by M.L. Crider
Mason & Ellis,
downtown at The Old Siam
Pigeons & Vagrants flock
on forgotten pavement
their Song for Invisible brass bands
Travelers & Locals
. . . stride
No Song escapes their lips,
Phones & briefcases filling time,
Silent swarming in mad grips
Ghosts perch on lost pavement
as blackbirds take note in their straight line,
Studying from sky-wire bands
There was a time when their job was mine
Shuffling are the song-less
weighing the soul packed crossing of this jam
I saw the dead and the living
In old downtown San Fran
By M.L. Crider
Certain deeds in this life seem to be inconvenient in the short-term, but prove most convenient for the long-term. When in regards to the new idea and question of voting by smartphone and the changes that I anticipate this would make to the accuracy, documentation, expense, and convenience of our voting process, in an article that discusses the idea of the utilization of smartphones for voting, the New York Times shares my serious concern and bottom-line sentiments when it stated,
“Winston Churchill had a famous saying that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried before,” Mr. Rivest said […] “You can apply the same statement to paper ballots, which are the worst form of voting, but better than all the others that have been tried before […]” Mr. Rivest, who is the R in the name of the RSA encryption system, which is used by government institutions and banks, said that if things went wrong on Election Day, chaos could ensue, because doubts about the results would rattle the foundations of our democracy (Bilton, 2012).”
The lure of convenience always looms for us Americans. In this day and age where we can deposit our checks via smartphone capture in lieu of driving to the bank, when we can use an app for I dare say almost anything, save a nature walk by the river, it seems logical that we consider voting via smartphone at this juncture.
I disagree. Merely based upon ethics for starters, for the same reason that we place one man’s body in the flesh to be present for war, I believe that placing one man’s body in the flesh to be present for voting should be incumbent upon the American citizen... in the sheer name of duty. Barbara Simons commented,
“… (Simons) ran through a list of calamitous events that could occur if we voted by Internet […] Viruses could be used to take over voters’ phones; rogue countries like Iran could commandeer computers and change results without our knowledge; government insiders could write software that decides who wins; denial-of-service attacks could take down the Internet on Election Day […] “It’s a national security issue,” Ms. Simons said […] “We really don’t want our enemies to be able to determine our government for us — or even our friends for that matter (Bilton, 2012).”
The red herring question that points/asks to/of accuracy, expense, and convenience seems to bias the idea that voting via smartphones would naturally be more convenient, less expensive and has a chance to be more accurate than our driving to the polling places, our cities/states paying to have human beings sit down and count, and that somehow their counting and reconfirming the counts could somehow be less accurate in its results than the tally of technology via “secure” smartphones. This seems farcical to me. There are so very many disastrous, calamitous consequences that could ensue if we use smartphones for voting in our democracy!
Sure, it would be convenient for us to tap bubbles with our index fingers in the convenience of our fuzzy pajamas and coffee any morning we wish in lieu of getting dressed and driving to the polling booths. It would be as convenient to have a text message relationship with a boyfriend also, but can we honestly accomplish true relations via smartphone? In the day and age of world-wide hacking of computer systems, of malicious technological viruses, voting by smartphone is not only risky, I believe it to be a liability to the very foundation of our country. What if a massive power outage or server blackout occurred? What if some scrambled numerical results ensued? Total havoc would blanket our country and conspiracy theories would abound and infiltrate our collective consciousness until Kingdom Come.
Also, other countries could indeed mar such system and at the whiff of the actuation of such ubiquitous voting app, America’s enemies would be primed and ready to do so. Other issues abound as well: age of voters, authenticity of identity when voting, financial means of some low-income families who do not own smartphones, and the blindness inherent by nature of our doing so. Also, within our own government, this could be severely manipulated and deep pockets could pay certain app-creators to bias the majority votes in some way, shape or form.
The possible advantages do not outweigh the liabilities in my mind: convenience of our time and geographical locations along with the lack of the cost of paper and pencils and rent at voting/polling booth locations, and the cost of gas to zoom over there. I say that until we can “do jury duty” via smartphone apps, then we should not be able to vote our political candidates into offices this way either.
One solution that may help with such technological tallying could be the use of identity verification by way of fingerprinting any American who chooses to vote via smartphone app. This, however, would involve the necessity of every single individual cell phone’s capacity to be able to offer such technology and furthermore, it would involve prior plausible years of organization involving an entire other new sector of our government to have to create jobs wherein the sole purpose of such is to collect, file and organize the fingerprints that match our identities. What a massive mess in wait this could render itself to be!
When in regards to fairness of method and if I believe that majority rule or some other variation would then be more suitable in the counting process, I believe that majority rule per state would suffice in the event of technological tallying via smartphone app garnering.
When in regards to whether I believe that this method of voting could be considered secure and the unintended consequences that could arise from this method of casting votes, I believe that as I stated above, due to ethics that were at the germ of the seed of this country’s birth and continued collective morale, due to the disastrous potentiality of the actuality of malicious hackers and malicious hacking systems, the inherent blindnessfactor of our voting in private, the capability differences of actual cell phones and computers, and the malicious intent of other countries and their ill sentiments of America at present, then utilizing smartphone apps to vote for our elected leaders is not only sophomoric in our thinking, but a serious and severe liability for the future of our country.
