Tag Archives: Attitude

Let’s Go Heisenberg on the Angst

Standard
Lud Dimpfl with Filis Frederick

PR–224
An Opal to Suddenly Remember

My holy man introduced me
To a friend whose name is Equipoise

He deserves more respect:
I keep him in my pocket

A fine way to treat a friend!
Though he stays affably unflappably there

A Steinway unplayed yet
Unoffended for unattended

Equipoise and I we don’t go way back it’s
True as do I and alabaster

Turquoise moon or sapphire star
But I admire the unhand of mire

When I greet Equipoise like an old pal
An opal to suddenly remember

Who somehow also forgets
About who treats whom how

When things are scary disaster
He simply cuts through to the blue sky

Asking me why do I care?
Is the sky not still standing?

Aren’t amethysts still a pretty purple
And banded agate geodes

Aren’t they still
(As in silence)

Hollow inside
And hallowed?

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:

“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”

Gentle Readers,

Sorry Readers.

This last month has been a challenge for me. and I stubbornly refused to post this sans my uusal photo of inroduction. But incredibly I couldn’tremember my compu expert lady’s advice (but she is suddenly awol) anent that and so it’s been postponed to the point that (in my despair) I post it without the photo I would have like to post of my beloved erst Sufi preceptor, Lud Dimpfl.

I do tend to feel I should follow the usual basic format of this blog which then involves starting with a poem that epitomizes my point du jour.  But as you will see (see below) todays

Points are varied.

So I  will choose a poem about attitude since that was the most important advice of my erst sufi preceptor Lud Dimpfl. He was always talking about attitude. So above is my favorite of my attitude poems.

Well this post is past due and would be even paster due if I as usual kind of started from scratch. So THIS TIME I am taking this opportunity to remind readers that there is much MORE TO THIS WEBSITE THAN MY (SORT OF) M0NTHLY BLOG POSTS.  In terms of poems, quotes, and Sufi stories. So here are some select items:

My poem section if you click on it shows headings like these:

Angels

That Ironic Stem of Light

I have never liked the phrase
The better angels of our nature and now
I find it was coined by Abraham Lincoln

(Who suspended habeus corpus–
So stuff gets complicated one could argue)

But still it connotes there might be some
Rotten angels in the barrel . . .
Though come to think of it the name Lucifer

Has that ironic stem of light
And then also of course you have Lucy

With her famous football ploy—
Like I say
Things are complicated . . .

Angst

“You can dissect a joke just as you can a frog.
But it tends to die on you.”
–E. B. White

An angst observed
Would make a good poem title
Because that would be a constructive thing:

Dissect the crap out of it so it will die
So here’s this:
Let’s go Heisenberg on the angst

Like just now for example
I had a little internal pique brewing
When something was mildly disappointing

Like I was shaking the ketchup bottle
And so I braced myself determined
To give it the front of my hand and when

Whack one hit the jackpot . . .
My angst was palpably disappointed
(Probably because it had wanted to whine some more)

Faith

Quizzical Eyes, Inquiring As to Your Faith

Life is like a cat sometimes
In your lap perhaps spurred on or purred out
She jumps off preferring the couch

And with muzzle-snide paw-licking slaps
Asides that seem such a cruel
And pale wraith of former moments

With cat larynx spherical music
Which champagne had gone
To your head but then you wake

And she’s in your lap again
With quizzical eyes
Inquiring as to your faith

Quizzical Eyes, Inquiring As to Your Faith

ATTITUDE

Wondering Now About Divine Communication

(To Lud)*“The one whom I have called God, whose personality I haverecognized, and whose pleasure or displeasure I have sought, hasbeen seeing His life through my eyes, has been hearing throughmy ears. It was His breath that came through my breathing . . . “
         –Hazrat Inayat Khan  (The Personality of God)

 
When I was a Sufi and I needed
To call my preceptor for advice
Even though he was at his work
He would sound like an excited child
At the prospect of an Eric interaction

One wonders about if God hears prayers
The same way as Lud (rhymes with blood)
Did my need for advice
And as for the advice
(Wondering now about divine communication)

It didn’t come in words
Even with Lud
His attitude was all I needed
And God Lud said is all about attitude:
The beatitude of love
 

COURAGE

Courage Is a Thing to Look Beyond

“Be valiant, and powerful forces will come to your aid.”
–Goethe

Courage is a thing to look beyond:
I think it’s just a bent grass blade
For Aragorn* to track
But Aragorn can do that

And he isn’t even God not yet
Yes things aren’t what they seem
And my probably Midas hunch
(Or call it an angel in a dream)

Is that just beyond certain thresholds
Which divide this world
From the next most real one
Is a diaphanous (light-porous) screen

And on the other side this courage
Is something else:
A sweet smile perhaps
The smell of a rose . . .

