I REJECT YOUR GIFT

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ac9a6ed443d206599b4d58f92afee35aI write my morning posts off the top of my head, meaning I don’t generally research the topic, so you  must forgive me if I use ancient stories merely as devices to get a message across, and don’t bother unduly about details or settings. Anyway, this morning it struck me in a new way that some humans are so damaged that they cannot express their intense feelings for others except via negative comments, passive-aggressive behavior, slurs or downright untruths.

Now Gautama Buddha’s beautiful wife Yashodhara had a brother, Devadatta, who hated his brother-in-law for several reasons—not least that he had abandoned his beloved sister to follow the path to enlightenment. Devadatta did not simmer silently nor alone, no; he sneaked around the Buddha’s sangha (congregation of monks) making trouble and telling terrible lies about the sage. The Buddha tolerated him, of course, for nothing can fracture the equanimity of a true sage. But one day, when Devadatta crossed the line yet again and began to spew insults at him, Gautama said something like this: I know that anger is all you have to offer me, Devadatta, but nevertheless I reject your gift. Continue reading

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EMPTY WORDS

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Kiri 16GB sd card 6886Before I moved into my own home here in Tiru, I had four landlords over a space of three years, each of whom was nightmarish in their own unique way. One was so slippery that he would assure me he would be over in ten minutes to fix a tap or whatever, but would simply never show. But when it came to collecting his rent, or to complain to me ad nauseam about the “foreigners” here (whom he had a strangely schizophrenic relationship with—on the surface, obsequious and smarmy, because he wanted them to rent his properties, behind their backs, virulently critical and mean), he was, ha ha ha, amazingly prompt.

Once I moved into my home, I realized that, although hopefully I had left all slimy landlords behind, another major mundane problem had raised its pointy little head: which is that workmen would assure me they would be over right away to fix something or the other, but they too would never show, or arrive hours after their appointment when I had already left home—and then they would accuse me of not being home to receive their lordships! Since my command over Tamil is terrible, I had no way of expressing my shocked disbelief at their bad behavior, and besides, I needed them to survive; and so I swallowed by anger and kept going, a day at a time. Continue reading

Mass Murderers Both

Man has burned his fingers too often…read this poem – one way of dealing with our turbulent feelings about psychopaths…

newauthoronline

Yesterday evening I bumped into an old acquaintance in the pub. Our conversation ranged far and wide and at one point touched on the atrocities perpetrated by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. There was some discussion as to which dictator was the worst criminal, with my acquaintance maintaining that Stalin was the greater due to him having murdered around 20 million of his own people. My view of the matter is set-out in my poem, “Hitler and Stalin” which first appeared here some time ago:

The Gulag.
The present like the past is mad.
Black clad figures
Their fingers on triggers.
Russian or Prussian?
An interesting discussion.
Jews and Kulaks their lives lose.
Who to choose?
A man drowning in his country’s blood,
Or one who would destroy Jewry if he could?
What a choice.
History’s voice
is cold and level,
“We allied with the devil,
To destroy his…

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The Dark Hand

JanniStyles1

A life of dark cycles

Re – repeated

Indulgence wins

Good sense unseated

Cries out  for help

All answered kindly

Yet ill choices made

Consequence never timely

No turning back clocks

No re-walking sly walks

Still the narcissist

Talks, talks, and talks

I’m Gonna’ I’m gonna’ gonna’

Theme of his whole life

Near six long decades proof

Not including many decade’s wife

No pity for his bad choices

And do not ever tell her

She does not understand

Many decades lost to ill choice

Of one most determined man

Bound to an ill fate

By his very own hand

(c) Janni Styles

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The Dust Bowl of The 1930

The Manhattan I knew seemed to have no recollection of the Great Depression…I believe it is good to know our past so that we can honor the fruits of the present. Thanks, ALK3R!

ALK3R

Migrant agricultural worker's family. Seven hungry children. Mother aged thirty-two. Father is a native Californian. Destitute in pea picker's camp, Nipomo, California, because of the failure of the early pea crop. These people had just sold their tent in order to buy food. Of the twenty-five hundred people in this camp most of them were destitute, March 1936. (Dorthea Lange/Library of Congress/LC-USF34-T01-009093)

The 1930s were some of the driest years in American history. Eight long years of drought, preceded by inappropriate cultivation technique, and the financial crises of the Great Depression forced many farmers off the land abandoning their fields throughout the Great Plains that run across the heart of mainland United States.

