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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Poetry Show with Janet Harrison:Monday's poet is Jay Parini

John Case has sent you a link to a blog:



Blog: The Poetry Show with Janet Harrison
Post: Monday's poet is Jay Parini
Link: http://poetryshow.enlightenradio.org/2017/04/fwd-mondays-poet-is-jay-parini.html

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Call to Meeting -- April 30, 2017


Call to Meeting -- April 30, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.

If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!

Query: Hatred drives Love from the Heart. But without Love, the Heart withers to ruin and death. Yet Love's return can  redeem  even those consumed by wrath and fire. How can Love grow in the burned Earth?

Practice: Kindness and Friendship are the mother and father of Love. May they have many children.

A Poem for Reflection

Kindness
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952
Before you know what kindness really is  you must lose things,  feel the future dissolve in a moment  like salt in a weakened broth.  What you held in your hand,  what you counted and carefully saved,  all this must go so you know  how desolate the landscape can be  between the regions of kindness.  How you ride and ride  thinking the bus will never stop,  the passengers eating maize and chicken  will stare out the window forever.    Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness  you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho  lies dead by the side of the road.  You must see how this could be you,  how he too was someone  who journeyed through the night with plans  and the simple breath that kept him alive.    Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,  you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.   You must wake up with sorrow.  You must speak to it till your voice  catches the thread of all sorrows  and you see the size of the cloth.  Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,  only kindness that ties your shoes  and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,  only kindness that raises its head  from the crowd of the world to say  It is I you have been looking for,  and then goes with you everywhere  like a shadow or a friend.
--
John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV

The Winners and Losers Radio Show
7-9 AM Weekdays, The EPIC Radio Player Stream, 
Sign UP HERE to get the Weekly Program Notes.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Poets and Mechanics Friends Worship Group:Call to Meeting -- April 30, 2017

John Case has sent you a link to a blog:



Blog: Poets and Mechanics Friends Worship Group
Post: Call to Meeting -- April 30, 2017
Link: http://poetsandmechanicsfriends.blogspot.com/2017/04/call-to-meeting-april-30-2017.html

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Call to Meeting -- April 30, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.

If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!

Query: Hatred drives Love from the Heart. But without Love, the Heart withers to ruin and death. Yet Love's return can  redeem  even those consumed by wrath and fire. How can Love grow in the burned Earth?

Practice: Kindness and Friendship are the mother and father of Love. May they have many children.

A Poem for Reflection

Kindness
Naomi Shihab Nye, 1952
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. 
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Poets and Mechanics Worship Group: Call To Meeting, April 23, 2017


Call To Meeting -- April 23, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.

If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!

Query: If the Light reveals Truth, and Science is the search for Truth, is Science also the Search for the Divine?

Practice: The Universe, including Life, loses no mystery, and gains ever greater profundity, from our discernment.

A Poem for Reflection

Jane Hirshfield read this poem at the March for Science in Washington DC, April 22.

On the fifth day
the scientists who studied the rivers
were forbidden to speak
or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air
were told not to speak of the air,
and the ones who worked for the farmers
were silenced,
and the ones who worked for the bees.

Someone, from deep in the Badlands,
began posting facts.

The facts were told not to speak
and were taken away.
The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.


Now it was only the rivers
that spoke of the rivers,
and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees
continued to move toward their fruit.

The silence spoke loudly of silence,
and the rivers kept speaking,
of rivers, of boulders and air.

Bound to gravity, earless and tongueless,
the untested rivers kept speaking.

Bus drivers, shelf stockers,
code writers, machinists, accountants,
lab techs, cellists kept speaking.

They spoke, the fifth day,
of silence.
--
John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV

The Winners and Losers Radio Show
7-9 AM Weekdays, The EPIC Radio Player Stream, 
Sign UP HERE to get the Weekly Program Notes.

Call To Meeting -- April 23, 2017


We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.

If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!

Query: If the Light reveals Truth, and Science is the search for Truth, is Science also the Search for the Divine?

Practice: The Universe, including Life, loses no mystery, and gains ever greater profundity, from our discernment.

A Poem for Reflection

Jane Hirshfield read this poem at the March for Science in Washington DC, April 22.

On the fifth day
the scientists who studied the rivers
were forbidden to speak
or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air
were told not to speak of the air,
and the ones who worked for the farmers
were silenced,
and the ones who worked for the bees.

Someone, from deep in the Badlands,
began posting facts.

The facts were told not to speak
and were taken away.
The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.


Now it was only the rivers
that spoke of the rivers,
and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees
continued to move toward their fruit.

The silence spoke loudly of silence,
and the rivers kept speaking,
of rivers, of boulders and air.

Bound to gravity, earless and tongueless,
the untested rivers kept speaking.

Bus drivers, shelf stockers,
code writers, machinists, accountants,
lab techs, cellists kept speaking.

