Tuesday, February 20, 2024

when hopes and goals and...fail, how to LIVE

I have never been satisfied with the usual, the superficial, even the partial good, not even brief moments of the best, but have always yearned for the unseen deep, the transcendent--
have been an idealist, an individual who always seeks beyond this current tragic mess to the wondrous,
the sublime,
the essential--
to God,
True Ultimate Reality.

And as I share below, only a few wondrous times, I have been overwhelmed me with its Presence far beyond my wildest hopes, ideals and dreams.

HOWEVER,
as already said,
so much of my life has been lived and continually needs to be lived in
(and I suppose most other people's lives) the humdrum,
the routine,
the repetitious,
the mediocre,
the dull,
the boring --yes, the drudgery and sludge of the average day.

And now after a severe stroke of bad luck in the spine, I am mostly confined to the lonely rooms of our house, often not even capable of walker-hobbling out to the mail box.
Even on a day or so a week, when I am doing a bit better, and walker-out, seldom are there any neighbors out and
about.
Not since COVID does anyone hang out talking, while their kids bike and play around the cul-de-sac, etc.
Yet I long for, like the Jewish Psalmist says, deeply thirst for the wondrous and the true and the good and the
caring.

Recently, I came across an insight that helped me in my daily quandary; changed my thoughts of communion with the Transcendent, since so often I am disappointed with how shallow, even dry, my experiences seem on any given day or night, especially on days taken up with the hectic or the tragic.

When the spiritual insight reached me in the deepest place, the vital truth came anew--
friendship with the Light is MORAL ACTION!
not primarily feeling
or experience.
(And not 'creedal' beliefs
like most humans think).

WHAT COUNTS ISN'T memory, desire, hope--BUT DOING in each moment the morally right act.

Since I am an artist though through and through (one huge nerve ending;-),
this focus is difficult.
I want to feel, feel, feel...
Even a speculative-sci-fi novel by me was titled, The Feeling of the Earth.

And I do hope to experience God again and again, but for now I know more deeply what most counts is TO ACT
for the ideal,
for the true,
for the transcendent.

That's Truth come down.


HOPEFULLY, we will sometimes also experience the Infinite-Transcendent to an overwhelming degree--

one incredible time I did--

Outside the Limit

Working the thursday graveyard shift
At 7-11, I stock cold shelves of 'cours'
Then write a college essay on dreiser
Of how all is thin surface, all negation;

But alert in the night, I muse in the stillness
While beyond the glass, the parking lot lies
Vacant, lit by the neon signs and street lights--
When so unexpected my mind transports.

I rise outside of self, see far beyondness,
Perceive myself sitting between the rows,
Observe the little ego in the skin and skull
My bodied self sitting with the staid cans and jars.

But now awash drowned in awe, in the Personal
Luminousness aware beyond words vivid bliss
Blessed all encompassing exalting surpassing
Transcendent Deep Presence.



First pub. in Flutter Poetry Journal


May you find the LIGHT in your daily giving actions and at least once in an overwhelming Sublime experience.

In the Light,

Dan


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Unusual Place where Millions of Characters from Literature Exist and Interact

Somewhere, characters from countless selections of literature and media exist and interact.

Making educated guesses based upon your chosen individuals from novels, movies, etc., take us on a mystery tour of their conversations, actions, and views.

To write your adventure, assume your main character's 1st-person point-of-view, though any other point-of-view would also be fine. (Mention each title in brackets or parentheses).

Place the interacting characters in a particular novel or real-life setting.

Another fascinating possibility is to have them talk and interact with actual famous individuals of human history or the present.

For instance, Huck Finn (Mark Twain's novel) and Wolf Larsen (Jack London's The Sea Wolf) meet John Proctor (the real individual of history or the fictional character in Arthur Miller's The Crucible) one of the falsely accused at the Salem Witchcraft Trials.

Playing around with time and space is a possible option, too.

What if Europeans didn't discover the Americas?!

Or what happens if a current American political leader shows up in 1859 and meets Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara (Margaret Mitchel's Gone with the Wind)?

