May 08, 2022


Sundown Oil Paint Rendered
René Descartes' classic,
"I think, therefore I am,"
was flipped by a guy at a bar
in Minneapolis,
"I think, therefore I think I am."

Solidifying me in my already
solid opinion that there are no proofs
for verifying the reality of reality.

It's an illusion we keep afloat
among ourselves 
in the absence of a better idea.

Unvalidateable assumptions
gain the reputation of being so over time.

We take a lot "on faith" that way.
It is the grounding principle of QAnon
and the Moon Walk deniers.
Reaffirming the refrain from the 60's
(Or before?),
"You can't prove that the universe did not
come into being, complete with fossils,
artifacts and memories, 
fifteen minutes ago."

There is a lot we cannot prove.
And we get along fine with the assumption of reality,
assuming that we are not Chaung Tzu's butterfly
dreaming all of this into existence.

Which gets me to 
"If this is so real, 
why don't we do a better job with it?"

Why are we so casual with reality?
So nonchalant?
So take it or leave it?

Littering highways,
and subways,
and oceans
and outer space?

Why don't we walk around blinking 
in disbelief at the reality we behold?

What are the chances?
That we would be here/now?
Pissing away each day
as though it is no big deal?
And our entire life one day at a time?




The Lighthouse 02 09/26/2008 Oil Paint Rendered — Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
There is the Great Flow of Circumstances,
with "one damn thing after another,"
and there is the Flow of Life and Being,
in, around and through 
the circumstantial congestion
of the times.

How to move from one to the other
is a matter of turning the light around,
flipping the switch,
looking again,
and seeing what we look at,
finally, at last,
and doing what needs to be done about it.

The Gateless Gate is the swing point
between the worlds flowing through this world
of time and place,
the place of transition/transformation
where the "doors of perception are cleared"
(William Blake)
and we know what's what:
"This is the way things are,
and this is what can/needs to be/must be
done about it,
and that's the way things are."

The future of time and place
depends upon what happens then.

Once we see, what do we do?
Upon the answer to that one
teeters all things great and small.

To know and not do, 
that's big.

But, there is hope for the world
in the next moment
of each situation as it arises,
where the same scenario plays out again,
and again,
through all eternity.

What dies now
has the possibility of being resurrected
and all is never lost,
merely delayed,
sometimes through all those eternal cycles
Buddhists like to talk about,
and sometimes not.

It all depends on here/now,
all the way down,
and  how well we sync up with the right flow
and do what needs us to do it.

In each situation as it arises.

If you know what you know,
you know what I mean.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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