Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Revolution


Down with the tyrant!

Raise your voice with fervor, disintegrate the baleful spirit
            Down with the tyrant!

Stuff the rotting carcass in a glass coffin, put the putrid corpse on display
            Down with the tyrant!

This hand is vengeance, exacting penance, your cries will echo from the vault of heaven
Down with the tyrant!

Curse you, bury you like waste, encase you in salt, your radioactive specter
Down with the tyrant!

No more bonfires, no more book-burnings, no holocausts smoking on the altar
Down with the tyrant!

Allow the wind through, let the air clear, no more slavery, no more fear
Down with the tyrant!

The opacity of falsehood becomes translucent in the dawn, we are transformed
Down with the tyrant!

The blade of truth, sings in the wind, the clarion of justice, sister of the Norn
Slayer of dragons
           

Monday, July 15, 2019

Emergence 4.0 - Part Four, Kathy; Chapter Twenty-six, Adulthood


Week 28, 2019


Kathy was longing for a place in the world.

As she advanced in her skills and gained control of her powers, Kathy’s sensitivity to the motives of those around her became profound.

The intentions of the analysts who questioned her were an open book. She had to develop new skills, the ability to buffer, to keep herself from prying into the lives of anyone she was near.

She was starving for companionship, for friendship but she could not find it anywhere.

She did not want to know about the private lives of every person that she met, their fears, their hopes, their anxieties, and their lusts.

Those things were disturbing to Kathy, she did not want any part of them.

She reported on how easy it was for her to read anyone she spoke to. She did not tell them that she could read people from miles away, or on the other side of the world, anyone could be read if she concentrated.

She told them the types of things they wanted to hear about her abilities.

She told them just enough to give them the feeling that they could control their encounters with her.

Millions of dollars were spent to mask the thoughts and intentions of the people who had to interact with Kathy on a daily basis.

Even though these efforts were mostly connected to secrecy and national security, they were also meant to foster in Kathy a sense of belonging, and community, which they did with ever increasing difficulty.

Kathy felt the artificiality of her life, some days it weighed on her heavily, though when she was busy she hardly noticed.

In her work place, every little detail of her environment was contrived, scripted, fake. The lighting, the view, the temperature, the sounds and smells, her handlers put everything in place like they were scripting a television show.

Their aim was to keep Kathy passive, and somewhat distracted. 

No effort was spared to engender within Kathy feelings of safety and love, the sense that she was valued.

They would introduce something into her environment, a painting, a vase, a lamp, then they would measure its effect on her output, her vital signs and expressions of her well-being, both voluntary and involuntary.

Kathy saw through all of the contrivances made on her behalf. At the same time, she appreciated the sentiments behind them, as artificial as they were. She accepted those things and pretended to accept them as genuine.

She was able to maintain that peaceful coexistence with her handlers for many years, into her young-adulthood. In that time she wanted to believe that the people she met had good intentions.

Over time however, all the false fronts vanished.

Kathy became cynical.

As she grew older her cynicism did not cause her to lash out.

She remained quiet and focused.

She preferred, as all cynics and pessimists do, to think of herself as a realist.

She stopped wanting to believe that people had her best intentions in mind, she did not want their kindness or sympathy even when it was genuine. She knew that she was an asset, merely a tool, and an unceasing object of fascination.

Analysts came to see her nearly every day. They brought their tests with them, they brought their questions, they brought their problems to be solved.

They brought her work.

Sundays were Kathy’s only regular time of respite, a day of reflection and a time to lose herself in the past.

Kathy listened to them, and while she did she looked into their consciousness, she explored their hearts and minds, their history.

She would privately decide on who she would help and who she would not. She did not express those decisions overtly, but every analyst who could not get resolution from Kathy on the project they were working was relieved of their duties and diligently examined.

Everyone who came in contact with Kathy was profiled exhaustivly, analyzing the analysts that who came in contact with her became a cottage industry in the intelligence community.

She read their papers, watched their films, and when they put questions to her, she shared her insight from the depths of her memory.

If she liked them then, she led them to the resolution they were seeking.

If she did not like them, their projects lingered, unfulfilled.

She read ancient languages, interpreted obscure symbols, and saw the patterns in everything.

Her handlers eventually learned what type of person they could present to Kathy, the type of people that would elicit a positive response from her, people she would help without coercion.

Kathy would not be coerced to do anything.

Kathy loved problem solving. She was making her career out of it.

She loved complex tasks, and she delighted in the resolution of new challenges.

