Tiles of carnelian, lapis, and jade,
Not far from where I grew up, there was a muralist whose specialty was mosaic. He accepted commissions from all over the world and also collaborated with a number of famous artists on their murals and sculptures. He had bins and buckets full of all sorts of fascinating tiles. Some were red, blue, and yellow glass. Others were elaborately glazed ceramic. A few were tones like lapis, turquoise, malachite, and obsidian. Some were even mirrored with god and silver, and these would shine out first whenever he would wash away the grout.
God may be in the details, but it is also important to know the big picture.
That is where the muralist is such a great example. He knew what the big picture had to be, and yet he had enough concentration to piece together enormous tableaus out of tiny square centimeters. That is knowing both the small and the big. Follow his example and you will never be petty; yet you will not lose sight of the relationship between the microcosmic and the macrocosmic.
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
archived at http://www.duckdaotsu.org/115/mosaic.html
a reading list of books and interpretations of
the Daodejing is available at
Interactivist Info Exchange
Collaborative Authorship, Collective Intelligence
|Title||Katharine Jashinski, First U.S. Woman Conscientious Objector|
|Date||Friday November 18 2005, @07:12AM|
|from the good-soldiers dept.|
First U.S. Woman Conscientious Objector
Statement made at Ft. Benning, GA on November 17, 2005 by SPC Katherine Jashinski, first woman in the military to publicly declare resistance to participation in the war:
My name is Katherine Jashinski. I am a SPC in the Texas Army National Guard. I was born in Milwaukee, WI and I am 22 years old. When I graduated high school I moved to Austin, TX to attend college. At age 19 I enlisted in the Guard as a cook because I wanted to experience military life. When I enlisted I believed that killing was immoral, but also that war was an inevitable part of life and therefore, an exception to the rule.
After enlisting I began the slow transformation into adulthood. Like many teenagers who leave their home for the first time, I went through a period of growth and soul searching. I encountered many new people and ideas that broadly expanded my narrow experiences. After reading essays by Bertrand Russel and traveling to the South Pacific and talking to people from all over the world, my beliefs about humanity and its relation to war changed. I began to see a bigger picture of the world and I started to reevaluate everything that I had been taught about war as a child. I developed the belief that taking human life was wrong and war was no exception. I was then able to clarify who I am and what it is that I stand for.
The thing that I revere most in this world is life, and I will never take another person's life.
Just as others have faith in God, I have faith in humanity
I have a deeply held belief that people must solve all conflicts through peaceful diplomacy and without the use of violence. Violence only begets more violence.
Because I believe so strongly in non-violence, I cannot perform any role in the military. Any person doing any job in the Army, contributes in some way to the planning, preparation or implementation of war.
For eighteen months, while my CO status was pending, I have honored my commitment to the Army and done everything that they asked of me. However, I was ordered to Ft. Benning last Sunday to complete weapons training in preparation to deploy for war.
Now I have come to the point where I am forced to choose between my legal obligation to the Army and my deepest moral values. I want to make it clear that I will not compromise my beliefs for any reason. I have a moral obligation not only to myself but to the world as a whole, and this is more important than any contract.
I have come to my beliefs through personal, intense, reflection and study. They are everything that I am and all that I stand for. After much thought and contemplation about the effect my decision will have on my future, my family, the possibility of prison, and the inevitable scorn and ridicule that I will face, I am completely resolute.
I will exercise my every legal right not pick up a weapon, and to participate in war effort. I am determined to be discharged as a CO, and while undergoing the appeals process; I will continue to follow orders that do not conflict with my conscience until my status has been resolved. I am prepared to accept the consequences of adhering to my beliefs.
What characterizes a conscientious objector is their willingness to face adversity and uphold their values at any cost. We do this not because it is easy or popular, but because we are unable to do otherwise. Thank you.
Tao is strangely colorless,
The old books describe Tao as strangely colorless. What do they mean by that? Where gods appear in flashes of blinding light, where hell yawns open with flame and sparks, how is it that Tao, supreme above all, is strangely colorless?
The description of colorless is a reference to the fact that Tao is beyond all descriptions. When you experience Tao, you will recognize that you are in the grip of something so right. But it will be impossible to conceptualize it or reproduce it. In fact, the more that you try to pin Tao down, the more elusive it becomes. It is a paradox that something colorless can be so intense, gripping, and unforgettable.
Have you ever played a competitive sport, say, like football? Have you ever felt that sweet spot, when everything went right almost without your trying? Wen you were in tithe grip of that momentum, did you say to yourself, “Don’t do anything to break this. Don’t say anything, don’t ruin it”? That feeling is a little of what being with Tao is like. If you tried to reproduce it later in another game, you couldn’t. If you tried to “master” it, take credit for it, explain what happened, you couldn’t. Later in private when you reflected back, you would realize that they experience that you felt was strong enough to move others, to sweep all before it, to hold you in intensity. What you felt was Tao.
Deng Ming-Dao (author)
archived at http://www.duckdaotsu.org/115/intensity.html
a reading list of books and interpretations of the Daodejing is available at
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