posted on November 15, 2007 at 8:21 am

lovely spirit continue to guide me
this silver aching evening
gentle clouds
birds call in the gathering night
flowers close down
warm close dark
i feel comfortable within this skin
ideas occur to me
reveries come on of their own accord
memories not mine
days i have never seen
the thread that connects us
words in another language
languages from another time
times from another deeper time
the world is starting to fall away from me
i have wised up to most of its shabby tricks
but its nets are pervasive and persuasive
lovely spirit light my way
the west is so deep in illusion
the west is capricious and brutal
the west is ignorant and arrogant
killing using arguing blaming
will it carry on hurting until its own oblivion
the west does not like hurt on its own doorstep
the west says one thing and does another
the west never learns
the west jumps in over and over
the west never questions itself
the west consumes itself in obvious error
the west sees only in black and white
the west believes its own damn lies
the west with the bombs
the west with the scientists
the west with its plasic surgery
the west with its atheistic depressed useless gossip
the west with its excuses
the west with its pet psychologists
the west with its gated communities
the west with its witchtrials and inquisitions
the west with its crusades and quarries
the west with its defoliants and napalm
the west with its romes and londons
the west who never get the message
the west who has obese weightwatching children
the west who was won by the west
the wild wild west
the savage west
the west with its history of mistakes
the west with its captain blighs and general custers
the west with its dark ages
the west with its quackery and its side effects
the west with its extinct animals
the west with its booze
the west with its own rosy view of itself
the west we know and love
so hard to divest myself of the west
what it has made me
who it has told me to be
how the west educated me to think western
underneath the west
underneath this thin veneer of western civilisation
the real deep me
whoever that may be
way down in the depths
that man knows everything
the west has told me to forget

44 Responses to “fathers little helper”

  1. avatar
    eek | 15 November 2007 at 9:41 am #

    I’d say that’s a pretty accurate list of the ills of the west. And I imagine someone who grew up in the east could write a similar list of the ills of the east. I think the key is embracing neither east nor west, but positive instead of negative, no matter what the origin.

    Which is, as I well know, a hell of a lot easier said than done.

  2. avatar
    Melby Symon | 15 November 2007 at 9:43 am #

    “i feel comfortable within this skin
    ideas occur to me
    reveries come on of their own accord
    memories not mine
    days i have never seen”

    some concepts and collection of phrases are just beyond measure for their depth and beauty and profoundness.

    I like this one at the end of very crap, very western day.
    Thanks SK.

  3. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 9:47 am #

    Wow sk…just blows me away brilliant sir!…i must say,that not having a visual on the western world is a blessing sometimes…but in the other ways,being blind makes you more sensitive in many ways..and to feel more in your heart,in compensation for the sight,can bewilder me.especially when i see the human race being preoccupied with “things” that are not really important in the grand scheme of things…if i had a dollar for every time i heard a woman saying that she wanted a new hair colour like some movie star /a new car/a bigger house/breast enlargements etc{and in my business…you get em all}..i probably would have bought myself an trip from the moon…to get away from it….deep down always knows SK..it is your voice,and your language,and your resonance.stay open to the spirit.may it always fulfill you…say hello to twilight for me.it was lovely to see it through your eyes.thank you,truly,so much…a lovely night to all…love,as always,gen xxxxx

  4. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 9:59 am #

    well said eek!

  5. avatar
    ptolemy | 15 November 2007 at 10:19 am #

    Australia’s in the West…?

  6. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 10:22 am #

    silver aching evening…oh, that phrase struck a chord with me…just watching sunsets from thunderous red to luminous orange and yellow…slowly fading to greys and more somber tones until there’s just a line in the sky like some monumental furnace just over the horizon…everything turns a frosted pewter…oh, how beautiful…the ache of nostalgia…
    love always
    -The Hellbound Heart