They spoke, the fifth day,
of silence.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Poem for the March on Science, Jane Hirshfield, On the fifth day.

Jane Hirshfield will read this poem from the stage
at the March for Science, April 22

also known as Earth Day, Law Day, Lenin's birthday, etc....






On the fifth day
the scientists who studied the rivers
were forbidden to speak
or to study the rivers.

The scientists who studied the air
were told not to speak of the air,
and the ones who worked for the farmers
were silenced,
and the ones who worked for the bees.

Someone, from deep in the Badlands,
began posting facts.

The facts were told not to speak
and were taken away.
The facts, surprised to be taken, were silent.


Now it was only the rivers
that spoke of the rivers,
and only the wind that spoke of its bees,

while the unpausing factual buds of the fruit trees
continued to move toward their fruit.

The silence spoke loudly of silence,
and the rivers kept speaking,
of rivers, of boulders and air.

Bound to gravity, earless and tongueless,
the untested rivers kept speaking.

Bus drivers, shelf stockers,
code writers, machinists, accountants,
lab techs, cellists kept speaking.

They spoke, the fifth day,
of silence.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Enlighten Radio:The Poetry Show -- Easter and Jane Hirshfield

John Case has sent you a link to a blog:



Blog: Enlighten Radio
Post: The Poetry Show -- Easter and Jane Hirshfield
Link: http://www.enlightenradio.org/2017/04/the-poetry-show-easter-and-jane.html

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Call To Meeting: Poets and Mechanics Quaker Worship Group: Easter 2017

Call to Meeting -- Easter, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.

If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!


Query: What is worse than dying?


Practice: From John 12:24-26

Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.


A Poem for Reflection:  A kind of Resurrection.

Easter, 1916

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS


I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

--
John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV

The Winners and Losers Radio Show
7-9 AM Weekdays, The EPIC Radio Player Stream, 
Sign UP HERE to get the Weekly Program Notes.

Call to Meeting -- Easter, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.

If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!


Query: What is worse than dying?


Practice: From John 12:24-26

Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.


A Poem for Reflection:  A kind of Resurrection.

Easter, 1916

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS


I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman's days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our wingèd horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road,
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone's in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven's part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse—
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Enlighten Radio:Monday: 250th Poetry Show-Sonnets, Sonnets -- Storytelling, and... Albert Einstein

John Case has sent you a link to a blog:



Blog: Enlighten Radio
Post: Monday: 250th Poetry Show-Sonnets, Sonnets -- Storytelling, and... Albert Einstein
Link: http://www.enlightenradio.org/2017/04/monday-250th-poetry-show-sonnets.html

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Call to Meeting: Poets and Mechanics Worship Group: April 9, 2017: The Peace Testimony is Tested


Call To Meeting -- April 9, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.


If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!


Query: What is your peace testimony?


Practice: Dr. King, according to the legendary activist and poet Amiri Baraka, appeared in Newark, N.J., shortly after a "police riot" in 1967.  left 26 dead and hundreds injured. Tensions ran very high as accumulated injustices gave rise to outrage, indignation, and avenging angels. Baraka himself came to hear Dr King preach, in part, to challenge the tactic of non-violence when murders are undiminished. To this challenge, Dr King is reported to have replied: "If there must be blood, let it be ours?"

If conflict is thrust upon your community,  whose blood should be shed first? The just, or the unjust? Does God care, if all violence and killing is an offense to Him?

A Poem for Reflection

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry


When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
--
John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV

The Winners and Losers Radio Show
7-9 AM Weekdays, The EPIC Radio Player Stream, 
Sign UP HERE to get the Weekly Program Notes.

Call To Meeting -- April 9, 2017

We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.


If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!


Query: What is your peace testimony?


Practice: Dr. King, according to the legendary activist and poet Amiri Baraka, appeared in Newark, N.J., shortly after a "police riot" in 1967.  left 26 dead and hundreds injured. Tensions ran very high as accumulated injustices gave rise to outrage, indignation, and avenging angels. Baraka himself came to hear Dr King preach, in part, to challenge the tactic of non-violence when murders are undiminished. To this challenge, Dr King is reported to have replied: "If there must be blood, let it be ours?"

If conflict is thrust upon your community,  whose blood should be shed first? The just, or the unjust? Does God care, if all violence and killing is an offense to Him?

A Poem for Reflection

The Peace of Wild Things

Wendell Berry


When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.



Monday, April 3, 2017

Enlighten Radio:Coming right up: Shakespeare on the Poetry Show!

John Case has sent you a link to a blog:



Blog: Enlighten Radio
Post: Coming right up: Shakespeare on the Poetry Show!
Link: http://www.enlightenradio.org/2017/04/coming-right-up-shakespeare-on-poetry.html

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Poets and Mechanics Call To Meeting for Worship: 2 April 2017

Poets and Mechanics Call To Meeting for Worship: 2 April 2017
Friends: 

http://poetsandmechanicsfriends.blogspot.com/2017/04/call-to-meeting-for-worship-april-2-2017.html


We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.


