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Showing posts with label Via Negativa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Via Negativa. Show all posts

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Thanksgiving, the Via Negativa

Today is Thanksgiving, a secular holiday; nevertheless, Thanksgiving is sacred to most Americans.

 

Many of us write reflections on this day, posting memes that express to the world the things we are thankful for, and that is nice, conscientious, appropriate. We have much to be thankful for as Americans, and we should never forget it.

 

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is always welcome, even the gratitude that is expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, for the things we are given that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging and more meaningful.

 

It is never inappropriate to thankful.

 

To express gratitude is to make one’s self humble; it is to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us into the people we have become.

 

Thanksgiving is a day for humility; therefore, be gracious. Be thankful…insofar as you are able, in-so-doing you will be following the way of the wise.

 

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God, by whatever name you call the creator the universe (of all that is and all we are), that God dwells in a mode of being that is beyond human understanding.

 

The apophatic tradition tells us that God is shrouded in mystery, a state of being that mystics describe as the cloud of un-knowing.

 

According to the apophatic tradition, we are not able speak in the affirmative about what or who God is, because God, the eternal and infinite, God will not be circumscribed by the finite constructs of human thought and language.

 

We are not able to posit meaningful assertions about the nature of the Divine; what we are left with is the via negative, the way of understanding who God is by stating what God is not.

 

In keeping with the via negativa, I am in the custom of forgoing the traditional giving-of-thanks, even though I am truly grateful for my friends and compatriots, I am grateful for everyone in my life, grateful for all of those who inspire me, who love me and who are patient with me every single day.

 

I am grateful for you.

 

For thanksgiving I follow the via negative, the negative way, and express what I am not thankful for.

 

I am not thankful for the coronavirus and COVID-19.

 

I am not thankful that 260,000 Americans have died from this virus, with thousands more dying everyday.

 

I am not thankful that there are more than 20,000,000 million Americans out of work do to safety measures we have had to take in order to fight this pandemic.

 

I am not thankful that tens of millions of Americans refuse to participate in those safety measures, that they do not care for the lives and safety of their neighbors, or their families or even themselves enough to wear a mask, and keep distant from one another.

 

I am not thankful that the track record of the United States is the worst in the world for dealing with this crises, that with four percent of the population we have twenty percent of the deaths.

 

I am not thankful that Donald Trump lies about these facts and figures as a means of trying to avoid responsibility for his dismal failures.

 

I am not thankful for the food lines that stretch for miles in some communities this holiday season so that families can have something to put on the table to celebrate the good things in their lives.

 

I am not thankful that the economic relief which the entire country is in desperate need of receiving is being held up by the political machinations of Mitch McConnell the senate majority leader and his caucus of heartless, short-sighted republicans.

 

I am not thankful that in the Fake President, Donald Trump, continues to divide us by class, culture, color, and is desperately trying to overturn the results of the election he just lost by 7,000,000 votes, and counting

 

I am not thankful for their collective failure of Congress to protect the constitution, or for the individual members who have forgotten their oath of office.

 

I am not thankful for our failures of leadership.

 

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism.

 

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere. I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it. I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it generates

 

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world. I am not thankful for the greed and the sloth and the bad public policy that fosters it.

 

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery. I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism, for liars.

 

I am not thankful for Donald Trump. I am not thankful for my fellow Americans who voted for him, I am not thankful for his allies in congress or people anywhere who continue to support him.

 

I am not thankful for the media outlets, the reporters, the editorialists who failed and continue to fail to take the threat Donald Trump represent to our Democracy seriously. I am not thankful that they abdicated their responsibilities as the gatekeepers of society, as the so called 4th Estate, allowing his corrupt and criminal regime to cause so much harm to ordinary people.

 

I am not thankful for his corruption of the rule of law.

 

I am not thankful for our government’s continuous assault on our population of immigrants and refugees, for the way we have abdicated our responsibility to care for the asylum seeker.

 

I am not thankful for these things.

 

I am not thankful that there is so much more to add to this list.

 

Did I say that I am not thankful for white supremacists? I did, but let me say it again…I am not thankful for them or their apologists, both their soft supporters and their ardent advocates. I am not thankful that they have had a seat at the table in the Trump administration, I am not thankful for the normalization of that kind of hate in our society.

 

I am not thankful for that.




 

 

 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving, the Via Negativa


Today is Thanksgiving. It is a secular holiday; nevertheless Thanksgiving is sacred to most Americans.

Many of us write reflections on this day, posting memes that express to the world the things we are thankful for.

That is nice, conscientious, appropriate. We have much to be thankful for as Americans, and we should never forget it.

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is always welcome, even the gratitude that is expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, for the things we are given that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging and more meaningful.

