Schadenfreude

scha·den·freu·de /ˈSHädənˌfroidə/ noun: Schadenfreude; noun: schadenfreude
pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.
Origin : German Schadenfreude, from Schaden ‘harm’ + Freude ‘joy’.

Schadenfreude From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –

Schadenfreude ; lit. ‘harm-joy’) is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another.
Schadenfreude is a complex emotion, where rather than feeling sympathy towards someone’s misfortune, schadenfreude evokes joyful feelings that take pleasure from watching someone fail. This emotion is displayed more in children than adults; however, adults also experience schadenfreude, though generally concealed.

– Schadenfreude From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Google search –

Schadenfreude is borrowed from German; it is a compound of Schaden, “damage, harm”, and Freude, “joy”. The German word was first mentioned in English texts in 1852 and 1867, and first used in English running text in 1895. In German, it was first attested in the 1740s.
She noted Schadenfreude as an example of such a word, the pleasure that one derives from another person’s misfortune, which is from German Schaden, harm, and Freude, joy. She said an English equivalent does exist — epicaricacy. … Schadenfreude I know it is called. Or epicaricacy, as the English will have it.
epicaricacy Noun
(rare) Rejoicing at or derivation of pleasure from the misfortunes of others.
Usage notes : The word is mentioned in some early dictionaries, but there is little or no evidence of actual usage until it was picked up by various “interesting word” websites around the turn of the twenty-first century.
Origin From Ancient Greek ἐπί (epí, “upon”) + χαρά (khará, “joy”) + κακός (kakós, “evil”).

The Japanese have a saying: “The misfortune of others tastes like honey.” The French speak of joie maligne, a diabolical delight in other people’s suffering. In Danish it is skadefryd; in Hebrew, simcha la-ed; in Mandarin, xìng-zāi-lè-huò; in Russian, zloradstvo; and for the Melanesians who live on the remote Nissan Atoll in Papua New Guinea, it is banbanam. Two millennia ago, the Romans spoke of malevolentia. Earlier still, the Greeks described epichairekakia (literally epi, over, chairo, rejoice, kakia, disgrace). A study in Würzburg in Germany carried out in 2015 found that football fans smiled more quickly and broadly when their rival team missed a penalty, than when their own team scored.
“To see others suffer does one good,” wrote the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. “This is a hard saying, but a mighty, human, all-too-human principle.”

– Google search

Schadenfreude – a very good word for a very bad state of consciousness.

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer called it “an infallible sign of a thoroughly bad heart and profound moral worthlessness.”

RC Trench, the archbishop of Dublin, mentioned it in “On the Study of Words”. For Trench, the mere existence of the word was unholy and fearful, a “mournful record of the strange wickednesses which the genius of man has invented”.

In the 1890s, animal-rights campaigner Frances Power Cobbe wrote a manifesto entitled Schadenfreude, identifying the emotion with the bloodlust of boys torturing stray cats for fun.

Do you notice any Schadenfreude around you? Especially examine some of the world’s most influential people – look for “an infallible sign of a thoroughly bad heart and profound moral worthlessness.”
Do you experience any Schadenfreude inside you? Reflect on your intentions toward the world and people around you.

Schadenfreude has been called “empathy’s shadow”, casting the two as antithetical.

This is why Buddha emphasized compassion in his teachings. Compassion is feeling with someone; Schadenfreude is feeling against someone, even though the person appears to be enjoying the feeling. See how devious the human mind can be.

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has pointed out that psychopaths are not only detached from other people’s suffering but even enjoy it: “The Germans have a word for this,” writes Baron-Cohen.

So, psychopaths think about other people’s suffering with the purpose of getting enjoyment from it. How close are each of us to becoming psychopaths?

So, is your “Schadenfreude” consciousness stronger or your “empathy” consciousness stronger?

All emotions are “cognitive” – in other words, not simply reactions , but complex cognitive processes requiring us to evaluate our relationship with the universe around us and respond accordingly.

Dostoyevsky knew that schadenfreude and sympathy are not either/or responses, but can both be experienced in the same moment. In Crime and Punishment, Marmeladov is brought, bloodied and unconscious, into the St Petersburg tenement where he lives following an accident, all the residents crowd round. They experience, wrote Dostoyevsky, “that strange sense of inner satisfaction that always manifests itself, even among the victim’s nearest and dearest, when someone is afflicted by a sudden catastrophe; a sensation that not a single one of us is proof against, however sincere our feelings of pity and sympathy”.

Reflect on this – “that strange sense of inner satisfaction that always manifests itself, even among the victim’s nearest and dearest, when someone is afflicted by a sudden catastrophe; a sensation that not a single one of us is proof against, however sincere our feelings of pity and sympathy”.

Conflict

Conflict

conflict noun Definition of conflict (Entry 1 of 2)
1 : FIGHT, BATTLE, WAR
2a : competitive or opposing action of incompatibles : antagonistic state or action (as of divergent ideas, interests, or persons)
b : mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands
3 : the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in a drama or fiction

conflict verb Definition of conflict (Entry 2 of 2)
intransitive verb
1 : to be different, opposed, or contradictory : to fail to be in agreement or accord
2 archaic : to contend in warfare

I was raised in a FUNDAMENTAL EVANGELICAL family where I was taught that GOD is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, etc.

I was also taught that there is a great cosmic conflict between good and evil; GOD and Satan.

You get the idea; then how does this happen?:

excerpt from belief letter to my parents-

The concept of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer of mankind and having paid a Ransom for our lives is puzzling. A ransom is a ‘consideration paid or demanded for the redemption of a captured person’ (Webster). This presupposes that GOD somehow lost a battle, lost a bartering deal, or was robbed of his family by someone and had to pay to get them back. Is there an evil Being equal to GOD and can demand a Ransom from GOD? I do not think so.