She sought them out.

She took joy in creative and critical thinking. If her work was helpful to people, it pleased her.

Problem solving gave her a sense of purpose, that is where she found her place in the world and felt most as if she belonged to something.

In the cases she was presented, in the analysis she was asked to give, the greater the complexity and length of time for the project, the better it was for her.

She preferred challenges for which the answers did not just spring from her memories straight into her mind.

This was rare, the challenges facing human government, medicine, war, espionage, might feel new to most people encountering them, but they were not new to the human experience.

She was fascinated by encountering new things, new ideas, for this reason she devoted her private time to the study of the atom, to physics, astrophysics, and quantum physics.

Kathy quietly and privately wrote groundbreaking papers, this was an incredible source of pride and self-esteem for her.

Without being fully aware of the influence of her work, Kathy was generating research that rippled out through the global economy.

Access to Kathy was sought after by every think tank, causing the National Security Administration worked tirelessly to keep her identity a secret.

In order to maintain their own secrecy, her handlers deliberately narrowed Kathy’s focus, restricting the scope of her involvement in matters pertaining to national security.

They would parcel out questions for her in the hope that she might not see the patterns over longer periods of time.

They sought her understanding of minute details, doing everything they could to limit the information that she could glean from them about what their real concerns were

They were concerned that if she was ever discovered and captured, it could do irreparable harm to the country.

Kathy never revealed to them how easy it was for her to penetrate their thoughts.

She kept her own secrets, she held them closely, and she led her handlers down false paths to keep them in the dark about what the range of her abilities were.

If they would have known, they might have been comforted, or they might have killed her, something that many people at the National Security Council wanted to do.

She kept her full abilities masked.

She worked hard, and she produced data for the people that came to her, she offered expert analysis, and from time to time she took proactive measures to prevent a catastrophe from developing.

Her handlers were content to utilize her abilities infrequently, but on significant matters, having discovered that the more often they involved her in minutia, the more and more she was inclined to go out into the world and expose herself for who she really was.

Religious conflicts began to shape the later 20th, and the early 21st centuries. Kathy’s input regarding the origins of these conflicts was invaluable.

Current events had to be understood in their historical context, because tribal history continued to move its people long after the members had forgotten the particular details of a broken promise, an injustice, or a blood feud.

Kathy’s ability to pinpoint the specific moments in time that were the antecedents of those tribal conflict was uncanny. If she could not reach the understanding through her own ancestral memories, she could commune with the spirits of the dead, she could pull the insight she needed from the cynergenic field, the nous-sphere.

Her memory produced volumes of insight for her handlers, but questions along those lines left her deeply disturbed. It caused her to dread the entire human race, the vile antipathy people held toward one another, and how easy it was for the bucolic life of a farmer, or a herdsman to become twisted by greed and drive them toward the calamities of war. It was a weight she could not ignore.

The human psyche was incredibly easy to manipulate. People were supple, pliable, soft and reducible.

Human beings had a vast capacity for self-delusion, and a profound willingness to be complicit in it.

In the midst of research Kathy often felt the instinct to flee, to run away from everything, and to never return.

Just as she had been abandoned by her parents, Kathy wanted to abandon the world.

She desperately wanted to be alone.

She knew there was no being alone, death was merely a transition to another state of being, not an opportunity to escape.

The intelligence operatives stopped visiting Kathy in person, they engaged her by proxy and through handlers.

They did not want to expose themselves to Kathy’s penetrating psychic insight. They took every measure they could to conceal their motives. They only wanted the answers to their questions, they did not want any reflection from Kathy about the projects they were working on, the reasons why they needed their questions asked.

They submitted questions in writing.

They used a long chain of couriers to deliver the contents of their inquiries, and from which they receive their answers. Everyone who came in contact with her was watched.

The multiple degrees of separation proved to be a valuable tool. It eased the fears of the security establishment that Kathy would glean too much information from their agents and analysts if they were exposed to her directly.

Kathy received her assignments. She in turn wrote papers giving details and context in response to the questions they submitted. She deciphered code, sometimes ancient script, offered geopolitical analysis, identified covert agents, pointed out weaknesses in their own security.

Oftentimes she did not answer questions directly, she supported their work by helping them to ask better questions.

This frustrated her handlers at times, but Kathy was not being coy. They often brought questions to her that they already possessed the ability to answer. Kathy did not want to be responsible for a weakening of the intelligence and security apparatus, she wanted it to excel through her engagement with it.

