…Through the virtue of training, Enlighten both body and soul — Morihei Sensei

Archive for February, 2010

Filibuster vs. Reconciliation

I think the GOP overplayed its hand. Forcing a filibuster proof vote on every issue forced the Dems to take a page from the George W. playbook, using reconciliation to push through major legislation. Tit-for-tat, and the dance goes on. There is no essential difference between the Dems and GOP because in the end, nobody wants to upset the applecart. Wildcard in the mix is Barack Obama. Neither Dems nor GOP quite know what to do with him. (same way they were equally mystified when Baye bowed out). Debate the merits, but Obama seems like he actually wants to get things done.


My idea . . . (The problem).

Question: What is the perspective that would allow one to synthesize separate and distinct spiritual paths into a single coherent (more or less) path?

I have studied several spiritual, some mystical, and a few warriorship traditions. Some of these intersect, some are indistinguishable, some very distinct. I have even walked a couple of these paths. I long for a confluence of many of these elements. It occurs to me that there is a synthesis of these paths out there. In my personal practice, there is a general coherence behind the thrust of my more doctrinal leanings. However, I feel that there should also be the element of warriorship, and a familial aspect which allows the entire family full participation.

The issue of warriorship comes down to a few elements, to include: Radical personal responsibility, fearlessness, and impeccability (to borrow from don Juan, and don Miguel).

The issue the familial is essentially a multi-dimensional situation that can satisfy the intellectual, philosophical, and supportive needs of adults and parents, as well as the more social, inquisitive, and playful needs of the kids in the family. Additionally, a dimension that addresses the nuclear family as a unit and integrates them into a larger community and extended family.

In my mind there must be synthesis of, for example, soto zen, sufism, toltec, budo, and that familial aspect. This would not be a particular organization, per se. In fact, a specific organization may be, by its nature, antithetical to what I’m asking. It seems what I’m asking for is a view point, a certain perspective that allows these things to synthesize.

– Jalal.
Follow me on twitter twitter.com/Old454.

“Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?”
“Here am I. Send me!”

If not me, then whom?

Project: Mystical Unity (the Question)

The Question:  Are mystics of separate traditions more akin to one another, or more to the orthodoxy of their respective  traditions?

Many, if not most, spiritual and religious traditions, historically have mystical branches.  Are the mystics from  these traditions, in fact,  more akin to mystics from other, separate traditions, or to the larger orthodox order of their respective religions.  This question becomes more interesting when one looks, and sees that, very frequently, the mystical traditions are held to be outside of the religion by orthodoxy, sometimes even heretical.  As a student, a professor posed this question to the class, and it has intrigued me since.  The fact that one would entertain the question, belies an underlying tendency of the questioner.  Orthodox thinking of many larger religious traditions, unfortunately, would tend to reject the notion that certain elements within their tradition, may be more akin to elements from a separate  religion. As a result, the very existence of the question belies an opening for the possibility.

The Issue:  However, I think there is much more at stake than an interesting question from an introductory religious studies course, or even a vigorous philosophical discussion.  I my mind, there lies a key to extricating ourselves from the quagmire of conflict that pervades the planet.

Jalal — follow me on twitter twitter.com/Old454

When will we realize . . ?

When will we realize politicians, and Washington, DC politicians especially, are all on the same team. We operate under the illusion that there is some great distinction between Democrats and Republicans. We have the sense that Democrats are liberal, and Republicans are conservative. These politicians certainly talk the language of liberals and conservatives respectively, but they vote the language of bigger and more expensive government collectively. Budgets, budget deficits, federal spending, and federal programs grow regardless of who controls the Executive office, or either Congressional house. For example, George W. Bush vastly expanded the powers of the Executive office as well as federal spending, and I haven’t seen Barack Obama give back any of it. In fact, we can expect to see Executive powers continue to expand annually, regardless of who sits in the Oval Office.

The spark to this particular rant is a Cato Institute post, outlining a series of articles from the Washington Post, and the Cato Institute, discussing how there has been a seeming continuous boom of government jobs in Washington DC. This jobs boom began under the Bush administration, and has continued under the Obama administration.

Perhaps, I’m a little jaded.  But it is food for thought.  OK, end of rant.

Races for 2010?

The game plan is to run a race each month this year.  Thus far, I’ve run the Resolution Run in January, the Run the Reagan this month.  Looking at the Peachtree in July.  Last Thanksgiving we ran the United Way Turkey Trot in Savannah, I guess we’ll plan on a race Thankgiving day for November.  That leaves, eight other races.  March, April, May, June, August, September, October, December.  I’m not going to be too anal about this, the essential aspects of this goal are approximately once each month, for a total of twelve for the year.  Here are tentatives for the remainder:

  • 13 Mar – Run for Wounded Warriors
  • 3 Apr – Dirty Spokes Boling Park Trail Run 4.5M
  • 22 May – Dirty Spokes Silver Comet Trail 10K
  • 19 Jun – ATC Mens 4M
  • 4 Jul – Peachtree Road Race 10K
  • 17 Jul – Decatur Dekalb YMCA 4M
  • 14 Aug – ATC Grand Finale 5K
  • 25 Sep – XTERRA Georgia Harbins Park Trail Run 10K
  • 2 Oct – Myrtle Beach half marathon ?
  • Nov – Savannah United Way Turkey Trot ?
  • Dec – ? I see two scheduled for July, so maybe will skip this one.



If not, me then whom?

Run the Reagan 2010

Finished the Run the Reagan race Saturday in Gwinnett County, Snellville, Georgia. The snow (Atlanta Blizzard of 2010) created some delays, and some confusion, but it was a nice run in the end. The delays put us on the course at just below 40 degrees, the sun was out, some wind, but the weather could not have ended up much better for the middle of February. I ran a 50:20 10k, about one minute off my target–61st overall mens, and 10th in my age group. All in all a good run. I plan to race twelve times this year. I set the year off at the Resolution Run in Kennesaw, held by the Atlanta Track Club. I ran about the same time.

Reporting for duty

Old 454 signing in.  Making it happen begins now.