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Excerpt for Life Is Passion by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


What the Sea Taught Me 3 0f 4


Writings by Sha’Ra On WindWalker

(in collaboration with Sha'Tara EarthStar)

Copyright (©) 2018 Cocoons to Butterflies Publishing


Published by: Cocoons to Butterflies Publishing

Chilliwack, B.C. Canada


Cover picture by: Top: Anita Peppers,

Bottom: balu-ertl


All pictures found on FreeImages.com


Space Picture: ESA/Hubble


Next Series: Wisdom of the WindWalkers


I hope you enjoy these writings. Feedback is welcome.

Contents

Foreword

A Reminder That Life Is Just That

Art

Become Wiser, Younger

Believe In Nothing

Blind To The Light

Of Promises And Assorted Peripheralania

Does God Exist?

Fair Trade?

Forgiveness Or Perfection?

Forgiveness

Happiness, Covetousness, Hope And Other Delights

Inside Out

Life Is Passion

Opening Doors And Finding Happiness

Path Of Evolution?

Peace Or Harmony?

Please Lie To Me As You Lay Beside Me

Sand To Sand

Some Thoughts I Have Found Healthy For Daily Sustenance

"The Letter"

The Muad'dib

"The Rich Kingdom"

Turmoil Of Soul

What Is Satori?

What Is Truth?

Foreword


These books represent a varied collection of remarkable "outside the box" thinking (and subsequently, writing).

 

If you are one of those trammeled and importuned by strong beliefs that won't let go, this could be your chance to break free.  I'm not asking you to believe what is written therein—I can't say I believe all of it myself—but it makes for an interesting "other than" perspective.  Reading these books can be compared to  painting by numbers.  You have this standard picture outline and between lines are colour numbers.  You match the numbers to the colours and eventually you have a painting.  It's not great art, of course, and everybody knows that but it gives you the impression that you did it yourself.  We all know that is how the System operates.  It gives us a number of colours and our life is laid out and numbered, from cradle to the grave.  There isn't much we can do about it, it seems.  It's the System. 

 

Ah, but there is something we can do about it.  We can ignore the numbers.  Use random colours and mix them.  If "3" is green, we do pink on one of the "3" sections and arbitrarily use orange on the next, and so on.  Pretty soon the System doesn't know us anymore and guess what?  We discover what real freedom can be.  It begins by breaking the rules; by daring to violate those imposed beliefs.  Here's one for you:  Did man ever land on the moon?  Of course they did, you will say.  You saw it on TV, or you saw the videos and read the reports and documentaries, right?  Ok, fine.  But that is not the point since landing on the moon or not did nothing to change the way people interact with each other.  So the point?  The point is to paint a different colour on the "moon landing" section of your life's canvas.  A "fake moon landing" colour.  Now really go into this idea.  Break the template here, convince yourself it was all faked in some studio, for whatever political reason.  Then proceed to prove to yourself that it was so.  Study this bit of history; look at the clues.  What happens in the end?  In the end you realize it doesn't matter at all whether they landed on the moon or not.  What matters is, you dared question it.

 

The material in here questions "taken for granted" ideas, sometimes seriously, sometimes with humour.

 

You know, it's hard to think these days, when everything is handed to us via TV and the Internet.  Everything tells us how to think, and does so in the blink of an eye.  We don't have to wait for the President's state of the union speech, or the preacher's rant on a given Sunday.  We Google! 

 

Can a mind atrophy?  You bet.  Look into these booklets and think about thinking.

A Reminder That Life Is Just That


A reminder to myself - and those who "wonder" about these times and what the future may bring.

[By "future" I include that place or places, we think of as happening - or not happening! -- beyond our physical death]

 

Can we know the future?  However tight a control we could ever get and maintain on our environment, it would be impossible to know the future with any certainty.  Even if we became adepts at creation and actually formed the future through some "law of attraction" or "law of one" or whatever you want to call it, the "future" remains clouded.

 

What is the future?  It is not what I make it.  It is "what is" in its entirety.  To take on the future is like being born.  We accept that we are dependent and vulnerable without even being aware of it.  We "expect" to be nurtured and brought up in some way consistent with the environment we are born into.

 

For some, that environment is brutal and the realization comes as: 

 

Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm

Into this house we're born

Into this world we're thrown

Like a dog without a bone

An actor all alone

Riders on the storm

        (The Doors)

 

Yes, a mish-mash of half-baked awareness hounds our life.  Ultimately, we are "an actor all alone" in a world that realistically does not know we exist; does not care whether we do, or in what form we do it.  

 

As below, so above.  Sure, there are beings "out there" who are aware of us, and we can be quite aware of them, but what can they do beside imparting information - THEIR information - most of which we cannot comprehend in any case?  They cannot "save" us.  They cannot protect us, or make things happen for us.  Imagine a fish, still alive, dropped by an osprey somewhere in a dry meadow.  A goose may come upon the fish and wish to return it to its environment so it won't die, but it cannot.  The fish dies, even with the best of intentions. 

 

That's how it is.  That's the "set-up"; the set where the actor all alone either performs a meaningful dance, or "frets and struts his hour upon the stage and is heard no more."  Our "friends in high places" cannot hold on to the handles on our space suits - their hands go right through. 

 

Since "our life never ends" and we have no control over the events that surround that life - infinity is a big place - how does an intelligent, sentient, self-aware person take this?

 

Must our future remain cloudy?  Unknowable?  Full of pitfalls and contradictions? 

 

Must it remain the domain of some God who has mansions prepared for those who "love" Him and burning pits of sulfur for those who do not? 

 

Must it be that non-place where only death exists?  Where nothing ever happens again?  Where consciousness turns to dust to be scattered into cosmic winds?

 

I think it is possible to know the future without any control at all.  Without expending any wild energy, either through "faith" or "hope" or conversely, "despair".   I think it is possible to "become" such an entity, such a master of energy patterns and "go where no man has gone before" to shape one's slice of life according to one's needs or desires. 