  7. avatar
    PTGC | 15 November 2007 at 10:57 am #

    the true opposite of the west must be antarctica, as your description of the west nicely suits mankind…
    detaching yourself from yourself (without worse injuries)…what a task…

    oh antarctica…melting away

    the west with its electric guitars
    the west with its sunrise in the east
    the west with its sundown over the ocean
    the west with its bloody positive thinking 😛
    the west with its doomsday scenarios

    pernath the gem cutter

  8. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 11:22 am #

    yes; but then:
    Today I am reading Infidel – My Life, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
    In it she talks about the women being taken, and of her grandmother’s love of the silent solitary beauty of the desert night.
    That’s a sublime poem the West finds difficult to acess; but the bulk of the story is horrifying to the point of nausea.
    Reductive survival may do that, I suppose – and I’ve seen what poverty does here in the West; but I am very glad I don’t live “there”.

    xxxKittykat

  9. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 11:24 am #

    ps. yes, eek.

    kkatx

  10. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 11:29 am #

    Today’s blog struck a chord with me, Steve. I’m very much into old native american philosophy.
    Ever read “Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee”?

    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark.

  11. avatar
    be wary of revisionists | 15 November 2007 at 11:55 am #

    Native American philosophy?
    Wovoka had a vision during an eclipse. He saw the great Spirit, who told him that if the tribes danced the Ghost Dance, the white men would disappear and the old world would return. If they wore Ghost Shirts, the white men’s bullets couldn’t kill them.
    This led to the murder of Sitting Bull, the massaacre at Wounded Knee and the end of Native American resistance. The Ghost Dance didn’t work, the Ghost Shirts didn’t work. Wovoka lived to be a very old man and called himself Jack.

  12. avatar
    fantasticandy | 15 November 2007 at 12:51 pm #

    hey…play fair now killer!
    ‘the west’ is not the exclusive domain of the unenlightened….
    or their twisted and distorted goals.
    love,
    andy L.

  13. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 1:39 pm #

    Thanks for “enlightening” me “be wary of revisionists”. I was referring to their relationship with nature and animals, but of course you had to ridicule a philosphy so “dated”.
    As for the Ghost Dance it was sad rather than ridiculous – proof that the old ways were gone for forever. They were so deperate they needed to believe in the impossible (that the Ghost Dance would bring back all of their dead relatives and wipe out the white man for good).

    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark.

  14. avatar
    be wary etc | 15 November 2007 at 3:37 pm #

    Thomas, youve got me wrong there, my friend. I published a paper on the Ghost Dance way back in 1987. And you’re right, it was not ridiculous, it was completely tragic and saddens me to this day when I think of it.
    But it’s no use viewing it as anyhting but utterly futile and doomed from the start. Unfortunately.
    Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is a very powerful book, but it works on an emotional level by having the reasder view the actions of the United States in the 19th Century according to modern standards. As a human being, I’m as horrified as anyone by the betrayal and abuse. But as a historian, I can only view the events in the context of their time.
    The book was published during the hippy period and reflects that – but Native Americans were not passive, peace-loving, at-one-with-nature flower children that they’re often portrayed as being. Neither did they have a developed ‘philosophy.’ Having said that, you are right in that it’s a compelling and fascinating period.

  15. avatar
    letangled | 15 November 2007 at 3:53 pm #

    last two blogs…

    very d’lovely

    enjoyed them immensely.

    grazie.

  16. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 5:17 pm #

    Fair enough.
    But fact remains that we could’ve (or should’ve) learned a lot from “the primitives”, native american or whatever, around the world in terms of our relationship with nature and animals. Native americans didn’t kill more game than they needed, and it was the white man who single-handedly pretty much wiped out the buffalo. And we’re still doing it in this day and age (to sharks, whales, etc.)! I recently watched a documentary on this native american guy, who now travelled the world to “lecture” and express the “philosophy” of his people: that is, that all things are connected. It may sound very simple, but the truth often is.

    Thomas Thomsen, Denmark.

  17. avatar
    Leelinau | 15 November 2007 at 5:21 pm #

    I’m not lakota, I’m Chippewa, but how could anyone think the Ghost Dance was any more ridiculous than some of YOUR ceremonies?
    The nerve!?

    Hypocrites. blah blah blah

    And OUR critical thinking abilities haven’t changed much these thousands of years.

    Seriously.

    ^_^

  18. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 5:22 pm #

    Wasn’t Wovoka Paiute ?

