Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The dramatist vs the moralist

moralists judge and preach first, good dramatists witness first. That's why I've not ('til now) been a hugely powerful dramatist whereas even an agenda driven writer such as George Bernard Shaw never allowed his convictions to overpower his stories and characters.

The dramatist is more in the witness position. They may evaluate their characters but they don't judge them. As such they are closer to G-d. By letting go and standing back they make space for more creativity, more life. (It is what plays out on the screen of consciousness....that's why its sometimes called a "screen - play.")

The moralist is in the judgement position. They want to preserve and grow the good, and end or reduce the bad. They have a strong sense of what is good, and what is not. They are intolerant of deviance, and feel a need to preach, analyse, label and sort. They are driven by the notion that they will betray the cause if they open to an alternative point of view. I occupy the moralist position more than the dramatist one.

But deeper still the moralist is really just a drama - just like other roles we occupy such as "superwoman", "lone ranger", "quiet strong type", "poor me", "Mr Angry", "Mrs Nice", "Mr Reliable", "The Rebel", "The conformist" etc. In films like "American Beauty" (the marine colonel who is secretly gay) or stories like Somerset Maugham's "Rain" we see the drama crack, as all dramas must.

Drama's compress change processes that may occur over may years into a few minutes - the moments when new options are glimpsed and perhaps acted upon. So many films begin at points in their characters lives when the characters are ripe for change - whether they know it or not. ( Are feel good endings in synch with life?)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What one cup of coffee can do

Is there a third way between the mindless conformism of western consumerism with its loneliness, absence of human contact, pseudo freedoms and illusion of choice, or the undifferentiated ego mass of fundamentalisms, which offers community and connection, but which ruthlessly and cruelly punishes diversity and "deviance"??

Please give me the connectedness, role allocation, and opportunities to be of service of faith communities, but without the coercion, inflexibility and need for an out group "other". Is this seeking the impossible?

It seems to me that the term "old testament" was coined by a breakaway religion (Christianity) to protect itself - "the anxiety of influence" from the internal conflict of simultaneously drawing from, and yet delegitimising, the parent religion (Judaism)

How to join without colluding, how to remain apart without being indifferent? Every therapist - like every human - must balance competing extremes to hit the sweet spot

How does Murray Bowen's Family Systems theory, with its notion of the (usually incremental) intergenerational transmission of anxiety, and levels of differentiation (high differentiation = high functioning, i.e. adaptive rather than maladaptive behaviours) explain sudden zigzags in family history and fortunes??

Royalty begets royalty, but not necessarily greatness. By royalty I mean in any domain - from politics and governance, to physics, entrepreneurship or physical prowress. Why are the children of the Rolling Stones not all top musical acts? Why have Donny Gordon's children not all created entrepreneurial empires of their own? And conversely, how does a Napoleon or Rumi or Hillel or Kabir emerge from a non-descript "ordinary" family, and shine briefly like a self-powered sun?

When Ghandiji of blessed memory said "if you follow an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth you end up with a world which is eyeless and toothless" he clearly had never been exposed to the oral law (the Talmud, which explains and expands upon the written law (the Torah). The rabbis of the Talmud unambiguously explain that this biblical verse refers to monetary compensation for damages, exactly because of Ghandi's objection...but they said it 1800 years before him.

Who would I be without my story, without the religion of me?

A Love Letter

Dear Immanuel

I will not with hold my love from you any more

Love and respect


My next poetry collection, G-d willing, will either be called
A Way with Words
Skipping in the House of G-d
something else. 

(It may just be a collection of titles with no poems.)