 

Again, as below, so above.  Here we learn to shape things according to our needs and desires.  Or we learn to bow our backs to those who do the shaping and live their desires on our backs, our life energy - the power-seekers, the controllers.

 

The "law of one" (not really a law at all but simply a logical observation) says that all things are interconnected.  If I accept that truism, "I" (in whatever shape) am connected to all things.  That doesn't mean I AM all things - what a burden that would be! - but that I am AWARE of my individual connectedness to the web of life, to the Cosmos, to the flow of infinity (if I may put it that way). 

 

And what's the best way to make use of that awareness?  How to I project myself "in it"?

 

Yoda:  "Careful you must be when sensing the future, Anakin.  The fear of loss is a path to the dark side.  Death is a natural part of life -- rejoice for those around you who transform into the Force.  Mourn them, do not.  Miss them, do not.  Attachment leads to jealousy, the shadow of greed, that is.  Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."  (Yoda to Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars)

 

Again, the same "lesson" repeats itself: detachment though compassion; compassion through detachment.  A mantra?  Or the ISSA's spaceship through infinity? 

 

"If I could tell the future, 

  what would I tell it?"

"Wait for me"?

"Go on without me"?

  There is nothing to say:

  the future is quite deaf.  (Sha'Tara)

Art


Inspiration is from the Muse

and the Muse is like the wind

or the stars in the night sky

or the view of the mountains

in the morning sky:

aren’t all the beautiful things free?


How I long for that wonderful day

when inspiration need no longer be sold;

is no longer turned into a prostitute

pandering for buyers, for money

in the earth’s market place!


Any art “sold” to the highest bidder

by definition becomes prostitution.

The Muse departs and Mammon takes over:

now you look for it on a billboard,

a TV commercial, a Dot Com web site

and bring out your charge card or cheque book.


Then look inside after you buy;

or study the picture on the wall

or listen intently for the message:

The moment of titillation will last

what the money spent dictates – no more.

The book will land on a lower shelf;

the CD will descend to the bottom of the cabinet;

the painting will hang on the garage wall.


You purchase a thousand words,

a disk of sounds full of fury;

a canvass with swirls of paint:

where is the lasting substance?

Sadly, today’s artist must beg

at the doors of Mammon like a dog

at a master’s table: isn’t it time

we changed the way this works?

Become Wiser, Younger


Why celebrate growing old?

What’s so extraordinary about ageing?

To blow an additional candle

year after year,

really is no big trick, dude!

All you need is more hot air!

To most, life is like shit:

it just happens

somewhere between kindergarten

and lawn bowling.

May I suggest

a re-design for lapsing time

would be to become better, wiser,

than you were in the previous year?


Want to look and feel younger?

(Well, who doesn’t?)

Start by not celebrating getting older:

re-learn the art of transformation;

envision

a younger body,

a sharper mind,

fully aware of all the knowledge

garnered so carefully ‘til now.

Do this simple exercise

daily

and every morning you wake up

pleasantly surprised."

Believe In Nothing


What does it mean

to believe in something?

Good question!


Here’s how I see this:

to believe “in” something

means the mind is trapped;

a slave to that belief.


It means to live in fear

in paranoia that something,

anything,

may cause change.


A belief system is a dead thing,

an instrument from the past

that no longer functions.

Any “change” can break it.


Belief systems are dead remnants

of once-living ideas –

ideas that moved mountains;

ideas that changed worlds;

ideas sustained by passion

and often by martyr’s blood.


But when the passion died

the flow of ideas died too,

and what had been built

was replaced

by tradition,

by institution,

by worship,

by words

by lies.


Believe all things,

believe in nothing:

choose passion!

Choose life!

Blind To The Light


Ultra violet rays penetrate

through a thinning atmosphere,

sear the earth’s surface, unhindered:

soils erode, crumble, dried, lifeless;

crevassed trees having escaped

the searching blade of the saw

now struggle, now die.


Gnarled roots of mountain hemlock,

become as beggars' arms,

search hopelessly, plead vainly

for the springs of life

which once fed them.


Is it possible to know how long

these makers of oxygen,

purifiers of earth,

can survive toxic wastes

descending like an evil mist

upon their heads?


Do we know how long

we can destroy;

remain blind

in our waning light?


Do we care if we become

but one more fossillized remnant

in Earth’s layered evolution

to be catalogued later

like bones of dinosaurs?


The question is not for him;

is it not for her:

it is for you! It is for me!

Of Promises And Assorted Peripheralania


"He didn't make any promises -- he's spent them all."

(of Angus Thermopyle in "Gap into Ruin" by R. Stephenson)


A good point. How many "promises" and "vows" are made each moment of each day on this world? How many vanish as if sucked into the crushing vortex of a black hole?


One thing certain about vows and promises: they possess little shelf life. Sure, they can be periodically re-generated; they can be held together with collective duct tape, institutional prosthetics and communal drugs, or they can be cocooned in an ever-burgeoning carapace of greater vows and promises, of promises to uphold vows and vice-verse, but in the end? When these things self-destruct and the naked human stands alone to face that long stretching line of disappointments... what then?


No one asks this in the thrill of the emotional moment - when the vow is spoken, when the deformed impossibility is birthed in hope and faith. And no one later on dares question what was said. Only what the deformity didn't accomplish. When the infernal gap has been crossed from the blinding hope of promise to the shattered remnants of non-performance and non-attainment. If Vow and Promise have an alter-ego, call him Disappointment.


