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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Liberty

"With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself … while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men… Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.

The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty … Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty."

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

heroism

the problem with valorising heroes
may be the unwitting complicity in maintaining the conditions
in which heroism becomes necessary

my gnosis

I'm not self-hating, nor self-abnegating
I'm mostly just
self-agnostic,
that is,
my gnosis belongs to no one in particular.

Chineseness

China rises,
as do I.
Perhaps I'll be Chinese
long after I die.

Til then, I'm chaotic.
Multi-generationally diasporic.

English is my language,
honed and crafted in a body that is Chinese
and a mind that alchemically works
to integrate these, even as:
This language is my language
English belongs to me.

There is no original language
Everything is translation.

I was not Born Chinese.
I have claimed it.

Monday, April 21, 2014

post-Easter

Watched the Passion of the Christ two nights ago
reflected on the message of Jesus, that sign of anti-establishmentarianism
persecuted by corrupt Jewish leaders, colonised by Romans

Pontius Pilate, the Roman executioner, is depicted in Mel Gibson's film as a sympathetic character,
while the Jews are depicted as swivelling, irrational masses...
the exceptions, of course, being Jesus himself, mother Mary, Mary Magdelene, and Paul the Beloved

I am supposed to understand this story, because it is famous.

Reflecting on Mel Gibson's decision to portray the agent of empire (Pontius Pilate) as a sympathetic character, displaying his compassion and ambivalence about sentencing Jesus to torturous crucifixion.

Reflecting on the "benevolence" of the agents of empire...
the "Good Cops"...

Reflecting on Mel Gibson's anti-Semitism, elsewhere displayed

Reflecting on the story of Jesus, who begs his Father to forgive all who have betrayed Him, for they do not know what they do, what they have done

Father, the vengeful God, not only all-knowing, all-loving, all-forgiving,
but also Punishing...
destroys the Temple.

God the Punisher.

Everywhere, people are suffering unspeakable horrors of injustice, everywhere Jesus is alive in the crucifixion of innocence
in asylum seekers banished to indefinite imprisonment off of Australian shores
but I wonder if I can maintain faith in any Resurrection
when there is too much suffering still being inflicted in Jesus' name

"God, why hath Thou forsaken me?"

Are these the days of martyrs? Can there be any martyrs left? and in whose name shall they act?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

This Easter, may I not be myopic.
May I learn the right lessons of history to dream more loving, compassionate, wise and sustainable futures
into each arising moment.

May all living beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May all living beings be liberated by insight, foresight and action.

Offence

One can cause offence
without intending offence.

Offence can be based on incorrect interpretation of intent
or it can be based on the problems and ignorance implicit in the content
of its Utterers

To be offended is neither noble nor ignoble... this extends to when I am legitimately offended by hateful or willfully ignorant remarks.

In these latter two senses, I say that my being offended is neither noble nor ignoble
because nobility arises dependent on how I respond to my own having been offended.

I can blame the Other who has offended me, and attribute 100% of responsibility upon them to change their behaviour, apologise to me, or express a deep remorse... And this may be a justifiable response to those of us who have been hurt by racist malice, privileged ignorance, and so on.

But I cannot pretend that this is noble:
My resilience cannot rely on others changing.

Misunderstandings are a necessary by-product of civic development, even as they are unpleasant and often, retrospectively, "unnecessary"...

They are necessary in that all action and orientation toward cultural innovation involves risks. Risks that are sometimes dangerous enough to warrant our expulsion from the very polities in which we took them, if we fail.

When our racist ignorance has cost people their jobs or their opportunity for home and food, this is unacceptable and must be held to account.

At the same time, this holding to account cannot detract the "holder" from a firm conviction in our own Wholeness, already... in particular, our inseparability from the Offender who is being held to account.

Let me not be myopic.

Australia's rapidly degenerating relationship to asylum seekers
does not begin with the current government,
nor the one just prior,
nor the ones prior to that.

