Going with Dignity LO27186

From: ACampnona@aol.com
Date: 08/13/01

Invisible Image (If you request I will post this with the image as a MS
Word file)
Somnath Hore: Family, Wounds in Bronze 1984 (Exhibited at the 'Art
Heritage' Exhibition 1986)

[Host's Note: Andrew's Word file with an image of the bronze is at



' - Positive and negative synthesize in space, merge and separate to form
an indelible image.'

'The mother dog turns in on her suckling pups, her children, turning the
last drop of her blood into milk and, the bowl will not receive any alms
left half-heartedly.. my motifs alternate between man and animal, hunger
and privation are felt the same...

The following are notes: Jeff Gates, Democracy at Risk. I wrote Jeff Gates
when he was here in the UK and he graciously gave me permission to use any
part of his work. I think it a transcendent work. The best way I can
explicate this is by the following exchange:
What is capitalism? It is the oppression of one part of society by another.
What is communism? The same thing but by a different part of society on

Dedication Page

"For the children"

"He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children."

Book of Malachi

"If democracy were a symphony, its melody would make us all related in some
related in some undeniable yet mysterious way. Isaac Stern Stern tells us a
revealing story about a question he was asked in a public forum concerning
why so many violinists play the same notes in the same order as Stern, yet
most don't sound nearly so good. After hesitating a moment, Stern objected,
"But it isn't the notes that are important. It's the intervals between the
"The revitalization of democracy must focus on fostering the connections, the
spaces between the notes. That's where democracy lives; that's where you
discover the dignity of being able to look anyone in the eye. That's the
space from which emerges the confidence that you feel just before drifting
off to sleep. A living democracy gives you comfort knowing that you belong
and that your heartfelt concerns have a forum where they will be heard. It's
not just about what you can do; it's about who you're encouraged to be. The
dignity of citizenship in a democracy is found not in things but in
relationships. It resides less in our doing than in our "inter-being," as
Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh puts it. "Everything you do, you do not for
yourself alone," he notes, "you do it for all of us. . . . There is no 'I,'
there is no 'you,' because I am in you, and you are in me. We inter-are."'
This popular Buddhist teacher, nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin
Luther King, Jr., gives voice to a point since proven by quantum physics that
no one person, no community, no nation, no component of nature is a separate
entity. We "inter-be." We live in relationships. In Buddhism, that's called
"dependent origination" or "dependent co-arising.' That ancient wisdom from
the East is consistent with modern insights from systems science in the West.
And also with the life sciences, where it's called epigenesis, or
interaction-dependent causation. Indigenous peoples resonate with that notion
as well. In languages spoken by Native American tribes, such as the Hopi and
the Algonquin, a person can speak for days and never utter a single noun.
Their language emerges from a people attuned not to things but to
relationships, particularly their relationship with nature. The sweetness in
sugar is found not in the individual molecules but emerges from their
interactions; its taste lives in the relationships where change is the only
The dynamic nature of democracy makes it essential that we constantly update
our economic rules to reflect the ever-changing world of our day-to-day
economic relationships. Democratic leadership for the global age requires
that we craft a more mature, relationship based version of capitalism and
combine that with a more humane approach to foreign relations and a more
sensible approach to the environment. The community of nations expects no
less. Our descendants deserve no less. The United States is the dominant
player on the world scene, yet it's playing its role poorly, with neither
vision nor heart. Gandhi advised that our labors within the public sphere are
not secular but sacred. As a people, we are at our finest when engaged in
dialogue about how best we might realize those intangible values to which our
founders pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. It is
then that we know we are engaged in the genuinely soulful art of democracy.
And it is then that we best remember that our obligations extend not only
well beyond our borders but also well beyond this generation. It is only then
that we fulfill our obligations to posterity. Anything less is a distraction,
at best a means, not an end. Thich Nhat Hanh puts this intergenerational,
community-building challenge in the proper context:

"It is possible that the next Buddha will not take the form of an individual.
The next Buddha may take the form of a community -a community practicing
understanding and loving kindness, a community practicing mindful living.
This may be the most important thing we can do for the survival of the

end citations.

"Cathedrals inspire. Those who first worked on them knew for certain that
they would never see them finished. We may not need any more cathedrals
but we do need cathedral thinkers, people who can think beyond their own

Charles Handy, The Hungry Spirit.

By my desk this evening I have two sets of pictures, one is of chidren born
disfigured as their legacy and a legacy of fathers who fought in South East
Asia under the clouds of an invisible 'agent orange', the other two little
girls horribly deformed aged about three who were born recently to people
local to Chernobyl in Russia, again invisibly contaminating the world as its
legacy. Under the pictures sits the text of a young woman who recently worked
with some children from Chernobyl and what she discovered was that the
children from Chernobyl who lack almost everything we might take for granted
were far more creative that the local children. She noted that the local
children just copied her creative work, where as the young Russians worked
independently revelling in the possibility space perhaps? At will tell us
about the dangers of uncreative societies. They die.
Systems thinking tells us something about large organizations that are
ineffective in the use of imaginations, they are dead for a while on their
feet before they fall, like a chicken with it's head removed. A dance not of
life, nor the dance any more of LEP on LEC but a macabre dance of a
prefigured rigor-mortis.

I have a question that I suspect will go unanswered but I hope not unheeded.
Imagine there is a party that you have organised for a set of children from
all the nations represented in your neighbourhood...let's pretend you do not
live in an all white suburb but in downtown New York or San Francisco...you
have a rainbow party. The Moms have baked a wonderful cake with rich
ingredients and it is a true work of art, like the earth floating in space
...in those pictures one sees from outerspace. Assembled together then they
gather around the cake and before any one of you grown-ups can make a move
the two American and European children among the five hundred others ( at
least) have consumed nine tenths of the cake. Not all is consumed, for in the
rush much is spilled and falls to the floor and instantly as if in some
horror movie it becomes rotten. What would we think of our children to behave
in such a downright wrong way? Mmmmmm. Well, you must prepare for a time when
your children may confront you with that question, because in the picture
before my eyes the children ARE the grown ups and you and me were/are those
children that greedily took all that resource and squandered it.

'The mother dog turns in on her suckling pups, her children, turning the
last drop of her blood into milk and, the bowl will not receive any alms
left half-heartedly.. my motifs alternate between man and animal, hunger
and privation are felt the same..'

I will share a real dream last night. An old man was being taken out of
his burial carriage, that was strewn like he was with flowers, before they
put him into his cave on a stretcher he just got up, realising that the
flowers had turned into a stinking detritus. He was walking toward a
mountain with a river where the waters ran uphill, as if all the gradients
had suddenly been put into reverse. He was determined to bathe himself.

I am sorry, there was no happy ending.





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