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Evil


I posted this poem tonight in response to a raging debate on another blog site. I thought some here might appreciate it. It's a sonnet about life in general but people always seem to take it personally. It isn't intended that way. It is only meant to reflect the duality of Being which, to some, is merely Yin and Yang but to others embodied in the emotionally charged concepts of good and evil, God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell. Most of us know, however, that it is much more than any of these.



Evil


Of sunlight and moonlight what can I say?
One shines in the night, one brings us the day.
One reflects in the darkness but the one
in the deeper dark brings the light.

Of protons and electrons, what said of their way?
One positive, one not, one shall follow, one stay.
One spins toward the yes but that spun
towards the no brings the balance.

A strange symmetry here on the planet of life,
for easily, if no moon, only dark in the night.
But if no night and no moon to rise in the sky,
then no day to divide the when from the why.

If no danger, no struggle, no reason to fight.
If no equal opposing, no wrong to make right.


Copyright 2009 – Tall Grass & High Waves, Gary B. Fitzgerald
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Evil


A contemplative poem, Gary. Nothing to get hot-under-the-collar about.

I enjoyed reading it.

Chris
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Re: Evil


Nothing to get hot under the collar about, as Christ says, but that some people do is also nothing new under the sun, eh?
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Re: Evil


Yep. A dyed in the wool Taoist you are. I am trying to remember the first bastard who invented the dual concept of moral Good and Evil. I remember. The ancient Persian, Zoraster. Also known as Zarathustra. What a lousy legacy his sorting system left in its wake. When I die, assuming there is an afterlife, I'll seek the son of a !@#$ out. And I'll punch him in the gut, enjoying the breath I take out of him. And I'll put my books in his face. And I'll point out to him the record of murder his notions about Good and Evil have brought about, still bring about. Guess your poem gets to me.

Tere
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Re: Evil


Dear Tere:

In reply to your comment, following is an exchange that resulted when I posted this same sonnet on another blog. The poem is not actually about duality. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. The point is that the concept of ‘duality’ is a result of our limited perception of reality. Your old friend Art Durkee made a comment about Taoism on yet another blog. My reply to him was: “Careful…you are on thin ice. Do not assume that ‘simplicity’ is so simple.”


Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 13, 2011 at 12:33 am

.

Evil

Of sunlight and moonlight what can I say?
One shines in the night, one brings us the day.
One reflects in the darkness but the one
in the deeper dark brings the light.

Of protons and electrons, what said of their way?
One positive, one not, one shall follow, one stay.
One spins toward the yes but that spun
towards the no brings the balance.

A strange symmetry here on the planet of life,
for easily, if no moon, only dark in the night.
But if no night and no moon to rise in the sky,
then no day to divide the when from the why.

If no danger, no struggle, no reason to fight.
If no equal opposing, no wrong to make right.


Copyright 2009 – Tall Grass & High Waves, Gary B. Fitzgerald


wfkammann said,
May 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Duality is called “the fundamental ignorance.” The pig that grabs the snake that grabs the rooster. It is the one to eliminate, too, if we want to be rid of craving and avoiding.
 
My friend Tom Weaver once wrote:
 
It’s all one; it’s all two
It’s all for you to tell me everything, except for what to do.
It’s all one; it’s all two
It’s up to you!
 

Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm

“When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty,
There arises the recognition of ugliness.
When they all know the good as good,
There arises the recognition of evil.”
– Lao tzu


wfkammann said,
May 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Quote it all Gary

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.
Being and non-being create each other.
Difficult and easy support each other.
Long and short define each other.
High and low depend on each other.
Before and after follow each other.
Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn’t possess,
acts but doesn’t expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.
 

Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 14, 2011 at 1:05 am

Thank you, Mr. Kammann, although the veracity of the translation you chose may be a little suspect. Considering, first, that Lao-tzu’s little book was written for a (male) emperor and further considering the status of women in 600 B.C. (not to mention in many countries even today), the use of ‘she’ for a master may be cute and contemporary, but hardly accurate.

I have 17 translations of the Tao Te Ching plus two in Chinese. It would be helpful if you used a better translation to make your point since we are now talking about philosophy rather than literature. I do appreciate, however, your knowledge of and interest in Taoism.

Gary
 

wfkammann said,
May 14, 2011 at 2:54 am

The point is that Lao-tzu never stops at duality; so, the portion you chose was misleading.
http://home.pages.at/onkellotus/TTK/_IndexTTK.html
This site has 193 translations into multiple languages. Take your pick.
There are certainly Taoist goddesses. No Yang without Yin. No?