It seems that nothing - including cruelty and kindness - occur in isolation; everything is the fruit of some earlier process...that is why I sometimes have my doubts about campaigns like the White Ribbon Campaign AGAINST domestic violence against women ( but what is the campaign FOR?) because it focusses on symptoms rather than causes....Karl Marx may have got it wrong about what fundamentally motivates human beings and mobilises them, but I think he got it right (and if my understanding is incorrect please set me straight, I don't want to misrepresent his thought) that morality which does not impact on our modes of production and consumption is so abstract as to have no reality. Start now by de-commodifying your relationships...meet whoever you meet not because of their value to you in some imaginary future, but just because you both exist now...nothing to gain and nothing to loose...just sharing the vast sea of being

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Adam ve Chava (Adam and Eve) - chatuna shemaymit

When I encounter my wife in the bedroom, (or have encountered any woman in any sexual encounter) I want to encounter her as a man, as a representative of manhood, as the essence of maleness, meeting  her as a woman, as a representative of femininity, as the  essence of femaleness. I am only interested in her and me - at that point in that context - as generic bodies, each representative of our type. Along with shedding our clothes, I need to shed everything else I "know" about her and I, all the other roles we play and the things we are - in the bedroom they are intrusions, dividers, blocking the call to return to some elemental form that all of life participates in. It is not her specificities I am seeking...these are with me outside the bedroom...and it is not my Imanuel-ness I am seeking to offer: this too is incessantly available duing my waking hours. What I crave is us as incarnations of the most basic and universal types, (either conferred upon us by our bodies or else manifested as our bodies) coming into uniopn and restoring balance - the celestial wedding.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Great Australian Stupor

I often feel when talking to your "average" Australian ( there probably isn't such a thing but I mean  the kind of robotic persona you get on the other end when you phone a call centre, or deal with an estate agent or sales person at KMart), or just having a chat over the fence with a passing neighbour, that the conversation has to run down invisible rails that the thought of deviating from is too terrifying for either of us to contemplate, because of the dark depths that might lie in wait...

I recently found confirmation of this invisible script in a book of essays a therapist friend who lives in Gordon on the distant north shore lent me. Here is an extract from this essay which is titled “The Australian Resistance to Individuation: Patrick’s White Knotted Mandala ” by David Tacey, in a book called “Placing Psyche, Exploring Cultural Complexes in Australia”, which seems to be a Jungian influenced  collection of essays.

Its a bit dense but persist because by the time you get to the middle bit a smile of recognition should start twitching the corner(s) of your mouth(s) upwards...

Our fear of yet longing for obliteration is repetitive, autonomous and resists consciousness. Not many of us are aware of it, apart from artists, sensitive individuals  and psychotherapists. In daily life we support an adherence to reason and logic which is fanatical in its dogmatism, yet in the unconscious we harbour desires to abandon reason, overturn our plans, destroy our logic and sink into annihilation.

I have written about this before in my book on Australian culture, Edge of the Sacred: Jung, Psyche, Earth. There, in a section called “The Degraded Sacred and Alcoholism in white and black society”, I explore the conundrum of Australian society: on the one hand a commitment to democratic values and social order; on the other hand a barely disguised desire to obliterate self in one or more of the favoured rituals of destruction: binge drinking,  excessive eating,  abuse of drugs, [betting and gambolling, my addition] , consumerism, inertia, zoning out. ... 

The fierce [ white Christian Anglo-Celtic Australian????] longing for sacrifice originates from the realisation that the colonial consciousness is not authentic. It did not emerge from this ground and needs to be sacrificed so that something new can appear. ...These stories of national sacrifice are taught as history in our schools, and our favourite novels, such as Patrick White's Voss, are fictional accounts of early explorers who sought ecstatic self-mutilation in the desert. Our favourite national films are about sacrifice: Picnic at Hanging Rock, in which a group of school girls are drawn by magnetic force to a volcanic mountain and sacrificed to it; Evil Angels, in which an innocent baby is seized and eaten by a wild dog; Gallipoli, in which innocent teenagers are sacrificed to the war machine and British military incompetence. The poet Judith Wright was the first to sense a psychological meaning to these deaths and sacrifices:

Are all these dead men in our literature, then, a kind of ritual sacrifice? And just what is being sacrificed? Is it perhaps the European consciousness-dominating, puritanical, analytical? ... Reconciliation, then, is a matter of death-the death of the European mind, its absorption into the soil it has struggled against.'

