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Everything posted by Kingfisher

  1. I agreed with most of it except for the part about wishing for money. A million dollars in hundreds will fit in a briefcase, so there's a higher probability that the mailman will arrive with a smaller box. It's all a matter of economics. "It is futile to do with more things that which can be done with fewer." ~ William of Ockham
  2. "Consider yourself lightly; consider the world deeply." ~ Miyamoto Musashi, Dokkōdō
  3. Me three. I don't know how I missed this... my prayers are with you and your family, Rabbi. I hope this is appropriate, please forgive my bumbling knowledge of Judaism and accept it in the sincere spirit of love in which it is intended. To Israel, to the Rabbis and their disciples to the disciples of their disciples, and to all those who engage in the study of the Torah in this holy place or in any other place, may there come abundant peace, grace, lovingkindness and compassion, long life ample sustenance and salvation from the Father who is in heaven and Earth; and say, Amen.
  4. My prayers are with you and your family in this time of struggle. May you find the peace to enjoy every moment of life.
  5. My darn camera broke down so I'm afraid I couldn't catch it, and honestly I don't think I could have done it justice anyway, but this storm just brought us the most amazing rainbow I have ever seen in my life, and I've seen quite a few... Through the bay windows here at my desk it suddenly appears in the middle of the valley not a thousand feet from here. I run outside and see it filling out, climbing up to heavens, and as I turn the corner of the house the whole thing is stretched out before me in a full, unbroken bridge, with the sun behind me through a small break in the clouds. And it keeps growing in intensity until I can't see the trees or the mountains that were behind it at all. And two minutes later it was completely gone... Man, now I know what that guy in was going on about. It's as if for one short moment the door was open. I tried to find something online that compared, and this one's coming from about the same solar angle... the one I saw was foggier with a single, much wider bow, and even brighter (I had to shade my eyes, if you can imagine that!) across the full spectrum and entire arc, but this is close... My God, to see something so extraordinarily perfect in the middle of all the destruction was just too beautiful for words, but I had to share it with y'all anyway. If you've ever had that deep spiritual experience you know what I mean. It was just a brief reminder of an incomprehensible glory. The shadow has descended on the valley once more, but I know the light is still out there. Merry Samhain
  6. Upstate NY, the cold nor'easter is starting to blow like a freight train. I can see the outer bands sweeping over the Adirondacks as Sandy absorbs this system. It's awe-inspiring to think the main body of the storm is still hundreds of miles off. Stay safe, folks. Be especially wary of the danger of high winds if you take the kids out this Halloween.
  7. I don't have personal issues with you, I have an issue with your public behavior and I'm not the only one. I'm not attacking you, I'm urging you to stop attacking everyone else. Now you want to play the victim? I didn't want to resort to using this feature, but don't worry... you are now ignored. Thanks for sharing that poem Newt, I'm not going to apologize for standing up for ya.
  8. I'm not criticizing your facts, Buddhism has always included a wide range of beliefs and rituals. I'm taking issue primarily with your first comment and questioning your motives for including such divisive debate in this thread. Continuing to argue this point is just a deflection.
  9. Perhaps it's just my experience, but Buddhism is generally one of the most tolerant in accepting those who choose to worship according to their own hearts. That philosophy seems much more important than dissecting the particular paths they follow. I can understand that you have different beliefs about God, what I don't yet understand is why you feel it necessary to tear down those who don't share your point of view. The way you consistently attack everything religious and everyone who doesn't conform to your ideal causes me to suspect you're either very deeply wounded and lashing out in your pain, or you're just here as a shill to sow discord for the CCP. Newt shared a very lovely poem expressing the beauty he sees in the world; the way Buddhists express themselves in Thailand and the Western interpretations of T'ai Chi are irrelevant. This was certainly not the topic for you to derisively interject your opinion, and calling it "mumbo-jumbo" was a callous response to his gift of creation and nothing more than attempt to disrupt his wa. If you can't reply respectfully and in appropriate places then I suggest you keep your mouth shut until you grow up.
  10. Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology, The First Temple Period and Larry McMurtry's .Because a man needs to feed his head, but he also needs to feed his heart.