  19. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 15 November 2007 at 5:39 pm #

    Salient blog SK. Mahatma Gandhi, the Patriarch of social justice, declared that the greatness and moral progress of a nation can be judged by the way it treats its animals. It’s a shame that primate expert Jane Goodall has not won the Nobel Peace Prize. She has travelled the globe for decades imploring people to embrace planetary peace and to have reverence for the lives of all creatures great and small.

  20. avatar
    steve kilbey | 15 November 2007 at 8:31 pm #

    the native americans were not perfect
    no humans are…
    maybe they didnt need “philosophy”
    fat lot of fucking good “philosophy” has done us
    yeah we got plato and spinoza and sartre
    (and how many westerners do ya know whove read it, much less understood it much less able to apply it in their life?)
    then we still go and bomb maim and ruin
    we still make species extinct
    look at the current state of this western world
    decadent
    lost
    fearful
    imperialistic
    obsessed with actors money and fame
    gee that kinda reminds me of rome
    just before it went down the gurgler
    unable to comprehend its own demise
    and terrorists attacking
    just so they can inflict a little bit of pain on us at home
    the way we have been doing to them
    almost forever

  21. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 8:59 pm #

    Amen .

  22. avatar
    Anonymous | 15 November 2007 at 9:04 pm #

    The West is the Best. The West is the Best. Get here and we’ll do the rest…

  23. avatar
    CSTCoach | 15 November 2007 at 10:08 pm #

    beautiful words, sk, and a sad, accurate indictment of the civilizations of the west. it’s such a vapid, piddling culture that we find ourselves in. “reality” TV, (c)rap and hip-slop, mass consumerism on a cannibalistic rampant scale, and empty cardboard factory-produced foods that only make us sick.

    I completely agree with you re: the decline of rome. It sure feels like we’re in that phase. With leaders like this, it’s gotta be the end.

    ryan

  24. avatar
    davem | 15 November 2007 at 10:12 pm #

    Depressing stuff. They say that as “hunters” our eyes face forwards, shame we don’t use to them to pursue things other than death or destruction.

  25. avatar
    Fireseed | 15 November 2007 at 10:48 pm #

    the problem is
    our huge interconnected
    global civilization
    now lacks the restraining power of traditional local clans to rein in bad behaviour
    witness the powerful states and mega-corporations
    pursuing a race to the bottom
    not a time for despair
    or the wringing of hands
    but an opportunity for those of us who care
    to build new global institutions
    in order to restrain the wrongdoers

  26. avatar
    Brien Comerford | 15 November 2007 at 10:53 pm #

    Sk – two great philosphers were Empedocles and the 20th Century’s Albert Schweitzer. They demanded equal treatment for man and beasts. Kindess and respect for all beings. Ironically, Sartre was Scwheitzer’s cousin. Complete antipodes.

  27. avatar
    verdelay | 15 November 2007 at 11:12 pm #

    The west is a cat.

    Warm, sleek, beautiful.

    Elegant, poised, seductive.

    Aloof, charming, bright.

    I love you, pussy willow. Purring on my knee, watching me curiously, head cocked just so.

    I love you, pussy willow

    Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been…?

    What do you get up to when I let you out at night?

    What amuses you in the dark, far from our safe and cosy hearth, far from home?

    I love you, pussy willow

    Fast, brutal, merciless.

    Impulsive, cruel, greedy.

    Restless, territorial, relentless

    I try not to think about why.
    I love you only for what I see.

    I love you, pussy willow

  28. avatar
    Chille D and the Funky Motherhood of Azog | 15 November 2007 at 11:27 pm #

    binary numbers are fun to play with
    I play with the thought of playing with binary numbers.

    can a binary number be invited out to dinner, cause I think that would be really really nice, just to be able to pull up a chair with a honey number from binary heaven, buy her a few pina coladas, feed her a few shrimp tarts with truffles. then take her star gazing on the Salinger’s apprentice, all the way down the falls of rauros and into the oblivion of the Anduin.

    How sweet it is to be loved by you!
    My binary baby!!