She wanted to assist with the escalation of its full potential, to see it realized in her time, because for all the faults of humanity and her own government, she felt it difficult not to be patriotic, and she believed hat the American institutions of democratic government, liberal and progressive, was the only hope the world had to lift itself out of the age of conflict.

Like any other human being, she wanted her work to matter.


Emergence 4.0
Part Four, Kathy

Chapter Twenty-six, Adulthood

A Novel – In One Chapter Per Week

#Emergence #ShortFiction #365SciFi #OneChapterPerWeek

Like it, Follow it, Share it!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

A Homily - The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)


First Reading – Deuteronomy 30:10-14 ©
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 68(69):14,17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37 ©
Second Reading – Colossians 1:15-20 ©
Gospel Acclamation – John 10:27
Alternative Acclamation – John 6:63, 68
The Gospel According to Luke 10:25 – 37 ©


(NJB)


Be mindful. Consider the readings fro today.

God will not test or challenge us in ways that we are not prepared to handle. God has made us capable of rising to the demands of conscience.

The law, such as it is, is written in keeping with the will of God, this is true insofar as it promotes love and kindness, mercy and forbearance.

The law is the way, and the way is meant to keep us well, holiness is not its objective, except insofar as holiness is a byproduct of the loving heart.

 The law is written in our hearts, listen and you can hear the voice of God preaching on it there, speaking to you from your heart.

Listen! God will speak to you of the way.

Be mindful!

God has made us free and will not intervene in our lives, either to help us or to deter us.

Do not look to God for help in this world.

God, the creator of the universe; God will not help you. You must help yourself, and rely on you family, your friends and your neighbors. You must rely on the stranger to help you.

God has given you the strength to persevere any hardship. God has given you hope to lead you through them. God has given you the freedom to do anything, or to do nothing at all.

If your family and friends have turned against you; look to yourself and ask yourself why.

The psalmist is right, God desires praise and worship more than animal sacrifices, but both of those things are next to nothing compared to God’s desire for justice and compassion, for love and for mercy.

Remember this. Remember what the desire of God’s heart is, God desires patience and kindness, listen for the call to echoing in the chamber of your own heart.

Be mindful of what the Apostle teaches.

He sees in Jesus the image of the unseen God, God the creator of the universe, the unknowable, the un-nameable God.

The Apostle tells us what the writers of John’s Gospel affirm, that all things were created in Christ, the Word of God, who Jesus is a reflection of.

All things redound to God in the end, all things are created through God and made for God’s purposes; all principalities and all powers, all of the poor, all of the alienated and all of those who suffer too.

God does not appoint the prices and powers of the world, God does not lift them up or take them down, God does not assign suffering to any, but God purposes all things to God’s will.

God holds all things together in unity.

The sheep do not choose the shepherd, but rather, it is the shepherd who chooses the sheep.

God in whom all that is comes to be, it is to God that everything belongs, the shepherd is God, the creator of the universe.

There is just the one shepherd; and just the one sheepfold.

Listen for the voice of the shepherd, and do not trouble yourself with how the shepherd speaks to you, in what language, in what text. It is not your concern how the shepherd speaks to your sister or your brother, to your neighbors or the stranger. The shepherd is speaking to them to, and they are listening as they are able (or willing).

Everyone that is, everyone without exception walks with God, God walks with everyone, there is no other way. Do not trouble yourself if you do not understand the journey another person is on, God is guiding them, as God is guiding you.

If you resist, God will be patient, God will wait. God will wait for you as God waits for everyone. God will wait for you because God loves you, as Jesus showed us, the good shepherd, they are love, and love is patient, just as love is kind.

Have faith.

God will not lose a single one of us. Neither will any one of us lose God.

God is with us.

Be mindful!

It is easy to go astray.

Consider the early church and how it went astray, consider how it deviated from the teaching of Jesus. At the very beginning they deviated from the teaching of Jesus and the lived experience of the way which he taught.

Think of Saint Peter, who would have us believe that he follows Jesus because Jesus has the secret message of eternal life, as if this were the purpose of the gospel, as if believing that Jesus is the “Holy One of God” is the key to life.

The writers of John’s Gospel would ask us to believe that God parcels out access to Jesus, and to the truth, to the reality of life everlasting, allowing some to come to it, while refusing others.

None of this scheme is true.

Here is the gospel, the really good news; God loves you, and you are saved.

You are not saved for anything that you have done, you did not earn it, you are saved because God loves you.

