Wednesday, May 11, 2016

selflessness and selfishness, the conjoined twins

Feeling scraped raw somehow this morning after reading 1. a useful corrective note from the editor at the local paper ... something assessing what I have written so far for a Memorial Day column and 2. an essay by Brian Victoria about, as ever, the complicity of religion in the latest war, wherever it is.

As I wrote back to Brian, one of life's enduring pisscutters is the conjoined twins of selfishness and selflessness. Conjoined twins means just that: same ten fingers, same ten toes, same lips and yet tinted with utterly different hues that it would be unwise and unhealthy to try to separate.

How desperately kind.
How desperately cruel.

To my mind, these 'two' are proof-positive that the notion of something called "paradox" is utter nonsense. Trying to separate these conjoined twins is the pastime of an asshole and I am that asshole. Speak of cruelty and it is too much. Speak of kindness and it is too much. Saying there are two is too much. Saying there is one is too much.

Fingernails on a blackboard.


  1. To evolve from instinctive mammal to reasoning human. As an individual we call it buddha, as a species we call it failure.

  2. OK. Rev. V really refers to those who wear the vestments and who have acquired some of the organizational power created after the allegedly wise saints passed; or who believe that they are entitled after having received some baton.

    These deluded people believe they correctly interpret the words and spirit of Krishna, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, etc. But such interpretations service nothing but their power. They speak little of logic and reason much less of self-empowerment.

    Your image of good and evil being conjoined twins has a certain disquieting appeal. It's another symbolic take of Duality: it's more polar than the infinite swirl of the black and white of the main symbol of Taoism.

    I prefer another dualistic symbol: the Lotus growing out of the mud reaching for the Sun. It gives me hope. Even if it is temporary.