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Chapter 2. Where I Lived, and What I Lived For 
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Tom,
I found your last post a challenge (I mean the one before you responded to Indigo). I am still working out some of the references you made. Is the following, The Cloud of Unknowing you were referring to?

The Cloud of Unknowing is a practical spiritual guidebook thought to have been written in the latter half of the 14th century by an anonymous English monk, possibly a Carthusian, who counsels a young student to seek God not through knowledge but through what he speaks of as a "naked intent" and a "blind love."


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Last edited by Saffron on Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Aug 16, 2008 6:59 pm
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Thomas Hood wrote:

Quote:
I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is
pebbly with stars."

The poet-philosopher proposes to fish for the heavenly fish, the
Great Man, humanity mirrored in the cosmos, the Ichthys with which
modern Christians (maybe not Unitarians?) decorate their cars. He
drinks of the social issues of the day, but sees through their
shallowness and wishes to shift from the excitement of the little
world of human affairs to a cosmic perspective where true being (the
drink and food of the true Eucharist) may be found.


fish = ideas

Eucharist is too much of stretch for me. It seems to me Thoreau was trying to throw off the language and symbols of society (Christians included) and find his own.


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Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:07 pm
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Saffron wrote:

The Cloud of Unknowing is a practical spiritual guidebook thought to have been written in the latter half of the 14th century by an anonymous English monk, possibly a Carthusian, who counsels a young student to seek God not through knowledge but through what he speaks of as a "naked intent" and a "blind love."


Yes, that is the classical reference. However, every return to aboriginal experience passes into the cloud of unknowing. Thoreau describes it this way: "I cannot count one. I know not the first letter of the alphabet. I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born." Pure, raw, preconceptual experience permits novel interpretation, as Thoreau did in this remarkable paragraph. If you can look at something until you don't know what it is, then you can see it anew -- as was once explained to me.

Tom

P.S. There's a neat roundabout connection between Thoreau and the Cloud of Unknowing. According to Wikipedia, one of the translations of The Cloud of Unknowing is published by Paulist Press. The Paulists were founded by Isaac Thomas Hecker, who moved into the Thoreau boarding house for a contemplative period and became intimate with the Thoreau family (Days, p.163).



Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:46 pm
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Jeanette wrote:
I suspect we have to ADD because we have Attention Deficit Disorder. Sorry, couldn't help myself!
Jeanette


Ha! Ha! You're a card, Jeanette . . .

Carly

:laugh:



Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:19 pm
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DWill wrote:
sThis comes after he tells us about his speculating on certain farms, presumably with a view toward buying one. He gets a kind of vicarious ownership experience from all of that, and ends up being grateful to have thought better of it. Once again, he gives us his candid opinion of the farming life!DWill


But Will . . . I don't think he actually said he 'bought' any property - I think he just wandered around, observing the farms - he said he liked to 'imagine' . . . or 'pretend' . . . that he owned them.



Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:45 pm
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Right, he was just speculating about owning one. How serious he ever was about owning one, I don't know.
DWill



Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:26 pm
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Post 
Saffron wrote:
Thomas Hood wrote:
Quote:
I would drink deeper; fish in the sky, whose bottom is pebbly with stars." The poet-philosopher proposes to fish for the heavenly fish, the Great Man, humanity mirrored in the cosmos, the Ichthys with which modern Christians (maybe not Unitarians?) decorate their cars. He drinks of the social issues of the day, but sees through their shallowness and wishes to shift from the excitement of the little world of human affairs to a cosmic perspective where true being (the drink and food of the true Eucharist) may be found.
fish = ideas Eucharist is too much of stretch for me. It seems to me Thoreau was trying to throw off the language and symbols of society (Christians included) and find his own.

Such beautiful cosmic poetry. Rather like Thoreau's image of the river invoking Plato's statement in The Timaeus that time is the moving image of eternity. I believe firmly that great creativity requires a cosmic sense. Imagining stars as pebbles of the cosmos opens a fractal vision connecting our lives to the universe. I did not read fish as a pun (to fish vs find a fish), but taking up Tom's suggestion there is much thought about the Christian age as an Age of Pisces in which our culture mirrors the slow wheel of time as the equinox precesses through the zodiac.



Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:13 pm
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Post Re: Simple Life
BabyBlues wrote:
Quote:
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity...Our life is frittered away by detail. ... Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!


All right... I will try to get the ball rolling here. I think we all probably see the point of Thoreau here...not letting the unnecessary and extraneous nonessentials in our life "fritter away" and detract from the life which is meant to be led...the life we would follow if we listened to our intuition and found our own "genius".

This section always speaks to me because of how much more "detail" abounds today to fritter our life away. Thoreau's advice came before computers, cell phones, pagers (do people still use these?), email, blackberries (the hand held devices...not the fruit :smile: ), etc. Think about the advance that were each supposed to simplify life and make it easier... did we simplify? There are even magazines now geared toward making life more simple (for example Real Simple); however, does a vehicle like that actually provide more extraneous stimuli that detracts from our inner voice?

What do you think?


