To profess an ideal of perfect equality or harmony is nonsensical.
Likewise so is professing an ideal of perfect free trade or pure capitalism.
Ideals are perfect goals. They will never be reached. They are simply an idea that must be perfected through trial and error. It is all in the ‘doing’ of the ideal, not in the ‘end result.’
Even scientists and mathematicians realize that by ‘approximating’ a formula and then ‘approximating’ it again and again will they ever approach the truth. That is the truth in science. That also is the truth of humanity. There is no end to discovery. It is all approximation. We believe that we can jump to the end but there is no end; we just discover another path ‘towards’ the end.
Those who preach that egalitarianism, utopianism, or pure free trade can be reached in one generation only fool themselves while they are trying…
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Here are the people you have met, the places you have been and the books you have read while visiting Thomas Tahauwus in his cabin. Thomas thanks all of you for keeping him company and hopes that you have enjoyed hearing about his experiences in the Adirondack Mountains
I must thank two uncertainties for the discovery of Akbar; an echo and a philosophical dictionary.
The echo disturbs anyone who finds himself in a specific ancient dusty great-room which has the odor of yellowing print material. This great-room is located in the once grand summer lodge of Aiden Lair. Aiden Lair may be found with great difficulty (if at all) in the depths of the Adirondack Mountains. The philosophical dictionary was possibly labeledThe Dictionnaire Philosophique, Voltaire, 1764. Itwas a literal but anachronistic reprint of the Philosophical Dictionary, Stanford, 1995. The event that I am about to describe to you took place a half century ago – therefore you must forgive my memory – for the ‘possibly labeled’ comment.
Ernest Hemingwayinvited me to an evening meal of trout and venison that he had prepared over a wood fire. He had gathered the wood from…
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Remember when we were looking at the Starucca Viaduct; that manmade wonder of the world?
The small town of Harmony is a short walk from the viaduct.
When discussing the viaduct I mentioned Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon religion. There is a lot of common information about Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York and Ohio and Missouri and his followers in Utah.
HOWEVER – – –
There is little common knowledge about his life in Harmony, Pennsylvania.
Oh – – – I don’t mean that the Mormons have little knowledge about their leader when he was in Harmony. What I mean is that most of us non-Mormons know little about this part of his life.
Like in Ohio and Missouri, Josesph Smith was under scrutiny and attack, jailed and not understood.
For example, here is some second hand and very aged information from a Christian minister.
The good reverend Peck…
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I was out for a nice stroll in the neighborhood. We have no sidewalks here. Everyone walks in the road. I have no idea why. The neighborhood is almost sixty years old and they never bothered putting in sidewalks. Now, as you can imagine, the town has rules. First of all they claim to own or control the first eight feet of everyone’s lot; both front and side. They also have a rule that there can be no fences on that eight foot section between what I own and the curb; the sidewalk-less section in case I had to remind you.
But all that information is for naught. It has nothing to do with what I am about to tell you.
As I was walking – – – it was in the evening – – – I heard someone talking to me. Or so I thought. But why was he…
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A rich Spaniard, riding about one day,
Was paying no attention to his way,
He circled for home, but then before,
he saw a young boy, on the river’s shore.
the lad scowled at his empty hook,
the Spaniard alit with a kindly look,
they sat together, he and the forlorn child
looked the boy in the eye and then he smiled.
“You are the most melancholy niño I’ve ever seen,”
the Spaniard said. “What does your sad face mean?”
‘Nuestro padre gone; for siete children I –
must fish all day” the pescar lad lent reply.
“Mi madre es ill and we are poor;
It is for fish I frequent this shore –
I fish here from the morning’s light,
until I fear the dark and dreary night.
I catch very few fish and my fingers pain,
I must fish in all weather, hot sun or rain.”
The Spaniard said: “Can I fish, will you agree?”
The lad nodded and, then almost immediately,
From his saddle bag the man did deliver,
hook and line, casting it far, into the river.
Together they caught ciento cincuenta fish.
“This wealth is far beyond my wildest wish,”
the boy said. ‘A splendid haul,’ the Man replied.
Good Fortune has been busy at your side –
Accept your luck, don’t try to comprehend
How this has happened; you’d be lost, my friend.
Your wealth is greater than my own; today
A King has fished for you — I cannot stay.’
He leapt onto his horse. ‘But take your share,’
The boy said earnestly. ‘That’s only fair.’
‘Tomorrow’s catch is mine. We won’t divide
Today’s; you have it all,’ the King replied.