A Cup of Tea

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”


Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 14, 2011 at 3:21 am
 
Unfortunately, as with so many, you are unable to differentiate Zen Buddhism from Taoism.

“He who knows, does not say.
He who says, does not know.”
– Lao tzu



Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 14, 2011 at 3:37 am

I should note here that, based on your responses, Mr. Kammann, it appears that you have not only completely missed the point of my poem, but also my response to your comment about it with the quote from Lao tzu. Ironically, I was making the very point that you have used to disagree with the very point I was making. You must study more.


wfkammann said,
May 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Must I? And you must drink less tea.
 


wfkammann said,
May 14, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Take Lao Tsu’s advice. Hush!



Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

He who does not know and thinks he knows…
he is a fool. Ignore him.

He who does not know and knows he does not know…
he is teachable. Teach him.

He who knows and knows he knows…
He is wise. Follow him.

You are also a rude bastard, nasty, arrogant and insulting. You know?


wfkammann said,
May 14, 2011 at 10:40 pm
 
Yes, and I know I know. Follow me!!



Gary B. Fitzgerald said,
May 15, 2011 at 1:38 am
 
:-)

Last edited by GaryBFitzgerald, May/24/2011, 9:53 pm
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libramoon Profile
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Re: Evil


Basho's Footprint
 
Seek what's been sought by the wise in texts of glowing poetry, in deep-
singed blues
in crypt-hewn runes,
in deepest breath turned inward, surprising miles of memory
in whispered library words
by monks solitary
in solidarity with Muse
who wanders through all time, e-motion, all need for meaning
Seek where your living leads
expecting not, nor pleading for
rejecting not, nor bleeding for
with eyes, with mind, with hands
unbound

May 27, 2010
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Re: Evil


I’m sorry if I get frustrated, but it is Western religion that draws this line between light and dark, good and bad, Heaven and Hell, God and the Devil. The point the Taoists were making is that there is no line. God IS the Devil, up IS down, right IS wrong, Heaven IS Hell . . . depending on your perspective..

Does the Earth turn clockwise or counter-clockwise? Well, looking down at the North Pole, it’s counter-clockwise, looking up at the South Pole it’s clockwise. Get it? Same same…just perspective.



Bewildered


How reconcile this paradox,
this Creator who loves creation,
with the brutality and blood
that makes it turn,
the endless flow of life,
forms granted their existence
by the eating of each other,
the bewildered, starving young
still awaiting their dead mother?

How resolve this lack of compassion,
this cruelly designed summation
by the One who loves us all,
those lost to fire and fang and flood
or blown from nests in storms?

We will reason, for we are human,
and create our fine Religions
which our reason then deforms.


Copyright 2010 – Ponds and Lawns- New and Corrected Poems, Gary B. Fitzgerald
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Re: Evil


P.S.: libramoon,

I saw your poem on Gallaher's blog.
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Re: Evil


This is turning into a fun thread. I am hoping others tap into it with their take on the elephant from the standpoint of yet another pair of blind eyes and groping hands trying to describe the whole of the beast, which is what we all possess when it comes to these things. For example, I would be delighted if Kat comes in with her Sufi take. Right now I am thinking of a few Troubador poets who actually had something to say on what constitutes The Way, for lack of a better term.

I just got home from work. The heat has arrived in southern LA. In the bee yards I have to move slow in order to keep steady, take in fluids every half-hour, or end up not moving at all. Right now that is my Way. And it always brings me back to that old Greek poet, Hesiod, the other, un-Homeric tradition of epic poetry. A wealthy land owner and farmer. But back then landowners, even wealthy ones, worked their butts off. One of epics is called Works and Days. Moral of which is simple. In the end, women will leave you, childen betray you, friends use you up. All that is left to you are works and days. That was Hesiod's way. I begrudge him the fact he had a point.

At age 16 I had to choose between the 3 Ps: the priesthood, philosophy, poetry. The first time a girl gave of herself I got that the priesthood was out. A decade or so later I got that philosophy always and only explains itself, never the world, never existence, never what it means to be human. Eventually I discovered there was a fourth P to reckon with. Power. Not just power over others, politics, but power over myself, or wisdom. Instinctively I got there is neither politics or wisdom in poetry. There it is.

Tere
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Re: Evil


   The Blindmen and the Elephant

 
It was six men of Hindustan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy the mind.

