  There is another breed of thinkers that consider it in the context of the evolution of the cosmos. We humans are not the only species evolving, but are parts in a constant state of metamorphosis. All things are constantly evolving towards a goal on the far end of a receding horizon. They do not believe that human’s “superior” sense of consciousness makes them the only players in the mastery of creation. Evolution is an organic process permeating all things, great and small. In this sense we can believe that the Creator of all could demolish entire civilisations with a choice of brimstone, fire or flood. He could speak to humans through burning bushes, from clouds on mountains, and through His prophets. In my own tradition I believe that it is possible for a camel to walk through the eye of a needle, because Truth (himself) has said that it is possible, if difficult.

What then is the nature and function of Truth? It is part and parcel of our human consciousness that is evolving with the rest of the universe. If it were a constant factor, and if we had not challenged given situations, we may have remained as some sort of hunter-gatherers. Challenging things is as perennial as our motivations to work, to stop and to wonder. To challenge is to question. To question is to find new grounds of belief. Grounds of belief that are essential to our understanding. Understanding values human history, cherishes and learns from it. It is essential to our continuing march forward. Our goal is a state of perfection (however we see it). Truth like the Northern Star that guides and sustains us in all sorts of weather. It is not buried under a bushel in forms of do’s, don’ts, edicts or commandments. It is a natural part of our being, linking us with past experiences, it has been renewed and energised through Christ’s exhortations to question and refine. We do not need to be constantly looking back, nor should we use it as a tool of convenience in a game of relativity. It is the sanctity we carry forward as we progress (humans and creations) toward that goal of perfection.

Smile Boys That’s The Style

Lucifer, from time-to-time, does reincarnate himself. Seen, in compelling personalities, such as Nero, Stalin, Hitler, PollPot, Idi Amin and others. He blindens the week with dazzling promises of liberty and new life. In moment, the darker side asserts itself, dashing hopes in fogs of misery and confusion.

Like volcanos, they dazzle sending up flames and molten lava. Then, subside weighed down under ashes and created rubble; to be silent till the next incident (and opportunity) to dazzle and seduce again. Work over, Lucifer withdraws behind his black cloak, sniggering, “You ain’t seen anything yet”. History’s time-line continues uninterrupted.

Rosary: New Luminous Mysteries Put Our Lady Aside – Dominican Priest… 

I take exception to the proposition that The Luminous Mysteries are designed to “put our Lady aside”. My response is based on the following understanding:

  1. Pope JohnPaul was devoted to our Lady. This was a practical expression of that devotion.
  2. If the mysteries highlight Jesus’ work on earth, they should be meditated on in the light of the Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries where traditionally Our Lady seems absent from the events. I would say this rounds off the Jesus’ life on earth. And, this would not have been possible without our Lady’s “Yes” to the Paraclete.
  3. Our Lady remains the centre and mediator through the prayers before and after the reciting of the rosary. We need her intercession to make our prayers holy before the Lord.
  4. I am saddened by the freedom exercised by clerics to vent their opinions on VTII, and all that it represents to make the Church relevant in an increasingly secular and anti-Church environment.

Nanny State or Adult Kindergarten

On a daily basis we are fed doses of truths/half-truths/, about who addressed whom inappropriately, causing hurt and angst. Like four year-olds, there is much finger pointing, and reports of “he/she said”, so-and-so. Our journos ferment and encourage the behaviour like protective parents, willing (and indeed keen) to join in the fray. The other night we had an opinionated “jock” wring the last drop out of the lemon of “Heaven and Hell”. All to no other purpose than to enhance his own narcissism, and to feed the “demands” for sensationalism  and conspiracies. Demands created by the media in the first place.

I remember my father had a strict rule of never carrying home tales from school. And, we never did. Of course, these days there is the natural dread of “Bullying”, in all its forms. It is not to be condoned. But, there are natural bullies (for whatever  reason), and there will always be copy-cats who consider bullying an expression of some macho trait that makes the bully superior to “weaklings”. Therefore, the bully measures his/her superiority by the power he/she can assert. It seems a natural pathway for adult bullies and other undesirables.  

The point I wish to make (despite my limited understanding of human behaviour), is that pointing fingers at obnoxious behaviour does not solve anything. “Political Correctness” and legislated measures are no more than band-aids to symptoms of deeper social maladies. It would be a risky and unpopular exercise to get to the bottom of the problem(s); for the cause and affects would be too close to home. Rather than see ourselves as deficient role models and physicians, we tend to blame others – civic authorities are convenient targets because they do not bite back. I suggest that if we want true reform, we must look at our own behaviour as peers, parents, siblings and members of the community. If we can change our own behaviour, we may be able to improve the behaviour of others.