It is never inappropriate to thankful.

To express gratitude is to make one’s self humble; it is to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us into the people we have become.

Be humble.

Therefore, be gracious.

Be thankful…insofar as you are able, you will be following the way of the wise.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God, by whatever name you call the creator the universe (of all that is and all we are), that God dwells in a mode beyond human understanding.

This tradition tell us that God is shrouded in mystery, described as the cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, we are not able speak in the affirmative about what or who God is, because God, the eternal and infinite, God will not be circumscribed by finite constructs of human thought and language.

We are not able to offer positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negative, the way of understanding who God is by stating what God is not.

In keeping with the via negativa, I am in the custom of forgoing the traditional giving-of-thanks, even though I am truly grateful for my friends and compatriots, I am grateful for everyone in my life, grateful for all of those who inspire me, who love me, and are patient with me everyday.

I am grateful for you.

For this annual reflection I follow the via negative, the negative way, and express what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,

In Yemen where the Saudia Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war, and hundreds of thousands of Children are on the brink of starvation. I am not thankful for this.

In Palestine, where the occupied territories continue to suffer under apartheid, where millions of people live in cities and towns that are in reality, nothing more than prisons, and the walls of their homes are the walls of a jail.

I am not thankful for the Turkish invasion of Northern Syria, I am not thankful that the President of the United States opted to abandon our allies the Syrian Kurds.

I am not thankful that in America we are divided by class, culture, color, by a pretender to the office of President.

I am not thankful for the dismal failures of our elected representatives who cannot discern their obligation to oppose Donald Trump or hold him accountable for the crimes he committed to become president, and the crimes he is committing to keep alive his hope of retaining it.

I am not thankful for their collective failure of Congress to protect the constitution, or for the individual members who have forgotten their oath of office.

I am not thankful that we have sold out our national interests to the likes of Vladimir Putin, or that our president dances on a string like a puppet for him.

I am not thankful for the failures of civilization to address our deepest problems such as the existential crises of climate change, destroying communities around the world, including the recent fires in California that have destroyed thousands of homes, killing dozens of people.

I am not thankful for our failures of leadership.

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism.

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere. I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it. I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it generates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world. I am not thankful for the greed and the sloth and the bad public policy that fosters it.

I am not thankful that my friends have to beg on the internet to be financially supported when in the natural course of their oives they come down with cancer, and other debilitating illnesses. I am not thankful for the gaping holes in the social safety net.

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery. I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism, for liars.

I am not thankful for Donald Trump. I am not thankful for my fellow Americans who voted for him, his allies in congress or anywhere who continue to support.

I am not thankful for the media outlets, the reporters, the editorialists who failed to take him seriously. I am not thankful that they abdicated their responsibilities as the gatekeepers of our society, as the so called 4th Estate, and allowed his criminal regime to hold the seat of power.

I am not thankful that they have not collectively figured out a way to redress their failures.

I am not thankful and I am ashamed everyday because of his antics as the President of the United States, for his capitulation to murderous regimes, and strong-men anywhere who Donald Trump thinks he can profit from at some future point beyond his presidency, I am not thankful he has sold out our interests to them.

I am not thankful for his corruption of the rule of law.

I am not thankful for the on-going and continuous assault on the working class, the threats that are levied against the average citizen in the spheres of public policy like health care, and taxes.

I am not thankful for our government’s continuous assault on our population of immigrants and refugees, for the way we have abdicated our responsibility to care for the asylum seeker.

I am not thankful for these things.

I am not thankful that there is so much more to add to this list.

I am not thankful for the shortsightedness of liberals and progressives who cannot stand united in the face of the social forces that threaten us all.

Did I say that I am not thankful for white supremacists? I did, but let me say it again…I am not thankful for them or their apologists, both their soft supporters and their ardent advocates. I am not thankful that they have a seat at the table in the administration of Donald J. Trump.

I am not thankful for them.


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving, the Via Negativa


Today is Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a secular holiday, but nevertheless it is sacred to most Americans.

Many of us write reflections on this day, post memes, expressing to the world the things that we are thankful for.

That is nice.

It is conscientious, it is appropriate. We have much to be thankful for as Americans, and we should never forget it.

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is always welcome, even gratitude expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, for the things we are given that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging and more meaningful.

It is never inappropriate to thankful.

To express gratitude is to make one’s self humble; it is to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us into the people we have become.

Be humble.

Be gracious.

Be thankful.

            Always, be these and you will be in the way of the wise.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God, by whatever name you call the creator the universe (of all that is and all we are), that God dwells in a mode beyond human understanding.

God is shrouded in mystery, in the cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, we are not able speak in the affirmative about what or who God is, because God, the eternal and infinite, God will not be circumscribed by finite constructs of human thought and language.