But we don't say we have a problem with involuntary sacrifice; we just  say "this is our history". We don't view our plight psychologically, we say we are recording events as they present themselves. To quote Singer again:  the cultural complex "collects experiences that confirms its historical point of view". We resist consciousness when it comes to our favoured national past-times: compulsive sacrifice and a longing for obliteration.

In 1971 Melbourne psychologist Ronald Conway rose to prominence in Australia when he wrote The Great Australian Stupor: An Interpretation of the Australian Way of Life. 10 In this book, part humorous and part serious,  Conway outlined the ways in which Australians seek self-oblivion and mental destruction. It achieved instant fame because so many Australians recognised themselves in his descriptions of the local way of life, and in our predilection for inertia, stasis, conventionality, resistance to culture, and reflection. For a while, Conway was even given his own television show, in which he held a mirror tip to the nation. But then we forgot about the novelty of self-reflection and went back to sleep.

To live in Australia is to live in a negative social climate. Americans who visit or live here find the place baffling. If the credo of America is "Yes, we can", that of Australia Is "No, we can't." This makes for an odd social environment. Things are achieved in spite of the current toward inertia and resistance. The humour, temperament, and spirit of Australia are ironic, downbeat, self-deprecating, anti-heroic, often depressing. Yet individuation forces itself upon us, even with all this negativity. Even Down Under, where everything is upside down, where the seasons are reversed, and even the Southern Cross hangs upside down in the night sky, we have our own version of individuation, which is via negativa, a way of resisting what the unconscious is forcing upon us."


PS. When a writer or artist or poet says they're "exploring" something isn’t this word often just code for shying away from the commitment of unequivocal assertions, like when an artist says they are “exploring” – just by way of example – ‘ the interstitial experience of people with bi-polar disorder’ ....surely the exploration happens during the process that leads to the art work, but cannot be the art work itself – or at least, not satisfyingly so for this witness. 


Monday, November 11, 2013


It was 1985 or so. My best highschool friend Aidrian was getting more and more involved with th struggle in South Africa. He was at Wits (the University of the Witwatersrand). A state of emergency was looming in the wings. I was in Israel, studying in a fundamentalist yeshiva but trying to find a way out. (out of yeshiva , not  out of Israel,to which I very much wanted to belong... I wanted to go to the army in Israel so as to become both a man and an Israeli). I was going through old papers while trying to write an essay on differentiation of self and found this (and I've altered a line or two to improve the metricality):

"Althoough somehow we find that life pulls us apart
I once knew a little the beat  of your heart
Iknow it beats strongly, and ingrained in you
is the need to go straight, the need to be true

you are planted amongst people who are strangers to me
but this communal soil will nurture a strong tree
as long as you know there is right on your side
the enemy can't harm you, they will be defied

you have turned from preoccupation with one's own little space
and feel at one with those fighting for their rightful place
with this I can't argue; one must leave self absorption behind
the question is really with which group will one bind?

as for me, I must look to before I was born
and join with the group I feel I came from
I can't find another way, and using what I have in me
this seems to be the most open path, so I make no apology

whatever you do in your world in your fight
I hope it will reach us and bring us some light
whatever we do in our world in our fight
I hope it will reach you and bring you some light"

and at the end of the letter:

"P.P.S I know that its highly unlikely that you'll ever bump into my folks, but just in case you do, please don't mention anything about my intentions to go to the army in Israel "

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Responding Creatively and Compassionately to changes in the Body

Seeing as the G-ds I worship are creativity and balance (and probably the two are one, with creativity being the dynamic expression of the movement towards balance, and balance being the still field from which movement emerges) it behooves me to articulate how people may respond to changes in their body, and how they human creativity expresses itself in the abilty to adjust to diminished physical ability.

I have been struggling to walk the way I used to - I was always a big walker - and now walking requires more effort and concentration - since I sprained my ankle over a year ago. I first noticed that my walking had become more tentative about two years ago when emerging from a swimming pool and walking on the wet tiles. This may have been because there was already slight proprioceptive loss, and being in the water without orientating surfaces can apparently exacerbate this.

