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Monthly Archives: January 2012

we say “I do” – but we don’t

 

it was written

that the word

became flesh

became man

took form

and shaped

reshaped the form

lived amongst us

 

it is also written

that we must do

as was done

as the word fleshed

so must we

 

so when, do tell

so when will our words

become flesh?

when will our words

live amongst us?

through us

in us

 

for no greater…

has any

than to…

 

“I love you”

what?

what does that mean?

just words

 

we hear

lots of them

spun beautifully

we read

feel the glow of their presence

what do you meme?

what is the meme-ing of life?

 

but we still need

to carry the book

feel compelled

to quote

unquote

because we forget

so immediately

 

not backed up

with nothing to back it up

except a leather binding

words

letters

thin ink

on thin paper

 

as shadows

we see a reflection

glance away for a second…

and we are found

having lost our place

 

in a smoked mirror

we have forgotten

we have lost

our space

we have lost

our face

 

and the face

of God

 

A good friend recently wrote a blog entry on entitlement (http://sevencitys.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/entitlement/) and it got me thinking of the word “entitle.” – It means ‘to furnish with a right or claim to something’ but it also means ‘to give a name or title to…’

I was thinking how we seem to need to put things in a box, to sum them up, to define them, to measure them and give them a definition, a tag, a name …

Perhaps we do this to try overcome our insecurity? We seem to need to have things all measured up and sorted out.  We seem to need to be in control.

So maybe the opposite of entitlement could be seen as letting go and like a child, being a perpetual explorer.  Like one who holds things lightly yet respectfully, with awe and also with a great deal of fun and playfulness as well, allowing our horizons to shift and change as each new experience challenges and changes the shape and texture of our playing field.  A position of humility as we acknowledge that we are only little and there is so much to grow into and to discover.  As a result we would then perhaps tend to refrain from closing things down too quickly … maybe even not allow things to be closed down at all … even though everything inside of us screams for stability and definition, measurability and full understanding.

A title is a very formal thing.  It can tend to say too much and too little about what something is all at the same time.

We live in a vast place of space and from every angle, the scientific as well as the theological, it seems to be as best we can tell, infinite.  Whether we like it or not there is no measurable end or beginning in any direction.

So why start closing things down now?

An attitude of entitlement transcends political theories or mindsets.  It also predates it.

 

An attitude of entitlement speaks of a state of heart, not mind … a spirituality, not a democratic choice.  It transcends cognitive self determination as it determines what we choose all day, every day.

 

There is this alarming article that opens up a discussion on the issue:

http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/South-Africa-0-Rest-of-Africa-10-20120117

 

Clearly colonial influence in Africa (and around the globe) is and has been nothing short of diabolical and systems like Apartheid in South Africa are inexcusable and indefensible.   The article has this to say of the South African way of thinking:

“We could not understand being the power house, one of the richest country on the continent, with every resource available; why has South Africa become so different from the rest of Africa.

Apartheid came to mind – but seeing what happened on the rest of the continent, Apartheid seemed to be a tea party in comparison to the brutality of other colonial powers.

Rwanda 1 Million dead within 100 days due to the colonial blunders. The Belgian colonial past and King Leopold’s ghost in Central and Central West Africa left 13 Million people dead. The Germans butchered their way around South West Africa and German East Africa. The Portuguese Colonial Wars left scores dead and resulted in two bloody civil wars in Mozambique and Angola, and the French also did not run their colonies as Health Spas with brutality and death of the local inhabitants. Britain in the 1950’s dunked their hands into blood with the Mau Mau Wars where castrations, death and brutality in Kenya were the daily order and the list goes on for every corner in Africa. With this history as whites we should be hated in every corner of the continent – but we are not. “

The Kingdom of Heaven comes from within and not from without.  This applies to the culture, theology and politics of the Afrikaaner and the birth and implementation of the Apartheid system as much as it speaks to the colonial influences present at the time.  It is not a skin colour issue nor a generational, cultural, economic or political one.

 

We must deal with our history (whoever we are) but infinitely more importantly we must deal with our present.  It is the only thing we have total control of each second.

 

What does this say about us?

… you just need prisoners

“… i look and see all the oppression taking place under the sun:

i see the tears of the oppressed— and they have no comforter;
power is on the side of the oppressors—
yet they too have no comforter…”

in our present consumer society freedom is mostly seen as having access to the biggest part of the pie … or a big part of the pie previously denied

this is perhaps nice, but is it really freedom?

so who then is free?

many institutions promise freedom but first these require signing up to them and alignment to some form of prescribed order

some see freedom as no order at all … but is that freedom?

a questionable position could be to have freedom defined as something outside of our present reality

…but we would have to leave before we would be free to find out

… and what if it’s not true? … is that freedom?

so what then is freedom?