Bilton, N. (2012, November 11). Disruptions: casting a ballot by smartphone. Retrieved
April 23, 2015, from http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/disruptions-casting-a-ballot-by-smartphone/?_r=0
LOVE VS. EVOLVE - The Original "Tip of The Domino"
The word LOVE = EVOL(VE) ... reversed.
This is important. Its equal and opposite spelling is honesty.
Love is vertical and eternal. There exists no time element at work--it just Is.
Evol(ving) is horizontal, a slice of time, a segment carved out in order that one might come to understand him/herself as separate from the eternal... throughout a process that a single new thought/instruction made.
As if someone touched the tip of a line of dominoes, a single causation that effected a fall-- a fall of each successive dominoe... out over a then newly demarcated and delineated "period"--making way for an experience to be felt in time. This is the Earth plane experience. Every "thing" requires a "body", a separate "housing" in order to experience this illusion beyond the Threshold of what it left.
Evol(ving) requires time or it could not exist. So, love is present throughout the slice of the spectrum that the "Tipper" of the dominoes demarcated when they then stretched out to fall.
Our thoughts "here" now seemingly within "this" region... are as causative as The Original Tipper's.
One after another, your thoughts effect a fall of instruction here. This power should be known and used with much care and responsibility for the dominoes that in each moment successively fall to echo-- not more or less than a butterfly's single wing flap affects the entire musical score of the weather organization at the North Pole.
In direct contrast, LOVE is the House. Within this House are many doors (dominoes).
Have you forgotten? Please return to the Threshold of the portal where You See None.
Please recall--and relish deeply--that YOU ARE THE HOUSE.
I AM ALSO.
Let's Tip New Dominoes.
FYI: Related Material:
"A miracle is a correction. It does not create, nor really change at all. It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false. It undoes error, but does not attempt to go beyond perception, nor exceed the function of forgiveness. THUS IT STAYS WITHIN TIME'S LIMITS. Yet it paves the way for the return of timelessness and love's awakening, for fear must slip away under the gentle remedy it brings."
-A Course in Miracles: Principle 1
A thought/query. What would #happen for the good of America... what would #really happen... if "corporation status" went bye bye? If corps were a #new #illegality and individuals began having to take accountability again in our country, versus hiding under the safety of indemnified umbrellas that are "#corporations"; what do you guess might occur and then occur some more?
Let me know.
My opinion: I believe that as it stands per "human law" now, that a #CORPORATION is the #legal #equivalent to a #human #SOCIOPATH. Inherent: zero remorse, zero conscience, zero responsibility.
AND WE ALLOW THIS...ghastly "entity"...
TO BE LIVING & BREATHING, ALIVE & WELL IN OUR AMERICA?
Bridge to the Gate
A Reflection on Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching & Marcus Aurelius' Meditations
by M.L. Crider
March 12, 2012
If Lao Tzu is the Gate who opens up to The Sky of understanding why we simply cannot
know, then Marcus Aurelius is bridge builder who paves The Way arching the path from Earth’s
clay to Sky’s Gate as he invites one to hover over the busy river of this world in order to rightly
see to be able to arrive. After much contemplation and digestion of the ancient texts, Tao Te
Ching and Meditations, a stark unison of the messages of both men rings true like the wholesome
sounding of a bell.
In harmonizing key that brings delight when observation of the mutuality of voice
coalesces in one’s mind, the mystical Chinese sage, Lao Tzu, and humble Roman emperor,
Aurelius, both seemed to have taken profound and solemn stock in deducing and inducing how
to rightly conduct oneself in this world by disciplining one’s thoughts in order to live peacefully
and in the direction that Nature/God/The Way are one and the same in a most intelligent, all-
knowing, and forever enigmatic design.
Also shared is a certain necessary loneliness inherently endured due to the intricate
burden of such rare and exhaustive understanding of their fringe truths afforded by a highly
specialized selflessness sure to pull certain saints and geniuses magnetically apart from the
ordinary in this multi-sensory polar existence. As a result of the robust wisdoms born of each
man via having had mazed through arduous worldly extremes in order to only then compatibly
key their dials to the goal of sweet temperance, the motion of stillness is what they decide should
be striven for. They advise that this more secluded location of balance be most dependable and
is achieved when slow dancing nearest as one is ever able to the sacred bulls-eye of things,
teetering around zero, The Middle Way.
Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations are singular in tone
resonating complexity, yet a sparkling purity. The docile invitations are hidden somewhere too
quiet for most, as is a pearl or forest fairy who kindly blinks her belly on and off when you can’t
find your way around the trees again. They channel gently through the pen with earned stillness
of spirit. These qualities are the very balm that ends up lubricating the truths into digestibility.
The intricate genius both men possess render them wise emotional accountants; in the
balancing of extremes, they each arrive to suggest that teetering humbly closest to the zero mark
is the finest true place to achieve in human living in order to thrive.
How lovely to have a map—a sacredly structured maze all laid out before you that details
what one’s forefathers deducted, as found in some Vedic literature such as The Upanishads,
Christian literature like The Holy Bible, or Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Maps are great for herds of
sheople (sheep+people=sheople). Lao Tzu and Aurelius do not claim such length or complete
knowing. Their uncharted thoughts being sole originals in tandem with unrestrained delivery
prove powerful in relocating the mind and heart to shift in oneself. The difference between
watching a live violin solo when the strings are struck at once versus replaying a recording with
the volume maladjusted long after the fact, comes to mind.