  29. avatar
    Richard | 16 November 2007 at 12:10 am #

    I can’t help but think some times that the west has a lot in common with Hansel and Gretel. We’re being fattened up in a gingerbread house made from the oil and sweat of the rest of the world (which is about to gobble us up).

  30. avatar
    captain obvious | 16 November 2007 at 12:51 am #

    part two: the east?
    the east that is inexplicably linked to
    the west
    the east with their bombs
    the east with their scientists
    the east with their
    sweatshops
    the east with their bollywood
    the east that with the help of
    multinational corporations
    and greedy polititians and kings and sheiks and warlords
    has become the west
    the east that falls also?

    timf

  31. avatar
    captian not so obvious | 16 November 2007 at 1:18 am #

    on a postive note
    read david suzuki’s
    good news for a change
    hope for a troubled planet
    stoddart pub.
    100% old growth paper free
    100% post consumer recyled
    and clorine free

    timf

  32. avatar
    nickfiction | 16 November 2007 at 1:23 am #

    man i don’t know what to say!? i loved it ….

  33. avatar
    veleska1970 | 16 November 2007 at 1:24 am #

    excellent put, eek. precisely.

  34. avatar
    Thelonious | 16 November 2007 at 1:36 am #

    Sorry SK. Too deep for me today. Give me ambient 3. Listening to Anthony Braxton, Compositions # 10 & 16 & 101.

  35. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 16 November 2007 at 3:04 am #

    “words in another language
    languages from another time
    times from another deeper time
    the world is starting to fall away from me”

    Beautifully put!

    ~

    “arg… said…
    It’s like the father eating the child.
    9:50 AM”

    How strange that a comment like this would appear at the very time I was reading this!…

    “After a brisk interview about Burma, Nhat Hanh gave some sense of the topics that were most on his mind that afternoon: he talked first about global warming and then about eating low on the food chain. He told a Buddhist story of a couple who were forced to cross a desert with their young son and, running out of food, killed and ate the child, whose diminishing corpse they carried with them, constantly apologizing to it. “After the Buddha told that story, he asked the monks, ‘Do you think the couple enjoyed eating the flesh of their own son?'” Nhat Hanh recounted. “The monks said ‘no, impossible.’ The Buddha said, let us eat in such a way that will retain compassion in our heart. Otherwise we will be eating the flesh of our son and grandson.” It was a stark and stern reminder of the steel beneath the flowing robe, gentle smile and peaceful demeanor.”

    Thank you “lovely spirit”!

    Continue to guide us!

    ~

  36. avatar
    Anonymous | 16 November 2007 at 5:12 am #

    Well at least the old Greeks tried!
    Hope to hear from you Stavros, real soon!
    Love Greeko girl

  37. avatar
    Ethereal Butterfly | 16 November 2007 at 6:28 am #

    Globalisation is a double edged sword as it is having some detrimental effects on a social level for 3rd world countries which have become the sweatshops for the consumption of the developed countries, but on the flip side it also enables greater cultural interaction and therefore diversity and ideally tolerance. It has also enabled the world to be less ignorant as we are consuming information faster and on a greater world wide scale than ever before via the internet, and other technologies( although how reliable some of it is questionable, Wikipedia etc, ) but undoubtedly, this access to information; re climate change, suffering of humans, animals, devastation of life at many levels, enables the drivers of the planet in the future to have no reason to be complacent. Government policies & education are the answers, and the future drivers are the youth of today. In my view, progressive education policies are crucial in ensuring positive change for any country/culture. Knowledge is power in the positive light. I’m sorry to disagree with some of this community members’ personal choices not to vote but in my view, not voting in an election, is tantamount to choosing to promote ignorance and complacency in light of the need for action, as opposed to inaction, to accelerate change for the better.

    I have also relished the last 2 blogs!! More please……………

  38. avatar
    emily teechen | 16 November 2007 at 7:44 am #

    eight sleeps to go until the worst australian government in living memory is evicted from all its platinum-plated, war-mongering, civilian-imprisoning, poor-trampling offices

    go the greens
    go bob brown
    give us this month our senate control

  39. avatar
    mb | 16 November 2007 at 10:54 am #

    The ‘west’ needs to return to it’s ancient Greek roots.