 

it is said that knowing the truth will set you free

but how do we know what the truth is?

… and how free are we to even find out?

Reason –  the basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reason)

 

There’s this much cherished passage in the ancient texts that has God recorded as saying to a deviant and fallen mankind, “come, let us reason together…”

 

What was God asking here?

Can we reason?

And if so is the reason we apply really objective at all?… and if it is, can we really make a rational decision one way or another?

 

Whatever we do, whether good or bad will have a basis or motive for that action.  To my mind this is not in question.  However, whether the basis or motive we apply in any given situation is conscious or subconscious, intentional or ‘instinctual’ is for me a most interesting challenge.

Can we reasonably believe that we are in control of our thoughts and actions cognitively?  Or does basic reason suggest that we are driven by other things … even things we are not even aware of? …perhaps deep things from many diverse, possibly even unfathomable sources?

 

There is a basis and a motive every time when we act as well as when we react … but what is it?  Perhaps we would go mad if we even tried to understand what these are?

 

Clearly we spend a lot of time trying to persuade others of our point of view

 

Maybe all we are doing is trying to persuade ourselves?

 

Why Doubt Is a Passionate Exercise

http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201112/do-you-believe/is-our-faith-misguided

 

beaten into fragments

herded into holes

chased into the inside

bending with the folds

 

leave me alone

I raise a stifled shout

I’m lonely and it’s dark

but dark is always better they say

when searching for an arc

 

a silent scream

a swallowed cough

a sneeze that never comes

a vacant breath

a heaving chest

words are never done

 

pressing on into the dark

to the corner of the pen

wanting to be released

but we burrow on again

 

we search for light

but there is none

we gasp again for air

we hold our breath

and take a break

and press on in despair

 

and above

the leaders celebrate

recalling days of old

singing songs

of victories won

the stories often told

 

but will our children have a song

will there be air to breathe

will they be able to walk tall

in the carnage we will leave

 

but still above

the leaders revel

and drink and loose the tongue

recalling days of old

and singing songs

of long past victories won

 

of stories often talked about

which will be told, and told again

to drown the stench

of recent days

and the ways of fallen men

On a mountain hike my wife was walking just ahead of me when I noticed on the back of the ankles of her new trainers was the brand style mark/logo “623.”

This grabbed my attention and when I asked her what it meant she said that she had not even thought about it. In fact she had not even noticed that there was brand number on her training shoes.

I then asked her, “would you have noticed or purchased the trainers had it had a brand logo/mark “666” on the back?”

She hesitated, looked a bit startled, thought about it and then said she didn’t know if she would or not.

I wonder how many would have not bought the trainers had they noticed … or how many would have in fact noticed immediately had it said “666”?

We go to a very reputable restaurant and order the master or head chef’s speciality.  We so enjoy the meal that we simply can not stop celebrating the culinary experience we had just had, so when the waiter comes to clear the dishes we express our delight … but just telling the waiter is clearly not adequate praise for the meal.  So we ask for the manager or even the chef himself to be summonsed that we might tell them directly.

I wonder what would happen if when the manager and/or the head chef arrived at our table we all stood to our feet and shouted,

“Bravo!” “Well done!!” “Excellent!” “Encore!”

… and then one of us started a slow hand clap whilst the whole table began to bang their hands on the table top shouting out louder and louder,

…“more!” “more!” “moRE!” “mORE!” “MORE!” “MORE!”… in a deafening crescendo and did not stop until the chef had scuttled back to the kitchen to quickly improvise a delectable extra helping for the whole table?

Perhaps the most appropriate way to celebrate the decades of culinary skill and expertise as well as the intricate planning and preparation for the evenings delightful entertainment might be to tip the artiste generously – at least in keeping with our great pleasure, to appropriately express our appreciation and indeed honour for the excellence of the occasion.  Thereafter perhaps we could even tell as many as we see fit of our wonderful experience and encourage them to also go and experience it for themselves first hand.  Perhaps we could even go repeatedly ourselves to relive the amazing cultural experience…

The meal cost the chef a specified amount, in terms of the practical costs of the foodstuffs and all other supplies needed but also in terms of years training and personal preparation and skill.

I wonder what the encore would cost him?

I am a professional musician and…