There can be no positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negative, the way of understanding who God is by stating what God is not.

Following this tradition, I am in the custom of forgoing the traditional giving-of-thanks, even though I am truly grateful for my friends and compatriots, grateful for everyone in my life, for all of those who inspire me, and who are endlessly patient with me.

I will follow the via negative, the negative way, and express what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,

In Yemen where the Saudia Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war, and hundreds of thousands of Children are on the brink of starvation.

In Palestine, where there is apartheid, where millions of people live in cities and towns that are in reality just prisons, and the walls of their homes are the walls of a jail.

In America, where we are divided by class, culture, color, by a pretender to the office of President.

I am not thankful for the dismal failures of our government in Puerto Rico, more than a year since it was devastated by a hurricane. Or the failures of civilization to address the deep problems related to climate change, that are destroying communities everywhere around the world, including the recent fires in California that have destroyed thousands of homes, and killed dozens of people.

I am not thankful for our failures of leadership.

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism.

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere. I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it. I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it generates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world. I am not thankful for the greed and the sloth, and the bad public policy that fosters it.

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery. I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism, for liars.

I am not thankful for Donald Trump. I am not thankful for my fellow Americans who voted for him, his allies in congress and anywhere who continue to support.

I am not thankful for the media outlets, the reporters, the editorialists who failed to take him seriously. I am not thankful that they abdicated their responsibilities as the gatekeepers of our society, as the so called 4th Estate, and allowed his criminal regime to hold the seat of power.

I am not thankful that they have not collectively figured out a way to redress their failures.

I am not thankful and ashamed everyday of his antics as the President of the United States. For his capitulation to murderous regimes, and strong-men anywhere who he thinks he can profit from at some future point beyond his presidency.

I am not thankful for his corruption of the rule of law.

I am not thankful for on-going continuous assault on the working class, the threats that are levied against the average citizen in the spheres of public policy like health care, and taxes.

I am not thankful for our government’s continuous assault on our population of immigrants and refugees.

I am not thankful for these things.

I am not thankful that there is so much more to add to this list.

I am not thankful for the shortsightedness of liberals and progressives who cannot stand united in the face of the social forces that threaten us all.

Did I say that I am not thankful for white supremacists? I did, but let me say it again…I am not thankful for them or their apologists, not their soft supporters or their ardent advocates. I am not thankful that they have a seat at the table in the administration of Donald J. Trump.

I am not thankful for that vile imposter, who stole the presidency with the aid of a foreign power, the Russians no-less.

I am not thankful for them.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving, the Via Negativa

Today is Thanksgiving. It is a secular holiday, but nevertheless, Thanksgiving is sacred to most Americans.

Many of us are writing, posting memes, outwardly expressing the things that we are thankful for.

That is nice. It is conscientious, appropriate. We have much to be thankful for.

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is always welcome, even gratitude expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging, and more meaningful.

It is never inappropriate to thankful.

To express gratitude is to make one’s self humble; it is to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us into the people we have become.

Be humble.

Be gracious.

Be thankful.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God (the creator the universe, of all that is and all we are), that God dwells in a place beyond human understanding.

God is shrouded in mystery, in the cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, no one can speak affirmatively about what or who God is, because God, the eternal and infinite, God will not be circumscribed by language.

There can be no positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negative, the way of understanding who God is by stating what God is not.

Following this tradition, I will forgo the giving of thanks, even though I am truly grateful for my friends and compatriots, for everyone in my life, for all of those who inspire me, and are endlessly patient with me.

I will be selfish and tell you all what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,

In Burma/Myanmar where the Rohingya people are facing genocide.

In Palestine, where there is apartheid, where millions of people live in cities and towns that are prisons, and the walls of their homes are the walls of a jail.

In America, where we are divided by class, culture, color.

I am not thankful for the dismal failures of our government in the recovery of Puerto Rico.

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism.

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere. I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it. I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it generates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world. I am not thankful for the greed, for the sloth, and the bad public policies that foster it.

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery. I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism, for liars.

I am not thankful for Donald Trump. I am not thankful for my fellow Americans who voted for him.

I am not thankful for the media outlets, the reporters, the editorialists who failed to take him seriously. I am not thankful that they abdicated their responsibilities as the gatekeepers of our society, as the so called 4th Estate, and allowed his criminal regime to hold the seat of power.

I am not thankful and ashamed everyday of his antics as the President of the United States.

I am not thankful for on-going continuous assault on the working class, the threats that are levied against the average citizen in the spheres of public policy like health care, and taxes, access to our National Parks, and the reasonable expectation that we live in a clean environment.

I am not thankful for our government’s continuous assault on our population of immigrants and refugees.

I am not thankful that these things.