"Expect the worst and you will never be disappointed." I was taught this when I was still in my pre-teens. It served me well. It gave me a view that took on life with the teeth of a wood rasp. A harsh tool, but when a piece of wood needs to be fitted to serve an urgent purpose, a very necessary tool. Life never gave me the luxury to look out my window in awe at the wonder of "everything" and think lovely thoughts. Life came to me with the intent to shape me and in turn I took it on with the same intent. For that purpose I would never allow myself to be sucked into the confining tunnels of fame and fortune. Nor would I settle or the assembly line routine: the vacuous look at television and the rapt domination of a moment of glory in someone else's accomplishment - or lie.


When one expects the "worst" ( a subjective approach, I agree) one will not be easily swayed by crowds or charismania. One lives in the shadows of worlds, observing, watching, seeking always for something else, something "better" than what is observed. And isn't that what evolution is supposed to be all about? Disappointment may lead to despair, but dissatisfaction leads to new ideas. Those who lead, even from the shadows of apparent dis-empowerment, apparent silence, can never be disappointed in anything - except themselves. And this can be remedied: one can change one's mind and in so doing, one can change one's world.


One can never change another's mind. Not even God could do that as history has shown. And this makes another point: when we are so busy trying to change another's mind, be are utterly blinded to the changes we must make in our own. A lesson that God also failed to learn.


Of necessity, this leads to a re-definition of leadership.


A leader never makes promises. Never makes vows - for s/he knows that such are based on OTHER people's (or events') performance or predictability! That's why such things never work and never will work. They are bound in pre-existing conditions, or worse, in the belief that such conditions pre-exist. A leader never rules - that's a contradiction. A leader never lives higher off the hog than those s/he leads. And that's quite self-explanatory, because a true leader only leads oneself. A leader doesn't give a fart in a wind storm about those inclined to follow. A leader has no use for followers because they are as barnacles on a racing vessel's hull. Followers have but two purposes, both deadly: they want something they aren't willing to work for themselves, or they serve as stepping stones to fame and riches for the "leader" who then becomes the ruler - the measure of society.


Enjoy the day and may it sparkle and shimmer with those light particles that usually remain hidden beyond the peripheral vision...

Does God Exist?


Does it matter I question the God concept?

Whether he exists at all, or loves individually?

I put these thoughts out there for an answer,

yet he never seems to – does he not care?

Certain people claim to know him–

claim to be filled with an essence of divine love;

claim God answers their queries

whereas I am deaf to his voice;

blind to what he shows me;

seduced by the dark side,

in so many ways they mock my words,

calling my questioning blasphemy...


If one thinks at all, one must question!

It is how I see the world, hear it, feel it pulse

It is what I experience, how it makes me feel:

and yes I think God does exist;

thinks what I have to say is ‘Good’

because I question old beliefs that no longer serve;

designed to control and enslave the mind.

I walk a new path, see the world anew each day;

I know change is the only constant in life

and if what I write, or say is grave error,

God would be moved to tell me so.

... somehow...

I take his silence as approval.

Well, sounds better than to say

“He’s sulking!”

Fair Trade?


I dream:

I’m walking down a darkened street

when an angry one confronts me with a gun:

Give me your money and your watch!

But my mind’s not on his words,

nor responding to the threat –

I think, what if I let him kill me

without fear or threat of retaliation?

I feel the bullet rip through my flesh.


I dream:

My body lies on the pavement

a subject of much scrutiny and concern

by various members of the legal fraternity

(I never raised that much interest

in all my living days!)

The gunman is arrested and taken away.


I dream:

As he sleeps in his cell awaiting trial

the gunman dreams his own dream

and thinks beyond base survival instincts

to love, and what would that be like!

He is touched by the sacredness of life

and awakens from his life-long sleepwalk.


I conclude:

A passing that brings such a gift

is not a death but a celebration.

For he is now free to walk a new path:

fear no longer rules his thoughts;

the urge to kill no longer haunting

the shadowy corners of his life.


Was it a fair trade?

Forgiveness Or Perfection?


Why do only humans

go in darkened buildings

to pray at some altar

light candles,

burn incense

and ask forgiveness

from gods of plaster and wood?


Why not other forms of life

considered less evolved,

hence less perfect than man?


After much reflection,

I now understand this much:

could it be

these simpler life forms

only see themselves

as perfect in their own eyes?

knowing that God,

does not create sinners,

but only perfection?

Forgiveness


I sit quietly

in a circle I draw in my mind

and all around I see

a devastated world crying,

and I too, cry my pain...


How did we ever arrive here?

I think as I seek to see beyond

the nightmare in my eyes,

and here, I realize

this basic truth:


How long has it been

on this beleaguered planet

since humans sought to love

each other, and their world

without the least judgment?


I don't have that answer

but I know what must be done

and in my heart of hearts

seeking peace and harmony

I silently vow to love

one and all... unconditionally!


How else can I give the children

a safe new world to play within?

Happiness, Covetousness, Hope And Other Delights

                  

"O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!"

 (As you like it - Shakespeare)

 

What is happiness?  How would "the average Joe" describe such a state of beingness?  Having never known that happiness is not a feeling but a state of mental and physical balance, the answer would be as varied as Joe has moods.  It would ultimately be a meaningless answer.

 

I would say, after a few years of observation; of "eavesdropping" on conversations, that for most, happiness is what someone else is experiencing or it's something that's about to happen.  It's something I will buy as soon as I fix my credit rating.  It's something I will have in bed as soon as I can seduce that other to share my sexual intoxication.  It's something I'll have when I get married, have kids, when the kids leave home, when I retire, if that damn weather ever changes, when I win the lottery, when I get my new boat. 

 

Indeed, a meaningless exercise in wishful thinking.

 

Have I ever met a truly happy person?  I've smiled at babies in carriages and shopping carts and seen happiness, however short-lived.  I've interacted with mentally challenged individuals and seen happiness through their smiling eyes.  I wish I could say I've met professionals and working people who were truly happy, but I cannot.

