May 6th, 2012

Giving Up Meditation For Lent

My only Lenten promise to myself was that i would increase my meditation -- particularly around the theme of compassion.  It didn't happen and now Lent is concluded, we are four weeks into Easter, and we will soon be back in "ordinary time."  But then, i am always in ordinary time; but then i am never in ordinary time.

I claim to be a loner, almost a hermit.  The spiritual paths of others, i say, are not my path.  I am the rogue elephant in the forest; i am the king who has lost his kingdom, the traveler of the pathless path.  Yet when i am alone too long i am too much adrift.  Dianne has a spiritual life, one more powerful than she realizes, but i can only cheer her on and share small fragments of it.  Church more often leaves me angry than peaceful, but i will not change churches or religions,  At any rate, i have not attended Church in five weeks.  I rely on the little group that meets once each month.  But lately there are missed meetings and the meditation that often ends meetings has been skipped.  We are still slowly pursuing the quest for a "more compassionate life."

Today i have glanced at the "four immeasurable minds of love."  How powerful they seem!  How important!  How can i just ignore them for weeks at a time?   I could feel them working on me with just the little effort i was putting into them.  So how i just stop that effort?  I am not bullying myself; i am not being scrupulous; i am very relaxed about the process.  Could i be too relaxed?  No more.

Today i will pray the "immeasurables" for my self and three other people: A person i care about, a person i don't care about, and a person i dislike.  These should be people i know personally (including LJ friends).  There are many people i care about.  In fact the number of people i care about personally is pretty much the same as the number of people i know personally.  So finding someone i know and dislike may be hard-(-maybe R.)  Finding someone i know but don't care about will be much harder.  I will need to go to the circumference of my circle of acquaintances -- and i don't know if there is anybody out there.  Perhaps there is this vast wasteland* separating my few friends from the masses and newsmakers (who are way to easy to dislike).

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May R be free of preferences and prejudices,......

                                                                     .........................

Peace (upeksha) love (maitra), compassion (karuna), and joy (mudita)  to everyone!


*Actually, this is quite unlkely given the "small world" or "six degrees of separation"  phenomenon  Any body i know is likely to know a bunch of people, each of whom knows a bunch more people, etc. so that nearly the entire population of the planet will be within the "sixth" degree of separation.  Pick somebody (like the president of Iran)  I know my neighborhood activist, who knows the precinct committeeman, who knows the congressman, who knows the Secretary of State, who knows Ahmadinijad.

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon - Anarchist (or Libertarian or Something)

To be GOVERNED is to be watched, inspected, spied upon, directed, law-driven, numbered, regulated, enrolled, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, checked, estimated, valued, censured, commanded, by creatures who have neither the right nor the wisdom nor the virtue to do so. To be GOVERNED is to be at every operation, at every transaction noted, registered, counted, taxed, stamped, measured, numbered, assessed, licensed, authorized, admonished, prevented, forbidden, reformed, corrected, punished. It is, under pretext of public utility, and in the name of the general interest, to be place[d] under contribution, drilled, fleeced, exploited, monopolized, extorted from, squeezed, hoaxed, robbed; then, at the slightest resistance, the first word of complaint, to be repressed, fined, vilified, harassed, hunted down, abused, clubbed, disarmed, bound, choked, imprisoned, judged, condemned, shot, deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed; and to crown all, mocked, ridiculed, derided, outraged, dishonored. That is government; that is its justice; that is its morality.
—P.-J. Proudhon, "What Is Government?", General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century, translated by John Beverly Robinson (London: Freedom Press, 1923), pp. 293-294.
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Georges Sorel (Anarchist -- or Fascist or Something Else)

Science, he maintained, "is not a ‘mill’ into which you can drop any problem facing you, and which yields solutions",  that are automatically true and authentic. Yet, this is precisely how too many people seem to regard it.
...(T)hat is way "too much of a conceptual, ideological construction",  smothering our perception of truth through the "stifling oppression of remorselessly tidy rational organisation." ...(T)he inevitable "consequence of the modern scientific movement and the application of scientific categories and methods to the behaviour of men" is an outburst of interest in irrational forces, religions, social unrest, criminality and deviance - resulting directly from an overzealous and monistic obsession with scientific rationalism.
And what science confers, "a moral grandeur, bureaucratic organisation of human lives in the light of…la petite science, positivist application of quasi-scientific rules to society – all this ...(is) so much self-delusion and nonsense that generates no good and nothing of lasting value.

Above quotations from:
[1] Sir Isaiah Berlin, Against The Current: Essays in the History of Ideas, London: Pimlico, 1997
Georges Sorel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia