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Showing posts from August, 2010

I Did it Lao Tzu's Way

Many things have been happening in my life. Not the little minute toe-stubbing stuff... more the big bolder falling on the head type stuff. It's not my purpose to write about it here -- just to note that it's been happening.

Yesterday, I was thinking about a long held belief I've had -- probably since being cursorily exposed to the philosophy of Lao Tzu, the originator of Taoism. Though I'm too resistant to dogma to become a Taoist in any strict sense, I do feel that many of the ideas of Lao Tzu hit a big ol' twangin' G chord in my heart. In particular, the central concept from which the name is taken -- The Way, or the Tao; and, additionally, the concept of wu wei, which, oddly enough, is well expressed in the AA Serenity Prayer.

"Grant me the serenity to accept the things I can't change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Note that I left God out of it... you don't need God to use this "pray…

The Constitution on Mosques

First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

Article II, Section 2: "...he (the President) shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

Just last week, Sarah Palin is seen on camera telling an Alaskan woman that she was working to "...elect candidates that understand the constitution."

Today, we hear, a woman who appears to be this same Sarah Palin urging, "Mr. President, should they or should they not build a mosque?"

Does Ms. Palin not understand the Constitution? Congress is prohibited from making any laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion, and the President has absolutely no power to establish laws AT ALL -- not in the Constitution. He should not offer an opinion... he should simply, as he has done, restate the content of the Constitution. Ms. Palin should take the time to read the US Constitution and stop cynically trying to stir up political contro…

The Wheel of Fortune -- America's Spin

About two chapters in to John Kennedy Toole's novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces", the character, Ignatius, cites De Consolatione Philosophiae, considered a cornerstone of thinking following the collapse of the Roman Empire. I had little working knowledge of this manuscript. When I attended school, the Dark Ages were referred to simply as "now." So, I may have forgotten whatever I originally learned.

As a refresher, I turned to my trusted literary authorities: Google and Wikipedia. Quickly, I learned that Consolation was written by the Roman patrician, Boethius, while on house arrest awaiting his execution by axe or clubbing -- the usual stuff of the sixth century. The book is related as a conversation between Boethius and Lady Philosophy. The Lady contends, among other assertions, that "...happiness comes from within." How Un-American... everyone knows that happiness comes from expensive shoes (lots of them), fast cars, rigorous practice of transcendent…