All articles and books on this site are now available in both MS Word and PDF formats.
In memory of George Floyd
and the many others who continue
to suffer persecution, as he did,
in this "Land of the Free."
Taking off my boots,
I walked barefoot:
Every stone became
Welcome, My Friend.
I am Matthew, and I am glad that you are visiting us on this site. I hope that you find something of value to you here as you continue to grow in spirit.
Each of us grows in spirit in a unique way. The course of development for each person is different. For, our intimately personal spiritual lives and the experiences which we have when we are paying attention to our deepest hearts are unique to each of us.
This uniqueness, however, does not prevent us from speaking with each other--with others like ourselves who are also seeking the fullness of life. The purpose of this website is to offer a place where we and other seekers after the fullness of life can reflect in language about those "noticings" which we all make of the reality of things--those experiences which we recognize to be somehow meaningful, somehow opening toward the depth of things.
So, the conversation is open to all who wish to participate in it. Of necessity, I will take a leading role, posting articles now and then which I offer as stimuli of our conversations on those topics. But I am no master of anything, and you and everyone else who cares to participate seriously are also invited to write articles for publication here, or to write responses and comments on what others have previously written.
My only request is that what you write be peaceful, true to your understanding of your spiritual life, and respectful of others and of their truth. A person can disagree with someone else's opinion without being disagreeable.
THE PRICE OF SLAVERY
By Matthew Skulicz. A meditation on the continuing impact of slavery on our contentious American society.
PLUS extensive comments
by Ted Kozlowski.
WHY WE WILL DIE
By Matthew Skulicz. A discussion of human predation as the cause of the collapse and soon-to-be-realized death of our civilization.
PLUS extensive comments
by Ted Kozlowski.
WHEN IT HAPPENS
By Matthew Skulicz. A discussion of dying and death, and of our ways of dealing with these.
PLUS an extensive comment
by Ted Kozlowski.
By Matthew Skulicz. An examination of what we think we know.
PLUS an extensive reader's comment.
Even the Sorrow Isn’t Worth a Damned Thing
June 8, 2021
I began this website as a forum for readers and me to discuss spiritual matters—the quest for wholeness, the desire to encounter God or Buddha or Brahman or Allah or the Other or the Source . . . . But I could not keep my attention on the Source without surveying the life that we all have made, together, from the resources at our disposal (and dispose we do, by the bargeful!) and from the condition of our collective hearts. So my thoughts ran along the political realities of our current lives, and I have fallen into a sadness for the ideals we used to stand for, which are being displaced by the realities of Machiavellian politics writ large across the walls of the Capitol. Even so, I know that even the sorrow isn’t worth a damned thing.
I felt pity for Kamala Harris this afternoon as she struggled with nervousness—her first time before the press as the representative of the authority of the United States. The pity was not for her nerves, though. My pity was for the role she was trying with such force of character to play—the spokesperson and defender of the corrupt government of the United States, reporting on her allegedly positive discussions with the corrupt governments of Guatemala and Mexico. She appears to be a decent but ambitious person, now doing the deceptive job of translating the back-room talk—about how much money will be transferred into whose off-shore accounts, and who will get the American factories and the jobs they will bring, and which public services, paid for with American dollars, will stop los campesinos from making the long trek to the United States, and whatever else is demanded by the uselessly rich robber-barons whose demands are always met by their politician flunkies—into clean, hope-inspiring terms, acceptable in our American “democracy.” She even spoke of talks about commissions to root out governmental corruption in the guest countries! Good work, Ms. Harris. What a trooper!
She said nothing, of course, about rooting out corruption in American government. After a while, I had to switch the channel to fiction in the usual, more overt form.
Sometimes, now and then, a president of one country or another thinks that they have real power or forgets whom they are working for. Then, expenditures have to be made. Somehow, such morons must be removed from the spotlighted chair of alleged power. So it went for Lincoln, for Jack and Bobby Kennedy both, for Dr. King, and in less dramatic ways for Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. These guys all crossed the line that led to their re-education. Both Lincoln and Dr. King were too empowering of the Black underclasses. Jack Kennedy interfered with Soviet Union attempts to build a “beach-head” in Latin America (a term not used then, but used 40 years later in Iraq.) Bobby Kennedy took on the Mafia. Nixon made a public mess and disgraced himself, no matter how clever and tricky he was. And Johnson just went too far in giving equality hopes to the American Blacks.—On that one, the robber-barons did not succeed at the time. They’re making another try at it currently, through Trump, McConnell and company.
My wife says that I feed on the governmental stink of this nation. Even Biden, busy at work holding meetings and writing legislation which McConnell promised weeks ago, in his only declaration of principle since the Biden inauguration (on the order of “I have only one goal: to stop Biden from accomplishing anything”)—even Biden, in a rankly despicable display of solidarity with Israel and its criminal Prime Minister, Netanyahu, sank into the depths of the latrine, defending Israel’s “right to defend itself,” when Israeli police and military provoked the Hamas rocket attack by evicting another Palestinian family, citizens of Israel, all of them, from their legitimately owned home in East Jerusalem, and by desecrating an Islamic mosque by sending Jewish troops into it on the holiest day of Ramadan. (“Bibi,” I ask the dirt of the earth, “what does the Festival of Lights (Channukah) celebrate for you, that you would defile someone else’s sacred space in the same way Antiochus IV Epiphanes defiled the Temple of the God of your forefathers? Did your ancestors not seek freedom by rebelling against the Seleucids and overthrowing them? Are you not Antiochus IV Epiphanes to the Palestinians? Yes, you are, you are!”)