The first approached the Elephant
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side
At once began to bawl:
"Bless me, it seems the Elephant
Is very like a wall".

The second, feeling of his tusk,
Cried, "Ho! What have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear".

The third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Then boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake."

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Hindustan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

 - John Godfrey Saxe


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culdesac101 Profile
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Re: Evil


waiting for this day to arrive. it's taking longer than usual.

pralay

Last edited by culdesac101, May/27/2011, 1:19 pm
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Re: Evil


Naimittika Pralaya on December 21, 2012?
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Re: Evil


any one will do ma'am.

i am recuperating at home.in apparent peace. a colleague calls me up halfway thru my bowl of boiled noodles asking me if i knew it was Towel Day.

the world can go to Naraka for all i care

Last edited by culdesac101, May/27/2011, 1:31 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Evil


Here's on Sufi's take:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.
 
Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi - 13th century
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Re: Evil


Beyond

I slip through the hour-glass,
breathe ethereal sand,
to land unseen, yet tasted
deeply in the interstices
of consciousness.

Will I meet you there?
A long-lost hope,
inspiring melody
synergizing anthem of camaraderie?
Welcome me to this place
beyond secrets and stars.

(c) January 19, 2008 Laurie Corzett/libramoon
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Re: Evil


Y'all make me wish I wasn't so committed to unwisdom.

Tere
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Re: Evil


http://chirotic.wordpress.com/2011/05/28/on-truth/
 
On Truth…
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Re: Evil


Supermind


i confess i haven't read it. but seems profound at first glance.
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Re: Evil


A word for unwisdom, for the heart.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/may/29/gil-scott-heron-appreciation-jamie-byng

Please check out the video.

Tere
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Re: Evil


Tere,

Hmm, why are you connecting unwisdom with the heart? It seems to me that wisdom comes from the heart, the home of compassion.
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Re: Evil


Fair question, Kat. One deserving of a better answer than I have the brain energy to give. (Monday evening, heat is upon LA, day spent in a brutal, fully exposed yard.)

Deliberate decision made a good 30 years ago: I can have wisdom or I can have poetry, but I can't have both. Without the raw, without the mistakes, without mistakes repeated, without the Tarot's First Born Fool, there is no poetry. Not in the sense of poetry I respond to. A position in direct opposition, it seems to me, to what amounts to wisdom. Does wisdom have heart? I am not sure it does.

But this is just me and meant for me only.

Tere
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elizabeth anne Profile
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This is one of the threads I read that so intimidated me, but...

aha! on my spiritual journey, today I received e-mails referencing Sufis and Taoism, and I am also reading Bernie Siegel's "Peace, Love, and Healing" with similar references, which can only speak into my healing soul to tell me that this is where I belong at this moment; the Divine has something to say to me at this moment.

I also wonder, Tere, why you cannot have wisdom and poetry at the same time, and with all humility, because I don't even know you, I still don't understand your answer. It seems to me that you and the whole of the group are indeed wise in the totality of exploration of experience and inching the boundaries of thought.

Blessings--ElizAnn
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GaryBFitzgerald Profile
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Re: Evil


Strange thing about life...

We always seem to be exactly where we are supposed to be. Sort of like the 'Everything happens for a reason' thing.

Go figure. God knows.

;-)

 
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Terreson Profile
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Re: Evil


You be fine here, EA. Gary just said it best. Ain't no final answers.

But here is something for the topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oqiOBp4ITlM&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Gary, you just might be forcing me into taking a philosophical position. That of the fool's. Kind of serious actually.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Jun/1/2011, 12:42 am
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Katlin Profile
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Re: Evil


Hey Tere,

I've posted this before: Jean Houston wrote in "The Search for the Beloved":

"It is our yearning that will take us to our edges so we will fall into the imaginal world where our destiny as co-creators lies. We are tricked into the imaginal realm through a trick of the heart, for the heart will trick most people faster and deeper than will the games of the mind. . . . Blessed are the lovers, for they are willing to be such fools that they will be tricked--tricked into evolution, tricked into angelhood, tricked into bringing the transformational information into the world of space and time."

In another thread your wrote: "I have never thought poetry has anything to do with other-worldly products of the imagination." Your description in "Open Faces" of "Melissa’s twin sister, the oval face of his own inside sister" falls into the category of the "imaginal realm" and "transformational information" that Houston refers to, I reckon.