Baby Blues, I'd like to re-roll that ball you got rolling, maybe see if I can get it to roll into the area of what the chapter's about . . . economy - and what you initially pointed out here.

Thoreau was a poor man to begin with, from what I can see . . . he had his feet closer to the ground than Emerson, who was making money with his writing, and other people in the town.

To him, the economic scenario at that time was 'the present' . . . it was 'modern-times'.

Just as much as a hundred years from now, our lives in the early part of this millennium, is going to be viewed as 'old times', 'historic times', but out of date . . .

I can remember as far back as when we had only black and white TV; the advent of colour TV was something else! Oh, boy! I remember that first time I watched Johnny Carson (Tonight Show) in colour! It was the most amazing thing to see - it took some getting used to, mind you . . . I found it kind of distracting at first. But once we figured out how to 'adjust' for colour and clarity, we loved our colour TV.

Then came the day when we girls all had electric typewriters at our desks . . . no longer did we ladies in the steno pool have to pound on the old 'standards' while the senior secretaries had electric machines.

Cars . . . automatic transmission! Oh, wonderful! No more gallumping along with the clutch . . . much easier to put the car in drive and cruise off.

Power Steering! Whoa! The first time I got behind the wheel of a car with that convenience, it threw me for a loop - darn near went through the windshield. But I got used to that too.

As I got into my mid-thirties, I had a hard time getting office assignments because I didn't have my word-processing experience . . . well, the temp agency just kept plugging at that one - kept sending me out to the jobs,
till finally I had it - word processing . . . but by then, it was out of date - I had to learn computer!

So in 1989 I got myself a Tandy . . . it was great! I could save my writing on a disk, play games of cards with a bunch of cartoon people that I learned to hate with a passion . . .

At work, I was using WordStar (very similar to MS Word Dos). Then the work force demanded that I get proper training in computer, so I went into a Work Training place that enabled me to get Word Perfect 4.9 under my belt.

I had a joke with people when I was interviewed for a job - told them 'I don't do windows' . . . the old housekeeper's joke.

Then I got a new computer (used and reconditioned by my techie minded husband) just about every six months till I had many many versions of windows and no longer had to ask just what RAM meant. All I knew at one time was that it didn't matter how much I had, I needed more!

Then the gawd-fearin' internet!

How did I live without it?

I laughed when I first saw the commercials - somebody with a portable phone, and using it on a horse! Fer gawd's sake! Making a phonecall from a horse!

The younger generation in my life - the 20 and 30 somethings out there aren't amazed by any of it - they were trained on it! I don't think any of them type any more than 25 words a minute.

When I left Shaw's Business College, you had to be typing at least 30 words a minute before Daddy got a report card saying you had completed the course.

Then they sent us out to work in the offices, tied our butts to secretarial chairs, put dictaphone plugs in our ears - just in case any of us thought we might use the shorthand we banged our heads against the wall to learn - ha ha!

And now? You can have a job on the internet! You don't even have to shrug outta' your housecoat!

But how, if it came to be that we had to, how would we in this modern world adapt if we had to give up these things?

Before we used these things, we thought of the few people who were involved with them as being nerds . . . wierdos!

But now? There are a few people around who have never ever used the web . . . wierdos, all of 'em!



Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:28 pm
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Now, I myself didn't really get back to the topic of economy . . . maybe next post.

I've gotta' put my shorts on (shrug outta' the old housecoat) and get out there to my yard work - it's such nice weather, why am I wasting it here on the web?



Mon Sep 08, 2008 12:29 pm
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WildCityWoman wrote:
I've gotta' put my shorts on (shrug outta' the old housecoat) and get out there to my yard work - it's such nice weather, why am I wasting it here on the web?

Yeah, that's the big drawback of the web, that it's mostly an indoor thing. Sure, you can lug around a laptop almost as easily as a book, but it's not the same as a book. You know thase bracelets that say,
"What Would Jesus Do? (WWJD)" I imagine one that says, "What Would Henry Say?" (WWHS). Not that we really have to concern ourselves with what he would say about any particular thing. It's just fun to imagine what he would say about the internet, for example.
Will



Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:04 pm
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DWill wrote:
Right, he was just speculating about owning one. How serious he ever was about owning one, I don't know.
DWill


There's a property I want to own and I think about it a lot - I fantasize about it a lot.

To achieve this, I would need a whole lot of money - in order to get the bank to even look at me, I'd need at least half the money in cash. I would prefer to 'come into the money', in whole and am constantly fantasizing about that . . . manifesting for it.

Owning this property (where I live and my husband works as the superintendent) is my dream . . . I think that 'wanting' is going to 'bite' me one day . . . it would hurt like hell were the owner to sell it to someone better able than I to buy it.

Still, it plagues me . . .

This wanting is entirely contrary to what Thoreau is teaching here, and contrary to the dharma talks I listen to.

But . . . but . . . but . . .

I WANT IT!

YA'HEAR?


Now, I've probably messed up big time with those vibes out there in the universe . . .

;-)



Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:41 am
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