  11. I can't speak for everyone, Dan, but you and I have tangled a number of times, occasionally with great vigor, and I never once felt offended by your opinions. You've always been willing to face the heat and clarify the reasons why you think the way you do, and I never got the impression that you were deliberately insulting. I do praise your efforts in diplomacy, though. It not only makes a bitter reality easier to tolerate and compassionately attempts to avoid offense, it teaches us how to look for and emphasize the positive qualities in somebody else's point of view. This is the path toward peace. I think we all need to take a break now and then to reflect, to cool off and/or gain a little perspective on ourselves. However, if I had to make a choice between absolutes, I'd prefer that you stick around and remain faithful to your beliefs rather than have you leave or hide your true self behind a smarmy facade. You can count me among those who will still look forward to sparring with you again. A plant will grow tall and strong in the pure light, but it only blooms when it moderates it's exposure with a little darkness. Contemplate that while you take your rest. [Heb 4:9-11] The same sentiment (without the scriptural reference, of course) goes for Hyper, who has offended me. I'm honestly glad to see him posting again, even if I think he needs the practice in tact and diplomacy far more than you. Or perhaps precisely for that reason.
  12. He seems well loved, a blessing to many. My truck will be in for repairs in the morning but I'll be with you all in spirit as you celebrate this life. An Irish Funeral Prayer Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Everything remains as it was. The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no sorrow in your tone. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without effort. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is unbroken continuity. Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again. No one knows what the cup may hold, but everything is possible for him who believes. Beannachd Dia dhuit. Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures. I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul; I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands, without reserve and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. Charles de Foucauld
  13. LOL, my brother's Rottweiler does that. If I don't wake up (or try to pretend I haven't) he slo-o-o-wly scoots closer until his nose is in my eye. Then he slobbers on me.
  14. Secretary-General's Message for 2012 This year’s World Humanitarian Day presents an historic opportunity to bring together one billion people from around the world to advance a powerful and proactive idea: People Helping People. That is the best way to honour the many fallen aid workers we mourn today, and to celebrate the efforts of others who carry on their noble mission by rushing assistance to those who are suffering. The spirit of solidarity that animates these courageous efforts drives our commemoration of World Humanitarian Day. I have seen that spirit in my travels around the world, as I meet with relief workers who leave the comforts of their own homes to aid others in need. I also saw that spirit earlier this month when I met Beyoncé Knowles, the superstar who is donating her song, “I Was Here,” to our global campaign promoting action for a better world. Millions of people have already gone to our website to register their support and share their actions. From international efforts to avert a hunger crisis in West Africa to urgent assistance to civilians in Syria to a single good deed from one neighbour to the next, the spirit of People Helping People improves conditions for all. Let us give meaning to World Humanitarian Day by registering acts of good on the website: www.whd‑ Individual actions may seem small, but collectively they will reverberate around the world, generating unstoppable momentum for a better future. Ban Ki-moon
  15. My point was just that if we only consider our wants without considering those around us, we're destroying the very system that provides the satisfaction. If someone is dying of thirst in the desert I could sell them a bottle of water and squeeze them out of every penny they have, but that's completely selfish. They aren't satisfied, they're just desperate. If I make a profit I have successfully advanced, it is not a loss to myself if I could have made more. I wasn't really deriding the shifting dynamic of a capitalist market, only the parasites who would abuse it because they think their self-interest exists independently and without concern for the interests of the society that sustains them. I probably should have had more coffee before I tried to cobble together that analogy.
  16. The beauty of capitalism appears when both manufacturers and consumers recognize that their interests are better served by respecting the needs and desires of the other. When either side of the equation feels they have a "right" to profit without respecting the other, it all falls apart. If there is a fair and mutually satisfactory dynamic in a $2 cup of coffee, those who demand it for free and those who charge $4 are equally greedy. They both require someone else make the greater sacrifice in order to enhance their own lives.