-excerpt from belief letter to my parents

“And if there was no Fall, what then of the need for Redemption? What god was offended and by whom? Some especially touchy cave bear whose skull had been improperly enshrined?” ― Joseph Campbell

“Every act has both good and evil results. Every act in life yields pairs of opposites in its results. The best we can do is lean toward the light, toward the harmonious relationships that come from compassion with suffering, from understanding the other person.” ― Joseph Campbell

“is there not some point of wisdom beyond the conflicts of illusion and truth by which lives can be put back together again? That is a prime question, I would say, of this hour in the bringing up of children.” ― Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By

“The idea of Truth with capital “T”-that there is something called Truth that’s beyond the range of the relativity of the human mind trying to think-is what I call “the error of the found truth.” The trouble with all of these damned preachers is the error of the found truth. When they get that tremolo in the voice and tell you what God has said, you know you’ve got a faker.” ― Joseph Campbell

What I found is that there is no great cosmic conflict between good and evil; GOD and Satan. All I found are states of mind that exist within the mind of each individual human; this is where the conflict occurs. “Every act has both good and evil results” says Joseph Campbell. “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so” says William Shakespeare in Hamlet.

So good and evil are just different opinions or points of view.

How about the conflict between TRUTH and lies. This does not happen because TRUTH does not conflict with anything. TRUTH just exists; touch a tree, hug a pet, jump in a lake, this is energy or spirit (TRUTH) in-form. The tree, pet, or lake just exists; TRUTH is existence; existence is TRUTH. How does existence conflict with anything? A person is TRUTH exists or is REAL; an enemy is an untruth does not exist; Jesus Christ understood this concept when he said love your enemy. When you love an enemy the illusion drops and a REAL person is revealed; ah TRUTH is revealed.

We have so many illusions in our belief systems; “is there not some point of wisdom beyond the conflicts of illusion and truth by which lives can be put back together again?” asks Joseph Campbell.

TRUTH points out to us that the only source of conflict is lie to lie, untruth to untruth, or illusion to illusion.

Let that sink in…

Anytime you have had conflict in your life you can be sure that TRUTH has not been involved.

“The best we can do is lean toward the light, toward the harmonious relationships that come from compassion with suffering, from understanding the other person.” ― Joseph Campbell

USA the Promised Land for White Evangelical Christians

https://www.au.org/resources/publications/is-america-a-christian-nation

Americans United for Separation of Church and State

Excerpts-

WHAT WE BELIEVE

The wall of separation between church and state protects us all. It makes our country more fair, more equal and more inclusive.
We envision a nation where everyone can freely choose a faith and support it voluntarily, or follow no religious or spiritual path at all, and where the government does not promote religion over non-religion or favor one faith over another.

OUR MISSION

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan educational and advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the separation of religion and government as the only way to ensure freedom of religion, including the right to believe or not believe, for all.

The U.S. Constitution is a wholly secular document. It contains no mention of Christianity or Jesus Christ. In fact, the Constitution refers to religion only twice in the First Amendment, which bars laws “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and in Article VI, which prohibits “religious tests” for public office. Both of these provisions are evidence that the country was not founded as officially Christian.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; — First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

While some of the country’s founders believed that the government should espouse Christianity, that viewpoint soon became a losing proposition. In Virginia, Patrick Henry argued in favor of tax support for Christian churches. But Henry and his cohorts were in the minority and lost that battle. Jefferson, James Madison and their allies among the state’s religious groups ended Virginia’s established church and helped pass the Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty, a 1786 law guaranteeing religious freedom to all.

We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. — Virginia Statute for Religious Liberty

Maryland representative Luther Martin said that a handful of delegates to the Constitutional Convention argued for formal recognition of Christianity in the Constitution, insisting that such language was necessary in order to “hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism.” But that view was not adopted, and the Constitution gave government no authority over religion. Article VI, which allows persons of all religious viewpoints to hold public office, was adopted by a unanimous vote. Through ratification of the First Amendment, observed Jefferson, the American people built a “wall of separation between church and state.”

Early national leaders understood that separation of church and state would be good for all faiths including Christianity. Jefferson rejoiced that Virginia had passed his religious freedom law, noting that it would ensure religious freedom for “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, the infidel of every denomination.”

Other early U.S. leaders echoed that view. President George Washington, in a famous 1790 letter to a Jewish congregation in Newport, R.I., celebrated the fact that Jews had full freedom of worship in America. Noted Washington, “All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.”

Washington’s administration even negotiated a treaty with the Muslim rulers of north Africa that stated explicitly that the United States was not founded on Christianity. The pact, known as the Treaty with Tripoli, was approved unanimously by the Senate in 1797, under the administration of John Adams. Article 11 of the treaty states, “[T]he government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion….”

The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion… — U.S. Treaty with Tripoli, 1797

A more accurate judicial view of the relationship between religion and government is described by Justice John Paul Stevens in his 1985 Wallace v. Jaffree ruling. Commenting on the constitutional right of all Americans to choose their own religious belief, Stevens wrote, “At one time it was thought that this right merely proscribed the preference of one Christian sect over another, but would not require equal respect for the conscience of the infidel, the atheist, or the adherent of a non-Christian faith such as Mohammedism or Judaism. But when the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.”
When the underlying principle has been examined in the crucible of litigation, the Court has unambiguously concluded that the individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all. —Justice John Paul Stevens

A determined faction of Christians has fought against this wise and time-tested policy throughout our history. In the mid 19th century, several efforts were made to add specific references to Christianity to the Constitution. One group, the National Reform Association (NRA), pushed a “Christian nation” amendment in Congress in 1864. NRA members believed that the Civil War was divine punishment for failing to mention God in the Constitution and saw the amendment as a way to atone for that omission.