Comparable notables such as the likes of Aristotle seem to primarily coolly intellectualize
in a relegating fashion that lands the reader immediately into playing automatic pupil when
considering the messages. Some sheople prefer to be told what to think and find it acceptable to
remain generically restrained there, safe under the drab umbrella of the socially approved
thoughts of one such as Aristotle. His astute philosophies echo down from a mighty sterile
throne atop a tall well. The trouble is, his focus seems to lean heavily on the faculty of human
logic rather than on all of the useful and pertinent human faculties as a whole—each which is
relatively vital in the way of the maturation of a belief to be possible in the informing of and by
Lao Tzu and Aurelius succeed in reaching deep inside and in connecting with (not merely
connecting to) the private softer confines of the reader. A meaningful trust is formed. The two
greats possess an effortless talent in speaking to their readers as peers; a strong humility is at
work that serves to level versus teach, providing a more immediate intimate environment for the permeability of the wisdoms of the messages. Simplicity and brevity are boss as this safe
intimacy maintains itself throughout The Tao Te Ching and Meditation’s messages. Golden is that lesson by itself.
Trouble does stir. It stirs indifferently throughout different spaces and eras permeating
like the parasitic spores of relentless ivy into the minds and hearts of men and societies until it
boasts of lush wild thicket, burdening the experience of right human living. Aurelius’ and Lao
Tzu’s remedies, their distillations about how to truly live rightly in this world stir differently.
Their instructions possess a more invisible quality, an invitation that the reader must work and
formulate his/her own opinions to navigate through, or to merely remember for him/herself. For instance, when the following is read the mind must ask why. It must peer into itself without
knowing exactly how:
*If you will take no notice of all the past, and trust the future to providence, and direct
the present only conformably to piety and justice […] That you may always speak the
truth freely and without disguise, and do the things which are agreeable to law and
according to the worth of each […] If, neglecting everything else, you shall respect only
your ruling faculty and the divinity within you, and if you shall be afraid not because you
must sometime cease to live, but if you shall fear never to have begun to live according to
nature—then you will be a man worthy of the universe which has produced you[…] You
will cease to wonder at things which happen daily as if they were something unexpected,
and to be dependent on this or that (Aurelius, 1640).
An encoded Quiet that exists at the very nuclei of the seeds of truth is rescued by the
Rare Few such as the likes of Lao Tzu and Aurelius. They braved the ultimate risk of electing to
comb through the truth of their realities as if carefully grooming a child’s new hair, and once
having recognized, they shared in quiet the meaning that was churned out into words. In Eighty-
One, Lao Tzu says, *Truthful words are not beautiful; Beautiful words are not truthful; Good
men do not argue; Those who argue are not good; Those who know are not learned; The learned do not know (1610).
This imagery comes to mind in the intermissions of reading both works:
After a days work, Marcus Aurelius is standing in the middle of a formidable bridge that
is still half-built leading out of the Quiet Forest, laying the bedrock to this new Lao Tzu lure--
the lure of God, the outlet—aka the outlet that can be called an outlet is not the real outlet, *The
name that can be named is not the eternal name (Tzu, 1605),- but the bridge is the interim, the
synapse between human travails and yearning for the logic of God or memory of returning to It.
Still mid-bridge, Aurelius sighs, standing somberly in earthy day-old sweat, head on fist, to rest
at the soft arched crest of it while his worn mind is still able to hear the pulse of the inscriptions
that the Quiet Forest had once etched deeply while dancing in his veins. His own sturdy
heartbeat rises over the new noise of Rome’s humankind that he governs—all of the mad voices
of the beehive multiplicatively culminating to a climactic extreme via the insipid trill of their
incestuous emptiness that has begun the fever of the heavy germ of false construction that
encroaches upon his faculties to burden. He remains unwilling to allow the noise to overtake and suffocate his knowledge of the Quiet Forest by advising,
*Whatever the external circumfluent vortex whirls round, so that the intellectual power
exempt from the things of fate can live pure and free by itself, doing what is just and
accepting what happens and saying the truth: if you will separate, I say, from this ruling
faculty [the Intellect/God] the things which are attached to it by the impressions of sense,
and the things of time to come and of time that is past, and will make yourself like
Empedocles’ sphere, all round, and in its joyous rest reposing (Aurelius, 1640-41).-
The beauty of this is that it sparks images of a fetus being strong because it is so gentle
and pure. With the similar conviction, Lao Tzu’s Twenty-Eight states, *Be the stream of the
universe; Being the stream of the universe, Ever true and unswerving, Become as a little child
once more […] Know honor, yet keep humility (1608).-
Lao Tzu and Aurelius owned a thirst beyond human flesh’s normal freezer temperature
I.Q. levels regarding Nature/God/The Way being right medicine to man’s mental matrices and
illusional constructs that sadly, consequentially result in the need to build an earthen Bridge to
reach the sky-Gate. Inquisitive about how to make sense of or make sense of not being able to
make sense of what exactly goes on beneath the countless faux surfaces to which sheople attach
and allot meaning to, they touched on nature being the great womb to which one should return to be advised or to remember when they can not hear the Quiet Forest anymore.
