Under torpid semi-sun profound drafts of humidity reach forth and morning echoes are stilled underneath a quilt of birdsong. I stumble in thoughts clouded by blurred perception as heavy-handed words are dropping like lead from The Shot Tower, sizzling to their destination where they cool in the medium below. It seems the impossible, yet I am reminded, by a refrain, of tactility, of solidity, of necessity: “Everything gonna be alright, yeah everything’s gonna be alright, everything’s gonna be alright”. The solidity of earth on my soles, the pressure of air on my skin consolidate the wisps dispersing in the fog. Grounded, I long for the sun and reach for lightening. I grope. I proceed. I fly a kite full of keys to spark my knuckles to action. Shuffled off, the gossamer ropes of sleep retreat and I begin again, the same as before, in my difference, from a day ago.
I have been contemplating Duns Scotus a bit lately. His Platonistic metaphysical universe is populated by objects made up of individual characteristics dependent on sensory and intellectually apprehendable universalities. In his concept the senses perceive a reality of universals. In other words, any sensed object is not really an individual object as “individual”; instead it is a reality common to all sensible objects of one type (i.e. the sweetness of all sweet things). So, there is no need for an abstractive process of the intellect to move from individual characteristics to constructed universals (i.e. a peach is perceived as that particular individual peach and must be rendered universal as a “sweet thing” in order to be known). When perceiving an object we are thus sensing and recognizing the universals (“sweet thing”, “round thing”, etc.) that combine to create an individual object rather than universalizing individual characteristics to create a category.
My questions of religion are not about belief, but worship. My issues are of form, not function or substance. As we grow, we are taught the right and wrong form of worship and we are brought into conformity with beliefs established- it is spoon fed. Are those of us who are not in a position of religious power unable to cut and chew our own food without dogmatic guidelines and childhood hypnosis? Too often we lose the underlying power of religious experience in the trappings of control and become automatons of worship. Religions rarely ask their participants to explore truth outside of proscribed pathways. Is it the fear of false truths? Is it the fear of alternative truths being found? Is it a fear of diluted truth and the dissipation of the community as truths multiply? Or is it the fear of those in power losing their basis for power?
I have become part of a larger artists’ project, Art House Co-op’s The Sketchbook Project: Library. I received my sketchbook yesterday with the guiding phrase. “Outside of myself” printed in small letters atop a barcode in back. I have decided to incorporate this moniker with my meditation exercises and shift their focus from within to without, recording the outcomes both here and there. This is my first entry:
If today were a man, he would be tall and slim with honey colored hair. Studious eyes would peer from under well maintained eyebrows. He would stand with the slightest of stoops, wear clothes clean but with the slightest rumpling. A smell of lightest lime would accompany his passing and the careful, yet casual, gesturing of his hands as he spoke. Memory of him would fade quick, as sister night rolled in, leaving only the impression of harmless awkwardness in their place