If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!




Query: What is Discernment?

Practice: Below is a Jain Version of the story of a Prince, 9 blind men and an elephant. It is a parable of discernment: Can the blind come to true vision through collaboration? Through Community?


A prose poem from the Jain tradition, for Reflection: A Prince, 9 Blind Men, and an Elephant



A Prince in a faraway Mountain Land was bored and thought to entertain himself. It irritated him that many scholars, preachers, and stargazers indulged in constant disputes, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal and others that it is finite and not eternal, some saying that the soul dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth.

Thus the Prince called to his servant and said, 'Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men the area who were born blind... and show them this elephant', pointing at the rare and grand animal in the center courtyard.


'Very good, sire,' replied the servant, and did as he was told.


The Prince said to the blind men assembled there, 'Here is an elephant,' and to one man he presented the head, to another -- ears, to another -- tusk, to another a trunk, then foot, back, tail, tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.

"When the blind men had felt the elephant, the Prince went to each of them and said to each, 'Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?'

"Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, 'Sire, an elephant is like a pot.' And the men who had observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a winnowing basket.' Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only a trunk said it was a plough; others said the elephant was a granary; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.

"Then they began to quarrel, shouting, 'Yes it is!' 'No, it is not!' 'An elephant is not that!' 'Yes, it's like that!' and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

The Prince roared with laughter at the humiliation and confusion before him..

"Just so! Are not these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing.... In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus. QED -- they are fools."


At that moment the door to his chamber and balcony opened and in walked the Exalted One himself, a sage of legendary and transcendent powers.


'Welcome, Exalted One', said the Prince.


'What are you doing, Prince?' asked the Buddha.


'I am demonstrating the foolishness of priests and scholars, by having these amusing blind men tell me what this elephant is.'


'I see.' said the exalted one. 'There is only one problem."


'What is that?' asked the Prince.


'That's not an elephant', replied the Buddha, whose laughter rumbled through the mountains like an avalanche.


--
John Case
Harpers Ferry, WV

The Winners and Losers Radio Show
7-9 AM Weekdays, The EPIC Radio Player Stream, 
Sign UP HERE to get the Weekly Program Notes.

Call to Meeting for Worship -- April 2, 2017

Friends:


We meet for worship in the tradition and testimonies of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the second floor reading room of the Four Seasons Bookstore, 114 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV, 8:30 AM. The bookstore is not open at 8:30, so, enter the "private entrance" gate immediately to the left of the store and walk back to the staircase. Enter the landing closest to the front of the store -- that's the EPIC Radio Studio. Go thru the kitchen into the reading room.


If you have a harmonious spirit, feeling or personal witness towards the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship, and the Light of the Divine in each life, or simply a curiosity -- Welcome!


Query: What is Discernment?

Practice: Below is a Jain Version of the story of a Prince, 9 blind men and an elephant. It is a parable of discernment: Can the blind come to true vision through collaboration? Through Community?


Poem for Reflection: A Prince, 9 Blind Men, and an Elephant



A Prince in a faraway Mountain Land was bored and thought to entertain himself. It irritated him that many scholars, preachers, and stargazers indulged in constant disputes, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal and others that it is finite and not eternal, some saying that the soul dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth.

Thus the Prince called to his servant and said, 'Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men the area who were born blind... and show them this elephant', pointing at the rare and grand animal in the center courtyard.


'Very good, sire,' replied the servant, and did as he was told.


The Prince said to the blind men assembled there, 'Here is an elephant,' and to one man he presented the head, to another -- ears, to another -- tusk, to another a trunk, then foot, back, tail, tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant.

"When the blind men had felt the elephant, the Prince went to each of them and said to each, 'Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?'

"Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, 'Sire, an elephant is like a pot.' And the men who had observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a winnowing basket.' Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only a trunk said it was a plough; others said the elephant was a granary; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush.

"Then they began to quarrel, shouting, 'Yes it is!' 'No, it is not!' 'An elephant is not that!' 'Yes, it's like that!' and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

The Prince roared with laughter at the humiliation and confusion before him..

"Just so! Are not these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing.... In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus. QED -- they are fools."


At that moment the door to his chamber and balcony opened and in walked the Exalted One himself, a sage of legendary and transcendent powers.


'Welcome, Exalted One', said the Prince.


'What are you doing, Prince?' asked the Buddha.


'I am demonstrating the foolishness of priests and scholars, by having these amusing blind men tell me what this elephant is.'


'I see.' said the exalted one. 'There is only one problem."


'What is that?' asked the Prince.


'That's not an elephant', replied the Buddha, whose laughter rumbled through the mountains like an avalanche.