Sunday, July 30, 2017

Judgement Days

Judgement Days
Copyright 2017 Don Ray



Never has humanity had such opportunity to judge and critique so many of our fellow humans.

Our media connections offer endless opportunities for judgement, and we greedily gather all of them in,

each broadcast,

each analysis,

each report,

all the daily fodder that provides the grist for our mill of judgement of others,

the broadcasts, analyses, and reports daily spreading out before us providing a litany of the failures and shortcomings of our species.

Return to Christmas

Return to Christmas
Our Nature
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

For millennia humanity struggled with Nature, simply hoping against odds to somehow survive.

Then we won.  We got our agricultural revolution and our industrial revolution and our information revolution and we settled into our boxes, little house boxes and tall office boxes and little rolling boxes to get us from one to the other.  Most of us could pretend our struggles with Nature were over and we could isolate ourselves from Nature unless it appeared in a calendar picture or a television program.  This was perfectly understandable after the millennia of struggle and fear and cold and drought.  

Then we got sick, spiritually sick, heart sick, societally sick, for as a species we had locked ourselves into solitary confinement, isolated away from that which gave us birth and made us human.  Our games and entertainment and luxuries and endless distractions tried to replace the role that Nature once filled but the results were ever deeper malaise and madness.

A new potential beckons if we would but recognize it.  We no longer need to fear Nature.  We no longer need to hide from it.  Our technology gives us the wondrous opportunity to explore, to enter, to immerse in Nature while maintaining the secure material life to which we are understandably accustomed.  We can safely crawl out of our boxes if we dare.  We can breathe the air, if we remove our smoke.   We can splash in the crystalline waters, if we remove our chemicals.  

We can walk in the rain, lie in the sun, and play in the snow.  We just have to get out of our boxes, physical and mental.  

We can celebrate Nature, no longer afraid or intimidated…...if we haven’t killed it.
Copyright 2017 Don Ray
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No Time for Grief
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

No time for grief, these times, no time for grief.  Too much to get done in too short a time.  Too little hope to risk letting that last flickering ember go out.

The madness has penetrated too deep and too high, to the highest echelons and the deepest of the sandy foundations.

There is no time to waste when the beams and girders that supported society are already falling in twisted heaps about our heads.

The charade is over - the facades are falling -  the masquerade has reached its grotesque,  unforeseeable, and inevitable conclusion.

Hold fast to what love you can in the deluge, hold fast to what is truly precious, as the swirling flotsam of material disaster batters and bashes in taunting reminder of its once decadent uselessness.

Copyright 2017 Don Ray
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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Oblivious to the Obvious

Oblivious to the Obvious
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

“Oblivious to the obvious” defines the willful madness, the chosen madness, the cultivated madness that has become so entrenched and fortified in our society. 

There is no easy breaking of this spell, this spell cast by the rich and powerful seeking more riches and power, this spell cast via media manipulation.

Outreach Music, Minds Reaching Out


Outreach Music, Minds Reaching Out
Copyright 2017 Don Ray


Outreach classical music performance at a community center.

Look at these little kids!  Look at their rapt attention.  Listen to their applause.  They have not yet learned to be bored.


It’s a poor neighborhood.  These families have no symphony tickets.  But a young mind exposed to something new, a young mind kept open a little longer, a young mind going home to one of these little surrounding homes, may be a little changed by this musical exposure, and a little changed mind can change the world.  

Copyright 2017 Don Ray
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Liminal Peace

Liminal Peace
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

There is a liminal peace, a liminal peace right at the edge of this temporal world, right there,
right at the edge.
It does not intrude upon our busy lives.
It ripples there at the edge, the leading edge, the edge of Creation.

It is not exactly hidden, but we seldom enter it.
It is the thinnest of boundaries, beyond which is the deepest of Realities.

Our Actions: Coerced, Compelled, and Chosen


Our Actions: Coerced; Compelled; Chosen 
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

The answers are all right before us.  The structure of existence, the nature of our being, the summary of purpose and meaning, it is all right before us.
Look just a little deeper, just a little deeper.
Gently peel away the worldly fa├žade and recognize what is really transpiring in most of our human endeavors.
Everything we do falls into a few categories.  1) We do that which we think facilitates our survival-security-and comfort.  2) We do that which connects us to something or someone.  3) We do that which is irrationally loving. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

Soul Music




Soul Music
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

While watching an amazing piano concerto performance by John Nakamatsu.
As I watch the extreme facial and body language and contortions, and marvel at the physical training and skills of these artists, it strikes me how ridiculous the whole thing is.  To train the human body to this extreme level, to concoct such bizarre contraptions of wood and string and metal, all in the effort to communicate from one soul to another…….this scene and countless others like it through the ages give powerful testimony to a profound and fundamental truth.
Musical instruments, and the musicians that master them, demonstrate the desperate drive that takes the human spirit to any lengths to establish, even if only for the duration of a performance, some connection with another human soul.

Digital Migrations

Digital Migrations
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Today's political polarization seems shocking, a new and unforeseen development, unimaginable and inconceivable, at least to us old goomers.  But if viewed in the context of history and technology development, we can see this societal divergence as quite natural.
Bear with my brief recap of 100,000 years, and we will come to the key question facing our hyper-connected society today. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bridges of Sound and Light

Bridges of Sound and Light
Copyright 2017 Don Ray


Sound and light, this stuff that serves as the tenuous connection among souls, this flimsy bridge we struggle to refine and craft and carve and polish, then call it “art”.