*A hero of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

Bumper Stickers:


It’s Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood


Don’t Believe Everything You Think


The Floggings Will Continue Until Morale Improves


Let Go Let God

Other Quotes

“I cut it and cut it and it’s still too short.”
–Old Carpenter Joke

“My friends tell me I’m asking for a lot. Are you a lot?”
–A line in a personals ad

“You don’t paint objects, you paint the way the light strikes them. Paint the light.”
–Bertram Abramson

“A thing can be explained only by what is more subtle than itself: there is nothing subtler than love; by what then, shall love be explained?”
–Abu ‘L–Hasan Sumnun (As related in Al-Hujwiri’s Kasfh Al-Mahjub –The Revelation of the Mystery–Circa 1100 A.D.)

STORIES:

Related by Joseph Campbell

      “There is a charming story told of the great nineteenth century Indian saint Ramakrishna. A lady came to him in some distress because she realized that she did not actually love and truly worship God. ‘Is there, then, nothing you love?’ He asked her; and when she replied that she loved her baby nephew, ‘There,’ said he, ‘there is your Krishna, your Beloved. In your service to him, you are serving God.’ ”

(from Myths to Live By)

Stories Related by Murshida Ivy Duce of Sufism Reoriented

      A story Murshida Ivy Duce used to tell about Meherjee, one of the  mandali of  Indian (Parsi) mystic, Meher Baba. She had always an odd feeling that there was some wonderful thing of peace about him but she couldn’t put her finger on it and then one day she said, “I have it!  He never worries!”

And when she confronted Meherjee about that worrying thing, he said, “Of course not! The master forbids it!”

 At sea amid a violent storm which threatened to capsize the ship, a woman asks the captain what is to be their fate.
He replies, “Can’t say, Ma’am.  It’s in the hands of God!”
To which she replied, “Oh! It’s as bad as that?”

Story Related by Hazrat Inayat Khan

      The Prophet (Mohammed) and his companion Siddiq were hiding behind a rock when a troop of men were following to attack them and when the noise of the hoofs of horses came to their ears, Siddiq said, “Hark they are coming!”

 “Why fear?” said the Prophet.

“They are very near!”

 “What matter?” said the Prophet.

 Siddiq said, “They are many and we are only two.”

 “No”, said the Prophet,“We are three: you and I and God.”

God be with you,

Eric Halliwell

*My old and yet beloved Sufi preceptor, Lud Dimpfl.

Water Has a Good Attitude

Standard

Lud Dimpfl’s Sufi Mureeds (Initiated 1973)

New Start–171

Something From the North Star

“Spring is like a perhaps hand . . .”
–E. E. Cummings

I keep telling myself
Be like flowing water easily
Engulfing even boulders in its path

Or in another guise as perhaps glaciers
With their little known habitat of flowing too
Like slow tears

Which also abrade a channel
Taking something from the North Star
And heading south to an eternal spring

~.~.~

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Invocation:

“Towards the one, the perfection of love, harmony and beauty, the only being, united with all the illuminated souls who form the embodiment of the master, the spirit of guidance.”

~.~.~

Hazrat Inayat Khan’s Prescribed Daily Mantra:
“My thoughtful self: Reproach no one. Bear malice towards no one. Hold a grudge against no one. Be wise, tolerant, considerate, polite, and kind to all.”

~.~.~

Gentle Readers,
Here where I live in Guatemala (para precisar, Panajachel*) the electricity is out again. It’s lately been a too frequent thing. But I philosophize saying well there is a price for everything. And I do have a wonderful apartment surrounded by a beautiful garden with roses other suchlike flowers and a persimmon tree, lawn you could play croquet on, etc. all for $350 a month. But lately electricity has occasionally been a problem. The scuttlebutt is that it gets shut down for repairs to the lines. And so there is if so hope for the future. And it only has happened say three times in three months, and it only lasts a day at a time, usually back on for the evening thus not interfering with my free cable tv (comes with the rent) and the classic movie channel, etc.

And nuisances like this do train me to be like water which simply flows around a jutting rock in the stream (water has a good attitude). And too it does break my internet habit a bit.

But it was out again last night and I had to make do (for illumination) with candles and a fire in my fireplace. (Yup, have that too) And my computer batteries allowed me to view movies from my impressive dvd collection (to pass the time). I saw Tender Mercies in which Robert Duvall showed he could sing, playing the role of a (for alcoholism) washed up erst famous country music singer a la Loretta Lynn or Emmy Lou Harris. And the night being still young, I also saw the Clint Eastwood movie, “Unforgiven.” It got a lot of Oscars as I recall.

Tender Mercies was more “spiritual.” The title phrase referred to what the leading lady Duvall’s new wife, was grateful for, from God. Which though happy in the present was oddly contrasted with the fate of her first husband who had been killed in Vietnam. And we also see a young and sweet Ellen Barkin, as Duvall’s daughter from an earlier disaster marriage, who chose wrong (another alcoholic) and died in a car crash when her new husband was drunk driving. Which mightily upset Duvall, saying he was the one who should have died instead, being an alcoholic like her drunk driving husband.