The promise of salvation is not that you will be spared from suffering and torment in hell, or that when you are judged God will forgive you.

God has already forgiven you. You have already been judged and found worthy. The fact that you are is the evidence of it.

 You are already saved.

God has prepared you, and everyone for eternal life.

Believe it!

Let the goodness of God’s promise flow through you now, and start living this life as if it you believed God’s promise were true.

This is the essence of faith.

We are not called to believe in the idea that Jesus is this or that, or called to believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God, we are called to act on the principles of his faith, to live lives of charity and service to each other, we are called to follow the way.

Be mindful!

Today’s gospel calls on us to examine the depths of our conscience.

Consider this exchange between Jesus and the lawyer.

Jesus’ interlocutor asks him what he must do to gain eternal life.

This man; a lawyer, was looking to gain possession of something beyond himself, looking to acquire it through some deed, some set of action, perhaps through a “way” of life, or perhaps even simply by thinking about things in the “right” way, having the “right” beliefs, or the “right” doctrine.

Jesus does not answer his question directly.

He does not tell him what he must do to have “eternal” life. He directs the lawyer to summarize his understanding of the law. The lawyer knows what Jesus is looking for, and he recites the Shema, which formed the core of Jesus’ teaching from the beginning of his ministry and throughout; teaching that the way is to love God above all things, and to love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus tells the man that if he does this he will have life, true life in the here and now.

Jesus teaches that the fullness of life is found in the Shema.

The lawyer acts confused, and so Jesus illustrates his point in the narrative that follows. The parable that has come to be known as that of the “Good Samaritan.”

He tells the story about a man who is suffering and near death. Two people pass him on the road. They ignore him and offer no help. One of the men is a priest and the other is a man of a notable tribe, a Levite.

The both ignore the man’s suffering, the reason is not given, but it has been commonly understood that the reason is that both the priest and the Levite feared something. Perhaps they feared violence, or they might have feared coming in contact with his wounds, the blood from which would have defiled them and placed them in a state of ritual impurity. Whatever the case may be; they feared something and did not help him.

They were unable to see his suffering reflected in themselves.

Down the road comes a man of Samaria. The Samaritan stops and tends to the wounded man, and then he provides for his recovery.

The man from Samaria has no connection to the unfortunate one, but he acts on his behalf anyway. It is likely that he was also afraid, but that he set aside his fear in order to serve the good.

The kindness of the Samaritan is the essence of life, while the fear of the priest and Levite is the road to death.

This is a teaching for the ages.

It is constant human struggle, a struggle between hope and fear that will never leave us.

It is a struggle that each of us must find a way to overcome, when we do we will be in the way.


First Reading – Deuteronomy 30:10-14 ©

The Law is not Beyond Your Strength or Beyond Your Reach

Moses said to the people: ‘Obey the voice of the Lord your God, keeping those commandments and laws of his that are written in the Book of this Law, and you shall return to the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

‘For this Law that I enjoin on you today is not beyond your strength or beyond your reach. It is not in heaven, so that you need to wonder, “Who will go up to heaven for us and bring it down to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?” Nor is it beyond the seas, so that you need to wonder, “Who will cross the seas for us and bring it back to us, so that we may hear it and keep it?” No, the Word is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance.’


Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 68(69):14,17, 30-31, 33-34, 36-37 ©

Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive

This is my prayer to you,
  my prayer for your favour.
In your great love, answer me, O God,
  with your help that never fails:
Lord, answer, for your love is kind;
  in your compassion, turn towards me.

Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive

As for me in my poverty and pain
  let your help, O God, lift me up.
I will praise God’s name with a song;
  I will glorify him with thanksgiving.

Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive

The poor when they see it will be glad
  and God-seeking hearts will revive;
for the Lord listens to the needy
  and does not spurn his servants in their chains.

Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive

For God will bring help to Zion
  and rebuild the cities of Judah
  and men shall dwell there in possession.
The sons of his servants shall inherit it;
  those who love his name shall dwell there.

Seek the Lord, you who are poor, and your hearts will revive


Second Reading – Colossians 1:15-20 ©

All Things Were Created Through Christ and for Christ

Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God and the first-born of all creation, for in him were created all things in heaven and on earth:

Everything visible and everything invisible, Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers –
all things were created through him and for him.

Before anything was created, he existed, and he holds all things in unity.

Now the Church is his body, he is its head.

As he is the Beginning, he was first to be born from the dead, so that he should be first in every way; because God wanted all perfection to be found in him and all things to be reconciled through him and for him, everything in heaven and everything on earth, when he made peace by his death on the cross.