  17. I think he's advising us not to tread on him. "I would not enter on my list of friends (though graced with polish’d manners and fine sense, yet wanting sensibility) the man who needlessly sets foot upon a worm." ~ William Cowper, The Task
  18. I don't consider things of this world to be part of me. I live in a higher realm... I'm only visiting here. I don't think violence is evil. How we use it defines the morality, and that's entirely subjective. I don't condemn those who killed bin Laden, nor do I condemn him. For me there is only sadness that this has come to pass, and I'm glad I wasn't a part of it. The issue at hand is that I don't see only two options. Both of those you provide result in suffering. I would love, rather than fight or die. I don't follow the RCC anymore, but that's still my greatest commandment. Telling you I will fight is not a statement of identification, it's a confession. Forgive me, brother. Sometimes I know not what I do. If the fighting is ever to stop someone has to have the courage to lay down their arms. This is not foolish idealism, I have practiced this in the reality of "the 'hood" for decades. I have carried the light into jungles across America, and I am still here. La vida loca is not the only way. The outcome isn't up to me alone, yet I take those risks because death has no power to sway me. A claim of cowardice is just a manipulative appeal to ego that attempts to subordinate the threat of violence to the threat of social discrimination and even greater violence. At first the accusation is "coward" (crime against self)... then it becomes "traitor" (crime against society) and "heretic" (crime against God) as they build into a lethal fury. I'm not afraid, I'm just smarter and kinder than that. I will not surrender to that position. I will not torture my friends in order to encourage them to kill my enemies. Even if I am crucified for it. There's no escaping the fact that I'm an ape-man, but that's only a temporary condition. We can argue semantics and philosophize about nature and spirit and what I am, all I can say is that while I am bound by the flesh my job is to minimize the 'ape' and maximize the 'man'. I can't tell you or anyone else where to draw that line, all I can do is show you the path I have taken. The part of me that lives forever is more important to me than the part that will die. I have made my choice... may God grant me the strength to see it through. שָׁלוֹם السلام عليكم Peace be with you. "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." ~ Luke 17:33 [KJV]
  19. Evil isn't a condition of the soul, it's an action of the soul. You expect me to take a life to save another. I tell you I am not God, I don't judge who is worthy. My goal is to eradicate the sins without eradicating the sinners. Evil can only flourish if we hold it in our hearts. I still have claws, I'll react to save my life if you push me hard enough, but I hate losing that control and I'll be scrambling for alternatives until the last moment. It's not self-defense if I have to hunt them down. 9/11 wasn't self-defense either. I'm not ashamed of my nature, I just believe it's a temporary condition and know I can do better than operating on raw instinct. Violence is the refuge of those who cannot find a better solution. Refraining doesn't mean I just stand back and watch people die. Killing Osama wasn't the greater good, it was just another evil. He used to be our friend. I would have treated him with the same compassion I gave my dog after surgery. She was hurt and scared and biting, but I didn't have to put a bullet in her head. Primum non nocere.
  20. I would rather we had all found something better to do, yes. What difference is this foolish and tragic waste of life if the dead are in New York or Abottabad? The conflict didn't end the violence or defeat evil, it only created more. Hundreds of thousands of people have suffered and died in name of another "righteous" war. Countless millions throughout history. Many more are dying even now. It's not God's will, it's insanity. It's nothing more than unrestrained barbarism. I have seen enough killing. I choose to be more than just another stupid murderous ape. Life has so many greater things to offer. You ask me only if I would prefer to kill or fear being killed. I prefer to fly beyond the grasp of the savage jungle. "A new consciousness is developing which sees the earth as a single organism and recognizes that an organism at war with itself is doomed. We are one planet. One of the great revelations of the age of space exploration is the image of the Earth, finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable, bearing the entire human species through the oceans of space and time. But this is an ancient perception... history is full of people who, out of fear or ignorance or the lust for power, have destroyed treasures of immeasurable value which truly belong to all of us. We must not let it happen again." ~ Carl Sagan
  21. I endure my enemies so that I may have the opportunity to correct them, rather than destroy them. I would wish no less mercy for myself. I am not content to let wars thrive, but I cannot defeat evil by becoming the devil. It's easy to kill. It takes a lot more courage to love.
  22. I believe in hell, I just believe it's a matter of karma rather than punishment. What I believe is just what I believe, but I try to allow my mind to be as unrestricted as possible. I think God can do anything, I just don't think God is as crude as we. Nobody wins at war until it's over. The whole point of it is to stop fighting, I just dismiss the extraneous battles and victory is achieved. My perspective is as Israel with the White Tārā. I'm not a pacifist because I think violence is inherently evil, I'm a pacifist because I have seen a God that transcends it all. I merely try to align myself with that universal harmony. I'm not always successful. "Call it peace or call it treason, call it love or call it reason, but I ain't marching anymore!" ~ Phil Ochs God is beyond definition. Sure. I think righteous judgment was laid down at the beginning of time. Measure twice, cut once. I don't see God sitting on a throne handing out decrees for our eternal fate, our rewards and punishments are just a reflection of our own free will. With great freedom comes great responsibility. It's not personal, it's just dharma. And we're all in it together. God doesn't punish us if we jump off a cliff or threaten us with suffering if we disobey, but in love teaches us that it will hurt if we fall. If I'm going to hell, it's through my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault...