Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Wrong Choice

The fear of making a wrong choice sometimes seems greater than the fear of physical pain. It may be interesting to reconsider the meaning of 'choice' and of 'wrong.' At some point it may be interesting to reconsider the nature of 'fear' too.

We ought to know quite a bit about 'wrong' already; weren't we taught right from wrong long ago? It wasn't so very long ago that I learned that 'to wrong another' was to treat them unjustly. Some of us were told long years ago, "You are wrong." When what was meant was "You do wrong." The fact may have been that 'you momentarily acted imperfectly.'

Wrong" means something like twisted or awry. Opposite to twisted or awry might be straight, right, and true.

There seem to be a variety of ways I can by wrong; you to. Let me rephrase that. There are ways we can do wrong or act wrongly for a time. I can do wrong according to my conscience or the conscience of another. I can do wrong according to my morality or the morality of another. I can do wrong according to one law or another.  I can do wrong according to someones truth or fact. I can do that which society deems incorrect. When I choose that which is not needed, intended, or wanted, I may be said to have done wrong. I can be said to have done wrong when what I did was not fitting, suitable, or appropriate. I can be said to do wrong when what I do is not in accord with established usage, method, or procedure. I can learn to recognize a wrong and learn to avoid it.

I am never wrong personified; I don't think you are either.

I can see why making a choice can be fearful. I might make the wrong choice. I can make the wrong choice and become wrong. Oh, I remember; I cannot be defined as wrong. I can learn to do something better.

You may have come across a person who seemed troubled and have asked them, "Whats wrong?" and have had then answer "I don't know." They may have been thinking that they were wrong.

Maybe I'll remember to write of "choice" later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

She Spoke to Me or It's Mostly About Me, Myself, and I

I might even say "she spoke with me." We had a bit of a conversation. She didn't speak to me in Chitano, Spanish, or Mixe. The Chitano speaking people seem to know here best, but she is known widely among the people of Mexico. Her name has been heard in the Vatican.

She spoke to me in excellent English. It did seem a bit 'snipish' at first. I head her voice in my mind rather than through my ears. Our talk took place in my mind, seemed quit real. So real that she seemed to speak in the voice of a bit too haughty teenager.

Chitano is a Zapotecan or oto-manguean language.

The Chitano spoken in Juquila, it seems, is so special that it is often considered a language of its own. Juquila is a center for this special Chitano people. Chitano are few, but they can organize and they can fight. They care for the 'Virgin' and they have fought for her. Chitano are members of UCIRI, a large agricultural cooperative of indigenous people.

In English, she may be called the Virgin of Juquila. I did not call her that, nor did she call me Richard or Mr. Sheehan.

I think that I first heard of her in Oaxaca, Oaxaca. I felt her 'call' to me from that city. Later she told me that she made no such call and that it was unthinkable that she would do so.

From Oaxaca, I took the old road to the coast. I don't remember the village of Juquila, but am pretty sure I spent at least a night there. I do remember the great sanctuary built near Juquila. It was large and so made as to receive large numbers of Pilgrims. I remember offerings piled so large with offerings as to form a mountain made holy by faith. There was a large arch through which I could see the 'celito lindo' and across the valley. I did not feel La de Juquila there so continued on my way to her.

I walked up last the sanctuary and soon came to a humble chapel painted a notable gold-yellow. While I was still a ways from it, a tall dark man, wearing a shirt of color similar to that of the chapel, came out of the back door an pointed to a quebrada. I don't know how he detected my coming. He disappeared back into the chapel. I did not follow him him, but continued on to the quebrada which is where I had been headed.

I expected to find a waterfall and I did. the first appearance of the virgin had been near a small falls.

As I got to the edge of the arroyo, I found rustic stairs leading to a kind of viewing platform of cement and with a wrought-iron balustrade.The vie was not spectacular. Close below was a clear stream with a somewhat muddied bank. I was disappointed to see that there seemed to be some trash lying close to the stream. To my right was a little waterfall coming from a height I could not see. I was in the place I was looking for.

I walked down to the little stream. There I found what I had thought was trash was made up of a few tiny paper offerings. There were also many other little offerings there. They were mostly modeled of clay found near the stream Looking at them closely, I saw that they seem made to represent what their makers wanted. The largest number of them seemed to be modest little houses.

I walked up to the falls and saw no easy path to climb beyond them. I found more offerings in near-by niches. Had I the energy I had felt in earlier years I would have searched out the source of the water.

I walked back up to the little viewing platform and leaned upon its railing. There the talk began.

Monday, July 23, 2012


We act and act again and the results follow laws we know not.
The words 'Let the results go.' are repeated to us.
Hindoo have taught us to hold lightly to desire for the fruits of our acts.
Buddha taught that the source of our pain is that desire.

Learning is a fine reward. We learn to make our next act more likely to bear fruit.
Learning may move us closer to knowing. What would we know?
Knowledge may purify ones life of fear, anger, and painful longing.
Right knowledge may can protect us from unhealthy extremes of grief, joy, envy.

Right knowledge clarifies our view of reality.
One may profit by meditating, doing, not doing, and undoing.
From time to time there are those who may facilitate ones learning.
One may know oneself to better effect.

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