Monday, February 28, 2005

Another definition...

Poetry is that noise you hear when the infinities of the soul are straining against the shackles of finite language.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

One marker of true courage

The openness that permits one to be taken up by a radical experience of a greater truth and to face challenges to one's faith is known to be dangerous but it is NOT the hallmark of a weak identity. It is the passport of the surefooted soul, confident of her own mind and heart, whose fundamental relationship to the universe is trust.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Though Mark Twain wrote ....

...that if a man had a dog with a conscience, the kind thing to do would be to shoot the poor dog, I think Mr Twain was not altogether serious.

Guilt is the measure of one's sense of connection with those he has ill served.

The feel of truth

Through genes and upbringing, this world has made me who I am. Through those I happen to love and the ways and constancy with which I love them , I now finish making me who I am.

And as love produces and bridges the generations, I begin making some tiny part of the world what it will be.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The ring of truth

If you find yourself torn between being honest or being attractive, you are seeing the wrong choices. The choice that will live longer is between being honest or backing away from the situation. There is nothing less attractive than a liar for when we hear him, we must depend on sore and uncharitable imagination to supply the parts of the picture he covers or leaves out.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Belief and Psi

Your browser might not be up to showing Greek symbols. Capitol Psi, in a modern physics context, stands for the wave equation. It says in effect that if you know how much energy the particle is carrying and the disposition of forces that may act on a particle [e.g. in the case of an electron, where the nucleus is and that it exerts electrical attraction, where other electrons swarm and that they exert repulsion] then you can describe the shape of a "cloud" of probable presence for the particle. That is, a shaped region of space is defined by the equation allowing you to say for points within the shape that there is such-and-such a chance of detecting the particle at (x1,y1,z1) and much less chance of finding it at (x2,y2,z2) etc. If you actually make a measurement, stick an antenna or a thermometer or shoot a laser beam through the atom, you may detect the electron but having done so, you are, at that instant able to say the electron is 100% HERE and not smeared all around the space taken up by the touched it and the wave equation collapsed or became momentarily meaningless. Likewise, absent any particular context or trying events, who the hell can say what they really believe? I certainly can't. It is so much slipperier than you dare admit. Todays installment is uncharitable as there are also good reasons and good effects for which we have invented gods. But those most riled by this idea will be those who are most scared of what truth it may be digging for:

Men invented gods so they could be at peace with a world they did not understand. They invented devils so they could be at war without taxing their conscience. Women invented the goddess out of loneliness.

What we learn from our students...

My technically inclined son is also inclined to play and to treat organization and time management as if they were merely talking exercises unconnected in any way to what one actually works by or accomplishes. So now he is fixing up his transcript at a lesser university than the one that had to tell him to leave. Painful lesson that. But I think he's getting it. He sent me a link to a little parable. Well I guess I could have noted long ago that a different approach was needed in his case. When you yell at a kid for 10 years to clean up his room, you are doing a pretty dumb job of parenting. That's just a symptom and I should have looked for a cause.

The great teachers know the student as well as they know the subject.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Here, you can have my advice...I'm not using it.

Do not put on more sophistication than you truely own. The best and final consequence of such fraud is to draw yourself into the company of folks who can see right through you. Are you ready for that?

And now a word from our sponsor.

We are mortal, whence much abiding grief
And damn good reason to keep things brief.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Too Late! Ambrose Bierce said it all

and said it better. But since I am in that dark humor:
Complaining: The chief reason men have language, and more than language, the main thing that separates man from beasts. Complaining is that tiny fire we build to stand near and shiver rather than go inside when life grows cold.

My friends are greatly outnumbered by people I admire...

...and that seems, paradoxically to be why I have so few friends. See if you can connect that to todays bit:
When there is a difference between your thoughts about how the world is and how the world should be, you will find that it goes on turning out contrary to what it should be. Your thoughts about how things really are rule your experience but your thoughts about how things should be rule your happiness.

Friday, February 18, 2005

My other sig is also an aphorism....

The mind is like a car: you are only guessing at its power if you do not fill the tank with experience. If you let it wrestle with the past or brood about the future, you are not watching the road! This universe, big as it seems, is the only real road available though many desperately goofy maps are offered to disguise that simple fact. Collisions are likely! You may have noticed the speedometer is broken: its going much faster than you realize.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Be grateful, you might have been reading....

a blog titled "Deep Quote". [though, the land rush being pretty much over for great screen names and blog titles, its probably taken...I aint even gonna google for it]. An imaginary friend, who doesn't take me very seriously, suggested that title for my blog. My response to that is
[a] posing as a sage by passing off my pompus pearls is arrogance enough,
[b] EXPECTATIONS! Your title can cast you in irons. Some of the people who stumble on a link, seeing only its name, might follow it in hopes of porn or avoid it in fear of porn. The rest might follow it in hopes of juicey inside politics and priveleged revelations. They'd never come back once they see its just some farm-boy filosofer. There are many blogs with unreported "facts" and news with which to assail whatever it is that they already hated before they heard of blogging...I would not want to be tossed in that basket by readers who get no farther than the title. I certainly have my biases but they haven't much to do with the news and anyway, I am working on them. Nope, I will strive for wit and settle for intrigue.

But I digress. Todays installment:
Whatever it was, its was not the worst mistake you ever made until you made it the second time.

And to make up for missing valentine's day deadline...

Love is as irrational as Pi. Like that other constant, it is a deep irrationality that implements a deeper rationale: to close the circle of life.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Does any of this need explaining?

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, most of its bridges are built with reasonable assumptions.

Technology-induced Attention Deficit

The NYTimes, back on Feb. 10, or Richard Seven writing up the work of David Levy in the Seattle Times point out a way that the conveniences of our age have made mincemeat of our moments and pretty much run a Hummer over our inclination toward contemplation. But if we live in an age when there hardly seems to be enough time to finish an article by Thomas Friedman or get all the way to the bottom of Andrew Sullivan's latest posting, we can perhaps fight back by resorting to a form of communication that served to diseminate thought when few were even able to read and contemplation was reserved for monks and kings: The aphorism.

Without any technological assistance, I have always had choppy attention so what little I can think, I must set down in briefest form. So: here goes nothing and lets see how long I can keep this up.

Today's installment:

Love must be an addiction. We handle it as we handle other addictions: some celbrate it, some curse it.