The NRA amendment called for “humbly acknowledging Almighty God as the source of all authority and power in civil government, the Lord Jesus Christ as the Ruler among the nations, [and] His revealed will as the supreme law of the land, in order to constitute a Christian government.” Ten years later, the House Judiciary Committee voted against its adoption. The committee noted “the dangers which the union between church and state had imposed upon so many nations of the Old World” and said in light of that it was felt “inexpedient to put anything into the Constitution which might be construed to be a reference to any religious creed or doctrine.”

Similar theocratic proposals resurfaced in Congress sporadically over the years. As late as 1950, a proposal was introduced in the Senate that would have added language to the Constitution that “devoutly recognizes the Authority and Law of Jesus Christ, Saviour and Ruler of nations, through whom are bestowed the blessings of liberty.” This amendment was never voted out of committee. Efforts to revive it in the early 1960s were unsuccessful.

-Excerpts

Do you think that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or John Adams were confused about the kind of nation they founded?

Who then wants to make the USA a Christian Nation?

Study this for yourself and come up with your own answers.

Look at other countries which have declared a state religion or a state of no religion. How has this worked out for them and their standing in the world?

Here is the lyrics to a song that has always bothered me (that God favors one group of people over another):

THIS LAND IS MINE aka THE EXODUS SONG
From the Film “Exodus” (1960/1961)
(Ernest Gold / Pat Boone)

Pat Boone – 1961
Ferrante & Teicher – 1961
Eddie Harris – 1961
Mantovani – 1961
Edith Piaf – 1961

Also recorded by :
Manny Albam; Aristakis; Chet Atkins; Bad Manners; Ray Barretto;
Count Basie; BBC Concert Orch.; Biddu Orch.; Boston Pops Orch.;
Ray Bryant; Gaylord Carter; Richard Clayderman; Luis Cobos;
The Duprees; The el Caminos; Percy Faith; Fantastic Strings;
Ernest Gold; Davy Graham; Grant Green; Slide Hampton;
Eddie Harris; Neal Hefti; Quincy Jones; The Lively Ones;
Maksim; Jiri Malasek; Junior Mance; Henry Mancini; Shelly Manne;
Mireille Mathieu; Tommy McCook; ….. and many others.

This land is mine, God gave this land to me
This brave and ancient land to me
And when the morning sun reveals her hills and plain
Then I see a land where children can run free

So take my hand and walk this land with me
And walk this lovely land with me
Though I am just a man, when you are by my side
With the help of God, I know I can be strong

Though I am just a man, when you are by my side
With the help of God, I know I can be strong

To make this land our home
If I must fight, I’ll fight to make this land our own
Until I die, this land is mine

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/god-gave-this-land-to-the_b_6250182

Marty Kaplan – This is a crosspost of my column in the Jewish Journal, where you can reach me at martyk@jewishjournal.com.

Don’t think a feeling

Really feel a feeling.

How do you do that? Well first you have to be in the right STATE.
There are only two STATES; IN-FORM and OUT-OF-FORM.

This is where energy and spirituality become one. Energy can neither be created or destroyed it just moves from IN-FORM to OUT-OF-FORM and back again.

A quick review:

Pre-Sense the key to Presence

Excerpt:

What is the spiritual meaning of heart?

The heart is the locus of physical and spiritual being, and represents the “central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason” (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection.

This distinction is very important; THE HEART IS ALL ABOUT BEING and THE BRAIN IS ALL ABOUT THINKING. This is why we need to quiet the mind in order to Practice Presence in any moment. We need to return to the state before we had our brain which I call PRE-SENSE.

:Excerpt

IN-FORM is where I spend most of my time. This is the left hemisphere of my brain. This is where I live from my head; this is about my BRAIN and THINKING. This is what Jesus called the FLESH. I get sensations from my five senses and THINK about them. I analyze, compare, and rationalize. This is a state of separateness; my senses and thinking as one thing and the rest of the physical world as another. In this state I exist separately from all other things. In this state I can only collect IN-FORMation. This is where I just think a feeling.

OUT-OF-FORM is where I quiet my mind in order to Practice Presence in any moment. This is the right hemisphere of my brain. This is where I live from my heart; this is about my HEART and BEING. This is what Jesus called the SPIRIT. This is a state of oneness; where I exist with all ENERGY or SPIRIT. In this state I FEEL all ENERGY or SPIRIT. This is where I really feel a feeling.

Remember a time in your life when you were transported OUT-OF-FORM; when you experienced Rapture, Awe, or Wonder; being totally immersed in something outside of yourself; where time and space did not exist. It could have been a breath-taking sunrise or sunset; where in that moment only you and the sunrise or sunset existed with each other.

This is what I call RAW (Rapture, Awe, or Wonder) living!

I Dissent Also

I Dissent Also

The Supreme Court ruling that a Muslim man’s Imam could not be at his side at the time of death but a Christian Chaplain was offered as the only option is a great disservice to the rule of law in this country on so many levels.

This is what happens when a simple majority in the US Senate is all that is required to approve a Judge or a Supreme Court Justice.

Does the Muslim Hysteria that has swept this country extend to the Supreme Court?

We need to change the rules of the US Senate and bring back the 60 vote threshold. The US Constitution is very clear that very important decisions require more than just a simple majority to implement. Both the Democrats and Republicans bear equal responsibility in these rule changes.

Washington Examiner  Saturday, February 9, 2019: 

Quote [Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, And Brett Kavanaugh Didn’t Even Sign Their Names To The Application Vacating The Stay Of Execution Entered By The 11th U.S. Circuit Court Of Appeals At Atlanta, Which Found That Denying Imam Yusef Maisonet Access To The Execution Chamber While Allowing The Same For A Christian Pastor Raised Legitimate Questions About Religious Discrimination.

Adding Insult To Injury, The Five Supreme Court Justices Who Failed To Advocate For Domineque Ray’s Reasonable Religious Accommodation Offered No Detailed Explanation For Their Decision.