*The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They grow and
flourish and then return to the source. Returning to the source is stillness, which is the
way of nature. They carry yin and embrace yang. They achieve harmony by combining
these forces (Tzu, 1606-09).-
In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu seems to convey that if a human thinks that s/he can fully
describe or name God/The Way, then it would render God/The Way to being as finite as human
faculties could see or sense and therefore, not the entirety of God/The Way at all. It implies that
the cosmos/God/The Way is and always will be far too large in scope and breadth to be able to
see/sense it all that would be necessary to then be able to *call- *it- *something.- What is
grappled with is the erroneous reliance on a human being to describe God/The Way. It would be much like considering and then relying on the summation of what the Empire State Building may in its totality be described to be from the squeaking mouth of a mere fire ant while standing
proudly at its podium atop his anthill mound. It’s impossible. Knowing this gives perspective.
In his usual steadiness, Lao Tzu invites us to understand that we simply do not possess
the actual *apparatus- with these finite senses to be able to take in such magnitude of scope that
only if we were to be able to do so would allow us to be able to take a stab at what the heck
God/The Way is, was, or might be. Jonah probably couldn’t describe all of the other organs that
filled the entirety of the whale from his point of view when he was swallowed and jailed in its
In his poem, One, Lao Tzu ends with, *Darkness within darkness. The gate to all mystery
(1606).- A picture of what energy lies within and far beneath to the Nth power, the very most
central nucleus of each cell of an encoded seed comes to mind. It looks like a dark *anti-
vacuum- of sorts. Maybe there is a gate, a portal that lies in wait indeed. Whatever it is, Lao
Tzu’s poetic way of going about the introduction of the idea about it marvels.
Both men share the distilled inkling that Nature/God/The Way holds all of the questions
and unanswerable answers and when coupled with God-in-being-as-Intellect that belongs
inherently to each living thing, they suggest that Nature equates to the right medicine that may
balance man’s defensive fabrications that they handicap themselves in—a deeply encoded
necessary subconscious camouflage for survival by concoction—as one would build tall walls to
ensure the enemy stays at bay.
Nature does not like to be told what to do. Both writings decide that Nature is any living
thing’s true and only Replenisher and of the conditions of this life’s unrelinquishing pull on the
human spirit. In their knowing, Lao Tzu and Aurelius invite the reader to think on their
deductions rather than to merely instruct about them. In lieu of joining the sheople, the
unsatisfying mass consciousness of the time periods, and going along in such dark slumber walk
while masquerading the planet as living creatures, such Rare Few separate themselves from that
while ironically later serving throughout time to console and encourage the very beings who are
woven together by the fragile corroded threads of fear that make up the fabric of such a lot, the
sheople: the masses who borrow the truths of the Rare Few who dare mightily to go where their
shivering skin shied far and away from before.
If sensitively visited with an wide-open heart and emptied mind, a truth beneath these
truths also comes to be felt in their messages: Both seemed to have written when or after coming
from a state of mind that was consequence of identifying themselves as being incredibly separate
from the majority. Anyone who is compelled to write how to live or of the deep questions of
which no answers seem to exist in order to soothe himself from the ultimate powerlessness of
humans while living, is most probably depressed at one time or another. Due to a myriad of
plausible reasons at the times when they inscribed their earnest wisdoms, a quiet ticking is surely at work that clues in on a certain loneliness of each man again and again. This mutual quality of both men having had experienced many exceptional situations seems to have ultimately led to an inner surrender to a remaining worthy confidant: fluid ink and something to record on.
Each man’s particular circumstances at such writing times remain an enigma, however,
there seemed to have been no human friend who may have been deemed as a safe, worthy, or
wise consort enough in whom to enjoy the freedom to thoroughly confess of the prettiest, ugliest
and most depressing or joyous truths that their experiences had led them through in order to
arrive at such place of final acceptance. There is fortunately always [and sometimes only] ink
and paper to lean on to etch one’s confidences where they have a better chance at being safely
held. For these men, entrusting the page to their knowledge was a loyal treasure chest at the
bottom of the ocean that would promise endurance under the auspices of stoic guardianship in
order to patiently withstand the unpredictable tides that crash above through scores of choppy
and calm years—come what may:
The great sage and kind leader are two of such few of the innately blessed who grasped
these things and seemed to have written them down from the private valleys of their own
experiences. At the time when ink hit the page/stone/etc., each man seemed to have been
coming from a sincerely depressed state of earnest mind and heart but all the while a cool
comfort of their acceptance of this fact imbues the messages:
*In spring some go to the park, and climb the terrace, But I alone am drifting, not
knowing where I am. Like a newborn babe before it learns to smile, I am alone, without
a place to go […] Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea, without direction, like the restless
wind. Everyone else is busy, But I alone am aimless and depressed. I am different. I am
nourished by the great mother (Tzu, 1607).-
Lao Tzu confesses that he is unlike other sheople because they are jubilant and so
contented by the things of this Earth while he misses his Source because the mere things of this
Earth have not been satiating to him. The notion that Lao Tzu and Aurelius are depressed when
being possessed to write these things down lest they implode makes more sense than not when
ruminating on their writings. Perhaps they were compelled to write what they had learned from
this arduous life, and were caught in a realization of a most separate lonesome state or perception of mind that rendered them for whatever their understandable reasons, literally feeling at the polar end of the tether from the sheople.
