Monday, February 28, 2011

My Human Condition - Reprise

The Human Condition - Rene Magritte - 1935

"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people." - William Butler Yeats

William Butler Yeats (13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and dramatist of English descent, and one of the most popular figures of 20th century literature among pro-Irish Americans.

"The cause of all our personal problems and nearly all the problems of the world can be summed up in a single sentence: Human life is very deep, and our modern dominant lifestyle is not." - Bo Lozoff

Lozoff, with his wife Sita Lozoff, founded the Human Kindness Foundation. He started the Prison-Ashram Project with Ram Dass in 1973. The Prison-Ashram Project (operated by Human Kindness Foundation) sends free interfaith books, compact discs, and correspondence to prisoners around the world, and has over 40,000 inmates on its active mailing list. Lozoff speaks widely on spiritual issues, including talks in prisons, public talks, sermons, and musical performances.

"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

Here's the poem that I posted immediately before I woke in the middle of the night and realized I had better go to hospital with pain in my chest. They found enzymes and then looked for blockages. They found two. They placed a stent in the first and told me the other was too small for angioplasty. They suggested that I would reduce the blockage by doing drugs. I don't know if they were right or not, but that was May 6, 2009 at two in the morning that I left home for emergency and I haven't had any further trouble with clogged veins. However, now I have this other issue called diastolic heart failure. Human condition, indeed. Just a bumbling old man with a new quaver in his voice because the lungs don't work so good right now. I fear I will be too resistant and will piss off some of the people who care about me.

I went to work today and observed the stress bubble over while I tried to avoid buying it myself. We are on too fast a track and we will screw it up. Life in the fast lane. I really am tired - and if I can I must, another five years. It will be the death of me...but pretty near anything will now. Human condition, indeed.

It is time to take up the begging bowl and retreat into the forest, there to consort with demons and tigers, with devas and with gods and goddesses, so I chant

Om shreem Mahalakshmiyei swaha. Om dum Durgayei swaha. Om gum Ganapatiyei swaha. Om namah Shivaya, Shivaya, namah Om. Om namah Shivaya, yavashi manah Om. Om apadamapa hataram dataram sarva sampadam lokha bhi Ramam, shri Ramam, buyo buyo namamyaham.

Sacred syllables, all. Keeps tigers at bay. I need that. There is a small tiger in my house just now.

My Human Condition

Total soul eclipse
As I stuff myself with toys
And the sugary
Dollops, diversions
Of my own greedy senses,

Yet the dry desert
Of avoiding things
Builds toward an explosion
I just cannot stop.

Why then is it so
The middle way is slicker,
More slippery than
My poor toes can grip
And I slide to either side
Again and again?

December 31, 2008 1:54 PM
First posted May 5, 2009


  1. I like that poem. The middle way is difficult indeed.

  2. Well, yes, it is difficult for me...:(

  3. Why can't we start a commune? A poet's commune. We'll have to tend the fields. We'll watch the sun rise and set. We'll be hungry. And then we'll eat. Oh, how we'll celebrate.

    Do you chant? I am feeling it rise in me like a need. Isn't that peculiar? I think back to when I was a preteen and my body shook as though I needed to smoke. I had never smoked in my life and yet I dreamed it and craved it real physical. I was raised in a smoker's household. But where does this urge/need come from, to meditate (perhaps) and to chant? It comes from an older household, I think, that seems new to me.

    Can you stay aside of that stress bubble? I hope so. It is a hard thing to do though.


  4. (((Erin))) Thank you for your kindness and good wishes, your love. I think your lover a really lucky man. I bet he thinks so too.

    You may have a second hand smoke addiction. I grew up in the same house you did perhaps. But I decided to smoke and did from 1961 to 1981. I kept on chewing tobacco to 1991. That year I took to chewing cloves instead and after a year I quit chewing anything.

    I am doing okay so far staying clear of the the stress.

    I love you all the way from Oregon to Ontario and back.

  5. chris,
    the middle way ...i think both our feet want to go in different directions...(metaphorically ofcrse)...ignorance may not be bliss everytime and people would tell you it is a waste...but it is a contribution...nonetheless....i mean this has happened epically in planned ways....with shaped outcomes...i have always felt time should altogether be left out of such is a thing (not a thing really) that has constant momentum....we don't possess it...we don't waste it...but yeeaahh the human condition is such that once take one step on the rope you have got to take the whole walk across ....

  6. It is a puzzle :D

    I ran into the issue of commitment in the most overt of ways when I was learning to go against my instinct in diving from the meter board. You take your approach and there is a moment of have to go and there is no longer the failsafe out of an awkward but painless abort. This is especially true of the half and full gainer, an acrobatic move that relies on forward momentum to clear the board as you deliberately try to hit it by tucking backwards toward it. If you blow the move it is a back flop or worse and there is always a moment when you are totally blind to the coming impact with the water or whatever no matter if you are in good or horrible shape.

    There is something magical in that last available moment before full commitment. It is a large experience in the gainer moves.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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