The possibilities in this imaginative literary lounge are limitless:-)


In the Light,

-Dan Wilcox


Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Friend Brinton’s insightful study of the Quaker Movement in the last 300 years, how the Society has 4 different emphases

Currently, in the U.S. and many other nations (and in various ideological or religious movements in history), most humans seem given to extremes and fragmentation.
This leaves us often divisive, unbalanced, and distorted in our quest for truth.

As Howard H. Brinton insightfully explains in Friends for 300 Years this divisiveness and fragmentation even happens to good renewal movements such as the Friends, who came into being for the very purpose of regaining wholistic truth and avoiding all destructive tendencies of human history.

"Through the three centuries of Quaker history the four primary elements present in all religion have at different times exerted their influence in varying degrees."
-Brinton

Mystic Inner Life
Evangel Outreach
Social Justice
Rationalism

From 1650 to about 1750, mysticism and evangel outreach were in balance in the group as a whole though some individuals tended to stress one or the other.

But then mysticism and evangelicalism became a major conflict, each pressing the other to bad extremes among Quakers as a whole.

By the 1800’s, Quietism, (an excessive focus on mysticism—the inner life) became dominant, and the early expressive evangel preaching and sharing of truth with those outside of the society greatly receded.

Instead, the Friends became “a peculiar society” which besides their “inner life” focused on exclusive boundaries and rigid rules.
Exactly the Opposite of the Early Friends who emphasized the CENTER, not exclusion and conformity to outward rules and dress.

During the latter half of the 20th century and the 1st 23 years of the 21st, rationalism and social justice took over and have assumed greater prominence,
(except for a few fundamentalist Friends who have abandoned the key points of the Society and, instead, inserted-asserted Reformed theology, the exact opposite of ALL that Quakerism means)!

Brinton:
"The best type of religion is one in which the mystical, the evangelical, the rational and the social are so related that each exercises a restraint on the others. Too exclusive an emphasis on mysticism results in a religion which is individualistic, subjective and vague."

Too dominant an evangelicalism results in religion which is authoritarian, creedal and external; too great an emphasis on rationalism results in a cold, intellectual religion which appeals only to the few.

Too engrossing a devotion to the social justice results in a religion which, in improving the outer environment, ignores serious defects of the inner life which cause the outer disorders.

Brinton also goes on to warn against "vitalism which worships the life-force in its biological sense" which has very little in common with the central message of the Early Friends.

My response to Brinton's excellent analysis: About the only point where I disagree with Brinton is when he says the 4 qualities "each exercise a restraint on the others."

No--and that sounds too negative--it is rather that when Most bathed in the Light, the 4 parts of true transcendental reality relate/commune, giving a redeeming uplifting of each other and are the Seed of true moral and spiritual becoming.

Read Friends for 300 Years (or the updated version, Friends for 350 Years) and be not only intellectually enlightened, but raised up in the LIGHT!
Friend on the edge, Daniel


Tuesday, January 30, 2024

AWAKE to SEEK

Awake to Seek


Wake
Up and suit yourself,

Into the floundering pattern-mudded
Consciousness of this our finite skin---

Into a being 'berthed' bemused, beseemed morning
So like the proverbial hog, boar or sow of the round ring

Who as life's suitors get caught by our snouted 'knows;'
Beshrewed, besotted, bemired so we instinctively grunt,

Tempted by our sensual, careening awareness
Or our dutiful grindstoned routine,

We press our life's suit 'til evening
Or wallow down

To our suited Wake.


1st pub. in Moria Poetry



--

in the time of Darkness

to commune with the Transcendently Real
in the midst of our utter loss

in the darkened night of alone
to contemplate despite a soon demise,

to live in the Infinite's silence
deafens our wayward heart and leaves

our confused mind bereft;
the Divine answers no pleas

our anguished request left--
Selah

to hope against midnight's despair
to trust in all that is blessedly Fair,

so Beautiful, Right, Good and Just
despite our world history of horror

for naught, and absurd;
we seek

a slight glimmer
of the billion-lighted

meaning shimmering briefly
in our finite reason and creative awareness,

before the cosmos spun into place,
eternally ever always

Ultimate
Becoming.

