For what is real and true look at these stones, this bread, the spring of water, those sea waves, this horizon with its pure untroubled line. Only perceive purely and the spiritual and the material world vibrate as one. The power that saves is infinitely simple and infinitely close at hand. (Iris Murdoch)
Wallace Stevens (1879-1955), poet, playwright, and essayist; business man and Lawyer, was a terrific American writer. In his popular poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” so much is revealed about how we question our own spirituality, the meaning of our own life’s path to enlightenment, and asks us to look at our demons – to start to pick away at how we frame things until gratitude’s light comes peeking through.
“Blackbird” informs us about being grateful for the cracks in things, in people, and in life, as through these bothersome cracks, light is revealed, hence more clarity, realization, appreciation.
My favorite verse of “Blackbird” follows:
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
This verse speaks so well of gratitude for all things that life offers – all moments and experiences – no matter how perplexing, they are gifts… well, if not seen in the moment as a gift, then surely afterwards – when we are open – the gift comes in.
The full poem is very interesting and revealing – it may shatter your thinking about how you look at things, people, events…
Love and peace…..
Hypocrisy: like the scraping fingernails of 18 second graders, in unison, on a blackboard in early morning
In an effort to understand it, I have been reading and studying why people change with the wind, lie because it’s easy, manipulate facts they know are false simply because they enjoy drama, or gossip.
Is it for the thrill of putting on a multi-colored, but paper thin, coat of bravura? It seems to me to be like an egomaniacal strutting – puffing up and preening for others, on a stage without foundation, in a never-ending world of make-believe.
Is it a need for escaping and lying for the sake of drama – for the daring feel of the “game”? And it is a game. When I have looked back at former friends who were just pure dissemblers, I see it was all really just sport for them – a game with one winner – themselves.
This is what I need to explore and write about next.
Why have I (hopefully now forever in the past) attracted friends with these traits? And why does it take me too long to recognize it? Why do some people choose to abandon truth, or create facades – complete falsities? Why is hypocrisy also cloaked in feigned pretension, and extra-loud agression, that I should be able to recognize, but so often miss?
I don’t have these answers yet. Until I do, I will leave you with this:
Hypocrisy, the lie, is the true sister of evil, intolerance, and cruelty. (Raisa Gorbachev)
What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core. (Hannah Arendt)
More to come on this preplexing topic.