Posts tagged ‘philosophy’
You have always been a movie to me
knowing I could never touch you.
Now you sit and stare at me
through the other side of this bottle
setting on the table here between us.
I feel as if a magic is missing
you are not the star I dreamed of.
Once you were the shining light
of my heavens dreaming
in a momentary wish.
Now I can see what I am left with
is not what I had hoped for.
I see what I am watching
is not what I had once enjoyed.
You have always been a movie to me
now my life plays in reverse.
I never could quite touch you
now I know
I’ve touched too much.
A thick blanket of fog covers the Earth
I look out to see the new day
a bright ray of sun breaks through the darkness
and only those who see the light
‘There is Nothing in the Desert, And Every Man Needs Nothing’
The actual quote is from ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and it reads, ‘There is nothing in the desert, and no man needs nothing’. It was recently used in the film ‘Prometheus’, from Ridley Scott. It’s a great line and very significant in the film. Where once again we witness the dangers of technology and the humans that create it. Mary Shelley warned of us how our passion for striving to be as powerful over others as God, could lead to our own self-destruction. But we don’t have to read ‘Frankenstein’. All we have to do is look around us every day. Man’s attempt to reach that divine plateau of knowledge, mimicking our own concept of ultimate power we have perceived as God, can be both a blessing and a curse. It is only by our own cautious manipulation of those great powers we have achieved, that we will control our own fate toward advancement or destruction.
Need I remind you of this as you stare at your computer screen? Or dabble with your phone? Or sit complacent for hours in front of your television? What I can remind you of . . . is how every technology is simply a tool. And like any tool, it can be used for good or for evil. A hammer or a wrench can build or fix the greatest of challenges, but they can also be used to strike the life of another living being. And a tool is not a human being. We can use tools to improve the lives of other beings. But tools do not have a heart. They do not feel and they do not love. We often use tools to win the love of others; a new car, a new phone, a new toy. But are we giving with the assumption that the work involved to acquire and gift that tool to win someone else’s love, is equivalent to the love we gift as fellow humans? Is the material gift we give, equivalent to the love of our smile, our compassion, or most important, of our time?
Most of us do not live in a desert. We live in a world where the illusion of abundance surrounds us. An abundant illusion so perfectly manipulated, that we feel no remorse when discarding those things we no longer deem valuable. Our abundant world immediately offers a replacement. We can always buy a newer car, a smarter phone, or another plastic container of water; all of them disposable and replaceable. Of course, only if we happen to be lucky enough or wealthy enough to afford them. But where has our disposable existence of material objects led us? It has led us to another illusion. An illusion where we do not have to face what becomes of our disposable resource once we discard them. We are allowed to wear our blinders and walk away from the refuse of our own existence. There was a time when man’s only disposable waste was his own excrements, or the bones left behind after a meal. We were equivalent with all of life around us, because we shared the same requirements, and we left behind the same by-products. We weren’t leaving our discarded by-products strategically buried for future generations. We were simply returning them to the Earth, where they would recycle into the basic elements of the Earth.
We have learned to accept the illusion of abundance, surrounded by all those material possessions that provide us with the comforts we require. And so I journeyed to the desert. And it is here I realized . . . every man needs nothing. Without a relative perspective in our existence, we have no bearing. And without bearing, we have no existence. All of the material possessions in the world cannot provide the necessary direction for existence. This is the lesson Buddha learned from self-depravation. This is how he achieved enlightenment. There are two examples I will provide (although many others exist). The first example is the child born to wealth. Unlike his parent, who may have started with nothing and achieved great wealth, the child has only known wealth. An entire life will be wasted in a pursuit of happiness through material possessions. And although this person may achieve limitless joys in hedonistic exultation, there will always be an inescapable empty hollow within their lives. Without ‘nothing’, ‘something’ is worthless.
The second example is the starving artist. A master of their Art, but impoverished. In their barren material world, they can create masterpieces of painting, music, and literature. They have the perspective of ‘nothingness’. So to them, every meager possession is a possession of wealth. Here again, their life’s fate can move in either of three different directions. They might continue broke and desolate, creating magnificent works of art. And likely die broke and desolate, but a great artist. Or they can achieve wealth, and their lives will take one of two paths. Either they will lose their creative spirits and immerse themselves in their newly found material wealth. Or, if they are wise, they will continue to create art, but maybe not as passionate or inspired as before.
There are countless examples, every day, all around us, of both the wealth born child and the starving artist. And then there are the rest of us, somewhere in-between. Without knowing ‘nothing’, we will find nothing. And without finding nothing and knowing what we have found, we will not ever find anything else. I have found nothing in the desert. And in the desert I have found everything. I can now see that although I have had everything in my life, without finding ‘nothing’ in the desert, I would not know what it was that I had. I would not know what others do not see. And I would not be able to give you ‘nothing’. Knowing that it is the only ‘something’ I could ever give you, that will keep you nurtured and without thirst, in any desert.
I heard your poem on the radio today.
Little children were crying and bleeding
bowing to your mighty power.
I pulled my glass eye out
and rolled it down a bubble-gum sidewalk.
Three flies were mystically immersed in conversation.
They were talking about you, of course.
How you fought off all the angry slaves
so we could all drink milk and hug when
the cheerios were no longer crunchy.
I stepped on a pile of you today.
But my new no-stick nuclear shoes
kept me balanced and poised
for your next question.
I had to answer honestly
as all the satellites were
and the quiet drone
of your newly found synthetic existence
filtered the last ounce of sincerity
in the world.
Now everything is happy blue
and darkness hides inside a solar flare.
My chain keeps rattling loudly
inside this cold locked chamber.