Selah



In the Light,

Dan Wilcox


Wednesday, January 24, 2024

My Rating of the BEST MOVIES and TV SHOWS

Ones worth watching at least 2-3 times; and studying a few even more...

1. The Stand Original Miniseries
(not the recent inferior, at times hokey, one)

2. North and South Miniseries

3. Breaking Bad
(best dramatic tragedy TV series ever)

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
(endlessly thematically deep movie though it has
a few unnecessary bad scenes)

5. On the Waterfront

6. Star Wars-Empire Strikes Back duo

7. Dr. Zhivago

8. Original Star Trek, (some amazing episodes) and Star Trek:NG (a few powerful episodes)

8. Casablanca
(didn't get tired of this amazing classic,
until I had re-watched, studied the film 11 times!)

9. Sommersby
(very creative script and great acting; at times overly idealistic take on post-Civil War
South that has deeply moral themes

10. States of Grace
(deeply spiritual drama, powerful except for very long excessively slow ending)

11. A Stranger Among Us
(powerful moral story of devout Jewish view of reality versus secular police officers’ view)

12. Time Cop
(great futuristic time travel movie with unexpected plot twists)

13. The Sixth Day

14. Total Recall
(despite gratuitous scenes and excessive lethal violence)

15. Terminator 2
(despite intense over-done violent attack by mother of hero)

16. Sleepy Hollow
(intriguing adaption of the classic American literature story
by Washington Irving)

17. Savior
(powerful moral story of modern war in former Yugoslavia,
at times too realistic such as its constant gross cursing in every scene;
so weird that almost all indviduals in the military constantly use profanity and obscenity
in their speech:-( AFter I retired from teaching, I drove--moved cars around California for rental
agencies; but the 4 drivers I wroekd with constantly cursed and told me that the only reason I didn't
is because I hadn't been in the army.)

18. Bruce Almighty
(best comic, thematic, moral, spiritual movie ever)

19. Oblivion (s-f wonder
(but has brief gratuitous swim scene and unbelievable, anachronistic ball-glove-50’s episode)

20. Interstellar

21. Face-Off
(fascinating s-f story with deep moral dilemmas, contrasting a law-focused, though rigid, police with an sociopathic, though fascinating, terroist; despite extreme graphic slaughter and hard-to-believe abusive futuristic prison episode)

22. Contact

23. District 9
(most creative, suspenseful, at times tragic, and comic
by South African director)

19. Flight of the Navigator
(very best s-f Disney movie back when there wasn't CGI)

20. By the Sword Divided Miniseries,
(intense BBC English Civil War drama)

21. The Mask
(hilarious way-out-there creative comedy,
despite one brief gross scene)

22. Roads to Freedom BBC/PBS Miniseries
from Jean-Paul Sartre's complex novel trilogy
(about 20th century Europe's politcal, philsophical, moral dilmenas;
though I feel ambivalent including it now that I know the horrific facts of Sartre's
and Simone deBeauvoir’s immoral and unjust lives
—including her grooming many girl students
for his sexual exploitation, and her own,
and their horrific—almost impossible to understand
strong support of Stalin and the Soviet Union!)

23. A Sound of Thunder
(s-f short story by Ray Bradbury)

24. Modern Times

25. The Time Machine (original)

26. What Dreams May Come

27. Lost
(1st season only;
after that it became cheesy with contradictions and lame stuff)

28. Logan’s Run

29. Planet of the Apes
(liked this classic; watched it 2 or 3 times in a row when I 1st
saw it in the theatre in 1968)

30. Centennial Miniseries

31. Shogun Miniseries
(dated now, but when 1st shown was powerful)

32. The Terminator
(despite extreme graphic slaughter)

33. Romeo and Juliet
(60’s, 1st version)

34. The Outer Limits TV series
(some creative s-f episodes)

35. The Twilight Zone
(many s-f episodes)

36. The Expanse TV Series
(1st season only)

37. a few episodes of the terror drama, 24

38. V Minseries (1983)

39. Heroes (1st season though too episodic)

40. The Walking Dead
(1st season only)

41. The Piano and Who’s on First --Abbot and Costello

42.Sense8
(creative plot/characters/themes but ruined by
nearly constant graphic immoral behavior)