A reason the reader knows that the Greats are restless but already know how to endure in
the end is due to the crystallized wisdom shared that makes profound sense and the usual return
to tie the end of the circle together. After grappling over why the gods would have *overlooked
(1641)- the fact that bad and good men *should be completely extinguished (1641),- as if they
each deserved different treatment in the matter, Aurelius reassures with, *Be assured that if it
ought to have been otherwise, the gods would have done it […] and if it were according to
nature, nature would have had it so (1641).-
Aurelius seems aggravated after having been through a probable dark night of the soul
when he opens up proposing, *I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself
more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the
opinion of others […] So much more respect have we to what our neighbors shall think of us
than to what we shall think of ourselves (1641).-
This certain separateness-by-brilliance surely only served to ripen their wisdom.
Throughout, accepting their lot and thorough lessons, they were made to lean on only what a
sage or good leader might when no one else sufficed: They trusted ink and blank parchment or
stone at such poignant junctures in their quests to unselfishly share the truth as they knew
personally from enduring their human lives in these clay Earthen bodies.
The roomy messages imparted were enough to get one’s own deductions percolating.
The mind ended up chewing them like bubblegum, blowing up round pink balloons that form
and pop out of existence, only to fill up the next when arriving at such sporadic conclusions
about how most *things- sheople consider to be goals/aims—happiness, sex, money. Things like
this arose as lessons learned from the texts and then sort of plugged in…
Happiness is not an end aim to be had; it is merely a byproduct of living a good life.
Physical sex is not an end, nor to be understood or enjoyed as the mere act in itself; it is rather an
apex of physical exchange that in purest form might represent the sudden expression of every
spiritual, mental, and emotional faculty that has been shared, formed, woven and held by two
dancing helixes … that make up two mortal clay vessels who have professed love and faith to
one another that reserve room for the spaces between. Money? If money were the end of an aim, one should be able to breathe it. Lao Tzu and Aurelius peel back the blanket rendering shallow *goals- to reveal the motor of any such illusion instead.
It is brave to shake faulty foundations of the sheople. A Rare Few in this world seem to
behold the talent of striking some kind of divine balance in keeping sheople ears open while still
serving up succinct truth…in a divinely different manner that allows for permeability and yet
without need for permission from anyone. Most human beings dare not to peer into the nuts and bolts of why things work as they do. What if they found out?! Most do not even know how and why their cars, bodies, or clocks function in fear that if something were to go wrong, they would possess the knowledge of how and why and then have to take on the burden of responsibility in fixing the thing—the same burden and responsibility that Lao Tzu and Aurelius took on in spades. Sadly, sheople are addicted to religions, but are not spiritual in the least. This incessant skating on surfaces and filling in holes due to fear of delving into the kernel of a matter has
caused epidemics of social insanity, bred inanity, and left such deep thirst in its wake that no
existing *modern- society of which most are aware today dares to function according to this kind of most central responsibility—the kind that Aurelius and Lao Tzu’s Nature intends.
The potent messages of Lao Tzu and Aurelius whisper to the innermost self in order that
they may shed a small light that still must be passed on in hopes of setting this blind world
ablaze one torch at a time. If no one dares to light their very own torch in the way of being
responsible to grow the truth of the sacred truth flames, then what good is it to continue tossing
the hot potato around if never daring to clutch it safely and protectively into one’s own deep
Potatoes grow cold quickly from hand to hand—in this way they warm no one
eventually. The heat is rendered wasted, just like the Rare Few’s words go missing in dusty
pretty books that remain as dead as the person who does not open them to ponder the words they contain in their quiet bookshelves. The warmth, the initial flame has to remain in one’s own pocket for a spell so that the hand warms enough in order that it may brave to go about setting his/her own torch to wick in surmising original truth. *Ever desireless, one can see the mystery; ever desiring, one can see the manifestations (Tzu, 1605).-
Knowledge seems not a final aim or anything to be had in the least either. A horizon
never reached, it shimmers on and on like gilded petals of gold as an ideal that one may never
grasp with both hands. The experience that brings the byproduct of wisdom seems to exceed any kind of knowledge that one may glean from any book in the end. It must be felt and known by and through all human faculties. We only ever can seem to know our very own experience in
this body and mind while recording its thread through this thing we know as *time,- and yet, no
one else can ever know or tell another’s truths, nor ever truly be able to know each single step of
The Way that led individuals to arrive at such private epiphanies for themselves. *…What shall
be a complete drama is determined by him who was once the cause of its composition, and now
of its dissolution: but you are the cause of neither (Aurelius, 1642).-
*How small a part of boundless and unfathomable time is assigned to every man?...for it
is very soon swallowed up in the eternal…And how small a part of the whole
substance?...and how small a part of the universal soul?...and on what a small clod of the
whole earth you creep?...Reflecting on all this consider nothing to be great, except to act
as your nature leads you, and to endure that which the common nature brings (Aurelius,
This anthill will do well to dare to forever look up and all around and only ever claim to
know for very certain—that it is… but an anthill. No matter the hip haste and cacophony of
artifice that the hill may conjure to sing, Lao Tzu and Aurelius may have told a child this:
An ant should do good things for its hill, but must build its very own Bridge to the Gate.
Aurelius, Marcus. "Meditations." Ed. Paul B. Davis. Trans. Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. The
Bedford Anthology of World Literature. Vol. 1. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004.