For An Explanation Of The Supreme Court’s Decision This Week, We Have To Look To Justice Elena Kagan’s Dissenting Opinion, Where She Mentions That A Majority Of Her Colleagues Agreed That Ray Waited Too Long To Bring His Request Before The Alabama Department Of Corrections. Kagan Is Joined In Her Dissent By Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg And Sonia Sotomayor.] End Quote

WHAT A BUNCH OF GUTLESS WONDERS; THEY WOULDN’T EVEN SIGN THEIR NAMES. THEY MUST HAVE BEEN VERY PROUD OF THEIR DECISION!

I am glad we have a free press to shine the light on these kinds of actions; see the following:

The Washington Post:

Excerpts-

The Supreme Court ruled against a Muslim man who wanted his imam by his side when he was executed. (Jon Elswick/AP)

By Eugene Scott  February 8 at 4:08 PM

IN ALLOWING THE EXECUTION TO MOVE FORWARD, THE CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY SAID ONLY THAT RAY HAD WAITED TOO LONG TO SEEK RELIEF. THE LIBERALS WHO DISSENTED SAID ALABAMA’S POLICY SHOWED PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT TO CHRISTIAN INMATES OVER THOSE OF OTHER FAITHS. “THAT TREATMENT GOES AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE’S CORE PRINCIPLE OF DENOMINATIONAL NEUTRALITY,” JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN WROTE IN HER DISSENT.

Conservative columnist Bethany Mandel tweeted:  “The state should not play God. But if it does, it shouldn’t deny a (wo)man a way to atone to their God before doing so.”

Seth Mandel, executive editor of the Washington Examiner magazine, tweeted: “As a conservative who opposes both the death penalty and religious discrimination I find this story appalling.”

And Southern Baptist minister Alan Cross tweeted: “Every time we want the state to favor Christianity over other religions, the result is a loss of religious freedom for all.”

-Excerpts

Washington Examiner:

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Excerpts-

OPINION  The liberals on the Supreme Court are right, conservatives wrong on Muslim execution case

by Becket Adams

 February 08, 2019 02:49 PM

ADDING INSULT TO INJURY, THE FIVE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES WHO FAILED TO ADVOCATE FOR DOMINEQUE RAY’S REASONABLE RELIGIOUS ACCOMMODATION OFFERED NO DETAILED EXPLANATION FOR THEIR DECISION.

FOR AN EXPLANATION OF THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION THIS WEEK, WE HAVE TO LOOK TO JUSTICE ELENA KAGAN’S DISSENTING OPINION, WHERE SHE MENTIONS THAT A MAJORITY OF HER COLLEAGUES AGREED THAT RAY WAITED TOO LONG TO BRING HIS REQUEST BEFORE THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. KAGAN IS JOINED IN HER DISSENT BY JUSTICES RUTH BADER GINSBURG AND SONIA SOTOMAYOR.

First, Ray had been on death row since 1999. Timely enforcement indeed. Surely, Alabama could have spared a few more weeks, months even, to allow for more time to sort out the imam issue. After all, it’s not like Ray was going anywhere. Also, there’s the important point that the 11th Circuit placed the prisoner’s appeal on a “fast track,” as the New York Times put it, “with briefing to have been completed in a little more than a month.” It’s not as if the stay of execution was primed to languish in a multiyear limbo.

Secondly, as noted in the Supreme Court’s dissent, Ray’s request for an imam was indeed late, but there’s a reasonable explanation for that: He was denied a copy of the prison’s own practices and procedures, which clearly defines who is and isn’t allowed in the chamber. Ray was notified when his execution date was set in Nov. 6, 2018, but “the relevant statute would not have placed Ray on notice that the prison would deny his request. To the contrary, that statute provides that both the chaplain of the prison and the inmate’s spiritual adviser of choice ‘may be present at an execution,'” Kagan and the 11th Circuit found.

THE STATUTE “MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN PERSONS WHO MAY BE PRESENT WITHIN THE EXECUTION CHAMBER AND THOSE WHO MAY ENTER ONLY THE VIEWING ROOM,” KAGAN ADDED, NOTING THE PRISON “REFUSED” TO GIVE RAY A COPY OF ITS PROCEDURES. “SO THERE IS NO REASON RAY SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, PRIOR TO JANUARY 23 [WHEN RAY’S REQUEST WAS DENIED BY THE WARDEN], THAT HIS IMAM WOULD BE GRANTED LESS ACCESS THAN THE CHRISTIAN CHAPLAIN TO THE EXECUTION CHAMBER.”

Ray’s request was denied on Jan. 23. He followed up five days later, asking in more forceful terms for the presence of his imam. That doesn’t sound like the behavior of someone who was intentionally dragging his feet.

LASTLY, THE IDEA THAT IMAM YUSEF MAISONET POSED A SECURITY RISK IS ABSURD. HE HAS SPENT YEARS VOLUNTEERING AT THAT FACILITY. HE GOES TO THE DEATH ROW AT HOLMAN CORRECTIONAL FACILITY ABOUT ONCE A MONTH TO LEAD THE MUSLIM INMATES IN PRAYER. FOR THE PRISONERS AND THE PRISON STAFF, HE IS A KNOWN AND TRUSTED ENTITY.

Perhaps Ray was trying to game the system. Perhaps he was legitimately confused and assumed wrongly that his spiritual adviser would be allowed in the execution chamber. In cases like this, the most prudent option is to err on the side of liberty. Even if Ray’s request was a delay tactic, the biggest downside to granting it would have been the mere delaying of the inevitable. But if Ray was sincere in his ask, well, the state of Alabama and the Supreme Court just denied him a basic, protected right. That’s a much greater danger to the public than any inmate’s temporary gaming of the system could ever hope to accomplish.

