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HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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2d ago
The ancient Chinese Taoists originated a singular form of non-communal life. As noted in the Encyclopedia of Taoism, “eremitism was rarely a permanent way of life for practicing Taoists, and that after completing a period of eremitic self-cultivation and descending from the mountaintop many Taoist men and women travelled the land, performed rituals, and converted ..read more
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“April is …”
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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2w ago
The traditional image of April as the source of seasonal renewal is enshrined in the opening lines of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: “When April’s gentle rains have pierced the drought Of March right to the root, and bathed each sprout Through every vein with liquid of such power It brings forth the engendering of the flower ..read more
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Total eclipse of the sun
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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1M ago
I was fortunate enough to be in the precise path of the recent solar eclipse in northern North America on April 8, precisely enough within the path to view the eclipse event from a comfortable front yard chair at home over a thousand feet in elevation. Post-event comments in media by observers confirmed the similarity ..read more
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Heraclitus, hermit
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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2M ago
The divergence of Eastern and Western philosophy came to be expressed in the relationship of individual and state. This relationship is a more reliable measure than the words and dictums of representative thinkers. Thus in ancient China the saying attributed to Confucius identifies the ethical foundation of Chinese philosophy. Because educated males were expected to ..read more
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Winter thoughts
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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3M ago
Green kale is an attractive and nutritious vegetable, growing to a couple feet tall, useful in every kitchen garden. Towards the end of fall, the gardener should monitor overnight temperatures, although kale reputely is cold hardy and can tolerate occasional frost. This recent autumn, however, an overnight rainfall froze to heavy snow in the morning ..read more
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Hobbes vs. Rousseau
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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6M ago
A favorite website Existential Comics presents in a nutshell the clash of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). By assuming a violent and degraded human nature, Hobbes can pretend to lament summoning authoritarianism as a necessity, while at the same time presenting himself as a staunch ally of ..read more
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Hakuin and Yuan-wu
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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7M ago
Yuan-wu (Yuanwu Keqin, 1063–1135) was an early Chinese Zen (Chan) master credited with constructing The Blue Cliff Record, probably the most representative compilation and discussion of Zen koans. The later Japanese Rinzai Zen master Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769), whose students and disciples organized his lectures into essays, acknowledged the important influence of Yuan-wu in Hakuin’s first ..read more
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Louise Gluck: “Celestial Music”
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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7M ago
In the late poet Louise Gluck’s poem ”Celestial Music” are presented two friends reflecting on fundamental sensibilities about nature, death, and reality. The friends are walking on a country road. One friend senses the indifference of nature toward suffering and violence, even in the cruelty of battling insects encountered on the roadside. The friend is ..read more
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Zen violence
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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8M ago
Historically, violence has been a characteristic pedagogical tool of Zen monastic masters, used not only as pedagogy but rationalized as necessary to imparting enlightenment to the monk-novice. The inevitability that violent actions in monastic transactions will occur and should be highlighted is commonly assumed in Zen literature, which regularly presents them within koans. Intertwining such ..read more
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Nietzsche on Homer
HERMITARY – HERMIT'S THATCH
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11M ago
The philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Simone Weil are certainly distinct, but both note — to a degree not noted or pursued by modern conventional thinkers — the characteristic violence embedded in ancient Greek culture. Both Nietzsche and Weil were scholars of Greek and understood the literature and spirit of ancient Greek cultural expression perhaps better ..read more
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