Yes these things can look complicated. It does help to believe in reincarnation, a thing of importance in the brand of Sufism I was initiated into.**

Her second husband the one in the movie was as I say Robert Duvall who played a washed up and sloshed up alcoholic. But the Tender Mercies lady threw Duvall a rope and was the winch that then pulled him out of his quicksand of despond, giving him a job around the gas station she ran, with the proviso that he had to give up drinking. Which he did, falling in love with her hence doing it for the proverbial “some dame” of Guys and Dolls fame.

As for Unforgiven, it was an odd title considering that to forgive someone it’s likely necessary they ask for forgiveness or at least show some repentance, which was the farthest thing from the minds of this movie’s villains. But then I guess that justifies the title.

Speaking of Clint Eastwood, if you look to the right you will see something titled my favorite quote, also from a Clint Eastwood movie (For a Fistful of Dollars): “Things always look different from higher up.”

Which Hazrat Inayat Khan (the founder of my Sufi order) often stressed as perhaps the most important Sufi truth. (rhymes with ruth***)

But back to Guatemala, the electricity is still out the day after, being Sunday, and the electricians not working on Sunday.

So I console myself with sunlight and chai and home made cookies. Thanks to my maid or really more like my all purposely useful butler person Adelina. (Yes I can afford that too, two days a week) relaxing in the garden reading Margaret Atwood’s (she of the Handmaid’s Tale) novel, “Cat’s Eye.” It’s about a lady painter. (Interesting story how she got there. As Shakespeare would say, “Thereby hangs a tale.”)

Not so much there in the way of tender mercies. As I say, this life stuff is complicated. But it makes for an interesting story that helps one grapple with pain and sorrow.****

And all I have to do is get to the bottom of my first rate frustration from a bout of electricity scarcity. (Life is best with a challenge)

This reminds me of an oft told story of my Murshida (denombre Ivy Duce) of her master, Meher Baba, who upon her complaining of the myriad disasters in her life*****held up his hand two fingers almost together saying “Can’t you take this much?”

I now refer you to the photo shown above of my Sufi class. Notice the sign on the wall, whose letters are too small to read from here. It’s an old Jewish proverb that says, “God forbid that we should ever have to bear all that we are capable of bearing.” I am the dark haired guy in the back row partially blocking out the white left door jamb. The man in front and center was Lud Dimpfl, my beloved preceptor. (We Sufis were divided up into smaller groups (300 Sufis being too much for Murshida Duce to juggle all at once). I was fortunate to have been in his class of thirtyish.

And then there’s the issue of premature judgment. For instance my hit-by-a-car episode at age 15. Compound fracture (bones splintered and open to the air) of tibia and fibula (the two calf bones) which though it resulted in a shorter left leg and nine months in a cast, yet kept me out of the war in Vietnam (better than bone spurs!)

I don’t know how hip you gentle folk are to the Vietnam War, but in my opinion I was thus saved from likely emerging either dead or hugely insane brought on by My Lai massacre sightings and such.

God be with you,
Eric Halliwell

*Panajachel lies on the shore of world famous Lake Atitlan which I read in Yahoo travel was number nine in an article titled “The Ten Most Sacred Spots on the Planet.” In 1932 Aldous Huxley declared Aritlan as the second best lake in the world, losing out to Lake Como in Italy because “Atitlan was too much of a good thing.” Of course I bet they hadn’t cut down the trees then.
See
https://www.foxnews.com/travel/10-most-sacred-spots-on-earth
(I guess it was picked up by Yahoo)

**Founded circa 1920 by Hazrat Inayat Khan who while never addressing reincarnation directly, certainly connoted that given the long span of time perforce implied as the course of the development of spiritual awareness. Indeed, the order later was turned over by Inayat Khan’s chosen successor Murshida Martin, to a Parsi mystic named Meher Baba, who she said was the “Qutub” (Sufi lingo for the highest spiritual authority on the planet). And Meher Baba quite explicitly talked of reincarnation, describing how it worked.

***Ruth is an archaic word which means pity, compassion, remorse. Famously a line from Milton’s poem Lycidas, (alluded to in the famous Thomas Wolfe novel, “Look Homeward, Angel”) The line went, “Look homeward, angel, and melt with ruth.”

****Are you hip to the Kahlil Gibran book “The Prophet?” In it (just like in the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu) A holy man wants to go away, seeking solitude, but before he does is prevailed upon to address some pressing spiritual questions, among which was “Speak to us of pain and sorrow.” As I recall he said these things excavated a reservoir which would define our capacity for joy.

***** As told in Murshida Duce’s book, “How a Master Works.” In which the said “this much” referred to the true tale of the myriad “one damned thing after another” stories she related in the book.