 

Funny thing about happiness: you will find it in those who are totally self-empowered and self-motivated.  Those who take complete responsibility for every aspect of their lives.  Those who no longer blame... and therefore no longer hope.  Conversely, you will also find happiness in those who are totally dependent on others and accept their condition without question; who live within a sort of dream state that things are good, no matter what, and can only continue to be good - no matter what.  Where the choice to create change is non-existent.

 

The problem with happiness when it comes to "normal" people is, it cannot exist alongside of fear: fear of not getting, fear of not having and fear of losing.  Another way of putting it is, happiness cannot exist where there is any kind of attachment.  Momentary pleasures, perhaps, but not happiness.  Those who seek happiness through attachments (or through control of situations and events) will forever be looking for it through the window of covetousness. 

 

And here's another word for covetousness: hope.  So much of "hope" I find is nothing more than covetousness' poor cousin.  I "hope" I win that lottery this weekend.  I "hope" I get that new job, I hope he asks me to marry him.  Such "hope" describes a mindset that says someone, the world, God, luck, a lover, whatever, owes it to me to make me happy.  I don't have to work for it; I don't have to prove I'm capable, I bought a ticket... I signed my name on the list... I slept with him... now I deserve it.  

 

And then?  As Shakespeare says, when the other wins, or gets the coveted supervisory job, or he goes after another, you see happiness only through their eyes.  A sad thing.  Now come the recriminations; the gossip, the lies, the blame, the conspiracies.  The winner is forgotten.  The new supervisor is despised.  The ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend are hated with passion.  And it starts all over again with the next cartoon.

 

Earthian life wobbling forth in hope of something, anything, except what it started out to be about.

Inside Out


What is felt inside

is projected on the outside:

unhappiness

will make the world

appear to be a miserable place;

and in this place,

sorrowful events will unfold,

prolonging the suffering

until even the shadow of death

will be seen as a possible relief,

as a ray of light on a dark path.


Wiser ones who have walked

this path of sadness

advise a change of perception

for the world is shaped by thoughts

and these lead to life,

or just as easily, to death.


Better to believe in oneself

and let each day’s struggles

form the foundation

from which visions and dreams;

even at times lofty ambitions,

may be boldly launched.


Better to go at it with passion

and aim for the highest peaks

for death is never slow to respond

and will come soon enough.

Life Is Passion


Life is passion. Passion demands newness each moment. Passion is never satisfied. Passion does not lie in ruts, nor passively kneel to offer prayers to silent gods. Passion sets bridges on fire as she rushes over and laughs to see them burn. She did not build the bridges but only uses them to gallop across the great canyons of time and space and mind. Then she burns them for she knows she can never return. Passion moves ever forward. Always through it all, never above it or below it. Passion charges, engages, bowls over and rides on.


She licks her wounds when night falls and rests, hiding in a cave or log or abandoned warehouse; or she stands alone under the moon in a snow-covered expanse shimmering with crystal points, giving thanks to the stars over her head --she can be heard in the howl of the she-wolf or the hooting of the great horned owl -- and although her body trembles with the cold

her heart burns within.


For those who would truly know, their name becomes "Passion." Their life engages death and their death brings forth new life. They know pain and suffering in time; they know hunger and thirst; they know loneliness – but it blends to sorrow and sorrow becomes joy; the joy of Passion: Thus do they greet the morning light, and thus are they empowered to ride on.


Forever across the endless.

Opening Doors And Finding Happiness


[Thoughts from the Other Side]

Long ago in my wanderings within teachings about "spirit" I came across the concept of opening doors. Somebody, or something is always opening and closing doors around you. One thing they have lots of in the spirit world is doors. And that's an obvious paradox - spirit doesn't need doors.


However, be that as it may and all the rest, the other morning, while driving somewhere (it's always a good idea to be going somewhere when you're driving otherwise you have to do some 'splainin' to yourself) I found myself thinking about the people who spend so much time, effort and money trying to give themselves pleasure, buying happiness, comfort, good times, friendships, call it what you will: that which is supposed to make them feel good - that which would be considered the good life.


Just about everything these days is designed to give pleasure - at least that's the way it is promoted. If it isn't fun or enjoyable or exciting - include in that the "job"; shopping; eating and bad news happening to someone else - then there's no point talking about it. Life is all about the pursuit of happiness - and that may well be the only point made in the US constitution that anyone ever remembers, or at best, works at.


We know we can't buy happiness, but we try. We know that any kind of pleasure we seek for its own sake has no shelf life, that we must pay for it over and over and when it's over, it's over (whether the fat lady sings or not).


Is there a way to receive pleasure and happiness from life? A way that anyone can afford, even hold on to?


Sure. There is a way that guarantees it and doesn't cost a dime to achieve. I don't mean seeking some nebulous inner peace or hiding out alone in the wilderness to contemplate life. I don't mean running away from anything. I mean actively achieving peace, comfort, pleasure from everyday life.


There is a "trick" I was taught when very young but have woefully failed to follow through with much passion until later in life. I guess it was too simple a thing and too obvious. I couldn't see it as a sure thing because I couldn't keep my heart-mind on it. The trick was, if I sought pleasure for myself I had to work very hard to achieve it; it cost more than I (or my environment) could afford and it had no lasting value. But if I sought to give pleasure or happiness to others then I could feel doors opening and whatever I truly gave I received back, often in much larger doses than I could ever give away.


Despite the fact I saw this time and again I failed to realize until these last few years that what I experienced was indeed how life was meant to be lived among intelligent, sentient self-aware beings. To qualify as "intelligent" means we must be able to reason the outcome of our actions before we act. But in the chaotic order we must function within, that sometimes can get murky.


Therefore here's what rational intelligence suggests: If we cannot be sure of the exact outcome of a particular act, we act in a way that all foreseeable results will be for the good of all. Once engaged in that pattern of action we find that compassion is our best friend and develop natural empathy.


Increasingly I'm discovering that I can only find happiness when I am involved in giving it away. If that's a sign of "old age" and "senility" -- thanks, I'll take both.