But it was when I was in Israel in Haifa walking on the tayelet (promenade) and found it very difficult even just to walk on a level pavement (these things often seem to happen when elsewhere, as it did with my mom on holiday at a place called at Duiwelskloof, when she got the first indications of cancer) that I became scared, because it was so strange and new - not being able to easily do something as elementary and taken for granted by myself as walking. That was an episodic attack, and it receded, but now that these bouts have become a more or less ongoing issue I have responded creatively to it, and put in place tens of little strategies to deal with what may or may not be a new emerging norm. These include the way I move my feet, using a shoppong trolley if feeling particularly shaky, choosing my footware carefully and so forth.

A vital part of all this is the languaging of the situation - what words are used to describe whatever is happening. "Changes" is a much more neutral term than "ageing" which again has a different feel to it than "degeneration". And tis would be true of everything...the story we tell paints what we see and how we interact with what is arising in our field of vision.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My reservations about allopathic medicine

I went to a doctor
his words filled me with fear
he didn't tell me anything
that was helpful to hear

no sense of context
no sense of space
nothing I could do
the absence of grace

a future of decline
and operations
filled my sight
a future without hope
a future without light

it took conversations with friends
and family to get some proportion
breathe and feel the ground and
put aside mind's distortion

al tivtechu bindivim, beven adam she ayn lo teshua

on friday I had the nerve conduction test
he recommended I see a surgeon to put my mind at rest
but upon reflection where will this go

on sunday I played tennis, my strokes were better
than they'd been for a while
I had aches and pains, but if they were not for the new label
- cervical canal stenosis in C5/C6...i.e slight compression of nerves in neck - with spondylolisthesis -
I wouldn't have made much of it. As my sister said
"never underestimate the power of auto suggestion", every micro twinge
can become a harbing
of loss of autonomy and mobility
depending on where you focus your attention
getting stuck to the pain body as Eckhart Tolle describes the commotion
this is calling me forth to be clear

Sunday, October 20, 2013

When bad things happen to good people

About 20 or 30 years ago someone wrote a well intentioned book titled "when bad things happen to good people." Right from the outset the clumsiness of this title, and the enormous assumptions which underpin it, irked me, but tonight while lying in a hot bath it suddenly struck me how I might highlight these more lightly than with some outraged, and probably boring, polemic. So here goes an attempt to render my reservations in slightly more poetic form: 

When bad things happen to good people
when good things happen to bad people
when bad things happen to bad people
when good things happen to good people

when good people turn out to be a bit bad
when bad people turn out to be a bit good
when the categorising mind takes a  lunch break
when most people turn out to be bad and good

when bad things turn out to be not so bad
when good things turn out to be not so good
when everything is in transition
and labels fall off like leaves in Autumn

when good people eat good animals
when nameless animals eat other nameless animals
when trending to good people make judgement calls other good people judge as bad
when bad people unwhittingly or knowingly do good perhaps because
they're having  the afternoon off

when green things push up through the cracks 
when the mind's circus stops whirling hither and thither
when everything begins in something else
like a great chain of clasped hands across the universe that slowly let go
'cos they've traced themselves back to the same body

when the burning question falls away


(then I see that what I dislike and fear I call bad
and what I like and embrace I call good
and what threatens what I am attached to I call bad
and what seems to support it I call good

when I am completely suspect
when people turn out not to be people
when things turn out not to be things)

Uncle Dick
with plutonium rods up his arse
had a torrid time of it
on the medical
not so merry
go round
confirmed he was
with many afflictions
(but not because of any one of them)

the tight-lipped doctors couldn't quite
put their fingers on the pulse
of what was wrong and
at night the obscure terms
specialists afflicted him with
chased themselves
around his brain
until sleep came
at 4am
in front of the television sprawled on the floor
waking bleary and blurry
a pool of drool
gathered at his chin

or made love to an assemblage of pixels on his
smart phone
(at least that still worked)
I moaned my moans
and wrote a few poems

I am always ready to be anything
a permaculture farmer
a dog walker
a gag writer for a tv satire show
a technician or tradesman
with a useful skill
a guru
a lecturer
a counsellor
a radio personality
a quiz show kid
constantly beginning again
like a spreading puddle
I flow from nowhere
to nowhere
looking for a large pair
of cupping hands

