September 2004

A young man of considerable intelligence (or so I thought) excitedly drew me aside one day, to share how he had just been enlightened through learning about “ the illuminati.” At first I didn’t know what he was taking about, but as he raved on, it was clear that someone had turned him onto THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, a long discredited, anti-Jewish forgery cooked up by Czarist bigots in Russia. “It explains everything!” he said, and went on to tell me how the Jews were responsible for absolutely everything, past and present, that is wrong with the world.  He was hooked on the ever-popular conspiracy theory used by fascists in WW II and today by radical Muslim terrorists to justify their atrocities.  Do you think telling him any of this cooled his juices? Not at all! He was like a puppy with a bone, and he was not about to give it up because of any kind of analytical criticism. Already, at 18, he was a “true believer.” – Bill Joyner

 

 

 

 

RECONCILIATION

 

A family can act as gangsters, offering each other mutual protection against each other’s violence.  It is a reciprocal terrorism with the offer of protection/security against the violence that each threatens the other with, and is threatened by, if anyone steps out of line.  – R.D. Laing

 

all god’s children coming of age

God seems to be

leaving an awful lot of things

up to us these days --

automation, atomic power,

contraception.

Mature people

have the agonizing task

of discriminating betweens

shades of good, better

and best,

and that’s the reason

many of us would much rather

go on clinging

to the apron strings of God.

 

William T. Joyner, adapted from Wheels in the Air, Pilgrim Press, 1968

 

 

The movie “Seven Samurai” is, to me, one of the clearest cinematic visions ever created around the theme of proactive force in response to extreme, inhuman oppression. Here, in the social chaos of medieval Japan, is a community of farmers, knowing that an overwhelming force of marauding bandits will be back after the harvest to pillage and rape them again and that they will not be able to repel the invaders. With their limited funds, they set out to hire, if possible, a samurai warrior, who will recruit as many more capable fighters as he can find for the price – which turns out to be seven. The pure Zen quality and diversity of these men and the confidence they build up in the villagers is a profound portrait of delicate grace. They move like cats, relaxed and ready, fully prepared to go up against a much larger force of 40 armed and mounted thugs. It makes you wonder – what, if any, action would we take were we facing the dilemma of the farmers in that village? Would we offer light resistance and then simply submit to their monstrous atrocities? As, in fact, the farmers had done before. Or, would we utilize every possible resource to head off another similar disaster, as the farmers decided to do in this movie. – BJ

 

 

Modern man is earnestly seeking an approach to God which emphasizes the importance of the secular world and uses his life in this world as a starting point for spirituality. – Gannon and Traub in THE DESERT AND THE CITY

 

We are possibly moving to a point where the effort to verbalize mystery is becoming more and more self-defeating. The world is too complex to box.  – Alan Watts

 

P. O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, Florida 34230

joynerbill28@gmail.com

 

     

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