Path Of Evolution?


Before man cursed himself to labour

his short life upon this earth;

before he delineated lands with names,

borders, guns and barbed wire,

he roamed the valleys and plains

in primitive enjoyment of his now,

his life: the image of the land.


With so little system developed

to restrict freedom of his ways,

he did not spend an entire life

paying for a house he could never own,

nor did he kill or die protecting

something that was never his.


He followed the seasons and accepted

the bounties of the land with thanks:

at least we hope that was the way

the ancestors walked the Earth and I ask:

hasn't something been lost or forgotten

along the path of human evolution?


What world have we made

where everything, even love –

yes, especially love –

now comes with a price tag?


We believe we abolished slavery

yet cannot see

being attached to a “surfing” gadget

has become the most insidious form

of all-time slavery.


What will it take for man

to take his life back from those

who stole it with a carrot on a stick

followed by a whip?

Peace Or Harmony?


Why can we not achieve peace?

Why are we so obsessed with war –

with remembering war,

planning war, waging war?

We know all war accomplishes

is the killing of innocent people;

we know war destroys the environment;

we know war has never led to peace.


In my mind, I hear a voice whisper:

“Peace is not the absence of war:

it is an “absolute”

it denotes total lack of motion;

Life in 3-D equals movement,

thought, followed by action

therefore no peace can be achieved here.


Any movement creates conflict:

waves crashing into other waves

to the very edge of infinity!

Instead of reasoning “peace”

it would serve better to speak of

“degrees of conflict”

which conflicts we can live with;

which we cannot.


This is the way

to balance and harmony

(in real life!)

a simple exercise

that has the power

to end the need for war...

forever.”

Please Lie To Me As You Lay Beside Me

                                

Please lie to me as you lay beside me

just for one night and one more day

tell me a fable that will never end

a tale that will never grow worn or old

let my ears hear the tremor in your voice

let my eyes watch your lips form the words

let my fingers trace their movement

and let my foolish heart hope again

 

I hear your wishes in your nightly dreams

I think nothing would please me more

than make them remain true for you

but you ask for a lie and not the truth

my own heart is weary of so many lies

each day a new lie told to promise truth

until every day given has gone away

lying for eternity in a shroud of lie

 

I cannot bear to hear the truth today

not today with my heart near breaking

without you I never was and I cannot be

you remember when you said to me

that was the reason we fell in love

I know you remember though you turn

please look at me for I’m always me

who grew only in your heart garden

 

that was a patch of wild meadow

not a cultivated piece of tilled sod

you city people know nothing of land

you came and danced vulnerable steps

my arms offered to steady your spin

you fell in and I fell for and ebony hair hid

the desire that already shaped curving lips

hungrily kissing not in offer but contract

Sand To Sand

    

Dust to dust, ashes to ashes,

so it was, so it is, so all must go.

But that is all so wrong—it's

dirt to dirt, isn't it? Wait, no: more accurately,

sand to sand.  Each death, a grain of sand;

each grain of sand, another death.

 

Sand! Sand that blows in the winds;

collects at the bottom of the seas;

piles up in dunes on endless shores

and the deserts grow apace

from baked ground gaping blindly

as each day another garden dries

and brings more death, creates more

sand: such a healthy, deadly growth.

 

A desert was made of a world

and not from movement,

but from death—from billions of deaths;

uncounted deaths spanning endless time

and the sands whisper and slither

through sun-baked cracks, worm holes;

fill beetle tracks and crickets' holes.

never needing to ask permission.

 

A proper home for those destroyed,

are the sands of planet Earth

hissing out awaited revenge

upon the quasi-living knowing naught,

devoid of understanding remaining.

It's as if it was written in a Book

that so it must be, and that, forever.

Some Thoughts I Have Found Healthy For Daily Sustenance

(alternatively: "Diet for finding infinity within the Self")

                        

Some thoughts to help one think deeper:

 

"If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" --(Unknown) (... my favourite - though it makes me cringe!  This is one case I'd wish to lose.)

 

 *** The power to think consecutively and deeply and clearly, is an avowed and deadly enemy to mistakes and blunders, superstitions, unscientific theories, irrational beliefs, unbridled enthusiasm, fanaticism.

 

 *** The possibilities of thought training are infinite, its consequence eternal, and yet few take the pains to direct their thinking into channels that will do them good, but instead leave all to chance.

 

 *** Relativistic Velocities: any "quantum" movement several times the speed of light

 

 *** The substance from which all things are created is infinite in quantity; we know that light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, and we know that there are stars so remote that it takes light 2,000 years to reach us, and we know that such stars exist in all parts of the heaven; we know, too, that this light comes in waves, so that if the ether on which these waves travel was not continuous the light would fail to reach us; we can then only come to the conclusion that this substance, or ether, or raw material, is universally present.

(*my question: so what is "that infinite substance"?*)

 

 *** Though an inheritance of acres may be bequeathed, an inheritance of knowledge and wisdom cannot. The wealthy man may pay others for doing his work for him, but it is impossible to get his thinking done for him by another or to purchase any kind of self-culture.  (S. Smiles)

 

 *** History viewed from the inside is always a dark, digestive mess, far different from the easily recognizable cow viewed from afar by historians. (Hyperion - Dan Simmons)

(*second favourite!)

 

 *** Truth when broken down into its basic elements comprises of Logic, Common Sense and Circumstantial Evidence. Logic is the principles of reasoning, especially of the structure of propositions as distinguished from their content and of method and validity in deductive reasoning. Common sense is sound judgment. Circumstantial evidence is relating to, or dependent on circumstances or physical evidence. All three elements have to coincide with each other for it to be the truth.