I am wanting to have an affair
with a large breasted
wasp waisted being
to compliment my hairy pot belly
and greying hair
and she will not mind
how I wish to play with her body
will be easy being Chava
to the secret stirrings of my every Adam
and most importantly to the fantasy
from our joinings and partings
no suffering
will be born

Despite my best efforts
to corrupt my spinifex hoppers
with free handouts
of easy food
they still after four years
bolt from my hand
remaining true to their
G-dly mouse

G-d made everything in two colours:
red and white
I try to keep them separate
but inconveniently
they keep on coming together again
I open the cupboard
looking for milk
but find blood

G-d made everything in 3 colours:
black, white
and red
pulsing underneath
only held in check by a layer thin
as skin

Psychoillogical Stories

There was a ghost
called inadequacy
living in my house
I tried to avoid it
but kept on bumping into it
I tried not to think about it
but the thoughts returned
like familiar friends
so one day i sat down with inadequacy
over a cup of tea
and invited him to tell me his story
and this is what he said (to me):
I am your friend
when I sometimes worry
or tell you you're not enough
it keeps you from
not knowing
and that's much worse than me
this way you don't
have to take risks


To a tuna 

Once you swam in the sea
then you became part of my body
if ever one day the cemetery
lies submerged under a rising sea
perhaps your descendants will sup on me
thus favours returned


A school hat with a name in it
of a child who has long since left the school
a small photograph of a woman who
has long since left this world
a pigeon flying overhead
carrying the DNA
for a thousand future generations of pigeons
all cross my path


yesterday I received a promotional offer from an insurance company
to win $25 000  so that "you can wake up anywhere in the world."
Ok then, I choose to wake up
right now
right here


Its eleven o clock
at night
we're all tired
I'm rounding soft and crumbly walnuts and dates
into coconut coated balls
and wondering how we're going to pay the bills
and slow to a trickle
the changes in my body
and how instead of
lethargic and sombre and heavy 
I can become
vital and youthful again
just for long enough to
get us to somewhere 

Different kinds of robots: Jewbots; Islamobots; Bhuddistbots; Pub-bots;
progressivebots, conservobots; coparatebots; sportsbots; 

I tried to speak to the girl
I watched in the playground
and held in my mind
on my bed
but was too afraid
my voice and leg would shake
or my face go red
so that great emotion
remained unsaid
The sonic landscape of Jimi Hendrix
a wall of scrap metal
arranged in inventive

protean sculptures
Bach on steroids

with a flattened fourth note

A Love Letter

Dear Immanuel

I will not with hold my love from you any more

Love and respect


My next poetry collection, G-d willing, will either be called

A Way with Words

Skipping in the House of G-d

something else. 

It may just be a collection of titles with no poems.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Safa Mechudeshet

When I overhear people speaking Hebrew
I still get excited
and not just if they're doctors or writers
war heroes or farmers
even if they are criminals playing ten-pin bowling
or pimps or pawn shop owners
or any kind of folk I wouldn't normally spend too much time
hanging out with
its still the old new language I love
that was arrested in prayer books for 2000 years
and now flows through newspapers and basketball games and
women's magazines and erotic novels and flight manuals
that was silenced and now can't stop speaking
which represents for me
the potential for rebirth and empowerment
in visionary groundedness
the ancient one of days
from which light and dark
were created.

Artwork by Nikki Green http://nikkigreen.com.au/exhibitions/

And on a different note: Unwritten histories#38:

 "The crowd grew hushed as Sir Donald Bradman put down his bat and strode to the outfield where he bent down on all fours and appered to be examining the grass.
"What are you doing?" asked a puzzled member of the South African team
"I'm pulling out bindies (a thorny Australian weed) in case anyone plays barefoot here" explained Sir Donald.
"Come ON, Aba will you leave the grass alone, said Guy."

Saturday, October 12, 2013

To make the acquaintence of birds

In contrast to my rather bleak post evoked by Jonathan Franzen's article in National Geographic documenting the trapping and slaughter of song birds all across Europe and the Middle East, I recently came across a sweet and gentle book about the joy observing birds can bring.