And all of our hammers and shovels
were worn down to splintered oak.
But I forgot what trees looked like.
And when I pulled your plastic vagina
from underneath the dusty glass dome
it wouldn’t talk to me anymore.
It dried out and shriveled away.
Now all I have left is a rusty nail
and two holes in my blood soaked hands.
I have just experienced the most amazing collection of doors I have ever seen. If you love beautiful, unique and exotic doors as much as I do, you have to visit this blog site.
Which lead me to thinking about doors. So what is so special about a door? A door is a gateway. It is an opening where you leave a space, however confining or expansive, and enter another space . . . possibly confining, possibly liberating, or possibly just a passage from one reality to another. The first ‘door’ we ever pass through is the ‘door’ of our mothers womb. From then on our lives are spent passing from one door to another. Through gateways of opportunities and experience, hence ‘the door of opportunity knocks’. Jim Morrison highlighted the importance of doors by naming his band ‘The Doors’. His band title was based on Aldous Huxley’s ‘Doors of Perception’, a personal accounting of his experiences with the psychotropic drug mescaline.
‘Doors’ have long been used as an analogy for the passing of the mind from one plane of reality or thought to another. This from Neil Turnbull on his blog site:
The Doors of Philosophy
“Doors are the first threshold into life.
We are always between doors; either indoors or outdoors.
The Romans worshipped doors because they knew that, like life, they look both ways: to the past and to the future.
The philosopher is also in a sense a door: a door from the false to the true; from akrasia to sophia.
The door is the true symbol of philosophy.”
He reveals a clue of why doors are so significant in our lives. Doors are symbolic representations of our passage from ‘past to future’. We travel through doors to reach an objective or a goal. A place where we either want to go, or are forced to go. Doors can lead to euphoria, as in the discovery of a new and exciting location or space. Doors can lead to misery, as in the closing cell doors of the prison or jail. And doors can lead to immediate comfort, as in the welcome door to our homes. Doors can express an attitude, such as ‘an open door policy’. Or represent secrecy and deception, as in ‘behind closed doors’. Doors can also represent the process of decision making, ‘choose which door to open’.
But there is one more very important and symbolic representation of doors. Doors are so intricately woven into our psyche because they represent ‘mystery‘ and the ‘unknown‘. In the process of discovery we do not know exactly what lies beyond the door. The physical act of ‘opening a door’ means that we are an active participant in the ensuing discovery. To ‘open a door ‘means we are are open to something novel, a new experience, or a new adventure. There is an excitement to opening a new door. But the door can also be closed to represent an ending or an exclusion. To be ‘locked out’ or ‘close the door’ represents a finite termination. We open the door for new freedoms and we close the door for containment. This important duality of mental psychology is what makes doors akin to a switch that you can turn ‘on or ‘off’. But we can also leave the door halfway open or halfway closed. This represents a further level of mystery. Are we being enticed to enter? Or are we being warned not to enter?
Doors can also be symbolic in relationships. Do we leave our doors open for others to enter and experience our emotional depth and complexities? Or do we keep our doors shut tight and refuse others entry into our innermost fears, joys and emotions? Or are we one of those that keep the door halfway open/closed? Where the mistrust and the perception of a world that can be both cruel and kind has tainted us to be forever wary.
Imagine the excitement when Howard Carter first opened the door to King Tut’s tomb. Or when Neil Armstrong first opened the door of his capsule to step onto the moon. While some are excited at the thought of opening a new door, many fear the thought of having to open or walk through a door. After reviewing a long list of phobias and fears (I had no idea there was such a long list of phobias), I found no technical term for fear of walking through doors, opening doors, or closing doors. Yet I know for a fact many people suffer from an extreme fear of walking through or opening doors. They fear the thought of what they might find when they open a door. If we fear opening doors, we are unlikely to experience anything new in our lives. We are less likely to succeed and advance in life. And we are highly unlikely to find meaningful relationships in our lives.
Always remember there are sometimes two doors, the fornt door and the back door. ‘Back door’ has taken on a derogatory sexual connotation. But there are also ‘back door deals’. Do you enter proudly through the front door? Or are you consistently trying to sneak in through the back door?
If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend”
– Aldous Huxley
“Be an opener of doors”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every wall is a door.
– Ralph Waldo emerson
“A very little key will open a very heavy door.”
– Charles Dickens, Hunted Down
Men shut their doors against a setting sun.
– William Shakespeare
When one door closes, another one opens. But we often look so regretfully on the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.
– Helen Keller
We often get in quicker by the back door than by the front.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.
– Jim Morrison
The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads to madness.
– Christopher Morley
Listen, real poetry doesn’t say anything; it just ticks off the possibilities. Opens all doors. You can walk through anyone that suits you.
– Jim Morrison
The story of my life is about back entrances, side doors, secret elevators and other ways of getting in and out of places so that people won’t bother me.
– Greta Garbo
I feel very adventurous. There are so many doors to be opened, and I’m not afraid to look behind them.
– Elizabeth Taylor
A small key opens big doors.
– Turkish Proverb
It is often the last key on the ring that opens the door.
The greatest step is out the door.
– German proverb
dedicated to G. O.
In a town on a farm
not too long ago
a farmer told his livestock
‘this is how it is,
this is how it should be’
and all was well
the chickens were fed
the cows had hay
and all the pigs were happy
in the mud.
One cold December day
the farmers dog went rabid
he told the farmer
‘I don’t care.
it doesn’t matter
we can all do
what ever we want.’
The dog bit the farmer
who later died.
The chickens had no feed
the cows had no hay
and the pigs lost weight
while rolling in the mud
they were not happy.
They all died.