Gospel Acclamation – John 10:27

Alleluia, alleluia!

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice,
says the Lord,
I know them and they follow me.

Alleluia!


Alternative Acclamation – John 6:63, 68

Alleluia, alleluia!

Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life;
you have the message of eternal life.

Alleluia!


The Gospel According to Luke 10:25 – 37 ©

The Good Samaritan

There was a lawyer who, to disconcert Jesus, stood up and said to him, ‘Master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the Law? What do you read there?’ He replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbour as yourself.’ ‘You have answered right,’ said Jesus ‘do this and life is yours.’

  But the man was anxious to justify himself and said to Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was once on his way down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of brigands; they took all he had, beat him and then made off, leaving him half dead. Now a priest happened to be travelling down the same road, but when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. In the same way a Levite who came to the place saw him, and passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan traveller who came upon him was moved with compassion when he saw him. He went up and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. He then lifted him on to his own mount, carried him to the inn and looked after him. Next day, he took out two denarii and handed them to the innkeeper. “Look after him,” he said “and on my way back I will make good any extra expense you have.” Which of these three, do you think, proved himself a neighbour to the man who fell into the brigands‘ hands?’ ‘The one who took pity on him’ he replied. Jesus said to him, ‘Go, and do the same yourself.’


15th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year C)

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Fish Rots from the Head - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
07.13.2019

The Fish Rots from the Head

Donald J. Trump is rotten, from the top of his head to the tips of his toes; he is rotten, and he is rotten to the core.

Listen!

It is not a crime to be rotten, or to be a racist.

It is not a crime to be a liar, when you are not under oath, or giving testimony to federal agents.

Colluding with the Russians is not a crime, it wasn’t in 2017, and it is not a crime now.

Trump colluded with the Russians, he played around with our enemies, he is a liar and racist, and he is rotten to the core.

Aren’t you tired of hearing it, of saying it?

I am.

I am tired of preaching to the choir, so to speak. I am sick and tired of the vapid response that comes from his supporters, many of whom know all those things I just said about the fake-president are true, they just don’t care.

They will not be made to care. The truth doesn’t matter to them, they are happy to pass on the lie. They want the Russians on their team if the Russians help them win, they do not want to be made to apologize for their own racism. They want to be free to express it out in the open.

They have accepted the stench of the rot, they have gotten used to it, some, even savor it.

Let’s stop talking about the lying, let’s stop talking about the racism.

At this point we should keep our attention fixed on his crimes.

Donald Trump is a criminal and he holds the office of the President of the United States.

He has been committing crimes his entire life, financial fraud, tax evasion, perjury, are the least of his crimes.

Donald Trump’s crimes include sexual assault, multiple counts, including sexual assault against a minor. His crimes include conspiracy to defraud the people of the United States, obstruction of justice and suborning perjury.

Donald Trump is ordering his aides and advisors to violate the law in failing to respond to congressional subpoenas; to produce documents and appear for testimony.

Donald Trump has ordered his administration to ignore or violate court orders.

The Trump administration is guilty of crimes against humanity.

Donald trump is rotten, he needs to be impeached, he needs to be removed from office. Our republic is not safe with him in office.

He is a menace to society, and it is the duty of all person of good conscience to oppose him.

Let’s not talk about his superficial behaviors, as disgusting and egregious as they are. Let’s keep the attention focused on his crimes, and his criminal regime.

We should not be talking about anything else.  

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Self Awareness


The way in is the way out, you must go through at the gate
Sensei said

We ate the fruit of the tree of  knowledge
We consumed a principle of justice, the understanding of good and evil
We became self-aware and cognizant of our failings

We became writers of laws

We wasted the world in selfish-conflict, greed
We became aware, and became aware of ourselves, of our lies
We were mired in the taxonomy of differentiation

We became arbiters of the law

We saw the other as our enemy, making them into effigies
We regarded ourselves with loathing, the cancer of dissatisfaction
We engaged in violent reprisals

We became instruments of the law

We went to the dance with Ego and Id
We were like Caine and Able, the herdsman and the farmer
We were urban and pagan, nomad and builder

The law blinded us to the demands of justice, we were its fools

Facing mirrors that pass through the universe
Gathering new images on the way—endlessly reflexive
The infinite seen as finite
The analogue of consciousness, coded with the cell
Carrying the sensed bits of eternity[1]




[1] Herbert, Frank, Chapter House Dune, 1985