(*Based on the above, statistics can never be truth - they rely, at best and selectively, strictly on circumstantial evidence.*)

 

 *** All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident. - (Arthur Schopenhauer)


*** Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. (Dune – Frank Herbert)

"The Letter"

 

She ran across the freshly ploughed field, bare feet digging in soft loam, long dress held up with one hand, the other waving a yellow envelope as she jumped uneven furrows.

"Samuel, Samuel!"

The team stopped and the man waited, leaning on the arms of the plough, sweat pouring down his dirt-streaked face and opened homespun shirt.

"A letter from Timmy...! she cried, breathless from her race across the rough ground.

"Now, easy, woman. How d'you know it's from the boy?" he answered cautiously in a soft drawl.

"I jes' know! Please, Sam, let's go have it read!" Her eyes danced with excitement."

"Now, Susanna? Ya know the preacher's on his rounds and teacher's off for the summer... and the notary charges for readings."

"Please, I've got to know how he's doin'! Please?"

He sighed heavily and looked up for a moment: "Alright, woman, we'll go. Hitch up the gelding. I'll bring these in and feed 'em. Reckon the ploughin' can wait one more day."

 

As they rode their battered surrey into town, she tried to imagine the contents of the letter, all the things her son would be doing and seeing. Even though the war was raging, he'd have seen the mansions with their armies of servants, the women in their pretty getups, maybe even been to some fancy do... "I jes' hope he ain't fallen for none of them fancy types. Who knows with young un's away from home so long? Two years, three months and nineteen days..."

 

She was jolted from her dreaming when the rig stopped in front of the notary's office. They went in, Susanna holding herself shyly, a distance behind Sam. They waited patiently until the rotund man sitting at a desk, a shade on his balding head, stopped shuffling the pages of a paper, took a cigar from his mouth, blowing the smoke to the low ceiling, and nodded for them to approach.

 

"Can I help you folks?" He had studied them and smirked inwardly. He already knew what they wanted by the envelope the woman was now holding tightly to her breast. He savored the momentary power their ignorance and threadbare poverty allowed him.

"We need a letter read, sir." Sam said, matter of factly.

"Sure, no problem." He snapped his fingers, "You got the two-bits?"

"Two-bits? Ain't that a heap o' money for a readin'?" The farmer was incredulous.

 

"'Tis the goin' rate these days, folks, what with the war on an’ all."

"Look, please, Mr. Raines" she came forward, daring to interrupt, holding out the letter to him, "it's a letter from my son in the army, sir, from the war, an' I jes' want to know what it says... please?"

Pushing out his chair, placing his feet on the desk and looking past her at a rider on the street, he answered arrogantly, "This here's a business, ma'am. Gotta have money to make it run. If I read your letter for nothin' everyone'd want the same priv'lege an' I'd be outta business, see?"

"Please..." she hesitated briefly, then tried again, "would you take some eggs, or milk, or a chicken, maybe?"

"Didn't you read my sign? 'Course not, you cain't read! Look at these here big letters" ?-he got up and poked viciously at the sign on his desk, then slammed his fist down?-"How many times do I have to tell you people the same thing? NO PAYMENT IN KIND ACCEPTED. That means, cash, understand? Good day!" He went back to his chair, relit his cigar and exhaled with extra satisfaction. He flicked open his paper with a noncha­lant gesture, ignoring Sam and Susanna who turned and left the office, the droop of their shoulders accented by another of life's endless defeats.

 

"I tried to tell you, woman" Sam said to her, not unsympathetically, as he helped her into the rig. "Edjicashun cos's money and Ben's edjicated and we're jes' dumb farmers. Like preacher says, we gotta accept this from the Lord an' not go put on airs. Jus' wait 'til Timmy returns and he'll read us the letter. By the look o' that envelope, I reckon it's a mighty fine letter."

 

Moved by her silent, bitter tears, he reached for her with his large, calloused hand and brought her close to himself, flicking the reins with his free hand. She turned her face to him for a moment, then leaned against him, holding the letter between them.

 

She rode the rest of the way silently, crushed by her ignor­ance and shamed at having taken Sam from his work. Approach­ing their homestead in the early fall twilight, she did not experience the usual sense of happiness and security which the sight always gave her. She could not articulate the deep sadness which held her as she disembarked and entered the shack.

 

She placed the letter on the small wall shelf above the table, next to the Bible and the faded blue ribbon Timmy had won at school in a spelling bee.

 

Sometimes, on sleepless nights, Susanna would take the letter and hold it tenderly, visualizing her son standing by her side. She saw his green eyes sparkle as her hand went through his unruly reddish hair, his freckled face open in that special smile he had always kept for her alone. She would cry a little, then put it back. She never again dared to have it opened and read, although the preacher passed through several times, and the schoolmarm returned for another year.

 

Rumors that the war had ended began to circulate through the county, but it was only when some of the boys returned and Timmy did not, nor send any more letters, that Samuel realized he had not written the letter and that Susanna had always known.

The Muad'dib


Listen, my friend:

shake every inhibition and fear

every self-centred thought

engendered in you by this life...

or never

will you succeed

in expressing the inexpressible longing of man,

never

comprehend the race's collective sigh

for its lost life.


Learn from freedom;

allow yourself to be set free;

allow your mind to roam freely,

whatever the costs to your body or reputation.

find paradise?-hold lengthy talks

with the Creator:

if you do not,

you are not one of those called,

much less chosen.


Beware

lest you be found wanting!


Therefore,

when choosing someone to reach the heavens,

to save this planet from disaster:

chose yourself.


You still remain

the best choice you can ever make.


Why look for someone else?

There is no one else!


Every age has its saviour

and its martyr;

every age, its laughter

and its tears;

every age its life

and its death

This is a new age.

"The Rich Kingdom"


Once upon a time, a powerful king ruled the world's richest kingdom, known far and wide for its trade because its lands were full of natural resources which older kingdoms had used up or squandered through mismanagement and endless wars. This king ruled reasonably well, making friends with the richest, most influential of his subjects, and alliances with other kingdoms espousing similar financial, political and sometimes even religious views. The figurehead god of these friendly kingdoms was called “Freedom.”