Tzu, Lao. "Tao Te Ching." Ed. Paul B. Davis. Trans. Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. The Bedford
Anthology of World Literature. Vol. 1. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004. 1605-1610.
Holiday Unholiness? – Top 5 Colorado Humbug-to-Happiness Tips from The Jones
by M.L. Crider
Oxford Dictionary: Holiday: Old English - haligdoeg, “holy day”.
Holy? Right. We may earnestly hope or wish for such, but ah-hem: How about some good old holiday holy honesty first?
Humbug. December 1: The close of this year’s clock just tocked its almighty ticking: The pressure. The jingles. The ads. The annual tunes just began blaring their jolly shrills while echoing out of the mall speakers a week before Black Friday—which may don the unholy award for titles responsible for ringing in an alleged holy season—hiccupping like the confused needle on scratchy old vinyl, minus the romance. As if scored straight into your brain without its consent, the generic holiday verses blare, buzz and tease like flies that each cunningly escape your devout attempted swatting, swirling daftly around instead back up into their automatic aerial holding patterns up there…repeating Here Comes Santa Claus bell-clanging choruses and such. There is no end to this random music poisoning. Your mental attic has now become the full-swing flipping Fly Festival for their noisy December, rent-free. No voting allowed.
Just guessing, but a literal million of us may by now unanimously nod that the competitive vendetta of keeping up with the Jones this season grew straight into obsolete fetish an attention deficit decade or three ago. But has it? Who are The Jones anymore? Do we even know them? Too much has happened lately. The Login Gen has soaked each of us in time-sucking password commands for all things that beep or alight, save our own brains for now. 2014 history books have fattened with glum. We’re all just trying… to get by. So, who has the time to even ponder The Jones family now, let alone the obnoxious flashing state of their candy-cane flanked driveway? Yes, alright, we know that the social gravity of the almighty microwave coerced the 1970s plump red Bing cherries into peeling right off the housewife’s apron with a thud, evaporating into the thinnest air of early morning fluorescent politically correct co-ed cubicles. Just around the time that Gloria pronounced that fish don’t really need bicycles, the overly ripened aprons swiftly saluted after the cherries fell, victoriously slipping off of the housebound estrogen fishies, dead scales and all. A co-ed world remains. Forgetting hormones, who now male, female, or snail has ample time to staple-gun lights all over the roof with that plastered rage-concealed Chevy Chase holiday smile?
The voice upstairs keeps bantering. Yes, The Voice that talks to thyself—the one that allows the mall’s musical flies to incessantly encircle the mental airport hanger upstairs, The Voice that just retorted in your mind, “Voice? What voice?... Rubbish, my mind doesn’t talk to itself… Nooo, I don’t hear a voice, dear…”
Ding! That’s the one.
It yammers on, begging judgmental whispers about what we have not yet done for the house, the kids, and our dusty dreams of ago:
“The Christmas tree isn’t up yet. The fake one with green bushy limbs that saw its golden day ago was smashed up from the big divorce move and is probably hiding like Harrison Ford’s prized chalice under a couple of hulking book boxes that the sociopathic movers dumped on it, while ignoring my carefully intentioned Sharpie labeled “fragile”! This tree-saving word is now not facing outward in order so that I can locate it pronto this weekend, before the second snow barfs its nonchalance all over the driveway.”
And yes, it is an urgent buried box. I’d like to have the dang thing up and plugged in before beholding the nostalgic neighborhood pseudo-confused-Jones’ freshly cut trees that will be twinkling through their foyer windows, pointy star and all, for procrastinating neighbors such as myself to begin sighing over.
Someone . . . H e l p!!!?
Swallow, inhale. OK: The Voice just sauntered in again, rationalizing, embellishing to justify for a beat while scratching your head: Did the Jones have ample time to snuggle up and tuck in with the kiddos to re-watch Chevy’s apropos holiday rage in the original Christmas Vacation after having stuffed someone else’s charity-baked buffet turkey into their kids? The undying neighborhood vendetta and my nostalgic dreams of youth that didn’t come true, they keep knocking on my wreathless door. This morphed neuroses of somehow beating each other in a yard-light race to happiness via prickly trees and pointy stars now looks like one big slapped displacement that has literally been projected itself all over my neighborhood by way of loud lights, fake snowmen with fake coal as their noses, and fake trees from a basement box. Truly? Is this it? Jones or Smith, these days slightly after the crack of dawn, a much deserved estrogen yawn, and exactly one cup of generic-brand coffee poisoned by chlorinated tap water at such cherry-less, apron-less mod-woman’s early morning obnoxious cancer-making fluorescent petri-dish-of-a-desk, the ads smothering the radio waves don’t help, but the neighborhood vendetta itch still begs.
Shall we stuff away the dreamy family tradition we occupied as wee ones?
“Oh, Yes! The very weekend of Thanksgiving, I will have my own family. We will skip into some forest somewhere giggling after carefree warm eggnog. We will find and cut down a Christmas tree…together! Yippee!”