It does not begin with the Stolen Generation
nor the White Australia policy

It does not begin with European settlement and colonisation of this land
nor with the British Empire
nor with feuding Aboriginal nations

It does not begin strictly with autopoietic human folly
nor with Divine improvidence.

Let me not be myopic.

Degeneration has its seeds in the futures
that we have forgotten how to dream.


evolution

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

- Richard Buckminster Fuller 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

They Long to Become Visible Again



















They Long to 
Become Visible Again


written by me 
@RISE
in the company of some excellent people...


We paint ourselves in all shades of red,
Wishing to look more like what we know we are on the inside...
The more red we get,
The more transparent we become to one another

And that, say some of us,
is liberation.

Others, we paint ourselves blue, as skies, as we aspire to be,
Higher than we are, the peaks of our potential we have not yet met,
or blue as lakes, or the oceans of all that we hide.

Perhaps not so much hidden
As curated, like we were workers in a colonial museum of ourselves, with Rooms that hold the sum total of all of our diverse identities and life's experiences,
of sounds and smells and languages we refuse to forget,
But that others only politely nod at.
Smile at,
As if they could ever really understand.

I paint myself each morning when I wake up.
Paint myself with water and hair cream
Paint myself with fabric relevant for temperamental Melbourne weather
I have painted underneath my skins with needles and ink
Not only because I have had something to prove,
But because this is what culture is!

Alive, to each moment, unfolding in my body as it meets yours and yours and his and hers
In schools, at work, on public transport
We wear ourselves painted and read one another like scripts.

Culture is inquiry and celebration,
Or despondency, procrastination,
A yearning for saviours, or a game for a messiah complex
seeking desperate players

All of this needs to be loved and cherished and humbly released
Each night again, we go naked unto ourselves
Each night, I go naked, again, unto myself
Each morning, I get up again, to paint.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Discomfort #2

Just because something is uncomfortable does not make it true.
Just because something is uncomfortable does not make it untrue.

Discomfort is not the same as pain.
Causing discomfort is not the same as causing suffering.
Causing pain is not the same as causing suffering.
Suffering can be triggered even without a resultant experience of discomfort or pain, or at least, without a resultant experience that may be languaged as such.
Suffering can be in compulsivity, petulance, aggression.

Just because I cause you discomfort or pain does not mean that I have caused you suffering.
Where suffering lies is in the razor-thin line between what my actions may have triggered for you (by way of discomfort / pain), and how either of us then chooses to respond to what has arisen.

This does not mean that I choose to intentionally cause pain/discomfort (this would be Malice),
but only that I do not allow the fear of causing pain/discomfort distract me from the quest to Truth, a deep interrogation, as well as a deep listening for Truth.

Truth will liberate.
And what it liberates may be very, very painful.

Ideally, truth is multifaceted enough
that, coupled with loving and compassionate intention,
that its liberation will come not only with the pain, but with its wisdoms for Resilience.

Discomfort

Reading my old post below about Yin deficiency, and "cuntic" energy.

Feeling into the rage of that post, that, regardless of the truth of the admonition,
it is also about thwarted masculinity.

And this is why I feel so uncomfortable. Not that she did no wrong (she did, and it was gendered, and it was problematic, etc. --> all still true), but that this wrong hit at a particular expectation I have in me... not that powerful women should not exercise their power, but rather, that I should be a "good man" and somehow live up to some expectations of myself that refuse to see the gendered nature of that abuse toward her (in this case male) subordinate.

That I should somehow "neutrally" experience this as a "neutral" abuse of power that is pathological regardless of the gender of the people involved (either the perpetrator or the subordinated).

This is what was discomforting...
That I experienced the sharp, glass-like gendered nature of this, reminding me that I am not "above" this level of observation. That I am not so feminist as to forget the suffering that some women uniquely catalyse, that I am not so "enlightened" that I would forget my own timidity, my own faggotry, that I am, at heart, sometimes, still a lonely teenage gayboy, wanting to do good, but chronically afraid of being told that I do not matter.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014