The lie that Biden perpetuates from the reigns of previous presidents is, first, that the Palestinian military is of equal capability with Israeli forces, and second, that the Israeli military takes every possible precaution to avoid killing innocent civilians. The news reports betray the lies. The film clips show clearly the pitiful Palestinian rockets one by one popping out of existence while still in flight, shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Virtually every Palestinian rocket was destroyed in that way. And between rocket attacks, the Israelis pounded the Gaza Strip with ultra-sophisticated bombs that targeted individual buildings and brought them down, taking with them the surrounding neighborhoods of homes and families. At the time of the cease fire agreement, the death toll was in the range of 200 Palestinians, many of them children, and 20 Israeli deaths.
No equality exists between the two sides. Israel is and always has been, because of American aid and support, the stronger of the two militaries. Israel demonstrated its military, if not its moral, superiority again in the latest conflict.
Oh, Joe! You are lying to us! You, Joe, man of the people! Did your bosses write that speech for you? Or did you write it yourself, carefully, so as not to offend those who could do worse to you?
During her speech this afternoon, Kamala said at one point, “We are entering a new era,” and then she paused. I was ready for “. . . an era of worldwide fascism, which we must fight against.” But she did not say that. She said, “an era of cooperation by the United States with our allies . . . Guatemala and Mexico.” For a moment, I thought—or wished—that she was going to tell the truth. But, no, she contented herself to say that Biden and she will talk with our allies, not backstab them as Trump did. That’s all paper-hanging, decoration, declaring the old certainties that will promote stability. It's stability, normalcy, the status quo that the robber-barons want. That's what the vice-president delivered.
Meanwhile, nearly half the voting population of the United States are already outed, satisfied fascists of the Trumpian variety. They are willing to trade open democracy for tight-fisted protection of their White supremacy and all its affluent comforts and perversions of justice.
Trump or his surrogate will win re-election in 2024. We don’t know where the generals stand with regard to supporting Trump, but during his presidency, he had been generously gifting them with the toys they asked for each year. We won’t know until it begins in earnest. If the military takes his side, as militaries in other countries usually do when right-wing dictators rise to power, then there is nothing and no one to stand in his way. Schumer is plainly too weak, and Biden with his bully-pulpit is too unsure and too distracted by trying to bring his promised legislation to an uncooperative Congress, and Kamala Harris is too new to the game to do what is necessary—to confront the raging elephant head-on in mortal combat, to act boldly and to speak ferociously and honestly both to the traitorous leaders and to their benighted followers, to paint the picture clearly and understandably of what will inevitably occur in the wake of a fascist takeover of our democracy—the castration of Congress, the collapse of journalistic freedom and integrity, the spread of fear and terror throughout our population, the death squads of armed and trained Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, the rampaging MAGA crowds, the internment camps, the re-education and/or removal of dissident individuals and of whole dissident groups, the bellicose swagger of a pugnacious but imperiously wealthy rogue nation gorging itself on the valuables of its neighboring nations. Read your Orwell. Read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Read Strongmen: Mussolini to the Present.
Why do I drink in this daily cultural violence so avidly? It’s a horror that I cannot take my eyes away from—as compelling as the January 6th Putsch on the Capitol building. What else should I look at? My navel? It is happening. I must watch it. We are aboard the Titanic, invisibly swelling with water below the water-line. We are sinking. There is nowhere to go but down with it. Even Denmark is moving to block refugees of color! There is nowhere to go.
As long as death and destruction are unavoidable, I have to look it in the eye as it approaches. Anything else leads to the quiet cowardice of those civilians in Hitler’s Germany who watched without speaking as the concentration camps went up down the street, behind the tree line.
Copyright © 2021 by Matthew Skulicz
An Offering to You
of Books at No Cost
I am pleased to offer to you the following three books, which are published only on this website. You may read any or all of them here on these pages.
The first is my most recent book, The Only Christian Century. It was published in 2020. It is a call to see the truth of how Christianity ceased to follow the teachings of Jesus and pursued less noble goals. It explains why the Christian churches of our time are so different in spirit and in practice from the community of followers that Jesus established before his death.
The second book is an ongoing collection of essays on aspects of the spiritual life, in the context of our own times. It is intended for readers of all religions or of no religion. It is entitled Truth to Power.
The third book is an older book, from 2013, written when I was a practicing Christian. It is an analysis and commentary on Psalm 95. It aims to bring the reader to understand his or her relation to Divinity. It is entitled Let Us Approach Him.
To open the first and the second book, your device must be able to open Microsoft Word. The third book is in .PDF format.
Click on the button below which displays the title you want.
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The Toto-Truths That
Trump Taught Us
by Matthew Skulicz. Explores the truths which Trump as President led us Americans to discover--truths about who we are, what we hold valuable, and who shapes our government and our lives.
Even The Sorrow Isn't Worth A Damned Thing
By Matthew Skulicz. Analyzes with distress the fall of American democracy into fascism. Thoughts on Kamala Harrris's Mexico City press conference on June 8, 2021.
PLUS extensive comments
by Ted Kozlowski.
Remember the Blog!!
You surely don't want to bypass the Blog Page and the posts on it. These posts offer you specific ways and methods of growing in the spiritual life. The Blog also offers another opportunity for dialogue about spirituality and the spiritual life. Contributions and questions from you and other readers are encouraged.
Available now are THREE BOOKS, offered at no cost, elsewhere on this page .