KAGAN GOT IT RIGHT WHEN SHE SAID, “RAY HAS PUT FORWARD A POWERFUL CLAIM THAT HIS RELIGIOUS RIGHTS WILL BE VIOLATED AT THE MOMENT THE STATE PUTS HIM TO DEATH. THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT WANTED TO HEAR THAT CLAIM IN FULL. INSTEAD, THIS COURT SHORT-CIRCUITS THAT ORDINARY PROCESS—AND ITSELF REJECTS THE CLAIM WITH LITTLE BRIEFING AND NO ARGUMENT – JUST SO THE STATE CAN MEET ITS PREFERRED EXECUTION DATE. I RESPECTFULLY DISSENT.”

Ray, who was pronounced dead at a little past 10:00 p.m. EST Thursday evening from lethal injection, was, by all accounts, a monster. He was in prison for three brutal murders.

BUT EVEN MONSTERS DESERVE EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW.

-Excerpts

Seeing neither danger nor beauty

Excerpt from “The Vision” by Tom Brown Jr. –

A big doe slipped from the cover, drifting along a well-worn deer trail. I had seen this trail and many like it, worn deep into the earth, winding through the landscape, creating the labyrinth of roadways through the pines and scrub oaks. She walked with a determination, obviously heading back to her day bed. There was no uneasiness in her step or hesitation as would be normal for a deer.  Instead she paid no attention to her surroundings or to the light brushy area along the trail where we sat. I wondered for a moment if this deer had any senses at all, especially to have entered an area like this, where human scent was heavy and where there were now “stumps” that never had been there before. She walked past Rick, within a few feet of his shoulder, to stop momentarily to urinate, before going on.

She moved forward; there was a blur of motion that I caught out of the corner of my eye but no sound of brush, only the thud and crunch of Grandfather’s arrow hitting flesh. The deer took a few stumbling steps, half twisted  around as if to change direction, then collapsed in front of me. A sound rushed forward like a concentric ring from where she lay, emanating outward to the local crows sounding their warning as they flew off. The little deer took flight from a distant bush, other birds gave their alarm, then as suddenly as it began,  there was complete silence again. Grandfather slowly arose from his place and walked to the deer. Kneeling beside her and stroking her face, he fell into silent prayer. I could feel the sense of loss he felt, but I also knew and felt the necessity of the hunt, its place in the celebration of thanksgiving for life.

My mind was full of why’s. Questions of all sorts filled my head, and I wanted to burst out with them all at once. Most of all I could not understand why the kill and the hunt had been so easy, especially with all the elements of the hunt going against us. We had not made proper preparations, the air wafted our scent in all directions, and in my mind we had chosen a poor place to sit and wait. With all this going against us, we should not have even seen a deer, far less had one come so close to us as to almost rub against Rick and to allow Grandfather such a clean and quick kill. In my mind, I went through all the possible reasons why it worked so well, but none even seemed even close to logical. As Grandfather gutted the deer, I asked him why it had been such an easy hunt, and if the tracks told him that there was something wrong with the deer’s senses when he had found them the previous day.

Grandfather answered very slowly, taking care to choose the proper words. I knew that whenever Grandfather spoke in this manner the lessons were important for both our physical and spiritual development. Beyond his words, I could sense a deep emotion in his voice , a sense of sorrow and pity about which he spoke. “Animals, like humans, make in life the mistakes that will ultimately lead to their death, either physically or on a spiritual and emotional level, as with this deer. People and animals that stay on the same paths in life will eventually wear themselves into ruts – a complacency to life born of the false security, comfort, and monotony of that path. Soon the ruts become so deep that they can no longer see over the sides. They see neither danger nor beauty, only the path before them, nor do they abandon the path so often traveled, for fear of losing their security and entering the land of the unknown.”

I was stunned at what he said. The words cut like a knife deep into my world. I thought of all my friends at school, how they would take the same routes to school and how they follow the same  paths and routines in their everyday lives, how I knew  exactly where each friend would be by the time of day. I even saw in the adult world, only with more routines, some oppressive and overbearing, like taskmasters driving them blindly toward some elusive goal along the same over traveled pathways that everyone else was on. That is why it had been so easy for me to watch them unobserved, even though many times I had stood in the open. I realized that new people in town were harder to watch than the natives were because they had not yet established a routine. I saw how many things people really missed, things going on all about them, life itself, unobserved and unlived. I could understand the pity in Grandfather’s voice, and felt remorse for the people who would never really know the treasures of life because of their ruts.

I looked into my own life and found there too many patterns and ruts. I thought  myself through a typical day and discovered the many things I did in the same way at the same time so often as to become unconscious of them. I regretted all the lost time and everything I had failed to see or feel and knew that I had, in a very real sense, lost a bit of my life. I knew also that I had come to this loss lured by the security and comfort that such a routine offered. My quest had been driven by an impersonal goal dictated by society’s external shoulds – my path had become a rut worn in by the masses in their search for conformity. In keeping to the rut I had become numb to the possibilities of life; when I had wandered I was dead to the vitality around me. I saw with fear that such a mindless, unaware existence would only lead to the sensory and spiritual destruction of mankind. I vowed then to break every rut and routine in my life.  I was not going to end up like that deer, or for that matter anyone else. I wanted desperately  to savor every moment, every nuance, of life. I could not afford to give myself over, even for a moment, to the deadening routine.

– Excerpt from “The Vision” by Tom Brown Jr.

LOST TO THE GREAT RECESSION

I am a registered unaffiliated voter in Caroline County, Maryland and here is my story:

I worked hard and the last years of working I saved the maximum that I could in my 401K. I retired at 59 ½ and started withdrawing $1283 a month; with this amount I was not reducing my principal.

Then came the recession of 2008; and it became quickly apparent that I would have to reduce my monthly withdrawal or quickly kill my principal. My Agent recommended that I reduce my monthly withdrawal to $825 which has proven to be a good figure to maintain my principal.

SO I HAVE LOST $458 IN MONTHLY INCOME. I AM STUCK AT THIS POINT NOW; NO COST OF LIVING INCREASES HERE!