The book was lying untouched in a colleague's office, so I brought it home to read and enjoy, and I share two sample pages from it here - click on images to enlarge. The book was written and beautifully illustrated by Ran Levi Yamamori, with translation into Arabic by Balig Achmad Jazi. Yamamori seems to run a publishing house which produces many beautiful books.

The Hoopoe (above)  is Israel's national bird

PS. The book reminded me of this poem by Yehuda Amichai.

 I came upon an old zoology textbook,
 Brehm, Volume II, Birds:
 in sweet phrases, an account of the life of the starling,
 swallow, and thrush. Full of mistakes in antiquated
 Gothic typeface, but full of love, too. "Our feathered
 friends." "Migrate from us to warmer climes."
 Nest, speckled egg, soft plumage, nightingale,
 stork. "The harbirngers of spring." The robin,

 Year of publication: 1913, Germany,
 on the eve of the war that was to be
 the eve of all my wars.
 My good friend who died in my arms, in
 his blood,
 on the sands of Ashdod. 1948, June.

 Oh my-friend,
(From 7 Laments for the War Dead) 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Power of the Monkey Mind, the Power of Clear Support

I recently had a health scare (hopefully past tense but still need to undergo some more tests) which really frightened me and my wife, all because of what we did with four words the neurologist had put on a page.

After a week of terror and tenderness, the immediate threat receded, and I went back to all my old (bad?) habits. But what I learnt from this experience was

a) The power of the mind to pull me out of now into all kinds of imaginary scenarios based on complete conjecture - i filled the vacuum with worst case scenarios

b)living in the shadow of imagined death and decay can bring a certain clarity to what one does with one's time, and helps to be much more purposeful about choosing bigger purposes over smaller ones

c) the extent to which family and friends and others provided invaluable life-saving support in the form of remaining calm, clear and cool, and refusing to join me in jumping to the conclusions I was jumping to. Their sanity and wait and see approach has prevailed...they were my anchor when I was adrift, my ground when I was untethered, my stabilisers when I was unhinged. I can pay it back by paying it forward, and hopefully doing the same for others.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Watching Myself: Keeping Safe

A big part of my agenda is to keep safe (there are exceptional and unique circumstances where this has receded, and may still recede.)

Keeping safe is not the same as wanting to preserve privilege - the intentions behind them are different - but because there is no end to the project of keeping safe (its a subjective thing, some people may only feel safe when they've destroyed the world) they are de facto indistinguishable.

This makes me and Australia a good fit, because one of the central collective values here - as evidenced by the results of the last elections - is to keep safe/ preserve privilege.


The written word is the snail trail of our process. As soon as its down on the page its not completely true, because putting it down has changed your seeing....here's a little poem about that

stumped somewhat that whatever I say
the opposite’s equally true
perhaps it’s not my, but language’s sin
that I’ve perjured myself
before I begin

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Two declarations I felt I wanted to make:

My dear wife and boys, my dear boys and wife
I want you to know I love and cherish the three of you
more than anything
and that the most important thing in my world
is to do right by you


the world is full
of beauty and splendour
when you surrender

of course there is terror
along the way
but on the other side
is freedom
vast love
without fear


Sunday, September 1, 2013

A cost-benefit analysis of the notion of agency

See also the entry on post-personal psychology.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Feeling my way towards a poem - bird on a wing, of Thee I sing

I saw a National Geographic article by Jonathan Franzen on the way songbirds ( to my mind beautiful and largely harmless creatures) are snared shot caged blinded trapped and generally maimed and killed in their millions as they migrate across Europe and Arabia on their way to Africa.