Life was fairly easy in the land, though more lip service was given to the idea of "freedom" than was the actual fact for those living under the domination of the king's friends, the powerful nobles who controlled the banking, manufacturing, and most of the land in the kingdom. Nevertheless, the king's subjects believed they were the freest, happiest, healthiest and wealthiest of any other subjects anywhere.


The old king died and the kingdom passed into the hands of his sons. There was a civil war. The northern prince won, re-united the kingdom and as punishment, freed the southern prince's slaves, bringing many of them north to do menial labor. The nobility greatly profited from the war, becoming even more powerful, so that the king had much less power than his father. He contented himself with his title, his money and all the frills which go with that. The nobility more or less ran things as they saw fit.


The nobles' only game between wars was making money, so they went on a rampage to grab, sell or re-manufacture all the natural resources the kingdom possessed. As these dwindled, so did profits. The nobles, wanting cheap labor and more natural resources to maintain their economic system, approached their playboy king and talked him into "peacemaking" invasions of neighboring lands, under the guise of bringing them freedom.


The idea pleased the bored king. He mustered his arsenal of war and proceeded to conquer whatever smaller kingdom he could without taking too many risks. These invasions were carefully cloaked under the "Freedom" worship, and his subjects, not being known for having great understanding of either politics or philosophy, and never caring about anyone but themselves in any case (being reared in the philosophy of the king and his nobility), accepted these as being greatly beneficial to the conquered kingdoms who became fiefs of the nobility. That tens of thousands of lives were lost by the inhabitants in vain attempts to stop the invasions did not bother the king's subjects either. They believed the official line that "enemies" were responsible for the bloodshed...


Things went along well for a time. New riches flowed in and many of the king's subjects enjoyed an increase in ease and comfort brought about by cheap imported luxuries and exotic foods. There was a great deal of partying and good times all around but hard times crept in again. Debts mounted, as did unemployment and crime. There were racial tensions from previously freed slaves. Angry young people questioned the motives of the nobility. There was a problem disposing of all the garbage accumulated as a result of the importation of cheap luxuries, and people began to die from strange causes which some said were due to "pollution". The nobility’s political campaigns aimed at discounting that possibility only increased mistrust and tension.


Recriminations, posturing, polarization of views, anger and internal violence increased. At about this time, following the advice of his nobles, the king entered into a disastrous war against a tiny distant kingdom rich in natural resources and peopled by a tough, ingenious population. The small kingdom mounted a very effective counter offensive. The king's mighty army was defeated. The kingdom underwent a great funk and the economy went into a serious slump...


Angry at having lost lucrative holdings, the nobles had the playboy king assassinated. The king had no heir, so they searched throughout the kingdom for a replacement. Finally, they chose a court jester appropriately named "Ronald" -- after a clown figurehead of the kingdom's largest hamburger peddler.


The jester was an immediate sensation, with his slanted haircut and his raspy saying... "Well... there you go again...!" a by-line used to generate laughs at the court whenever anyone gave him a resounding kick. It brought comic relief which endeared him to many. He became very popular, repeating all the nobles made him memorize. He made up for the lost war by attacking a pocket-sized neighboring island duchy which had always been friendly to the kingdom and possessed no army, hence posed no danger to the invaders. Ronald made up a fanciful story of intrigue from a northern "Evil Empire.” His subjects believed the jester's story, giving him standing ovations and crowning him savior of the kingdom.


Ecstatic, the jester went on a speaking tour to make the world aware once more of the power of his kingdom, and to make everyone realize the deep wisdom his days as a court clown had given him. In the course of his travels, he attended a meeting of the World Kingdoms Federation, and after saying his famous phrase and getting the appropriate response, he launched into a now-famous speech about the imminent threat of aliens attacking the planet, and the need for the world's kingdoms to unite their military capability under his leadership and prepare for a war of the worlds. He was referring to a famous hoax in his kingdom's past when the entire population had been panicked into thinking they were being invaded by Martians. You see, Ronald believed the event had really happened!


It seems that the jester’s smooth talk only covered up deepening rifts in society and a deteriorating economic situation. More unemployment followed. Gold reserves were depleted, causing panic. Smaller kingdoms rebelled against the jester's rule and he had to put down the rebellions so his friends wouldn't lose their castles, ranches, mines, logging operations, plantations, hotels and slaves which had grown to enormous proportions over the years. The kingdom's debt increased even as the nobles got richer. There was grumbling in the streets and tenements. Finally, the jester was deposed and lesser kings followed. Things continued to slip.


Making matters even worse, the Evil Empire of the north whose ever-present threat had galvanized the will of the people behind their kings, suddenly crumbled as the elites re-shuffled themselves within the growing corruption within that dictatorship. Becoming dangerously exposed, having lost all popular support, disgusted with the political squabbling of petty, powerless kings endlessly whining for more credits, the nobles of the Southern Kingdom devised a new plan to free themselves forever from the domination of any king or kingdom: they would place an economic web over the entire planet. No individual kingdom would be able to function outside it. "Brilliant" they said to each other, "We will call it "Free Trade," a perfect name for world-wide economic dictatorship! Those who refuse to accept the system will be frozen out by simple economic manipulation-a much more efficient and deadly force than any military operation. Entire kingdoms, even continents, can be starved by touching a computer keyboard."


Enthralled with their own wisdom, the Nobles approached some of the stupidest ruling monarchs in friendly kingdoms and sold them the idea by giving them credits "under the table" and they bought the deal. These besotted kings replaced their finance ministers with individuals chosen by the Free Trade Nobility, and austerity measures were enacted. The story given to the unsuspecting subjects was that they were to be put through a belt-tightening plan in order to reduce their kingdoms' collective debt in order to revive the economy. This seemed reasonable to the majority. They had no understanding of economics, a taboo subject in the land's institutions of higher learning. Only special initiates could enter the economic priesthood, after swearing eternal allegiance to "Mammon", the new godhead of the FTN (Free Trade Nobility).