Oh, humbug. Reality now pales in comparison, so I’m just gonna say it: The first few of weeks of December have become an unending dirt-pile-straight-under-the-rug sport with the ex-wife, deciding tug-of-war style (between hang-ups) exactly which 24 hour periods during Christmas weekend that the kids will be shuffled like some card game in Vegas between house stays post-vitriolic acid smothered phone calls betwixt their parents since our recent split. The question of which grandparents are still married (or alive) that either of us must agree to accommodate for three whole days and long nights in one of the kids’ twin beds at either house after their guilt-laden Christopher Columbus haul from their Floridian or Californian balmy beach house—that’s still on the front burner--boiling, as it were.
Meanwhile, back at thy own humble homestead when in a rush beyond rushes yesterday morn, you staple-gunned some cheap orange and white tacky holiday light strings from the grocery store run’s last minute holiday aisle for dummies section to the side of the house. You were just pitching your initial shy attempt at participation in the neighborhood Jones’ unspoken rage of aesthetic Yards-of-Lights game—when low and behold you learned that the soot-singed smoldering smears on the peach paint post-plugging the dang thing in can not be wiped away with the Dollar General bleach water you keep in the specially designated Sharpie-marked bottle in tandem with the trusty grime-rag that you still try to keep for such special smoldering occasions as this. Heck, you’re just feeling grateful that your finger and thumb are still available. Painting over the insipid blackness now must wait until the spring bucketlist kicks off when the plant by the door yearns to return from the dead, as you will. Then? That Voice again. It prods as usual, but this time, it seductively sashays around up there like Cruella DeVille’s less-nice sister masquerading as Marilyn Monroe: “Do people send snail-mail holiday cards anymore? Did my addresses sync with Gmail from my phone? Should I print labels and hard mail people? Is there an app for that?”
The Question: Who exactly is it that we are driven like some ferocious invisible engine to “keep up with” anymore? Do we even know The Jones? Do they exist? And if we did know them, is the relentless frumpy yard and tree racing honestly necessary? We seem to do well just to keep up with ourselves while firing up neighborhoods via singeing our houses ablaze and hunting basement boxes for fake green limbs as a result of the deficit sustained from our insatiable childhood yearnings. Is this how we decide that preparing for the “holidays” should be for us? You’d rather swallow forks than to bear another 24-hour period of such madness. Agreed.
The Other Question: What is holy about living during the holidays? Dictionaries are handy:
Oxford Dictionary: Holy: Old English - halig aka “whole, sacred, morally and spiritually excellent!” Oxford Dictionary: Living: Old English - libban, lifian, “perennially flowing”.
How do we now have and enjoy a “perennially flowing, sacred, whole, morally and spiritually excellent holiday”, Ms. Jones?! Do tell!
Top 5 Colorado Humbug-to-Happiness Tips from The Jones to The Smiths:
1. Help someone who doesn’t have a house for a tree; they have a body with an empty stomach: Denver Rescue Mission 1130 Park Avenue West, Denver. Got cans? Left over soup from last night? Hit the soup kitchen. Hope begins here with $1.92 if you feel it. Volunteer or just show up. Web: https://www.denverrescuemission.org +1(303) 294-0157.
2. Sit with your eyes closed for 5 whole minutes tomorrow morning allowing the sun to gently laser its warm beams directly into your forehead, then scoot down to the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple, no matter your religion or lack thereof; perhaps ask if they need anything over the holiday season after taking a mental walk throughout. Scoop: www.tsdbt.org +1(303) 295-1844.
3. Take a stroll with your newest date or the kiddos through Denver’s one and only holiday Zoo Lights. Bring a touch of cheer via a hello to the fuzzy pals behind bars. Happening now! Available every single night at the Denver Zoo: 5:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. through January 4th! Web: http://www.denverzoo.org/events/zoo-lights-2014 +1 (720) 337-1400
4. Oh, Denverites, Denveradians, Denverinos? Question: What do Cheesman, Washington, Civic Center, Confluence, Sloan’s Lake, Commons, Skyline, Centennial Flower Gardens, & Bear Creek have in common? Answer: A grassy invitation for your flower-filled stress-free holiday season enjoyment. Toss together an easy fun picnic and walk—no wheels, yes, shoes—with someone you love or someone from #1 to one of Denver’s top fave lush parks. The mile high city boasts more than 4,000 acres of traditional parks and parkways, which include 2,500 urban natural acres, over 300 acres of parks designated rivers and trails, and an additional 14,000 acres of spectacular mountain parks. Downtown Denver is blanketed in such lush sophistication, so cop-a-squat on its kind green floors, wiggle your toes around in the wetness, and exhale in deepest gratitude that you live here. [Psst! -Picnic Tip: Local King Sooper has family deals at the deli for a fun picnic basket: fried chicken, mashed, and pick a side.] No excuses. Cool? Cool. Web: http://www.denver.org/things-to-do/sports-recreation/denver-parks/ +1(720) 913-1311
5. ColoradoWood – Galactic Mental Matrices: Hollywood’s piping hot new blockbuster, Interstellar, starring Matthew McConoughey and Anne Hathaway, has ricocheted and echoed our awesome state’s NORAD literally all over the galaxy and into realms unknown this season. Learn how cool you in fact are, Colorado. Endeavor out of the humbug rigamaroo for a half-day to understand with thy own feet for thyself exactly what your Colorado offers to our world by booking a tour of NORAD. If time isn’t kind enough to incorporate NASA & NORAD brilliance into the thick Dayrunner, then perhaps just opt to revisit “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead” with a trusty tub of ice cream and the remote. Dopamine & Netflix should be proven fact by now in the obliteration of holiday humbugs, if only for a single December night. NORAD Tours: http://www.visitcos.com/cheyenne-mountain-and-norad or help them with The NORAD Santa Tracker: http://www.noradsanta.org/.