There were several photographs of delicate limbs broken by traps, of the very symbols of freedom, wings in flight, glued helplessly to a twig coated with lime. Besides the theological conundrum this always evokes for me, as do most acts of seemingly wanton destruction (and see my previous post), I needed to try and process the not unfamiliar feelings and responses these pictures evoked. (Pictures courtesy of National Geographic and David Guttenfelder)

Here is one poemlet that came up:

Its only a bird
trapped in a snare
that fills my heart
with bleak despair

but then I start looking for a redemptive way of framing what seems like the end of joy, the cutting down of song, and the human in all its mad destructive aggressive and indifferent nakedness, the human as angel of death and deliverer of suffering, then my poemlets take a different direction: And I am powerless to halt or change all this that goes on before me, after me, beyond my reach. So how does a good G-d allow this? My angles of attack are

a) what is this this? I have no access to the experience of these birds, it is all conjecture and assumption but, if common sense empathy supports the idea that there is pain as I know and dread pain then

b) the pain in those pictures is already past, gone, and as Byron Katie says "the great thing about suffering is that its always in the past" (unless I keep on dragging it back into the present)

c) the hope that pain and suffering are the birthpangs into some great freedom beyond name and form, a birth into invulnerability and eternity. (And I refer you, tangenitally, to David Sedaris's beautiful short piece "the squirell and the chipmunk" which awakens in the heart that great longing for Avinu shebashamayim, tzur Yisrael ve goaloh,  for the rock from which we are hewed.)

I saw a bird that flew
that flew  
I saw its wings ensnared
with glue
I hope by then it knew
it knew
(may this be true)
the spark of life


I saw a bird that flew
that flew  
I saw its wings ensnared
with glue
I hope that then it knew
it knew
that IT was only passing through
may this be true
be true
be true


A bird that soared and sung and flew
was trapped on a twig smeared with glue
I'd feel much better if I knew
that some indweller just passing through
this world of name and form

But here is Hatikva...the hope: a man using his spittle to clean a rescued bird


Notes towards...

then there was the falcoln whose eyes were sown up and flew off blind:

they took away your flight
they took away your sight

The G-d Theorem

If it is a given that

a) G-d is everything (in Hebrew ayn od milvado)


b) that G-d is good (Ayl rachum vechanun, olam shel chesedyibaneh)

the it follows that every thing that appears to me to be "bad" - for example

sex trafficking
domestic violence
child neglect
cancer and various degenerative diseases
debeaked chickens kept in A4 sized cages in which they cannot move
the human capacity for indifference and disassociation
song birds caught in traps
the Holocauast and prior (the Armenian) and subsequent genocides

is not ultimately bad, and not ultimately real, because they too are are a manifestation of G-d, so in some way they are His/Her angels, His/Her messengers. And the message I must suppose they bring ultimately is no matter how fiercely I cling to my name and form, to tidying up my bedroom, as Mooji puts it, in the end I will be pried loose by chesed to realise that I am that all encompassing being that does not die and is not born.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Essence of Adolescence: At The Rugby Game

Click on the images to enlarge

In The Production Office

For those who have worked in what insiders refer to as "the industry" (said in a knowing and sophisticated insiderish tone of simultaneous deprecation and yet enormous we=know-how-special-we are) here is a small attempt at humour

Muddy(ing the) Waters

Why doesn't Mr Roger Waters take on a more difficult and intractable assignments like Darfur, like the Congo, like Chechnya, like Tibet where Han Chinese have displaced and replaced Tibetans, or Xinjiang province where the same thing is happening with Uighurs, or perhaps become a spokesperson for the Kurds struggle for autonomy, ...all of these protracted issues have quantitatively involved far greater loss of life and liberty than in the disputed territories...is it because Israel is a soft and easy target, and you're guaranteed an instant crowd, or is it because Waters was raised and lives and breaths in a cultural milieu where Jews are always guilty of something, and if no crime of suitable proportions can readily be found then one must be manufactured?

I think Israelis and Palestinians have a better chance of reaching an enduring compromise without Mr Rogers muddying the waters...and that a brave new world can not be built on the mother of all prejudices

It's not every day that a supermodel takes on a rock legend. But today, Bar Refaeli told Roger Waters if he's going to boycott Israel, he'd better take her picture out of his concert art. http://htz.li/19JkaWL


Erdogan's Song:

"How can I stop them looking at me
how can I get away from accountability
how can I distract from my own country's inequity
I need someone to blame
I need someone to shame
quick: call out a name...

