Sunday, February 04, 2007

Accomodation vs Fundamentalism

1.The act of accommodating or the state of being accommodated; adjustment.
2.Something that meets a need; a convenience.
3. Accommodations
1. Room and board; lodgings.
2. A seat, compartment, or room on a public vehicle.
3. Reconciliation or settlement of opposing views.
4. Physiology. The automatic adjustment in the focal length of the lens of the eye to permit retinal focus of images of objects at varying distances.

Accomodation is how life can continue. As they say in Spanish: Mierda Pasa. I'll let Egan tell us how it would be said in French. But I know each and every one of us can wax eloquent on how it is said in our hearts.

Bended and distended (yeah, I said bended), somehow we don't break. And interesting things happen. Sometimes accomodating hurts. Sometimes it doesn't. But it always involves change. It involves keeping an open mind. Morphing.

Borrowing on the Hegelian dialectic, let's say you need a place to stay for the night (thesis). But you don't have a place to stay for the night because you are not at home (antithesis). So you drive up to the Motel 6 and, yes indeed, they have gone and left the light on (synthesis). You get your accommodations.

Let's say you are a hesychast. A hesychast, you ask? What's a hesychast, Gawpo? A hesychast lives in the here and now, usually quite austerely, although that is not the focus of their life. Normally a hesychast is also an ascete. An ascete is an ascetic person, a person who "goes into their closet to pray." These people (by all means not just from the Christian tradition) do the most with the very least. They do without so that they can expand their mind through spiritual vigilance. They accommodate greatly through austere means.

Hesychasts are associated with the continuous (some, even when they sleep) repetition of a single prayer. In the Christian tradition, this is normally what is known as "the Jesus prayer," an ancient and simple formula whose Ethiopian tradition is rendered thus: "My Lord Jesus, have mercy; I bless you Lord Jesus, save me." To fully appreciate the prayer, one must exercise caution against an eisegetical (reading meaning INTO a text, based on a contemporary understanding of a word) approach, and take some pains toward an exegetical (reading a meaning from the perspective of the time contemporary to the author--reading meaning OUT of the text) approach. Take for instance the word "mercy." As reflected in the Ugaritic texts, the word "mercy" simply meant something like "wow!" We're talking old, people. Ugarit goes back to the 14th century B.C. Lord have mercy, then, meant something akin to "holy cow," or as I like to say it, "Coly How!" It did not mean, "Oh Lord, please don't hurt me." The other one I love (i.e., hate) to hear is: "Yes, God is a loving God. But he is also a JUST God!" Along with the word mercy, the word justice meant simply "to make things level."

Expressions such as "Lord have mercy!" are known to older Catholics as "ejaculations." True story. Other popular ejaculations were, "Mary mother of Jesus!" and "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" These ejaculations just sort of.....yeah....spurted out of the mouth of the faithful.

The problem with fundamentalism in any form is that it focuses on a narrow interpretation of a broader Truth. Fundamentalism does not accommodate; it does not stretch beyond the stubbornness of its self-defined boundaries. And life is just not like that. The hesychast (being an ascete) is fundamentally open minded, able to accomodate to the moment. They are the ones whose ejaculations might include, "Just keeping it real!"

As fellow accommodators, it would behoove us to encourage each other in the industry of our bendage. Below are a few examples of what you can do when you set your mind to staying open....

So, happy morphing my dear friends. May we continue to bend with the best of them and make beautiful what other tendencies might attempt to thwart.

Have you seen these?


At Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 5:00:00 PM PST , Anonymous quilldancer said...

Bend so the winds of change do not break you. I try to live this on a daily basis. Everyday is a new day, a clean slate and a fresh start. Do something wonderful with it.

At Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 8:45:00 PM PST , Blogger Ps said...

Brilliant Gawpo.Now I know I have all the makings of a hesychast and an ascete.
See--I finally figured it out :-)
BTW, the comment you left on my post was too hilariuos.Am glad I disoved your blog or you mine.Blogrolling you.

At Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 9:52:00 PM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

PS: My goodness. That is so sweet. And you warm my heart in the saying that you got a kick out of the little something I said on your blog. Is this not just the best place to accommodate? Glad to know you.

Cheen-Druh!: You are the bestest of friends. And I'm sure folks will be relieved to know that you have no direct experience with my anatomy. But I do have to ask---how on earth did you ever get in touch with that Pygmy child? I would, however, like very much to find that woman out there. The bigger one, that is. I love you all so much.

At Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 9:59:00 PM PST , Blogger Logophile said...

The lack of accomodation explains my own rapid departure from the fundamentalist influences of my yoot. It a very important trait.

At Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 10:31:00 PM PST , Anonymous snavy said...

I'm in awe of those trees.

"Sometimes accommodating hurts." -- yeah, learned that the hard way.

It's a good thing I'm so flexible.

At Sunday, February 4, 2007 at 11:05:00 PM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

Logolicious: Yes, I do know at least two yoots of which you speak. You have great bendiness, my friend.

Snav: Learned it, you did. And you are the better for it. Like I always say: I wouldn't mind the pain if it just didn't hurt so much. Flex on, Sister!

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 6:36:00 AM PST , Blogger ARM said...

What a great post - you wrote everything that I always think about this subject but don't have the knowledge of words to put it in writing.

Accommodation is something that I frequently give, but rarely receive. It's disheartening.

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 6:43:00 AM PST , Blogger Malnurtured Snay said...

A good chunk of this post made me think, which made my head hurt (thanks). Are those trees ... real?

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 7:11:00 AM PST , Blogger goldennib said...

Those trees are amazing. How'd they do that?

Great post. Bendiness is good, although the aches afterwards require a warm bath or hot shower on occasion. I particularlly liked the spiritual ejaculations.

