Hold It All

Philosophy/Poetics/Politics

Month: June, 2015

How to Live

Jesus had his devotees
Dipa Ma had her devotees
Pat Geier has her devotees

Jesus sat with people
Dipa Ma sat with people
Pat Geier sits with people

Jesus placed his hands on someone in torment
Dipa Ma placed her hands on someone in torment
Pat Geier places her hands on someone in torment

Jesus embodied the heart and its treasure
Dipa Ma embodied meditation and its treasure
Pat Geier embodies accompaniment and its treasure

–Pat Geier is a therapist and activist who lives in Louisville, Kentucky. We’ve been friends for 34 years.

Breathe, We Are Alive!

Concentration is Consecration.
Eknath Easwaran

In Thich Nhat Hanh’s 1993 revised edition of the Tiep Hien precepts, the 7th reads, in part, as follows: “Be in touch with what is wondrous, refreshing, and healing both inside and around you.” In Ten Breaths to Happiness, Berkeley meditation teacher Glen Schneider offers us the fruit of his own practice so that we may  deepen our contact with the wonderful elements of our lives. Read the rest of this entry »

Burning Children and the Duty to Resist

In May 1968 Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan wrote a statement on behalf of the Catonsville Nine as to why they were performing an act of civil disobedience in protest of the Vietnam War.  It reads, in part, “Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise. For we are sick at heart, our hearts give us no rest for thinking of the Land of Burning Children.”

Mary Moylan, another of the Catonsville Nine who burned draft files with homemade napalm, stated at their trial:
To a nurse
The effect of napalm on human beings
Is apparent
I think of children and women
Bombed by napalm
Burned alive by a substance
Which does not roll off
It is a jelly
It adheres
It continues burning
This is inhuman absolutely
To pour napalm
On pieces of paper
Is certainly preferable
To using napalm on human beings
By pouring napalm on draft files
I wish to celebrate life
Not engage in a dance of death Read the rest of this entry »

Living in Truth

“… every attempt to live within the truth, must necessarily  appear as a threat to the system and, thus, as something which is political par excellence. Any eventual political articulation of the movements that grow out of this ‘pre-political’ hinterland is secondary.  It develops and matures as a result of  a subsequent confrontation with the system, and not because it started off as a political programme, project or impulse.”

Vacalv Havel, The Power of the Powerless

A Journalist/4

I regularly prowled the arms bazaars of the Middle East, seeking an answer to the same old questions. Who are the men who produce this vile equipment? How can they justify their trade? How will the victims respond to this pulverization of their lives? What language can encompass science and death and capital gains on such a scale?

–Robert Fisk

Realpolitik, or, The Way of the World

1.

We must expel Arabs and take their places… and, if we have to use force—not to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev and Transjordan, but to guarantee our own right to settle in those places—then we have force at our disposal.

–David Ben-Gurion, 1937

2.

The Israel Defense Force is a decidedly aggressive assault army in the way it thinks, the way it plans, the way it implements. Aggression is in its bones and its spirit.

–Moshe Dayan, 1967

3.

Break their bones.

–Yitzhak  Rabin, 1988

4.

We will tell the Palestinians that if a single missile is fired over the fence, we will fire ten in response….when 2.5 million people live in a  closed-off Gaza, it’s going to be a human catastrophe. Those people will become even bigger animals than they are today, with the aid of an insane fundamentalist Islam. The pressure at the border will be awful. It’s going to be a terrible war. So, if we want to remain alive, we will have to kill and kill and kill. All day, every day.

–Arnon  Soffer, 2004

Lexicon (The Way It Looked in 2003)

By politicide I mean a process that has, as its ultimate goal, the dissolution of the Palestinian people’s existence as a legitimate social, political, and economic entity…. Politicide is a process that covers a wide range of [Israel’s] social, political, and military activities whose goal is to destroy the political and national existence of a whole community of people and thus deny it the possibility of self-determination. Murders, localized massacres, the elimination of leadership and elite groups, the physical destruction of public institutions and infrastructure, land colonization, starvation, social and political isolation, re-education, and partial ethnic cleansing are the major tools used to achieve this goal.

Baruch Kimmerling, Israeli sociologist

Some of What’s Not on Your CV

Your allusive ode to your soul-pal (“I am because you are”)
That incendiary haiku you gave to Mona on the porch
What prompted your most intense torrent of tears

That photo of the blissed-out Hindu mystic that changed your life
Your three favorite lines you still hum from Blood on the Tracks
That long passage you memorized from The Brothers Karamazov

What she whispered to you at the wake
Who are you without these?
What worth is a CV without these?

Share the Wealth with Virginia Druhe: Vietnam 40 Years after the American War

This past April, Virginia Druhe went on a Veterans for Peace delegation  to Vietnam.  She will share about the vibrant society of Vietnam through the eyes of U.S. veterans working to repair ongoing destruction resulting from Agent Orange and unexploded ordnance used during the war.

Virginia has been involved in peace and solidarity work for decades and works for  the national office of Veterans for Peace (VFP) here in Saint Louis.

Join us Sunday 28 June
Potluck dinner begins at 6:00 pm
Virginia begins sharing at 6:45
At the home of Marty and Jerry King
830 DeMun, third floor
Clayton, MO
63105

Disobedience

U.S. historian Howard Zinn once said, “The Holocaust might serve a powerful purpose if it led us to think of the world today as wartime Germany — where millions die while the rest of the population obediently goes about its business.  It is a frightening thought that the Nazis, in defeat, were victorious:  today Germany, tomorrow the world.  That is, until we withdraw our obedience.”

Another historian, Raul Hilberg, once identified key stances during the Nazi genocide: the perpetrators, the victims, the bystanders, and the resisters.

In the State of Israel  are citizens who refuse to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.  One group started during the 1982 Lebanon War, and called itself Yesh Gvul, “There is a limit.”

Since then, hundreds of Israelis—reservists, soldiers, officers, the young and the old—have made clear that they would not be obedient to a government that humiliates and abuses the Palestinian population.

One man, Duda Palma, articulated his decision this way: “The immediate choice I faced was either to act like a rhinoceros (the conformist image in the well-know play by Ionesco) and play along—or protest. The refusal to collaborate with the degrading occupation and its ugliest aspects seems the correct thing to do, now more than ever, so correct that it seems incredible that a people that only recently gained its own national independence now experiences such ease in denying another people a similar independence. I believe that this step, I am defending the fragile democracy still clinging on amongst us, but being gradually swept towards the chasm by a rising tide of nationalism and Khomeinist fundamentalism.”