SCREW THE AVERAGE AMERICAN CITIZEN OUT OF PERSONAL WEALTH, JACK UP THE NATIONAL DEBT TO AN ALL-TIME HIGH, JACK UP BUSINESS DEBT TO AN ALL-TIME HIGH, ALLOW RECKLESS COMPUTER TRADING, AND GIVE MASSIVE TAX CUTS; THIS IS FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY?

DOES CONGRESS REGULATE COMMERCE OR DOES COMMERCE REGULATE CONGRESS?

FORBES   AUG 20, 2018, 07:33PM

THE GREAT RECESSION DIDN’T COST EVERYONE $70,000: THE WEALTHY MORE THAN RECOVERED

 Erik Sherman  Contributor   Personal Finance

A week ago, a Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco study made an obvious point: the Great Recession cost people a lot. What wasn’t so obvious was the tally:

A decade after the last financial crisis and recession, the U.S. economy remains significantly smaller than it should be based on its pre-crisis growth trend. One possible reason lies in the large losses in the economy’s productive capacity following the financial crisis. The size of those losses suggests that the level of output is unlikely to revert to its pre-crisis trend level. THIS REPRESENTS A LIFETIME PRESENT-VALUE INCOME LOSS OF ABOUT $70,000 FOR EVERY AMERICAN.

Congressional Budget Office revisions to actual GDP (GDP adjusted for inflation) — over the 10 years since the whole mess got so large that no one could ignore it — IMPLY THAT THE COUNTRY HAS LOST 12 PERCENTAGE POINTS OF GROWTH COMPARED TO WHAT THE PRE-CRISIS TREND SUGGESTED…

HOWEVER, REMEMBER THAT AN AVERAGE NUMBER IS SOMETHING SPREAD OUT ACROSS EVERYONE. IT ASSUMES AN EQUAL IMPACT ON EVERYONE AND DOESN’T CONSIDER DISTRIBUTION. After the economic collapse, there were some who ended up doing pretty well, according to Federal Reserve figures. THOSE IN IN THE TOP 10% SAW MEDIAN WEALTH JUMP BY 26.6% SINCE 2007. EVERYONE ELSE WAS AT BEST ALMOST BACK TO WHERE THEY WERE (80TH TO 89.9TH PERCENTILES) OR SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE OFF (ALL OTHERS).

That isn’t a $70,000 loss of income. IT’S A LARGE INCREASE FOR THE TOP 10%, because an increase of wealth returns on investments are up, which is income…

GOOGLE SEARCH “NATIONAL DEBT”:

The aggregate, gross amount that Treasury can borrow is limited by the United States debt ceiling. As of October 28, 2018, debt held by the public was $15.8 trillion and intragovernmental holdings were $5.8 trillion, for a total or “National Debt” of $21.6 trillion.

ROLLING STONE  JULY 2, 2018 2:32PM ET

WE NEED A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE

As the country sits atop a giant debt-bomb, measures are needed to rein in excess speculation

By MATT TAIBBI               

Sunday’s CNN Money headline was terrifying:

“The $6.3 trillion debt binge: American companies have never owed this much”

Thanks to low interest rates, Trump’s tax cuts and a financial unsafe-sex atmosphere where regulatory oversight is almost nonexistent, companies are borrowing massive amounts and encouraging waves of stock buybacks, sending an already insane market to worrisome new heights.

That $6.3 trillion debt bomb upon which corporate America is sitting is now bigger than any in history, eclipsing even pre-2008 levels. The national “economic miracle” Trump keeps lauding is – like his own financial empire – resting on a bed of borrowed cash…

ON JUNE 27TH, SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY) BECAME THE FIRST CO-SPONSOR TO S. 805, THE “INCLUSIVE PROSPERITY ACT OF 2017,” ORIGINALLY INTRODUCED BY BERNIE SANDERS.

The bill is the American version of a Financial Transactions Tax, a plan to raise revenue and curb speculation by attaching micro-taxes to financial transactions. The E.U. moved toward an FTT plan for 11 Eurozone countries in 2013.

The Sanders camp trumpets the plan as a money-raiser – a way to pay for big-ticket social programming like free college tuition. But it also has a huge safety component.

The Wall Street version of a sin tax, even the tiniest financial transactions surcharge could help rein in greed orgies just enough to keep the economy from exploding. In the past, these micro-taxes have been envisioned as a way to pay for the inevitable bailouts in our increasingly deregulated economy…

In a computer-dominated trading environment, the aim isn’t just to move the stock with your own purchase power. The idea is also to trick other algorithmic traders into mass-dumping or buying their holdings.

USING THIS TECHNIQUE, A SINGLE SLICK OPERATOR CAN GENERATE HUGE VOLUMES OF TRANSACTIONS OFTEN WITHOUT HAVING MUCH OR EVEN ANY SKIN IN THE GAME.

ALL OF THIS ACTIVITY HAS NO REAL ECONOMIC PURPOSE, OTHER THAN TO MOVE THE “TAPE” FOR AN INSTANT OR TWO AND MAKE SOME OVER-MOUSSED WALL STREET PARASITE A BUNCH OF UNEARNED MONEY…

High-frequency trades currently make up between 50 and 60 percent of all stock transactions in the U.S., which isn’t inherently bad, but it’s not necessarily a positive thing, either. For sure, there’s a ton of economically useless activity buried in that percentage.

