Monday, November 17, 2008

Thoughts on Time

This year I have not been able to blog as much,because working a full time job, it was different from say back in 2005 when I was unemployed and had time on my hands.So finding the time to blog is problematic as it were.

And the other thing, so much has happened in recent months, it is all a bit overwhelming. By the title of this blog, it suggests reports from the coast of time. But what if the coast is inundated with events crashing against the shore?

It brings to mind for me what Lama Govinda said about Time in one of his essays. In his analogy Time, is like some giant cosmic maw, constantly gnawing away at the present moment, thereby eating away at the future, and digesting it, and converting it into the Past.

We all live at the edge of Time, maybe without thinking about it too much. One can, for example live in the past, say read novels set in the 1880s, watch movies of the same period, buy articles, antiques from the era, yet, while one could do this, the modernity of the 21st century swirls us along.

Recently, I was reading Thomas Laird's book, The Story of Tibet, and came across a startling passage, I am still trying to digest, and understand.

There are several direct interviews with the Dalai Lama in this book, and in the one in question, Laird is talking with His Holiness, about Tibetan History and Time.

On page 150 they are talking about interdependent factors that shape the course of historical events.

And I am going to quote nearly 4 paragraphs just to get the full effect, and I hope this is not too much to quote, but let me at the same time recommend any readers of this blog buy the book.

In response to the above the Dalai Lama says,

"Yes, thats right - I think that the collective energy of myriad sentient beings who inhabit this world system, their collective energy shapes this whole universe. And one of those factors is the Tibetan people's karma.

He continues," Yes, but not only the Tibetans at that time, but the future Tibetans, including myself. Our karma now, and in the future, also made these things, in the past.

Laird: The future affects the past. My mind was reeling. Physicists speculate that seeing the past, present,and future separately is a delusion. Past, present, and future may be parts of one reality, which our limited senses are so far unable to glimpse. The Dalai Lama reached a similar conclusion through spiritual insight. His words opened many worlds all at once, in every direction. Political motivations are never more than one thread in the infinitely complex web of human affairs. I was shaken, unprepared for the Dalai Lama's lesson to affect me so profoundly. What did I think I knew about any of this? The Dalai Lama watched me and waited in silence.

" When we talk of karma or the future," the Dalai Lama responded, "thousands of different sorts of opportunities are there that could be, since all these emerging possibilities are interdependent. You see the events in Tibet are often related to America, or even lives on other supposed planets. Now, for example, I feel the coming Tibetan generations or future Tibetans. Some of them may come from a great distance. So their activities on that planet, or in that galaxy, in the future, that also makes a difference here and now, and in the past."

Well, okay, the Dalai Lama is getting pretty cosmic here. I'll leave to the reader of this post to ponder this, at this point, and you can check out the book if you care to. Just think though, the future could effect the past.

Adios for now,

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President Obama

Well I know he is now President Elect Obama, but already it is time to start getting used to saying President Obama, and wow, it is a very unusual thing.

My congratulations to Senator Obama. It feels like a new day dawning in this country, and I think for many it is just beginning to sink in.

I thought how interesting that the celebrations should take place in Grants Park in Chicago, where 40 years ago Daley's forces went on a rampage knocking over chairs and people and busting heads.

And now we see Democrats united, and experiencing a more positive page in our history.

I was also thinking how interesting it will be to see a American President visit Europe, and not only be greeted by heads of State, but also by cheering crowds. We haven't seen anything like that since Eisenhower really, well John F. Kennedy some.

And also I imagine a President Obama will have a positive effect on Africa. He can shower attention on countries there that embrace democracy, and his snub, to the harsh autocrats there will be felt so keenly, that they may even change there behavior some.

I lived in Saudi Arabia for a while, and I believe it will have a very different effect, when a man of color visits those countries. His election also showcases democracy in a different way. In otherwords we had a peaceful election, with no riots at least, no one murdered for making the wrong vote as under Mugabe.

I myself have been waiting 40 years for this to happen, having voted for McGovern in 1972, and thought RFK was the best in 1968.

Well it is late on election night, and though I have more to say, I have to go to work in the morning.

There is something really stunning about this, I have to keep reminding myself that it has really happened.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Tide turns.....

In honor of the occasion of Barack Obama about to become the first African American to become President , here is a YouTube of the group Tomorrow, playing a song from 1967: