1/5# Scholars are unsure of the meaning of Socrates' last words (as conveyed by Plato): “We owe Asclepius a rooster. See that you buy one, and don’t forget.” Asclepius was the god of medicine (and a new-ish addition to the accepted Athenian canon of recognized gods).
2# But the Greek word for "medicine" — pharmakon — could also mean "poison," and the condemned Socrates had just drunk hemlock (a portion of which he'd previously asked the guard if he could pour out as a libation gift to the gods).
3# Some scholars speculate that Socrates, in dying, is thankful for being cured of the "disease" of having a body. There's maybe, too, an association with him being a "scapegoat" for the city (another, older, meaning for *pharmakon*).
4# But having myself known a life-changing beauty in a moment of being close to dying, I wonder if somehow that's what's going of for Socrates — that he's expressing thanks even for that experience, the moment of life ending.
5/5# As a kind of P.S., I'm reminded now of these lines from Maurice Blanchot's “L’Instant de Ma Mort” (“The Instant of My Death”), about the moment of very nearly being executed on the street by a Nazi firing squad (who got distracted by some gunfire nearby and let the man go): Image

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More from @bodhidave3

29 Apr

Brief thread of comments regarding unific, non-dual contemplative experience, and some quick notes about traditional teaching "maps" for it.
2) I don't have a full answer, but sense it can be both. And where "emptiness and form" are characteristically Buddhist terms, you can get non-dual experiences depicted in other traditions, too. Like this in The Book of Privy Counseling, by the author of The Cloud of Unknowing: Image
3) I don't know Wilber well, but it's apparent he likes making maps of different stages & styles of contemplative practice and experience. The distinction you mention here is one the Mahayana Buddhists draw, differentiating their presentation from earlier "Old School" Buddhists'. Image
Read 8 tweets
29 Apr
1/4* I got my heart broken last year. And sometimes her name enters my mind. As a distinctive little thought. Not much more than the name. It has a kind of perseverative quality. And tonight when it occurred in my meditation the sense was

𝑚𝑦 𝑏𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑏𝑟𝑢𝑖𝑠𝑒
2* And, like a bruise, my feeling is there’s not much to be done with it. Just let it be. Don’t poke at it. Give it time.

There was also a moment in my meditation when I wondered, “Are all my thoughts 'bruises'?”
3* There are different kinds of thoughts and thinking. Some are just random bits of nothing much. And a lot of them are a kind of trying to figure things out. And the sense I had was not so much those are “bruises,” but there is a component in them of trying to help me out.
Read 4 tweets
5 Mar

#ShipOfTheseus is trending, prompted by the reference to it in the finale episode of #WandaVision.

I discuss the Ship of Theseus paradox in the book I'm writing on meditation, addressed to my young adult daughter.

It's fun. Image
2' Image
3' Image
Read 7 tweets
17 Feb
When I was a younger man (on Monday) I used to joke about living like a pioneer here in freezing Texas. Today I'm placing buckets beneath spots where the broken pipes are leaking outside to collect water for the toilet. 🪣👨‍🌾
meanwhile... Image
huh ... I happened to have just met a plumber, going to service a building across the street ... he reports he's being instructed by the city to turn off the water to various locales as an effort to try and preserve pressure for others.
Read 4 tweets
12 Jan
1/4} Regarding some of the current calls for “healing” and “unification” of the body politic (many of which calls seem over-convenient just now), I’m reminded of two things.

In assertiveness methods for working constructively with persons who disagree with you about a matter...
2} ...you look to describe how *you* see things, and express how that makes you feel, and make clear what your concerns are. That approach enhances the prospect of getting a constructive response from others — *but it does not guarantee you'll get a constructive response.*
3} And I’m reminded more graphically: I’m a cancer survivor. You do not look for “unity” with malignant cells. The healing and integration begin when you get those uncooperative, sickness-bearing elements out of the body.
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov 20

My young adult daughter runs a clothing store near Pittsburgh. Today she posted this to Facebook. I was moved by it. ❤️
Read 4 tweets

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