I am not thankful that there is so much more to add to this list.

I am not thankful for the shortsightedness of liberals and progressives who cannot stand united in the face of social forces that threaten us all.

Did I say that I am not thankful for white supremacists? I did, but let me say it again…I am not thankful for them, or their apologists, their soft supports or their ardent advocates. I am not thankful that they have a seat at the table in the administration of a Donald Trump.

I am not thankful for that vile imposter, who stole the presidency with the aid of a foreign power, the Russians no-less.

I am not thankful for them.

They suck.



Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving, the Via Negativa

Today is Thanksgiving. It is a secular holiday, but nevertheless, sacred for most Americans.
Many of us are writing, posting memes, outwardly expressing the things that we are thankful for. That is nice. It is conscientious, appropriate.

A heartfelt expression of gratitude is always welcome, even gratitude expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging, and more meaningful. It is never inappropriate to thankful.

To express gratitude is to, is to make one’s self humble; it is to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us who we are.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God (the creator of all that is, and all who are) that God dwells in a place beyond human understanding. God is shrouded in mystery, in the great cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, no one can speak affirmatively as to what, or who God is, because God, the eternal and infinite God; God will not be circumscribed by language. There can be no positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negativa; the way of saying what God is not.

Following this tradition, I will forgo the giving of thanks, even though I am truly grateful for friends and compatriots, everyone in my life, for all of those who inspire me, and or endlessly patient with me. I will be selfish and tell you all what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,

In Syria, from where millions of people are fleeing their homes, starving, being shelled day and night.

In Palestine, where there is apartheid, where millions of people are jailed behind walls in their homes.

In America, where we are divided by class, culture, color.

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism, I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere. I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it. I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it generates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world. I am not thankful for the greed, for the sloth, and the bad public policies that foster it.

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery. I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism, for liars. I am not thankful for Donald Trump. I am not thankful for my fellow Americans who voted for him. I am not thankful for anyone seeking a job in his administration, seeking to legitimize him in any way.

I am not thankful for the media outlets, the reporters, the editorialists who failed to take him seriously. I am not thankful that they abdicated their responsibilities.

I am not thankful that ninety-million people did not vote.

I am not thankful that the things I have listed so far, the things that I am not thankful for did not change from last year at all.

I am not thankful that there is so much more to add.

I am not thankful that environmental crisis developing in North Dakota, the harm being done to protesters, the abrogation of Treaty Rights and the lands of a sovereign nation. I am not thankful for the militarized police response taken against Americans.

I am not thankful for the continuing water crises in Flint Michigan.

I am not thankful for the shortsightedness of liberals and progressives who cannot stand united in the face of social forces that threaten us all.

Did I say that I am not thankful for white supremacists? I did, but let me say it again…I am not thankful for them or their apologists, their soft supports or their ardent advocates. I am not thankful that they have a seat at the table in the administration of a future President Trump.

I am not thankful for them.


They suck. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving, according to the Via Negativa

Today is Thanksgiving, a secular holiday to be sure, but a sacred one for Americans.

Many of us are writing about the things that we are thankful for, and that is nice.

The expression of gratitude is always welcome, even gratitude expressed in general for the many things we receive from those we love, by whom we are loved, that make our lives more comfortable, more challenging, more meaningful.

To express gratitude in this way is to, is to make one’s self humble, to acknowledge our reliance on others for making us who we are.

In theology there is something known as the apophatic tradition. In this tradition it is understood that God, the creator of all that is, that God dwells in a place beyond all human understanding, shrouded in mystery, in the great cloud of un-knowing.

According to the apophatic tradition, no one can speak affirmatively as to what or who God is, because God, the infinite will not be circumscribed by language. There are no positive assertions about the nature of the Divine, there is only the via negativa; the way of saying what God is not.

This year I will forgo the giving of thanks, even though I am truly grateful for everyone in our lives. I will be selfish and tell you all what I am not thankful for.

I am not thankful that there is no peace in the world,
In Syria, from where millions of people are fleeing their homes
In Palestine, where there is apartheid
In America, where we are divided by class, culture, color

I am not thankful for white supremacy, and domestic terrorism

I am not thankful for terrorism anywhere
I am not thankful for the religious fundamentalism that drives it
            I am thankful neither for the fear that spawns it, nor for the fear it creates

I am not thankful that there is hunger in our bountiful world
            I am not thankful for the greed, for the sloth, and for the bad public policy that foster it

I am not thankful for willful ignorance, for anti-rational, anti-intellectual, demagoguery
            I am not thankful for the cultural relativism that has promoted it, for anti-objectivism
                        I am not thankful for liars

I am not thankful for Donald Trump, for Ted Cruz, for Ben Carson

I am not thankful for Fox News