Sound and light, fleeting and gone in the very moment we perceive them, but imparting some miniscule fraction of another’s soul into our consciousness, thereby making us conscious of our own soul.  

The composers and musicians and painters and poets are the spiritual corps of engineers, fabricating their structures to bridge the void between our souls.  

Music can shine a light, paintings can stir rhythms, and we are left more human by their touch.

The palette of notes and the chords of colors hover before our consciousness, inviting us to awareness, momentarily filling the void between us, revealing visions and dreams and aspirations shared, their fading echoes and receding glow leaving us a little less alone.

Copyright 2017 Don Ray
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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Endangered Thinking

Endangered Thinking
Copyright 2017 Don Ray


Since time immemorial tribes, political parties, and religions (three labels for essentially the same entity) coalesce around the tallest or best looking or most persuasive leader, at which point that subset of the human species finds itself running down yet another logically indefensible path of beliefs.

This human characteristic used to be amusingly quaint when technology limited the damage to the non-believers within reach of a club or range of an atlatl.  But with the advent of ballistic missiles, cable television, and digital media (mentioned in  increasing order of potential negative impact) our species’ proclivity to swallow even the most flagrantly false beliefs and opinions begins to pose an existential threat to nations, society, and civilization.  

Gratuitous deceit has become the stock in trade of some powerful media chieftains and their political chattel.  This statement, unlike the rabid rantings of their vituperous talking heads, is easily verifiable.

What becomes of this pandemic of delusional beliefs depends, in some poignant irony, on our beliefs.  Do we believe in critical thinking, in open-mindedness, in restrained judgement pending verifiable facts - whether the facts do or do not suit our preferences?  These are beliefs worthy of proselytizing.  From these beliefs we can construct opinions, as opposed to fabricating opinions.  These beliefs nurture sanity and connection to reality, two commodities in precariously short supply.  

Critical thinking, open-mindedness, and restrained judgement pending verifiable facts were once considered endemic in modern, educated, technologically advanced society.  But even endemic species become endangered.  

Believe in these pillars of a sane society, practice your beliefs, and for the sake of our nation and children, try to spread your beliefs.  

You better believe it, this is critically important.

Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Scrum of Our Beliefs





The Scrum of our Beliefs
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Inter-human interactions…..

no experience comes closer to knowing God.

No experience can so promptly and radically drive us away from all that is holy.

We may see God in those interactions if we have already made God’s acquaintance. 

We may in those inter-human interactions see the reason for hell. 

There, in the grip of the handshake or the blow of the fist, we will feel whatever of God is within us and will sense the Void only God can fill.

In our interactions with and responses to our fellow humanity we will experience the breadth of goodness and the depths of evil. 

It is there, there in the interactions with our fellow children of God, that the questions of the ages will arise and the contradictory answers will be lost.

There, there in the confusion and conflict of the scrum of our beliefs, we find our redemption and salvation in the ample opportunities for compassion and forgiveness.
Copyright 2017 Don Ray
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Sunday, February 19, 2017

One Liner Samples



Copyright 2017 Don Ray


Surrender is the culmination of spiritual courage.

We cannot receive answers from God until we give up the answers we want.

Let yourself get a little lost that you might discover what you could never imagine.


All this physical life is after all merely a parable, a corporeal telling of a tale with meanings disguised, a momentary riddle condensing truths eternal.

Copyright 2017 Don Ray
Know anyone who could use it?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Winning Versus Conquering





In politics you can win by uniting or conquer by dividing.


The former benefits the nation, the latter benefits the powerful.
Copyright 2017 Don Ray
Pass it on

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Symphony of Chance


Copyright 2017 Don Ray
Symphony of Chance
Hear the chimes,
that penetrating sound,
the sound of wind instantiated.
Harmonious, ethereal sound
released by impact
            and collision.
Hear the chimes,
allow their ringing to
            penetrate,
a purity of frequency
from which to build
            a world.
Let others wrestle with
            meanings

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Light



Light
Copyright 2017 Don Ray

So inconvenient,
 these physical forms,
so inconvenient.
The Light barely penetrates the surface,
leaving us to our madness.

Occasional sparks and flickers
are promptly quenched,
for no one likes change.

We are used to the dark,

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Digital Disruption


Copyright 2017 Don Ray




Do these times not till the soil to plant seeds of reassurance? 

The digital disruption has unleashed the worst of human nature and created levels of illusion and delusion and detachment never before experienced.

Never have people been so compelled and even coerced to look happier.

Never have people felt so lost and alone.

A pandemic of digital detachment has left us isolated from reality and each other.

Never have we had such opportunity for connection and communication.  Never have our connections and communication been so shallow and superficial.

We have created a societal sham when we need substance; we stand on shifting sand of fads and trends when we need foundations secure and solid.  The fog of the superficial hides the substance.  The glare of the shallow blinds us to solid reality. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Death of Personal Growth

Copyright 2017 Don Ray

Prodding people to personal growth.  Now there is a thankless task!...and often as not a hopeless task.
Yet the growth happens, by confluence of pain and shock and disruption, somehow the personal growth happens.
We survive.  We go on, blindly of course.  And somehow personal growth happens.
Not for everyone, not smoothly, not predictably, and certainly not voluntarily.
How simple it should be!  Simply be open to wisdom, seek and absorb all the wisdom you can, objectively weigh conflicting claims, and ferret out the wheat from the chaff.