No time? Google “Haagen-Dazs” or pop on by next door to share some with us. We’d love to show you our tree! Yes . . .
by M.L. Crider
The rumble of the tailpipe
leaks its snot in spurts
drips on the cracked pavement
He revved the accelerator twice
to warm it
His fingers, winter bones
He breathed on them to thaw through his shirt
Nineteen degrees in December
Sun on the rise over the wheat
He had to work.
Humble are the ones
who trudge the thickest snow
who calculate the bridges' strength
when no one else will know
For you, for me, for him, for she
Humble gets a name
In anonymity; quiet invisibility
without, we would never be the same
The architect of a bridge
The mastermind of the overpass
These are the real keepers of worker bees and queens,
and of each of us in between
The local school line cook
feeding your cherished
they wake before the sun
no matter the weather
their duty never to perish
The Daily Heroes
their silent duty
Stitching and uniting this ubiquitous quilt
The rumble of the tailpipe
the spurts, the pavement drips
No One Likes War. No One.
by M.L. Crider
It is "#We #Time". "Generation Me" is out. Ditzy is out (Marianne always says that and I agree wholeheartedly). #Responsibility is in. It is and has been knocking kindly, and now loudly on Our Door. We can all feel it, I know this. So I feel this:
No one likes #war.
For the sadly brainwashed who believe they might, it must be remembered that these have no free mind with which to choose to decide. Does anyone "like war" at home? No, they like love, food, warmth, and kindness. People like peace at their own homes. That is all I need to know. This in and of itself is devastating and says much about why our government "finds" new recruits at the likes of WalMart parking lots--people who truly mean well, but do not have other winsome options by which to make a living.
No one likes war.
Just as we now ubiquitously agree that slavery was a savage and insane idea, the time is nigh for us to now agree again that war is, was, and always would be a mad idea. War is nothing less and nothing more than a mentally deeply ill mass murder sport, an insane mass unaccountable faceless homicide, which I believe IS the definition of irresponsibility and shame. War is, was, and always will be an insane idea and utterly neurotic practice. Is it now high time that it be decided amongst Us that war IS an illegal way to make money, that war now become a planetary crime. Have we as one planet not experienced enough blatant evidence of this obvious fact in our seeming "progression" as a species? Would you now, today, tell me that we are not brilliant enough together--as the Whole that we in fact Are--to now ubiquitously decide, strategize, devise, and implement a better way for ourselves, for our country's finances, for other country's finances, for our global ethical code? Do we have a "#global #ethical #code of #conduct" that is understood as #permissible? As long as the #planet does not agree on a singular global ethical code, as slight and slender as it may take form as of yet, then what merit does such singular planet possess to be deserving, in your one mind's eye, of continuation? Why? Would you condone such if you never witnessed it on your planet, but heard that it was happening on another?
No one likes war.
If we display such disgust of human life, then what are we all doing making money... to "live"? I know this in my bones of bones:
If We as a Planet are to come up with a "Department of Peace" or "Peace Initiative" that made as much money for countries as war seemingly now does (which it does not eventually--it only makes debts of the worst kind imaginable), then this new Department of Peace (in lieu of our current Department of Defense) would be in full swing. When America can make money...and have fun doing it, I think that our country gets with it...and fast. We would make it so. Can there be a better way than war that can make practical sense? Of course there can. We know this but are afraid of change. Deep surrender to major error is a very beautiful and life-giving action. Love is mocked by fear here in this plane where we live. Fear/ego knows that it has an expiration date; it knows that it is not eternal. So why, Why, why, are we taking fear's bait?
Peace can be here.
No one likes war.
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The Book of Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmnDXRJ7btE
Fun melodic memories ~ Concrete Blonde "Endless Sleep"... I miss singing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzw1RXMXZtY
Fun melodic memories... Concrete Blonde "Endless Sleep"...
I miss singing:
My mom's 64th birthday and my anniversary with LA: October 13, 1992.
Nature, Philosophy, Physics, Creative Writing, Violin, Banjo, Music, Lyric, Poetry, Rivers, Children, Children’s Books, Words, Reading, Cooking, Décor, White Stargazer Lilies, Blue Irises, White candles, Amber lighting, Antique Lamps, Rock climbing, Kink,... oh, and... Love. The Real Kind.
The idea of owning a country, drawing imaginary lines in dirt or water that you did not create, is as ridiculous as that of illusional ownership of a planet, star, or galaxy - when mere human beings were not responsible for how it came to be, why it is there under their clay feet, or have any clue as to how to go about controlling its spinning, the set degree of its axes, or its final fate or destination.
The universe is a busy waitress. It is most efficient to tell her exactly how and what you would like on your hamburger. She's busy. She is attracted to mannerly patrons who hold a clear idea of what they would like from the menu of life. The more specific and decided in delivery, the more efficiently that ticket will go to the front of the fervent cook's line. You are hungry. She knows this. Relay your order specifically, simply, gently. She will bring it to you as closely as you visualized, and faster than other more complicated tickets. + + +
Writing is the fastest way
Clutch & Fly High
"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything."