Monday, February 13, 2017

Sixty-Seven Today

The traditional Egoslavian Gabriel Birthday post.
Gabriel is 67 today. I still love the great first four and parts of the fifth Gabriel solo albums most. Here is where I always write some version of the following sentence: I say this every February 13, the November 14, 1982 Peter Gabriel concert at the Warner Theater, the Security tour, holyfuck, one of the best nights of my life. I passed him forward on his way back to the stage during Lay Your Hands on Me. Not one of dozens of five best nights of my life, one of the best nights of my life.
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  1. as i have stated in this space before, my favorite peter gabriel song is "in your eyes" -which seems to me might be addressed not only to a romantic partner but to a mystical teacher

    i went to see him once, in the early 1980s

    a couple of decades later, when i got the "growing up live" dvd, i was surprised to see a fat bald man walk on stage

    time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

    speaking of which, here is poem by rumi on aging, and another on welcoming whatever comes


    Why does a date-palm lose its leaves in autumn?
    Why does every beautiful face grow in old age
    Wrinkled like the back of a Libyan lizard?
    Why does a full head of hair get bald?
    Why is it that the lion's strength weakens to nothing?
    The wrestler who could hold anyone down
    Is led out with two people supporting him,
    Their shoulders under his arms?

    God answers,

    “They put on borrowed robes
    And pretended they were theirs.
    I take the beautiful clothes back,
    So that you will learn the robe
    Of appearance is only a loan.”

    Your lamp was lit from another lamp.
    All God wants is your gratitude for that.

    another poem by rumi - compare and contrast

    The Guest House

    This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    as an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still, treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight.

    The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
    meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

    Be grateful for whatever comes.
    because each has been sent
    as a guide from beyond.

    -- Jelaluddin Rumi,
    translation by Coleman Barks

  2. a mystical teacher

    i have heard that the basic assumptions of mysticism are that the universe is here for some benevolent purpose, that potentially sentient beings have or could have some connection with that purpose, and that one's ability to perceive and participate in that purpose can be improved with instruction and practice

    it is stated, about B. Alan Wallace's 2009 book Mind in the Balance: Meditation in Science, Buddhism, and Christianity. New York: Columbia University Press -

    By establishing a dialogue in which the meditative practices of Buddhism and Christianity speak to the theories of modern philosophy and science, B. Alan Wallace reveals the theoretical similarities underlying these disparate disciplines and their unified approach to making sense of the objective world.