This is the landscape of humility. We tend to jump to a call for humility when we see a great action of hubris out there in the world. It’s easy to cry out, “Shame!” and “demand” humility from the malfeasants at a time like this. When we do so, we skip right past humility into anger safely directed at some other. On the flip-side, we tend to feel some rising shame in ourselves and turn to some show of penance as a sign of our own humility. The self-consciousness and the mixture of piety and victimization we relish in at such times to guard ourselves from our humiliation – notice how in this context, all the rightness of humility evaporates in our self-justification. At such times we slip right past humility again into just another variety of self-serving behavior. In neither case do we inhabit humility, or truly promote its spread in this world.… Continue reading The Landscape of Humility
This post was drafted in August of 2015. At the time I was concerned whether it was complete enough. Whether it said enough. On looking it over today I am struck by how this theme has continued to strike us day after day. And how little, outside of the works of James Baldwin and his… Continue reading Whiteness, a Community of Narcissists
“How we position.” Seems to call for an object, “What?” before we can get into wondering about “how;” or even, who “we” are; we want to know what.
After a long transition we’ve gone from having a major world economy that takes place out in the open to one in which all meaningful – by the judgment of those in charge of it – activity takes place within a Dark Economy that is completely hidden from public view. The parasite on the parasite… Continue reading The Dark Economy
Déjà Vu is a common experience for those stuck in abusive situations. We find that the current crisis looks much like the last. No amount of feigned surprise, or pronounced insistence from the abusers that, “This time is different!” can shake the feeling we’ve been here before. And, most likely, we’ll be here again. If we… Continue reading Being Stuck
I’ve long had a sense that the story of the Twentieth Century is hidden behind the stories that century’s victors told about themselves. World Wars, I and II, were not what they appeared. Actually, they were more what they appear to be and less what was so shrilly repeated about them in an attempt to… Continue reading History
There’s a critical piece missing from the last post. That is, what does political failure entail? If we look at it from within the assumptions of “the game,” the conclusion that what is needed and inevitable is a grand failure will be misunderstood. Saying that any one leader, any one party should fail, is just… Continue reading Political Failure, a Clarification
I’ve been waiting for something worth writing down to come to me after reading Ishmael. Perhaps I should still be waiting…. In the meantime, this came to me this morning. Deep denial is not the denial of bad outcomes, like “global warming” or “injustice.” It’s the denial that we get what we are after. That… Continue reading Deep Denial
If we can’t drive a wedge of awareness into the current cycle of how we make judgements, if we can’t find ways to break the loops we’re trapped in, we are condemned to continue repeating them over and over again until we are swept away by the sheer volume of our irrelevancy. This is an… Continue reading Here’s the Thing…
Watching this BBC documentary about the Islamic History of Europe I came across the Islamic roots of Convivencia, a term I’ve associated with Ivan Illich, perhaps its most recent heir, himself part of an Hispanic tradition going back to Al Andaluz. This film is a refreshing look at the contributions of Islamic Culture to the… Continue reading Innovation as Impermanence
Chris Hedges latest essay, This time We’re Taking the Whole Planet with Us! is as concise and clear and exposition of our predicament as you’ll find out there. Two things stand out. They give and then take it away. In his narrative, they take away and then try to give. I’ve brought up this same… Continue reading This time it’s global!
In the Autumn of 1962 I went to school, came home, turned on the television, and worked on my stamp collection at our kitchen table. Outside, a glare-y sun beat its post-September light low over the water as it dropped behind the tip of Long Point. On the oval black & white screen, beneath a… Continue reading “We’ve Never Had It So Good!” A Capsule Autobiography