Posts Tagged ‘ It ’

Apprentice Question

2011.11.16
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“WHAT CAN I DO, RIGHT now, to better myself?”

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Litmus

2011.10.17
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A SURE TEST OF ANY theology is to ask, “Does God exist before human beings?”

Among other things, the answer can shed light on one’s grasp of science. For if you allow for a God who watched over the dinosaurs, who saw the primordial soup trend toward consciousness on a billion planets, who was delighted by the Big Bang — in short, One who doesn’t need humans to survive and Whom humans can only love fiercely but dimly — you may well be on to something.

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Today’s Question

2011.10.06
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“WHAT PRESENT CAN I GIVE to the world?”

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Reflecting Pool

2011.10.04
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“WHEN THE CENTER IS MOVING, no quiet is.
When the center is still, no chaos.
Where is the chaos when there is no center?
Where is the center when there is no motion?”

– From the Red Papyrus in O-kaze Temple, an Egyptian Zen sect nestled in the deepest shadow of Mount Fuji. Follow the Serene Sphinx signs and tell ‘em “Bob” sent you.

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“GOD” IS NOT A FAN club.

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The Aim Of All TRUE Religion

2011.09.05
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PROLONGING THE GOD EXPERIENCE INTO every waking moment. (All else — songs, prayers, chants, acts, texts, charity, incense, beads, building fund — is just stage direction. Which is not to dismiss the stage direction, since that’s one of the keys to the Experience. But the key isn’t the lock, and what you really want anyway is to open.)

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The Best Quote Ever About Torah (And Stories In General)

2011.09.04
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“What does that song mean?” I asked Ernie once about a particular song.

He thought for a bit and then replied that if I wanted to know what the words meant, he’d be glad to translate them for me. But if I was asking what the song meant, that was different. A song, he explained, carries much more meaning than just its words. For him, for example, a large part of a song’s meaning is about who first taught it to him — a relative? an elder? a friend? What instructions were given with that teaching? Can it be sung in the daytime or only at night? Can it be sung only at one particular season? Is it a public song or private? Can women sing it or only men? Is it spiritual or ‘just for fun?’ Are there dietary or behavioral restrictions placed upon the singer as he prepares to perform? Each time a song is sung, he went on to explain, it accumulates further meaning — from the people he is singing it with, the audience he is singing it to, the circumstances under which it is sung. If a song is brought out at a funeral, for example, the funeral lends a weight and history to the song that is felt each time it is subsequently sung. Even my own curiosity about the song, he smiled, adds to its meaning.

– Malcolm Margolin, The Ohlone Way
(And yes, I excerpted this Friday, but it’s quite too good not to share in full.)

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Slouching Toward Tishrei

2011.09.01
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TODAY IS THE SECOND OF Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashana, and that fact lends the period an air of expectancy and overhaul.

The Jewish New Year is less a time for partying all night and more a time for reflection and making right, especially of our relationships. Have we wronged anyone? Hurt anyone? Been less than true or right or kind? Now’s the time to fix that.

So if I have in the past year treated you less than you deserve, or been blunt or flip where tender seriousness would have been better, please let me know. Life is too short not to live it fully, and it’s hard to live it fully if there’s an interpersonal problem sticking things up. As Elwood P. Dowd would say, “I’d rather be kind than right.” (I’d actually rather be both, but sometimes you can’t have everything.)

May your own annual journey to renewal and rebirth go as smoothly as it needs to be, and, to paraphrase Ecclesiastes, may you become no wiser than necessary.

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Pithyism #10,000

2011.08.30
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A MODERN SENSIBILITY IS THE greatest impediment to understanding ancient traditions. (And sometimes vice-versa.)

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Putting It In Perspective

2011.08.28
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GIVEN THE POSSIBILITY OF EARTH’S demise-by-asteroid in 25 years, we at The Metaphorager will be trying to stay awake, aware, conscious, intent, productive, or otherwise engaged for the next
days:hours:etc. (Live it up, fellow Earthlings.)

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Touching With Words

2011.08.22
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THE FIRST TIME I DISCOVERED that my words had an effect on other people was when something I wrote made other people cry.

The people were my fellow high-school English students, and the topic was a personal essay we’d been assigned. My take on it was to write about loneliness, and I wish I still had the essay because I can’t even remotely reconstruct it after 31 years and thousands of more words down the line. Read more »

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The Purist’s Question

2011.08.21
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HOW MUCH CAN YOU CHANGE something before it no longer resembles the original — yet still call it by the same name?

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Recent Tales

…And We’re Back

IT FEELS GOOD to write again. It has been just over six years since I last added to this blog (which once boasted a...

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Prosatio Silban and the Starving Survivor

A BUOPOTH IS A STRANGE beast: some say it is half-composed of men’s dreams, others prefer not to speculate. But of the little that...

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Prosatio Silban and the Visitor From The Sands

PROSATIO SILBAN WAS NOT KNOWN for nothing as “The Cook For Any Price.” He had long ago foresworn the Sacreanthood and serving people’s souls...

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The Poet

HE COULDN’T TELL WHETHER HE loved beauty or women more until the day he called his mom and said “Guess what? I’m marrying a...

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Storyteller’s Knot

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF any story is the point at which it’s attached to the reader.

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