Jesus Said:

One thing about the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, which has some crazy content:  almost all its sayings of Jesus begin with the simple introductory formula, “Jesus said” (in Coptic, the word order is, “said Jesus”).  This implies that Jesus was an important person, for his words were memorable and so preserved.

So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today (Mt 6:34).

Hoy mismo!

This is the day!  It’s today!  A book called The Eternal Now (1963) by Paul Tillich has it that the eternal is present in the temporal.  Hey, now!

“Throughout this life, you can never be certain of living long enough to take another breath”  (The Zen Teaching of Huang Po, tr. John Blofeld, NY: Grove, 1959, p. 64).

The wise advice of Jesus of Nazareth shows the future interfering with people’s minds and it shouldn’t.  Perhaps the state we’re in is the result of original sin.  Can one live without the future?

 

 

 

 

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Remember Lin Zhao

See the source image

Lin Zhao, 1932-1968, was a Chinese dissident, executed for her loudly expressed views against the corruption and injustice of Chairman Mao’s communist regime.  She was a convert to Christianity after attending a Methodist school and joined the Communist Party as a 16-year-old.  She was an agitator early on and she didn’t live long, but her writings survive.

Jailed in 1960, Lin Zhao spent 8 years in prison until she was secretly killed by firing squad.  In prison she was not silent, but continued her advocacy for reform on behalf of “the common people.”  In her cell, she wrote in her own blood, on linens and such, pricking her finger with bamboo.

Lin Zhao’s radical activism reminds us, in the West, of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, but she stands in a long line of Chinese dissent.  She combined religious and political idealism and dedicated herself to a better world.

Resources:

Lian Xi, ‘The Chinese Dissident who Wrote in Blood’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lin_Zhao

‘Screening China’

‘In Search of Lin Zhao’s Soul’

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“I don’t give a damn about your intentions [at all]”

 

Above title of this post is a line from the song by Alabama Shakes – ‘Always Alright.’  They performed it on the Saturday Night Live stage in February 2013.  You may check out their SNL shows (and others) on YouTube.  They are of high quality, musically speaking, representing the genre of southern rock and roll.

Alabama Shakes . . . their music is emotionally powerful.

n.b. Info on the band:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_Shakes

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The Star Spangled Banner – an Appreciation

The ‘Star Spangled Banner’ is a patriotic song consisting of words and music about the United States of America.  It is the national anthem and thus played and/or sung at important public events.  It comes at the beginning of an event, setting the tone for the people gathered.

Here is a simple piano delivery of the tune: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/2_Star_Spangled_Banner.mid.  The lyrics are based on a poem – ‘The Defence of Fort McHenry’ – written by Francis Scott Key in the year 1814.

The first two lines of the poem:

O say can you see by the dawn’s early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,

picture the United States flag as the goal of a quest, a quest to see.  To see it, for Francis Scott Key, meant victory.  In 1814, the flag had fifteen stars on it.  Today, 2017, the flag has fifty stars.  The stars represent the states of the Union.  That Union is an ongoing victory, the achievement of many people becoming one.

USA Flag

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Transmission of Enlightenment in Buddhism

The Buddha held up a flower before his circle of disciples.  All were confused except one, M. (I abbreviate the name), who smiled.  Buddha was happy and announced that M. had received enlightenment and wisdom.  M. alone understood.

‘The Flower Sermon’ is found in the Zen collection called Mumonkan.

 

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Telling the Truth about Trump

I’d named spades as trump and had 90 points meld, a marriage in trump, pinochle (jack of diamonds/queen of spades) and a nine of spades.  I had double 10 in trump, but no aces in the suit.  The bid was 210 and as my partner had 20 points meld, we needed to make 100 in tricks.  Ordinarily this shouldn’t have been difficult, but my partner had no spades, no trump.  We didn’t make bid.  We went bust or ‘set’ as we commonly say in my family.   Too bad for us, but those were the cards we were dealt.

Image result for pinochle cards

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Looking at the Sky and Seeing Stars

In the night, I was hit by a car and knocked out.   I awoke flat on my back, with a wide sky above and nobody around.  All was silent.  [The end.]

Image result for stars at night

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