BTW, isn't the fool, like the trickster, the one who often says the wisest things? I think all true wisdom comes from the heart and is born of experience. Not to worry, plenty of time and material for poetry: It takes a whole lot of foolishness before one becomes wise. Lifetimes of foolishness even. emoticon

Ricky Nelson - Garden Party 1985

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFugRFKqjFg&feature=related

"If memories were all I sang,
I'd rather drive a truck."
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Re: Evil


http://permissiontoshine.wordpress.com/

“It’s simple. To be a learner, you’ve got to be willing to be a fool.” – George Leonard, Author of ‘Mastery’
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Re: Evil


Yep. Enjoying the thread. Copying over a poem by an old friend, long since dead, posted on another forum. I think it speaks to the theme.

Here is a poem written by L.D. Cooper in '77. Some remember I've said we started out together back then. The woman to whom he dedicated the poem in '80 has posted the poem on her web page. I decided to copy it to here, to keep it up for as long as Delectable Mnts is around. L.D. would perform the poem, accompanying it by slapping his hands against his chest.

Tere


"...You can't bear the hole in the bottom of the soul..." (from The Buddha, The Fool and The Rat by L.D. Cooper, 1977)

The Buddha and the Fool and the Rat
A Slap Song (meant to be heard)
- by Larry Don Cooper from SONGS AND TESTAMENTS
dedicated to "My love, Candy, 24 Sept 1980"

The Buddha and the Fool and the Rat

There's a problem dear
Brought to question here
That brings a proud man
To many a tear
And it all has to do
With a thing called fear
Do tell Do tell

Some blame it on love
Some blame it on hate
Some blame it on the angels
At the holy gate
Some blame it on whores
And the hounds and the sluts
Some blame it on the mud
And the blood and the guts
Some blame it on kids
In their ivory towers
Some blame it on Christ
When the memory sours
But it all comes down
Yes it all comes down
To this To this

You can't bear the hole
In the bottom of your soul
Can't bear Can't bear
You can't bear the hole
In the bottom of your soul
Where the rat runs in
And the rat runs out
Where the Buddha talks Zen
And the Jester shouts
"All rot my friend
But oh how droll
There's nothing holy
In a hole in the soul
Just a hole Just a hole"

It's a thing called fear
Brought to question here
Drives women to beer
Lays a man on his ear
To fear To fear

To fear the hole
In the bottom of the soul
Where the rat runs in
And the rat runs out
Where the Buddha drinks gin
and the Jester shouts:
"Well I don't know
It just might be
There never was a god
Nor never will be"
No God? No God!

And that is the fear
Brings many a tear
Drives a woman to gas
Lays a man on his ass
No God! No God?

How perfectly old
How very household
The question's been tossed
And crossed and lost
But it all comes down
Yes it all comes down
To this To this

We just don't know
No we just don't know
Do tell Do tell

We can't be right
And we can't be wrong
And that's the name
Of that song - so
Don't be disturbed
By the rumbles of the rat
Nor scared
By the Jester's lear
Be glad you were born
Not a cat nor a bat
Nor a hog nor a dog
Nor a common treefrog
Be glad you were born
To fear To fear

And screw your courage
To the sticking place
(Sweet William said
Though he's now quite dead)
And face that fear
That you hold so dear
Amen Amen

Now gather round
Your fiddlers three
(The Buddha and the Fool
And the Rat makes three)
And dance a jig
For love and strife
And drink a toast
To life To life!

(Copied exactly as it was typed by the author,
all misspellings and capitalizations exactly as written) LDC/cghl 12/27/09

Tere
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Re: Evil


Wow! What spectacular passion!!

And now for a synchronicity of commentary from another venue:

I think we do a disservice to the human spirit if we consider greed some kind of personal evil or meanness. It is rather a rational even when unconscious resonance with a societal philosophy of materialism and hierarchy. It is not even greed as we tend to view it, but a general rapaciousness, a reaction to desires that are not reflected upon or understood that just demands with existential ache. If the best we can achieve is material success, and the more we can acquire the better we have shown ourselves to be, it would be foolish to not aspire to greed. When we can become convinced that our best efforts can aspire to more powerful, deeply meaningful, goals, greed will not longer be an issue.
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Re: Evil


Tere,

Thank you so much for the post on Gil Scott-Heron. I was deeply moved. He spoke to my heart.

EA
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Re: Evil



"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."


As You Like It - (Act V, Scene I)

- William Shakespeare
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