A few years later, at a World Conference of Kingdoms, much discussion took place regarding the desperate state of the economies of all the world's kingdoms. All were heavily indebted and the debts kept increasing exponentially. The kings blamed their predecessors and the people in general for causing this problem.


To illustrate the ignorance of these kings, consider this: not one of them ever questioned the nature of the debt itself, or asked how such a thing could even happen in a closed economic system. How could they not see that they, and their subjects were being taken for a ride of global proportions? How could they not see that the sole purpose of the exercise was to bankrupt all their kingdoms in order to transfer all the riches and all the power into the hands of the FTN? How could they not realize they, not the FTN, were the ones who possessed the only valid source of power: the lands, the resources and the labor? If any did, they were cowed by the threat of loss of credit rating!

Helplessly, the kings pledged their lands and subjects to the belt-tightening measures of the FTN. The drawback for many of the lesser nobles was that less and less tax money was available for them to grow rich on. Some even faced the insulting situation of having to pay taxes! This was untenable, a break with tradition, and clear violation of the nobility's rights under their charter appropriately entitled "Might makes Right!"

Fortunately for these home-based nobles there were still some unemployed court jesters hanging around. Some approached the nobles and showed they had taken courses in economics as part of their severance packages. Briefly, their ideas were:

"Look, in poorer countries and under most dictatorships, your peers don't have to pay taxes or the exorbitant wages you do here. Their wives can own as many pairs of shoes as they want! Why don't you go there to make your stuff, then bring it back here to sell?"


"When enough of you have moved out, the unemployed here will be starving and will settle for any job! Then you’ll have cheap labor and consumers to sell your goodies to. By paying the lowest of wages, providing no social benefits, paying no taxes and having access to all the raw materials for free, you will even be able to sell the cheapest junk to the poorest countries, thus getting back the little you pay them. The world will be in your back pocket, gentlemen!"


The jesters were immediately declared economic gurus and given a free hand in everything. The hue and cry of the day became: "Cutbacks, Cutbacks!" Wages dropped, factories closed, benefits were eliminated and prices increased. Only in the case of serious competition were they allowed to drop, but only as a temporary measure. Any corporation or business that couldn't move its main manufacturing operations to cheaper labor areas, or did not reduce its labor force or costs of operation, was eased out of the FTN, thus condemned to certain elimination as a player in the credit market.


There was a new surge of optimism and signs of economic upswing. Most FTN enterprises relocated, then flooded the Southern Kingdom's markets with endless consumer goods. At first the baubles sold readily. Many subjects had well-paying jobs which hadn't been eliminated yet. Many had pensions and there were still government programs doling out credits to a few of the unemployed. Below that was a sort of dwindling safety net derogatorily known as "welfare", an underfunded and abused program which the FTN vowed to end as it kept people from having to accept sub-standard wages and appalling work conditions. The last flourishing government system in the land were the prisons, all filled to capacity. The FTN cast ambivalent glances at the cost of maintaining these and began to plan how it could re-instate the death penalty for a majority of crimes.


Now a terrible thing happened in the FTN kingdoms: the baubles stopped selling! The "stoppage" was a disaster, not for the kingdoms' subjects, most of whom had by now "fallen through the cracks of the system", but for the FTN which now ruled the world with a dictatorial power completely dependent upon cheap labor and massive sales. Goods were packed in computerized stores, shopping malls, display windows; filled trucks, planes, trains, ships, warehouses; made mounds in streets, highways, fields, guarded by armed robots. Finally, no one even tried to steal them: they couldn't be given away...!


Consternation struck. There was a global emergency meeting of the FTN membership: all 306.4 of them, with their assistants and serving robots. "What happened? Why can't we SELL? Why is no one BUYING? There was only stunned silence. To break the tension, the chairman called for refreshments, but the robots had stalled in the cold, damp atmosphere and no human worker was available to supply services. The company which owned the facilities had got rid of its employees months earlier to rebuild its credit rating with the FTN. The move had been hailed as a great success by the "Freedom Institute", a think tank group which kept tab on FTN developments. Since then, the "We Cater to all your Needs" corporation had purchased several other franchises. They owned hundreds of facilities, some of them capable of serving crowds in excess of thousands, and boasted a total staff of 35 people, one of whom had been a famous sports personality to whom the corporation had given a five-year contract of 23.6 million credits to appear on a TV commercial and repeat the famous slogan.


Cold, hungry, and getting angrier by the minute, all the famous representatives of the FTN, their marketing managers, efficiency experts, advertising executives, financial advisors and bankers lined up like vultures at a carcass, sat at empty tables staring at one-another. One of them, wandering off hoping to find a working toilet, uncovered an old telephone overlooked in the cutbacks. He picked up the receiver and heard a dial tone! Tentatively, he fingered a yellowed telephone book and looked under "Heating and Air Conditioning". He called several numbers, all disconnected, and was just about to give up when he made contact. A human voice answered his "Hello?"


"Yeah, hi. Who's this?" The strong female voice seemed so jovial and friendly... He was taken aback, but desperate, he continued,


"Could you send someone to the Forum ? The heating system’s down and it’s too cold for our robots to operate."

"That so? No heat? No service from the plastic dummies? What an awful thing to happen at an international meetin' of the FTN!" He heard the woman chuckle.


"How did you know about that?"


"Oh, we know what's goin' on. We bin followin' your moves. Hell, fellah, we got time since we don't slave for you turkeys no more!"


"OK, never mind the politics. Can you help us?"


"Sure. But I run a business, and have kids to feed, if you know what I mean. What can you gimme for my time?"


"Anything! Just name the amount of credit you want..." He heard a hearty laugh.



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