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Showing posts from December, 2015

In search of the book 'Surprise Balls' by Yoav Tsoor

The information below is from Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks, and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times by Eyal Press (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012).In 2003, Israeli soldier Avner Wishnitzer signed a letter that says "we will no longer give our hands to the oppressive reign in the territories and the denial of human rights to millions of Palestinians. We shall no longer serve as a shield in the crusade of the settlements. We shall no longer corrupt our moral character in missions of oppression." (p. 110) He and his fellow soldier co-signers were asked to renounce their signatures, but they did not, so they were dismissed from the army.Eyal Press describes this man's subsequent health crisis:Two years later, Avner began to feel a nagging ache in his groin. He complained about it to his girlfriend, Hagit, who teased him about how little tolerance men had for certain kinds of bodily discomfort. He mentioned it to his father, a pulmonologist,…

The embodiment of language

Alan Watts:For the question "What is it?" is really asking, "In what class is it?" Now it should be obvious that classification is, again, a human invention, and that the natural world is not given to us in a classified form, in cans with labels. When we ask what anything is in its natural state, the only answer can be to point to it directly, suggesting that the questioner observe it with a silent mind.
C. J. Ducasse:You learn the English word "pain" by being taught English, and you learn the biological process of pain by being taught biology, but you learn pain when you are stuck with a needle. It is possible to experience pain without knowing the English or the biology.
Elaine Scarry:Physical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it, bringing about an immediate reversion to a state anterior to language, to the sounds and cries a human being makes before language is learned.
Jon Kabat-Zinn:See if you don't become more mindful by…

The 'castration' (beheading) scene in 'Masque of a Savage Mandarin'

In Philip Bedford Robinson's novel Masque of a Savage Mandarin, the character Nicholas Coad seeks a human brain on which to experiment.He pens an “Ode to the Nuclear Syndrome,” a malady he has invented. Note the references to "a five-inch length" and to "martyred Abelard," a medieval man who was castrated as punishment for an illicit sexual affair.Thymus of a new-born whale,
Pigeon’s peritoneum,
Mix with sliminess of snail
In a hypogeum;
Belly of Sir Thomas Browne
(Urn’s a little dusty)
Spread with daffodil’s down
Till the mixture’s musty.
Take a small atomic bomb,
Say an inward prayer,
Wrap it in a toilet roll,
Throw it in the air;
Pick your entrails off the tree,
Stick the guts together,
And if you have a five-inch length
You can say you’re clever.
Send a rocket to the moon,
(mind the Fourth Dimension!)
Tie your member on the end
And calculate the tension.
The British Association
Will be loud in approbation,
And martyred Abelard
Will envy your apotheosis –
A …

Being the change for peace you which to see in the world

In a 1931 sermon, Joseph Fort Newton said that war "destroys not only human lives, but human ideas, emotions, attachments, spiritual values, taste, culture, almost everything that unites individuals into a unity more important than themselves; war is the suicide of civilization." Some believe that our "true nature" is peaceful, and that war is a kind of mistake resulting from illusions. Daniel Condron: "At the source of all creation is peace and love. It is only here in the physical experience that we experience discord, strife, confusion, and refusal to remember where you came from."It is commonly said that violence and hate cannot defeat themselves; the only way out is through their opposites. Buddha said, "Hatred never ceases through hatred in this world; through nonviolence it comes to an end.
" A. J. Muste said, "There is no way to peace – peace is the way."If one takes this strong position, then it may seem unnecessary and count…