You need Cindra to PR for you. That one comment was quite an endorsement. I wish I knew someone single for you.

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 8:11:00 AM PST , Blogger somewhere joe said...

You're right. A hesychast's simplicity (and open mindedness as you put it) is a clean slate and an open door to abundance. I get a huge kick from the creative possibilities in an "off the shelf" life and working with whatever comes freely my way.

It took years for heaven to pry me away from religion. Now I just let life color me outside the lines, and inside some unusually curved, bended, and angular ones. Love is all you need.

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 9:02:00 AM PST , Blogger Diesel said...

Hmmm. I certainly agree with the sentiment, although I believe there's such a thing as bending too far. Being human is about finding the balance between bending and resisting the forces that push us this way and that.

I like to say that there are two mistakes one can make regarding truth: Denying that there is such a thing, and thinking that one knows what it is. I believe we have to stand firm in our belief in truth, but constantly adjust our understanding of what truth is.

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 9:41:00 AM PST , Anonymous Cheendruh said...

Gawpo-I would call you and wake you up right now if you weren't sick. Just to get you back. Because I love you that much, I won't do it.

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 3:33:00 PM PST , Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

I am going to need the Cliff's Notes to this post...

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 5:01:00 PM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

ARM: I'm blushing! Unrequited accommodating sucks. Just another opportunity to adjust the bend in another direction, I guess.

MALNURTURED: You don't snay. (Goodness, I think I'm funny!) Delighted to see you here. You think YOUR head hurts? Pshaw...Tylenol PM for me. Hope your head feels better. Go watche the redneck slingshot again. That should do the trick.

NIBBY: I just knew you would like my ejaculations. Most women do. I think those trees had some human intervention. Either that or they were watered with heavily laced LSD. Cindra is on the case. And thank you for saying so. Right now, though, I am on the mend and not on the "find another one so I don't feel the pain." Trying to be healthy SUCKS! Ha!

SOMEWHERE JOE: I sit with warm smile and nodding head. I quoted your heaven prying you away from religion notion today. That is so rich and so truthfully balanced. It is all about the love. Bend on, Brother.

DIESEL: Very nicely said. Yes, too far is not balanced. The polar opposites of anything flirts with that fundamentalism stuff. Fr. Paschal used to say that the monastic life cannot become a life of rigidity; that the monk should have a center like a steel pole, but with a very thick cushion surrounding it. I always liked that.

CHEEN-DRUH!: When I first read that I thought maybe I had awakened from a dream only to find out that we really WERE married and I had left you and you were going to wake me up so that I would come back. I was wrong. You're talking about getting even with me for waking you up the other day when I called too early (for you!), right?

MR. FABULOUS: These ARE the Cliff's Notes. The real story has lots more ejaculation material (so to speak).

At Monday, February 5, 2007 at 7:23:00 PM PST , Blogger Candace said...

Those trees are COOL! Is there a name for that sort of - artistic deformation?

I'm an artistically deformed used-to-be fundamentalist my own self. Now I don't fit neatly into any one box, really. Anyone calling me "ascetic" would be barking up the wrong tree, though the whole wabi sabi thing does have its appeal. I just like neat things too much to go there personally. If there was a church that supported my beliefs, it would be called "Enigma." ^_^

At Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 7:56:00 AM PST , Anonymous cindra said...

Candace-I'll go to that church with you.

Gawpo-it is a gorgeous day to dress up like a pirate!

At Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 8:47:00 AM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

Candace: Your whole life is a church. Your family alone makes you a most interesting tree. I don't know what that form of tree art is called. We got us a mission.

Cheen-Druh!: Argh! Can't wait (i.e., for the whole thing to be over).

At Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 9:17:00 AM PST , Anonymous Cheendruh said...

I am SO mad that I can't come be your wench tonight. Well, not because I can't dress up and be your wench, but because I want to DOCUMENT the whole thing. Does it just shiver ye timbers?

At Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 11:18:00 AM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

Cheen-Druh!: There is only one timber it DOESN'T shiver. (Oh, I see now why I scare your mother....)

At Tuesday, February 6, 2007 at 11:19:00 PM PST , Blogger egan said...

Who is doing that to trees? That's like plant abuse and I'm hurt. Sure they are cool, but trees aren't toys. Oui, je parle fran├žais.

At Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 12:02:00 AM PST , Blogger Logophile said...

Thou shouldst email me
*jedi wave*

At Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 4:49:00 PM PST , Blogger Katie said...

Loved the post!

At Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 6:43:00 PM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

Egan: All I got out of that was that you speak French. The rest was like, all garbled and stuff.

Logo: Stewardess! I speak Jedi. Your wish is my command, madame.

Katie: Yippeee!!!! (That's Oregonian for Yahoooo!!! down there in Texas).

At Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 6:58:00 PM PST , Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

It is so all about the love.
Love is light.
Bending, shows utter gratitude for such light.
Bending, is the wise man's way.
Bending, as in, for gladness, when in the archer's hand, (to quote the luscious Kahlil Gibran) is the only freakin way to go my friend.
Excellent post, as per usual.
I hope you have read the Prophet, the man is a genius. Likely you have. xo

At Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 7:00:00 PM PST , Blogger Blue the Spa Girl said...

BTW, the trees rock.
May your arrows go swift and far, G.

At Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at 11:33:00 PM PST , Blogger Gawpo said...

Blue TSG: Well of COURSE I have read The Prophet. Don't know where my copy went to. Must have Gibran'ed it to someone. Know what else? I didn't think of it until you put bending and arching together, but an arch IS a bend. How cool is THAT! And archer has to truly bend the flight path of his arrow in order to strike the target. A big X and an even bigger O right back atcha, Blue! Welcome home. Now I am headed over to your place to check out the pics. ciao4niao

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