A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX KILLS THREE BIRDS WITH ONE STONE. IT RAISES MONEY, PROVIDES A MAJOR DISINCENTIVE TO SOCIALLY USELESS VOLUME-BASED TRADING AND DECREASES DANGEROUS SPECULATIVE VOLATILITY…

A FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS TAX MIGHT HELP INCENTIVIZE WALL STREET TO ONCE AGAIN EMPHASIZE TRUE LONG-TERM INVESTMENT, AS OPPOSED TO SPENDING ALL DAY MOVING PILES OF MONEY AROUND…

STILL, A SENATOR FROM NEW YORK SIGNING ON TO AN IDEA SO UNIVERSALLY DESPISED BY WALL STREET IS WORTH RAISING AN EYEBROW OR TWO. HOPEFULLY IT LEADS TO SOMETHING MORE, PERHAPS EVEN BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

NEWS ANALYSIS

IT’S OFFICIAL: THE TRUMP TAX CUTS DIDN’T PAY FOR THEMSELVES IN YEAR ONE

FEDERAL TAX REVENUES DECLINED IN 2018 WHILE ECONOMIC GROWTH ACCELERATED, undercutting the Trump administration’s insistence that the $1.5 trillion tax package would pay for itself.

By Jim Tankersley   Jan. 11, 2019

IT’S TIME TO PUT TO REST ANY NOTION THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SIGNATURE TAX CUTS ARE PAYING FOR THEMSELVES. ANYONE WHO SAYS OTHERWISE IS LYING WITH NUMBERS.

A year after the $1.5 trillion tax-cut package took effect; economic growth has accelerated, just as Republicans promised it would when pushing the law through Congress. Growth appears likely to hit 3 percent for 2018, after adjusting for inflation, which is a full percentage point higher than the Congressional Budget Office forecast for the year in 2017. Not all of that increase is attributable to the tax cuts, but some of it is.

That’s good news for Republicans’ longstanding claim that cutting taxes would provide such an economic bump that additional tax revenue would flow in to make up for what was lost through lower tax rates.

But the bad news is that hasn’t happened. The additional tax revenue has yet to show up, even with stronger growth.

Data released this week by the budget office provides the first complete picture of federal revenues for the 2018 calendar year, when the tax cuts were in full effect. (The government’s 2018 fiscal year included three months from the end of 2017, when most of the tax cuts were not in effect.)

IN THE INAUGURAL YEAR OF THE TAX CUTS — WITH ECONOMIC GROWTH ACCELERATING AND THE JOBLESS RATE FALLING TO AN 18-YEAR LOW — FEDERAL REVENUES FROM CORPORATE, PAYROLL AND PERSONAL INCOME TAXES ACTUALLY FELL.

THAT’S TRUE WHETHER YOU ADJUST REVENUES AND GROWTH FOR INFLATION — OR NOT.

AFTER ADJUSTING, IT LOOKS EVEN WORSE. REVENUES FELL BY 2.7 PERCENT — OR $83 BILLION — FROM 2017. CONTRAST THAT WITH THE LAST TIME ECONOMIC GROWTH APPROACHED 3 PERCENT, BACK IN 2015. THE ECONOMY GREW BY 2.9 PERCENT AFTER ADJUSTING FOR INFLATION THAT YEAR — AND TAX REVENUES GREW BY 7 PERCENT…

In the summer of 2017, for example, the budget office projected that the economy would grow by 2 percent in the 2018 fiscal year, and that personal, corporate and payroll taxes would add up to $3.24 trillion. Then the tax cuts passed, growth accelerated and, for the 2018 fiscal year, tax revenues fell $183 billion — or 5.6 percent — short of that projection…

The 2018 results are, oddly enough, what a lot of economists predicted would happen with Mr. Trump’s cuts, including ones who generally favor tax cuts. TOTAL FEDERAL REVENUES IN 2018 CAME IN ROUGHLY WHERE THE TAX FOUNDATION, A WASHINGTON THINK TANK THAT TYPICALLY PROJECTS LARGE GROWTH BOOSTS FROM TAX CUTS, HAD FORECAST — WHICH IS TO SAY, WELL BELOW THE BUDGET OFFICE’S BASELINE.

Just because the new law helped to increase economic growth, said Kyle Pomerleau, an economist with the Tax Foundation, “it doesn’t mean that it is going to pay for itself.” Mr. Pomerleau said additional growth from the law “will continue to be modest over the next couple of years.”

“That will offset some of the initial cost,” he continued, “but it will still be nowhere near enough to make the tax cut self-financing.”

IN DECEMBER 2017, AS REPUBLICANS SPED THE TAX CUTS THROUGH CONGRESS, THE TAX FOUNDATION RELEASED A PROJECTION THAT THE CUTS WOULD ADD ABOUT $450 BILLION TO FEDERAL DEFICITS OVER 10 YEARS, AFTER ACCOUNTING FOR THE ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH IT WOULD SPUR. THE GROUP HAS SINCE REDONE THE ANALYSIS, WITH WHAT MR. POMERLEAU CALLED IMPROVEMENTS TO ITS METHODOLOGY. IT NOW PREDICTS DEFICITS WILL INCREASE BY $900 BILLION — DOUBLE ITS ORIGINAL FORECAST.

Pre-Sense the key to Presence

Quote-

Human embryogenesis  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The heart is the first functional organ to develop and starts to beat and pump blood at around 21 or 22 days.

Late in the fourth week, the superior part of the neural tube flexes at the level of the future midbrain—the mesencephalon. Above the mesencephalon is the prosencephalon (future forebrain) and beneath it is the rhombencephalon (future hindbrain).

– Quote

If two different human heart cells are removed and placed in two different petri dishes with a nutrient solution each heart cell will find its own individual beat rate.

If two different human heart cells are removed and placed in a single petri dish with a nutrient solution both heart cells will find a common beat rate.

How is this possible? The heart in a human embryo is formed before the brain and yet two different heart cells from two different humans placed in a single petri dish with a nutrient solution both heart cells will find a common beat rate. There must be an intelligence not associated with the brain with which the cells can communicate with each other and choose a common beat. I like to call this state PRE-SENSE.

Our five senses perceive physical things around us, send signals to the brain, and the brain identifies the physical things sensed. But what about non-physical signals that we are receiving that are like the energy field in which two different heart cells from two different humans placed in a single petri dish with a nutrient solution will find a common beat rate?