‘Tomorrow when I fish you are the prey,
A fine trophy I refuse to give away.’
The next day, walking in his pastoral shade,
The King recalled the friend that he had made.
A apostle fetched the boy, and this unknown
was, at the king’s command set on his throne.
The apostles murmured at his poverty –
“He is my friend, this fact suffices me;
He is my equal here in everything
The partner of my throne,” declared the King;
To every taunt the boy had one reply:
‘My sadness vanished when My King passed by.’
Dehkhoda offered: “A wise man once told me,
that through understanding you will begin to see,
a deeper love for the other, that will bring,
wisdom and friendship that no wealthy king –
will ever have, only humbleness and prayer,
see the other with his eyes – with heartfelt care;
if with the other, you need to pray;
do whatever you can to see his way.
Listen to his case, you own opinions cease,
in this way your understanding will increase,
in doing this, his thoughts will be drawn,
and your misjudging the other will be gone,
then he will accept you, and you both will know,
that you accept him – only then – will love grow.”
Next Post; S3:E5 A Story About Sharing
The trembling questers stared out across the plain;
The grass seemed as endless, endless; as their pain.
But in the Dehkhoda’s heart self-confidence,
certified him to speak to this unique conference –
their worry did not alarm him nor the high –
flock of circling buzzards in the bright sky.
What other wagon train leader could bear,
The worrisome difficulties; all in his care?
The anxious pilgrims appealed to the guide,
“You must get us to our goal.” they cried,
“We have no leader, we have no king –
you appear to know most everything,
you have crossed this prairie; therefore you know,
whether to the north or south or straight we go;
you have seen bears and buffalo along the way,
we will follow your lead, anywhere you say,
lead us safely to those far lands we seek,
as we are unexperienced; our spirits weak,
give us courage, enlighten our hearts,
before this wagon train, again departs,
your courage is not the thing we doubt,
it is the unknown that this is about,
daylight is disappearing, soon there will be no light,
help us through uncertainty, it is our dark night;
give us directions and we will commit –
our sinew and muscle, all we have, to it.”
The Dehkhoda spoke, and the pilgrim herds,
considered each and every one of his words;
all of them gathered to understand his mind,
gathered by nations, clarifying for their kind.
The German and the Frenchman voiced complaint,
their crowds grew smaller, their words grew faint –
the crowds applauded the Dehkhoda; an opportune state,
where neither fear nor anarchy – could easily predominate.
As the Dehkhoda spoke; he verbally drew,
a great path forward; undoubtedly true.
One asked: “How is it that you surpass us in –
this quest, requiring courage; what is our sin? –
we are alone and so are you — but you receive –
courage and heart, while we can only grieve.”
Next Post; S3:E4 The Dehkhoda Teaches Them About “Understanding”
The Dehkhoda had been given leadership; renowned –
the pilgrims (with great reverence) had gathered round,
hundreds convened then; right there,
breathing in the healthy prairie air.
however, upon hearing their first loon,
someone emitted a wail; ‘certain doom’,
dread spread among them as they feared,
the barrenness that had appeared,
not unlike a herd of buffalo; a clustered crowd,
formed a protective circle as they cried aloud,
it would break your heart; this apprehensive song –
their fears countless – away from home too long,
an incalculable distance before their eyes,
nothing familiar that they would recognize,
only emptiness had greeted them where,
they thought in fear of unknown; despair,
“The impending trip is lifeless, empty — why?”
to which Dehkhoda gave this rather odd reply:
“This story about a queen – not a king –
it is a history of this emptiness – I bring.”
——– One moonlit night,
Sacagawea was attracted by a sight,
which appeared so clearly as if it were day,
over rivers and swamps she made her way,
found herself on a cliff where she saw more,
incalculable empty space than she hoped for,
she dared walk no farther – clearly aware,
she would then fall to her death, in despair.
Sacagawea stared out at that great immensity,
knowing that to widely roam was her propensity,
a call for help, ——– “Great Spirit,” she cried,
“Your verdant palace summons me far and wide –
where are the white men who should be taught? –
there is not one to be found; I feel distraught.”
A voice called out “You must admit,
that these white men may not be fit,
to hear the hooting and howls through the night,
they may not last; darkness ‘til dawn’s bright light,
You must show them the way through your home,
along the rivers and mountains; their new throne.”
Next Post; S3:E3 The Pilgrims ask the Dehkhoda to Resolve their Doubts