43.The Fugitive

44. The Day the Earth Stood Still

45.Easy Rider

46. Combat TV series
(WW2 war drama)

47. Sea Hunt

48. Kindergarten Cop
(intriguing comedy-thriller, but
the climatic conclusion is way-too-excessively violent)

49. Falling Down

50. Oh God!
(classic comedy with Burns as 'God')

51. Dead Poet Society
(Robin Williams as the creative teacher,
a coming-of-age story,
though it is too 60ish cliched)

52.Over There
(realistic Iraq war story, a few episodes)

53. China Beach TV Series
(a few episodes, especially
one about the moral dilemma of whether or not medical staff
ought to try and save the life of a Viet Cong terrorist leader

54. Boys in Company C/Born on the 4th of July/Deer Hunter
(powerful Vietnam War movies)

55. Ghost in the Shell
(amazingly original Japanese anime movie

56. Simpsons
(a few hilarious episodes)

57. Rocky and Bullwinkle
(cartoon with hidden allusions and jokes for
parents watching with their kids)

58. Wizard of OZ

58. The Flinstones

58. Top Cat
(60's animation popular with us kids back then)

59. Shane
(most famous classic western)

60. Z
(intense politcal drama about the modern Greek dictatorship)

ALSO MENTIONS:

The Sound of Music

some Woody Allan creative movies such as Annie Hall
(though now I avoid his movies because of his immoral actions that have come out)

The China Syndrome

The Winds of War Miniseries
(based upon Herman Wouk's WW2 novels)

Testimony of 2 Men

Against the Wind Miniseries

Titanic

The Good, Bad, and the Ugly

Dr. Who British fantasy-sf series
(a few episodes)

Zorro TV series
(my dad and I used to watch that when I was a kid)


In the Light,

Dan Wilcox


Friday, January 19, 2024

More Public History Getting Torn Down-- How Wrong!

How tragic that public history is being torn down!! Will the Jefferson Memorial be next since Jefferson Never freed his slaves?

ALL human leaders in the past failed morally in many ways, as do we now!
But some human leaders, despite their moral failures, we still honor with statues because of their GOOD actions they did!

The statue of Gaspar de Portola, the Spanish explorer, at Pacifica was just torn down by Cal Trans!! https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/statue-removed-in-pacifica-gaspar-de-portola-18615209.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Premium)&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&fbclid=IwAR2DP0oVMDGKvggnZz9vp0C7505BTfqxebngy-VFXstKC73_6htJiBn4j1k

The statue of Spanish military officer Gaspar de Portola, which stood near the Pacifica Community Center for more than 30 years, started drawing attention in the summer of 2020, as discussions about racial justice and the legacies of colonization reached a boiling point across the nation.
In the late 1760s, Portola led a Spanish fleet along the California coast, including by the San Francisco Bay, and is credited with sparking settlements in the area that ultimately displaced Indigenous inhabitants.

Bob n' Renee via Wiki Commons; Illustration via SFGATE

In mid-2020, a petition calling for the statue’s removal — which read, in part, that the “colonialism, racism and patriarchy this statue represents has no place in the City of Pacifica” — gained nearly 5,000 signatures. Meanwhile, other statues of historical figures, including Christopher Columbus, Ulysses S. Grant and Junipero Serra, were being toppled across the Bay Area, either officially or by protesters.

And, even William Penn's statue was to be removed by the National Park Service from Philadelphia this month, but enough people objected so that is uncertain now.
Matt Rourke/AP
YET William Penn paid the Native Americans for his landgrant of Pennsylvania (granted to him by the King). And he and his followers defended innocent Native Americans from racist-invaders such as the Scotch-Irish who masssacred innocent Native civilians!

Portola's statue’s "confiscation, done without ceremony a little after 9 a.m. on Thursday, was first reported by the Pacifica Tribune."
January 18, 2024


In the Light of the Good, the Just, the Kind,
and the actual facts of history, not the ideological distortions!

Dan Wilcox