Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The Lathe of Heaven

I'm still engaged in life. And I'm still here, but I've been letting my significant others at ASZ hold down the fort. I've been remiss. I have a keyboard with a bum space bar, but I'm still here. I've been living and reading Ursula Le Guin, and watching how the world responds to the earthquake and tsunami in SE Asia. In her novel The Lathe of Heaven she quotes a Zen master:
"Those whom heaven helps we call the sons of heaven. They do not learn this by learning. They do not work it by working. They do not reason it by using reason. To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven. (Chuang Tse: XXIII)

Yesterday I found this in the LA Times. It's in direct oppostion to my worldview, to a zen way of viewing, but it's an interesting quirky read, and easier from Common Dreams than from the source: Reelection Honeymoon With Voters Eludes Bush, Polls Say It's almost impossible for me to blog "politically" on US issues when we've had Iraq and now we have the global issue of SE Asia's earthquake and tsunami. I am a child of the Happy Planet. True, the US government is killing people in Iraq at a Texas rate... still ...we have our mother The Earth saying, "I was here first".

If you've not already enjoyed Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven, I cannot recommend it more highly.
"Nothing endures, nothing is precise and certain (exept the mind of the pedant), perfection is the mere repudiation of that ineluctable marginal inexactitude which is the mysterious inmost quality of Being." H.G. Wells, "A Modern Utopia"
The political fluff-stuff-nonsense-white noise in the print media AND the Internet sources make me fucking nuts in trying to nurture a "still point" in my life. I don't ever want to hear what Mr. Blinky is saying OR doing in Crawford or DC. He is insignificant and irrelevant to me. I have me, my husband, my children and my sister and parents to worry about. Those and the tsunami victims are enough to keep my mind-soul occupied for now. I don't know that that is what you all do, but we all have to do something and I must do something to stay sane... every now and then.

More from Le Guin:

"He was aware that in thus relegating to irreality a major portion of the only reality, the only existence, that he in fact did have, he was running exactly the same risk the insane mind runs; the loss of the sense of free will. He knew that in so far as one denies what is, one is possessed by what is not, the compulsions, the fantasies, the terrors that flock to fill the void. But the void was there. This life lacked realness; it was hollow; the dream, creating where there was no necessity to create, had worn thin and sleazy. If this was being, perhaps the void was better. He would accept the monsters and the neccessities beyond reason. He would go home, and take no drugs, but sleep, and dream what dreams might come."

Sleep well, anticipating the turning of the year....