In fact the heart has its own pacemaker independent of the brain. As long as it has oxygen, it continues to beat. The heart could actually be removed from the body, placed in saline solution, given oxygen, and still continue to beat. This is why although the brain is dead, the heart continues to beat.

The brain gets to take a little break here because the heart will actually beat all by itself. There’s something in the heart called automaticity. That means that the heart, even if it’s disconnected from the brain, will continue to beat at a set rate – something called the intrinsic heart rate.

What is the spiritual meaning of heart?

The heart is the locus of physical and spiritual being, and represents the “central wisdom of feeling as opposed to the head-wisdom of reason” (Cooper, 82). It is compassion and understanding, life-giving and complex. It is a symbol for love. Often known as the seat of emotions, the heart is synonymous with affection.

This distinction is very important; THE HEART IS ALL ABOUT BEING and THE BRAIN IS ALL ABOUT THINKING. This is why we need to quiet the mind in order to Practice Presence in any moment. We need to return to the state before we had our brain which I call PRE-SENSE.

Concordant Literal Version

Gen 17:1 And coming is Abram to be ninety nine years of age. And appearing is Yahweh to Abram and is saying to him, “I am the El-Who-Suffices. Walk before Me and become flawless (some versions use perfect).

flawless (some versions use perfect)  תּמים   tâmîym   taw-meem’   entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth: – without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.

Pro 4:23 More than any guard-post, preserve your heart, For from it spring the outflowings of life.”

There is a theme that I have discovered here and it is the state of WHOLEHEARTEDNESS.

Wholehearted    adjective   fully or completely sincere, enthusiastic, energetic, etc.; hearty; earnest:

Origin of wholehearted

An Americanism dating back to 1830–40; whole + hearted

Related forms

whole·heart·ed·ly , adverb

whole·heart·ed·ness , noun

Related Words for wholeheartedness: truthfulness, earnestness, candor, goodwill, probity, veracity, impartiality, seriousness, genuineness, reliability, truth, frankness, trustworthiness, sincerity, reciprocity, adherence, commitment, devotion, allegiance, piety

This state of WHOLEHEARTEDNESS has several qualifiers:

First you must quiet the mind in order to Practice BEING in any moment.

Second you must not feel superior to anyone or anything in creation.

Third you must desperately want to be an empty vessel for the CREATOR to work through; no analyzing, no comparing, or no defining. Your MIND must open up to your HEART.

Fourth you must find in your belief system your individual issues that block your openness to everything. We all block our flow to the infinite in personal ways. You must get into the “all things are possible to the one believing” attitude.

If you do these things then your life will be full of miracles. Things will happen that you could not have possibly expected and intuition will reveal things to you that you could not possibly have known with your logical mind (your memory that just resides just in your head).

Practicing Wholeheartedness

If your everyday practice is open to all your emotions, to all the people you meet, to all the situations you encounter, without closing down, trusting that you can do that – then that will take you are far as you can go. And then you’ll understand all the teachings that anyone has ever taught.  – Pema Chodron

Truth does not come through words

Truth does not come through words

I can remember my parents say “tell the truth”, but then I would see conflicts in their belief systems.  One belief was in total opposition to another. That is when I started my search for truth by asking, what is truth?

I discovered that our whole system of language is designed to limit our understanding of everything around us. We call this “modifying”, but basically it is putting limitations in our personal belief system we are creating.

Each one of us is creating a virtual universe inside our head; let’s make it as close to the real universe as we can.

I have said before that humanity has a fetish with defining things. Once a thing is defined, they give up the search of trying to understand that thing. We need to revisit a thing many times in our lifetime to get a more complete understanding.

Truth is true no matter what I say or do. © 2018 Russel Steffy

From the Title Page of my blog: If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.  William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

 

Quotes I discovered about Truth:

“The highest truth cannot be put into words. /Therefore the greatest teacher has nothing to say. /He simply gives himself in service, and never worries.” Lao-tzu-  Hau Hu Ching

The Master once proposed a riddle: “What do the Artist and the Musician have in common with the Mystic?” Everyone gave up. “The realization that the finest speech does not come from the tongue,” said the Master. – Anthony DeMello in “One Minute Nonsense”

Words are but symbols for the relations of things to one another and to us; nowhere do they touch upon absolute truth. Friedrich Nietzsche

Who would have thought George Carlin was a truth teacher? : By and large, language is a tool for concealing the truth. George Carlin

Truth is exact correspondence with reality. Paramahansa Yogananda

Read nature; nature is a friend to truth. Edward Young

Nature has planted in our minds an insatiable longing to see the truth. Marcus Tullius Cicero

Infinite love is the only truth. Everything else is illusion. David Icke

Learn what is true in order to do what is right. Thomas Huxley

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth. Walt Whitman

The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives. Albert Einstein

It does not require many words to speak the truth. Chief Joseph

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. Thomas Jefferson

Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. Buddha

Here is a quote attributed to Meister Eckhart as I remember it from a lecture:

Why do you pray to God? Everything you say must be untrue. Meister Eckhart

Truth will always be truth, regardless of lack of understanding, disbelief or ignorance. W. Clement Stone

Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters. Albert Einstein

People like to say that the conflict is between good and evil. The real conflict is between truth and lies. Don Miguel Ruiz

Humans believe so many lies because we aren’t aware. We ignore the truth or we just don’t see the truth. When we are educated, we accumulate a lot of knowledge, and all that knowledge is just like a wall of fog that doesn’t allow us to perceive the truth, what really is. Don Miguel Ruiz

Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness. Khalil Gibran

Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all men. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Truth never damages a cause that is just. Mahatma Gandhi

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life, I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth – that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Viktor E. Frankl

 

On Work

On Work

– The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”

And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison? Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.