Tuesday, October 28, 2008

In Which Nothing In Particular Is Said

Man is quite insane. He wouldn't know how to create a maggot, and he creates Gods by the dozen.
Michel de Montaigne
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into
fragments
by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward
perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its
way into
the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-
widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my
country
awake.
Rabindranath Tagore

That first quote came from Claire, and the second from Lisa Allender, who got it from Lydia, who got it from...I guess somebody named Rabindranath Tagore...whoever the hell that is...yeah, yeah, yeah, I know who he was...lighten the hell up, folks....Anyway...don’t worry, I’m not gonna use this poem to make any kind of statements about the upcoming election, or anything of the kind...What, me worry? Lately it seems like every conversation I have turns into an argument, including those that have nothing to do with politics—that sense of vicious competition, accusation, shameless lying, and overweening indignation is simply coursing through the lifeblood of the culture as we stumble through our days, always a little bit more edgy, anger fueling engines, now that it’s so much cheaper than gasoline. Last night I went to yoga class, which, like the past few Monday nights, kept crossing amazingly back and forth the line between intense workout and psychedelic experience....I suggested to my teacher, the legendary Jennifer Schelter, that we have a non-stop class for the next eight days, but I don’t think she took me seriously....

So what’s left but to drink coffee and steal poem fragments from other people’s websites? Anyway, what interests me is that one bit up there: Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; which, y’know, as my old hippie freak friend, and noted poetry critic, Jedediah, might say in between bong hits: duuuuude...that’s some intense shit...but that’s not, actually, what I’m gonna say about it...then, maybe I’ll just leave it to speak for itself...thereby, I hope, avoiding that desert sand, myself, and instead thank my blogger friend Christa for bestowing another award on this humble blog before wandering back out in the rain....

13 comments:

Amanda said...

I agree: the world of disembodied blog commenting leaves a lot to be desired, Dr Jay.

So much room for misinterpretation, for symbolic violence, for just plain ugliness.

And then there's just those days where you feel like everything you do and say is wrong...

I have them, too.

All will pass (in the words of someone far wiser than I).

Lydia said...

Thanks for the mention. I got the Tagore quote from a book in my home library, from which I occasionally post his quotes under the title: Everything He Wrote Is Golden (because it really is). Title of book is Gitanjali-a collection of prose translations made by the author from the original Bengali, by Rabindranath Tagore. The copy I have has a wonderful introduction by W.B. Yeats.

:) you have yet another award at my blog....

14theroad said...

Hey Dr. Jay,

Cutting right through the metaphor, sounds like Tagore's favoring common sense over common practice. And when it comes to the election especially, so am I.

Dano MacNamarrah said...

(To the pace of Kibbles 'n' Bits):

Maggots 'n' gods,
Maggots 'n' gods,
I'm gonna get me some maggots 'n' gods.

lover of jazz said...

the most interesting thing in this post is your recognition that most people take a position and stick to it more as a matter of pride than anything else.
that's what keeps us apart.
i really should take up yoga.

human being said...

oh these words really 'come from the depth of truth'...

though we live in seemingly different countries, i can understand what you mean... the same 'sense of vicious competition, accusation, shameless lying, and overweening indignation' floods here at the time of elections... and to tell you the truth, almost any time...
:(
whenever i wish for a non-stop yoga class, i go and tend my flowers as a compensation... give it a try...

svasti said...

What do they say?? Something about darkest just before the dawn?

I can't imagine really, the intensity of aggression and racisim that must be circulating, having only seen a few things online to date.

Yoga is indeed a refuge. Are ya ever gonna extrapolate on kept crossing amazingly back and forth the line between intense workout and psychedelic experience? I think that'd be an interesting post!

The whole compulsory voting thing in Australia? It does mean for a spell the stupid masses win out, and we ended up with an extremely long Howard conservative government as a result. But the thing about us Aussies - once we decide we've had enough, the gloves are off - Howard almost bounced out of his office as the country collectively breathed a sigh of relief.

Another take on the Tagore poem is freedom - of thought, dogma, conditioning, whatever - just ultimate freedom to choose, freedom of clear seeing...

Whilst you already know I'm not political (altho we have to continue that conversation) I do sincerely and truly hope your "country awakes into the freedom of heaven".

Namaste

Vesper said...

Dr. Jay, I love de Montaigne's quote. Indeed, there are too many gods.
And also Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its
way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
...

I like this post, we think a lot the same, while stumbling through our days and finding things to do while drinking coffee... :-)

I'll be back...

Christa said...

If you are truly interested in non-stop yoga, I have a retreat in Costa Rica to recommend.

As you know, I "officially" endorsed Bugs Bunny for President last week. Some of my readers wrote to me because they were disappointed I didn't back a major candidate. I admit, I shared my views with some of my readers privately and we had some doozie disagreements.

As long as the next president doesn't tax my coffee or my yoga classes out of reach, I guess I'll survive.

Claire said...

I wonder if you can guess what playground caused me to post that quote? :)

Oh and on another note I somehow promised my friend that I would start yoga classes with her. So I may become YogaCynic Junior :)

Lola said...

hmm, interesting, and always a joy to see something by Tanguy. And thanks for your kind remarks on my work. Lola xx

Lisa Allender said...

Thanks for the shout-out, and I've been riding the waves of your blog here.... I just commented at an entry you placed here in August!

Lisa Allender said...

Once again, I'm enjoying your work. Keep your spirit up!