Monday, November 23, 2009

Deconstruction to Construction as Critical Thinking

It is important to look at the intrinsic value felt "within" systems of belief par excellence. Too often our convictions and persuasions are presented as hand-me-downs free from evaluation, e.g., political vantage, religious conviction, educational theory, etc. It is when these raggedy presentations are blindly accepted that one becomes irrelevant and dis-credible to conversation. Only when these "gifts" are handled and examined does one find true value, i.e., hidden value. Rhetorically speaking, do we take the time to taste, touch, and smell "conviction?"

Deconstruction is the process in which the particular ideology is gracefully taken apart so that each piece gone into its construction is opened up and made vulnerable. Here in this nakedness of thought the inner being and formation of belief can be adequately assessed. Even if the ideology is put back together the way it was "handed down" it is still a vital part of the process that goes into understanding why it "is" the way it "is." It is here that I am now able to understand and communicate what it is that I "believe."

However, if I find that I disagree with a number of the "parts" that are under examination then I have become responsible for either finding replacements or simply discarding the bits and pieces that are simply irrelevant. This type of territory comes with the need for discernment and critical thinking. One cannot violently rip open an orange and expect it to remain undamaged and able to be re-constructed. It takes soft touch and commitment to do this properly; it is an art to be discovered.

Without critical thinking one can not make "right" decisions; decisions that necessitate an understood context for the choice to be judged thus decided. I use the word "decide" not to represent finality but to symbolize movement in any direction. Thinking is traveling and to travel we must be aware of our surroundings and the relationships held between existing entities. Critical thinking is one of the most important tools needed to traverse the landscape of judgment. Otherwise, one is left holding the end of a rope as its dragged along in an unknown direction.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Ghost of Tom Joad

Men walkin' 'long the railroad tracks
Goin' someplace there's no goin' back
Highway patrol choppers comin' up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin' round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin' in their cars in the southwest
No home no job no peace no rest

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin' for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
Got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin' in the city aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
But where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Waitin' on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' downhere in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad
-Bob Dylan
Inspired by "The Grapes of Wrath"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I am, you anxious one

I am, you anxious one.

Don't you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can't you see me standing before you
cloaked in stillness?
Hasn't my longing ripened in you
from the beginning
as fruit ripens on a branch?

I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am that wanting:
I grow strong in the beauty you behold.
And with the silence of stars I enfold
your cities made by time.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

"How can we expect not to be anxious, Rilke implies, if we do not feel a greater presence, cloaked in stillness, with us in our days? Yet that same anxiety is the fuel for our longing, itself a sign of the presence we thirst for" - R. Hudsen

"for lovers of god everywhere: Poems of the Christian Mystics" by Roger Hudsen

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dead Prez "The Police State"

We need to generate and distribute more honest representation like this in order to create solidarity, which in turn, creates relationships for change.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

"Obvious Failure" as "Ultimate Success"

The great Liberation theologian, James Cone, addresses the "State of the Black Church" and consequently provides an important message for all to hear.