    The ‘west’ today is not the west of Plato, Socrates, Aristophanes, and later Michaelangelo et al.

    The Ancient Greeks conquered with ideas and thoughts and not with swords (well there was Alexander the Great, but even he caused a cultural revolution everywhere he went).

    It was Arthur C. Clarke had said that “if it wasn’t for Christianity, the Greeks would of reached the moon 500 years before the Americans did”…

    Look to the Greeks SK…..

  40. avatar
    lysander | 16 November 2007 at 2:38 pm #

    Without phalanxes of shitkicking hoplites, Greek culture would’ve been exterminated centuries before Christianity. It’s a sad truth, but true nontheless, that strength and power make all other virtues possible.

  41. avatar
    ...being here, doing this... | 17 November 2007 at 1:35 am #

    “the west with its crusades and quarries”

    I read this last night which sheds light on the pervasiveness of the corruption of power throughout all cultures….even in the domain of highly regarded Eastern masters…

    “THE TEMPTATIONS OF WORLDY POWER

    From crusades to jihads, from corrupt holy men and tyrannical bishops to the sale of indulgences – the history of abuse of power by organised Western religions is well known. Somehow, though, we may have imagined that Eastern religions and meditative traditions were immune to this form of corruption. But Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, China, Tibet and Burma all have religious histories that include periodic grave abuses of power. In “The Zen Of War”, Brian Victoria describes in painful detail the ways that many charismatic Japanese Zen Masters such as Sawaki Kodo Roshi and Harada Daiun Roshi abused and twisted Zen teachings during World War II to foster war and killing. In the name of Buddhism, Zen teachers over many centuries have encouraged practitioners to join in the military killing of non-Japanese as a “beneficial war of compassion”. Military killing has been described as an expression of enlightenment, and major temples have provided soldiers, money for weapons, and blessings for cannons and military campaigns. There are even cases of monasteries warring against one another, vying for increased power.

    In a similar fashion, wars between sects, monks and monasteries are a part of Tibetan history. Tsipon Shuguba, former Tibetan minister of finance and author of “In The Presence Of My Enemies”, describes the power struggles and fighting during the decades before Communist China took over Tibet. Great monasteries like Sera, high lamas like Reting Rinpoche (the Dalai Lama’s regent), and hundreds of monks were involved in battles using horses, guns and cannons in which many monk-soldiers died. Sectarianism and battles for power have continued to occur in the Tibetan community in exile, all in the name of “correct” religious practice.

    Many established religious hierarchies have come to possess vast properties, art treasures, international visibility, and moral influence. The task is to find ways to hold these without becoming caught up in their glittering appeal. A wise spiritual leader will have a simple spirit and a free heart whether he or she is wearing brocade and speaking with kings or wearing rags and living in desert solitude. Genuine love for all beings recognizes political power as shabby and useless, compared with the wealth of living in the midst of truth”

    – Jack Kornfield.

  42. avatar
    PAGEY | 17 November 2007 at 2:59 am #

    THE east BEING west NOW LICKS OUR ASS AT BEING west. wE SHOULD NOW GO east??

  43. avatar
    Centuryhouse | 17 November 2007 at 5:24 am #

    All true – every negative thing man can do.

    It’s not unique to the West though. It’s present in any place that mankind has ever inhabited. Horrendous ugliness, violence & debasement – in all directions and all civilizations.

    It’s not the NSEW direction or the present dominating civilization that we should engage in self flagellation over though (though you can if you like) – it’s human kind and what we choose to do with our humanity. Today it’s the West, in 50 years it will be the East and the West will have fallen on it’s knees.

    Man will always dominate man to his own injury, and pat himself on the back for his progress while doing it.

  44. avatar
    Anonymous | 17 November 2007 at 7:21 am #

    eastwest,yinyang,hotcold,darklight,yesno,…..there is never one of these things in harmony without each other…it is about balance…there can be an equalizing of energies,cosmically.once these energies are in balance…there will only be physical distance between east and west…but we must get the pos. and the negatives,in balance,so throw your positive energy around!


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