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The Search For True Love

“The search for true love is really the search for the ultimate reality of this universe.
I believe this with heart and soul – thank you Harsh Luthar!

Luthar.com

The search for true love is really the search for the ultimate reality of this universe.

It manifests outwardly as the search for that perfect person, the search for God, the search for the mystery of our existence.

Underlying all fears and anxieties is the fundamental agitation of not knowing who we are.

To solve this existential riddle, Sri Ramana advocates the sincere and keen inquiry that focuses on the question, “Who Am I?” 

It is this inward focus with intent and intensity, that leads the mind to dive deep into the very heart of the unknown.

It is in the deepest core of our being, that we find the Heart, that is in reality the Self.

One never feels complete until one realizes that one who has been pursued and sought as one’s true love is one’s own Self.

In coming close to the Self, one is drawn to…

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LAST NIGHT I DREAMED OF SAMSARA

615d07728be5f75d5dd066fd9849c5f3I’d been out of sorts for the past couple of days, and so I went to bed early, allowing my guest, exhausted as she was from long travel, to dive under the covers too. The dream came on quickly, swallowing me up in its awesome maw…lost, panicked, empty, I ran from home to home, from country to country, situation to situation, looking for refuge and finding none. I dreamed of three beautiful black babies; each had a strange device inserted into the mouth which connected them to their mother, who monitored them closely although she was far away. Oh, how I wished I could change places with these happy and secure infants! I flitted through smoky nightclubs and saw stoned and drunk party animals frenziedly changing dance partners; I wove in and out of them like a ghost, longing to flee but unable to find the door that led outside. The nightmare went on, as my big epical dreams usually do, and I continued to fall into the hands of shallow, fickle humans with glittering false smiles and hidden agendas. Worst of all was the feeling of being a puppet with no smidgen of control over my thoughts, emotions or actions. Dread threw her thin cold arms around me and I wondered in a daze of sorrow why I should continue to live. Suddenly I was utterly exhausted; I knew I had to sleep, and yet I shied away from doing so, not wishing to wake up to another day of soul-chilling angst. The dread was so thick and fearsome that it actually woke me up—and thank god for that!!! Continue reading

Where reading can take you…Jean Rhys QUOTE FOR WRITERS (and people who like quotes)

“Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” Thanks, Bridget Whelan!

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

library shelvesReading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.

Jean Rhys is the author of Wide Sargasso Sea, among other novels.
I don’t know much about her, but when I was surfing the internet  for this post I found a 2009 newspaper review of her biography It offers an insight into her troubled life and it would seem that she didn’t find a home anywhere. It makes me want to go back and read more of her writing, and read this biography too.

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Don’t Mess With Her…Art for Writers

This is a self-portrait by the New Zealand artist Rita Angus. She seems to be saying, don’t even think about it…thanks for sharing this, Bridget Whelan….

BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Rita Angus self-portrait

This is a self-portrait by the New Zealand artist Rita Angus. She seems to be saying, don’t even think about it…

I’ve chosen this painting because she has such a strong, commanding face and even her clothes seem to say that they are in control, don’t mess with me.

Write about her. Better still, write in her voice and once you’ve established her character give her a challenge to overcome. Or, in Stephen King’s words, throw stones at her because that’s the way we discover the person behind the defiant stare.

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MONOGAMY: BLESSING OR CURSE?

e5a9d684e0fb9c4db5f10eaa9cae51c9The other day I read a statement by a “guru” (who claims to have thousands of devotees) that all men are polygamous by nature. Ah, I thought, brilliant excuse! Let’s blame Nature for all the dishonesty and delusion we see around, clearly this works just fine for your sheeplings, for now they have the perfect justification to play the field.

Now what do I really think of his statement? Simply that such generalizations are asinine. First of all, due to genetics, circumstance and environment etcetera, no two humans are exactly alike; Secondly, no human needs to continue to be a slave to habit or predilections, no matter how strong these habits are, or for how many generations they have been an accepted part of the misogynistic fabric of certain societies.

So you want to play the field and keep your options open? No one should have a problem with that—it’s your precious life after all, and it is you who will have to pay the karmic piper. But please keep in mind that your freedom comes with a corresponding duty—which is to respect the freedom of another precious soul. If you want to mess around, by all means do so, but have the decency and the courtesy to do so transparently, so that others can decide whether they want to have you in your lives or not. Continue reading