Monthly Archives: February 2007
This month I turn 57 . . . past middle age and into late middle age. Even though I find myself at times getting too wistful, nostalgic, and lost in thought about the many years, friends, events, and family occasions that have passed by, I can still snap to and realize how much I love what is happening now and how much I look forward to the years left. Tim turns 22 this next week with a life of making music ahead of him; Lindsay is a freshman contemplating various subjects in which she might major. Lately I have been happily discovering in Spinoza a western version of the Buddha dharma. And my desert home has become a welcome way and place to spend Saturdays and Sundays.
We finally saw Tim’s band in concert at Chris Mancuso’s senior BFA exhibition of his paintings at Cal State Fullerton’s Exit Gallery. Chris and Tim have been friends since grammar school.Tim’s lead vocals, banjo, harmonica, and guitar show the way: Tom plays bass, Andy drums, and Ricky mandolin. Loud, soft, fast, and always in some ways furious. Amazing. Hah, I was surprised by the outbreak of a mosh (a 1st for me). Wow, all the (older) adults peeled back to the gallery perimeters to let the moshers slam and fly into one another.
“May you be born in interesting times.” So goes the Chinese proverb. And so we are: Iraq, global warming â€” may we all find the wisdom, peace, love, and comfort to carry on. My Spinoza studies inspire me. His philosophy should be much better and more widely known. He has been studied, in recent decades, for ideas that inform and motivate institutions and people interested in healing the planet â€” you know, shrinking ozone layer, greenhouse gases, the shrinking rain forest â€” “lungs” of the earth.
Spinoza is dismissed as a pantheist, but that is so inadequate. He equates God and Nature and allows for and analyzes revealed religion and tradition. He could be called the father of secular humanism. Those that castigate secular humanists as atheistic and ungodly ought to reconsider. The tolerance fostered by secular humanism is the antidote to the battles of the Holy Wars that rage somewhere, everyday, twenty-four hours a day.
Om Shanti . . . and, if you haven’t yet, visit Tim’s band on MySpace.
Pleasure to our hot grasp — , Empedocles on Etna (Act I, Scene 2, 357-361)
Gives flowers after flowers,
With passionate warmth we clasp
Hand after hand in hours;
Nor do we soon perceive how fast our youth is spent.