26 Palestinian Freedom Fighters released

The 26 include Abu-Musa Salam Ali Atia of Fatah, who murdered Holocaust survivor Isaac Rotenberg in a Petah Tikvah construction site in 1994. Rotenberg’s family perished in the Sobibor extermination camp during World War II. Rotenberg escaped and joined the partisans fighting the Nazis in the forests of Eastern Europe. He arrived in Israel in 1947, joined the IDF and fought in Israel’s Independence War on the Lebanese front.
A plasterer by trade, Rotenberg was attacked by Abu Musa and an accomplice at a construction site where all three men worked in March 1994. He sustained repeated blows to the neck with axes. His wounds induced a coma, and he died two days after the attack. He was survived by his brother and sister, who were also survivors of Sobibor, and by a wife and two children. Rotenberg was 67 when he died.
Rotenberg wasn’t the oldest victim of the prisoners who made it onto the list Sunday. Fatah member Ra’ai Ibrahim Salam Ali was jailed in 1994 for the murder of 79-year-old Moris Eisenstatt. Eisenstatt was killed with ax blows to the head while he sat on a public Kfar Saba bench reading a book.
Israelis hold up pictures of their children killed by Palestinians released between 13-15 August 2013. A letter issued by the Palestinian foreign ministry urged Palestinian ambassadors to stress among international diplomats that the long-serving prisoners were not terrorists, but “freedom fighters.”

Another prisoner, Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mugdad, also of Fatah, was imprisoned in 1993 for killing 72-year-old Sirens Hotel security guard Israel Tenenbaum by beating him in the head with a steel rod.
According to Almagor, the Poland-born Tenenbaum had immigrated to Israel in 1957, at age 36, and settled in Moshav Ein Vered. He was an agricultural worker on the moshav, but was working as a night watchman at the hotel in 1993. Tenenbaum was 72 at the time of his death. He was survived by a wife, two children and four grandchildren.
Two of the prisoners, Abu Satta Ahmad Sa’id Aladdin and Abu Sita Talab Mahmad Ayman, were imprisoned in 1994 for the murder of David Dadi and Haim Weizman. After killing Dadi and Weizman as they slept in Weizman’s apartment, the attackers cut off their ears as proof of the killing.
Abdel Aal Sa’id Ouda Yusef was imprisoned in 1994 to a 22-year sentence for several grenade attacks, and for his part as an accomplice in the murder of Ian Sean Feinberg and the murder of Sami Ramadan.
Feinberg, a 30-year-old father of three, was a proponent of Palestinian economic development. He was killed by gunmen who stormed a business meeting in Gaza City which he attended in April 1993.
Also on the list was Kour Matwah Hamad Faiz of Fatah, imprisoned in 1985 after he was convicted of killing Menahem Dadon and Salomon Abukasis in 1983 and planning to murder then-prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.
Another two prisoners to be released, Fatah members Sualha Fazah Ahmed Husseini and Sualha Bad Almajed Mahmed Mahmed, were imprisoned for a stabbing attack on a crowded Ramat Gan bus, on the 66 line, in 1990. The two, together with a third accomplice, stabbed wildly at passengers, killing 24-year-old Baruch Heizler and wounding three young women. Heizler was named after his grandfather, who was killed during the Jordanian bombardment of the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem during the 1948 Independence War.
Sha’at Azat Shaban Ata was imprisoned in 1993 for helping to orchestrate the murder of 51-year-old Simcha Levi, a woman who made her living transporting Palestinian day laborers to work in Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. In March 1993, three of the women laborers were disguised male attackers, who beat and stabbed her to death.
Maslah Abdullah Salama Salma, a Hamas member likely to be sent to the Gaza Strip after his release, was imprisoned in 1993 for the brutal murder of Petah Tikvah convenience store owner Reuven David. Abdallah, together with an accomplice, entered David’s convenience store on May 20, 1991, bound David’s arms and legs and beat him to death, before locking the store and fleeing the scene. Born in Iraq in 1932, David was 59 at the time of his death, and was survived by a wife, three children and multiple grandchildren.