Tag Archives: humanity

Meat or Wood: rondel supreme

They say to run your blade against the grain
if you would safely slice in meat or wood,
yet seek the easy way out when we should
accept that gain and glory require pain.

What makes us human, with our massive brains,
is that we choose to suffer, when we could
select to run our blade against the grain
if we would safely slice in meat or wood.

With conscious choice against personal gain,
in service to another, greater good,
unlike the low and primitive, who would
by instinct flee in fear from strife and strain,
we choose to lay our blades against the grain
and slice out equal portions, meat or wood.

9 MAY 2017

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The Dominant Species

It isn’t like I hate the human race
(as if it were a contest to be won)
or seek out disagreement in each face
that dares to criticize or jest in fun
at my idealistic, mad ideas:
responsibility in the world that is;
some equal share of benefit and blame;
reduction in all sentimental tripe;
belief that no omniscient power rules.

It isn’t like all people make me sick,
just those who seem to think and talk upright
but are more like a crawling slime,
not human save for their malignant shells.
I am not anti-social nor withdrawn.
It is not fear that keeps me to myself,
but weariness from scraping at facades
that makes me prefer animals to men.

5 DEC 2016

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Human Nature

Why must “human nature” be
considered some mad blasphemy,
an otherwise repulsive state
save for its chance to teach us fate

and providence are not without
a sense of humor, lest we doubt;
and if not heresy gone wild,
the beast corrupting meek and mild

behavior we think suits us best,
that soothes the fire within our chests
and bids us be compliant, mute,
despite our nature’s wish: pursuit

of happiness, right here and now,
unsatisfied with learning how
this world is just a proving ground
devoid of anything profound

or sacred. Human nature begs
us not to settle for these dregs,
but to enjoy the life we’re in.
There was no fall. There is no sin.

23 JUL 2005

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Back to the basics

Back to the basics: down that trail
bringing us from the ocean’s foam
where we shared space with fish and snail;
back past Europe, far beyond Rome,
before we started keeping track
or had the means to tally score.
If we would find the things we lack
we must devolve, then dig some more
distaining drills and modern tools,
pickaxes, shovels and backhoes;
tricks learned in engineering schools,
and physics, too; they must all go.

Bring nothing with you, pen nor phone
will serve you here in this dead zone;
no trail guides, blueprints, wires or cups —
to walk this path, you must give up
all semblance to your modern self;
and all those volumes on your shelves:
pretend that they were never writ,
that all you know, the breadth of it,
spans just as far as your two arms
and runs the width of a small farm.

Back to the basics: eat and sleep,
hunt and be hunted, kill or die.
Turn back from hills that are too steep,
from rivers too deep or too wide.
Back to the basics: no free time,
no Broadway shows, no top shelf wines;
the Devil’s in such modern stuff,
so give it back, and say, “Enough!”

Forget how far the human race
has come; at least, in any case,
deny yourself the benefit
of what you did not work to get
and take for granted your whole life:
to slice that bread, you’ll need a knife.

03 JUN 2005

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Thought for the Day

The world goes on because civilized men exist.
Without them it would collapse into mere dust.
Though their minds are as sharp as a rasp,
Men without human decency are as wooden as a tree.
-Tirukkural 100:997-8

Excerpted from the Tirukkural, translated by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami.
Copyright Himalayan Academy Publications, www.himalayanacademy.com.

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Thought for the Day

Paraphrased (and adapted somewhat) from a wonderful book, The Telling, by Ursula K. Le Guin:

There were no “original” human words for God, gods, or the divine. The bureaucrats who formalized spirituality into “religions” made up words for “God” and installed state or cultural theism when they learned that a concept of deity was more important in the cultures or states they took as models. They saw that religion was a useful tool for those in power. But there was no native theism or deism. The word god, to authentic, original human beings, human beings living in accord with the laws that govern all life and to which human beings are not an exception, was a word without referrent. No capital letters. No creator, only creation. No eternal father to reward and punish, justify injustice, ordain cruelty, offer salvation. Eternity was not an endpoint but a continuity. Primal division of being into material and spirutal existed only as two-as-one, or one in two aspects. There was no hierarchy of Nature and Supernatural. No binary Dark/Light, Evil/Good, or Body/Soul. No afterlife, no rebirth, no immortal disembodied or reincarnated soul. No heavens, no hells. The original human system, the one that resulted in the evolution of the human species from neanderthal to cromagnon to homo erectus to homo sapiens to homo sapiens sapiens [a process which bureaucratic religions all insist was the point at which evolution ended, being no longer necessary, contrary to the principle that in order to progress, to survive, a species must evolve or die] was a spiritual discipline with spiritual goals, but they were exactly the same goals it sought for bodily and ethical well-being. Right action was its own reward. Dharma without karma.

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Don’t Believe the Hype

The world is suffering and pain
or so the Buddhists say
but with control of mind and flesh
for some, it goes away

Not for the tree, or rock or mouse
does this travail desist;
nay, ’tis for man, and man alone,
the top dog on the list

For man deserves a better fate
than to compete, and die;
and thus, all man’s misguided myths
are built upon a lie.

The lie is whispered in our cribs:
that this world is our toy,
and that each field of grass is less
than one grand girl or boy

And so we use, abuse and waste
our time upon this earth.
Instead of finding balance,
giving back, we make it worse.

How did we get here? And what for?
These questions, our tales say,
end in the right of human might
that does not see the play

of life and death in which we’re cast
where we believe our press
and act in spite of natural law
that teaches, more or less

That every thing that lives requires
the death of other things,
and in the end will make an end
of pawns, as well as kings

This suffering we dwell upon
disturbs us each, because
we think ourselves, mankind, exempt
from nature’s violent flaws.

And so, we ponder future states
where all is just and fair
instead of realizing that
we are already there.

This world was not conceived for man
to do with as he please;
his grand appearance made less ripple
than a passing breeze.

To think your kind has rights to more
than any other type
is just misguided myth, not fact.
Please, don’t believe the hype.

04 AUG 2004

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