nonviolence sculpture

Extreme Virtue 21: Tactic, Strategy, Philosophy

Tactic, Strategy, Philosophy by Randall Auxier   Nonviolence. This is a sculpture by Carl Fredrik Reutersw√§rd. The original is outside the UN in New York. What is the “non” in nonviolence? Just refraining from hitting somebody? Some people say that is what ahimsa, means, the idea used by Gandhi that gets translated as “nonviolence.” It’s…

enigma

Picktures and Pieces 5: Urd or The Enigma Project

Urd, or The Enigma Project by Randall Auxier   You might not think you know this sentence, but you do: “Oy esd yjr nrdy pg yo,rd. oy esd yjr eptdy pg yo,rd/” I spent a couple of weeks in Poland this past summer, and for all the world, the language, lovely as it is, sounded…

busy reflections

Survival Mentality

“The entire modern deification of survival per se, survival returning to itself, survival naked and abstract, with the denial of any substantive excellence in what survives, except the capacity for more survival still, is surely the strangest intellectual stopping place ever proposed by one man to another.” William James It has become a commonplace to…

segregation

Extreme Virtue 20: Bus 109

Bus 109 by Randall Auxier   To tell the truth, I don’t remember the bus number. I thought I would never forget it. But I chose 109 because Kate Campbell’s song by that name pretty well sums it up. It was a strange time to be a kid. (I speak from experience.) In the South,…

bangladeshi woman

Extreme Virtue 19: White Devils

White Devils by Randall Auxier This woman is many things to the people in her life, but I want to write about some things she isn’t. For the record, I don’t know her name. I know only that she is from Bangladesh –assuming the website has this right (which is not a safe approach to…

Science and Truth

There are still those among us who deny that scientific truth has any sort of hold on free minds. We can believe anything we want and call “true” anything we find comfortable they maintain. But while we can certainly believe anything we want to — there are those among us who think the earth is…

malcolm-x

Extreme Virtue 18: Conversion(s)

Conversion(s) by Randall Auxier   Here is a smiling Malcolm X. Many think of him as the angriest black man ever, and the most famous photographs of him show intensity, conviction, defiance, an iron will. Yet, those who knew him well always talked about his sense of humor, his charm, his easy manner. Men and…

lakotadancelarge

Extreme Virtue 17: True Believers

True Believers by Randall Auxier   To dangle at the end of a tether seems extreme. But these devout fellows don’t worry about the judgments of other people. What calls human beings away from comfort to freely chosen suffering can’t be fully explained. It’s for those who can discern a reality that exceeds our everyday…

butterflymaiden-rightfront

Extreme Virtue 16: The Chrysalis and the Dream

The Chrysalis and the Dream by Randall Auxier   This carving is female. Of course it is. But how do we know? If I knew that, I’d . . . I’d . . . what? Get the copyright? No, that would be wrong. Use the knowledge to my personal advantage? I hope I wouldn’t do…

lakotagiveaway

Extreme Virtue 15: Indian Givers

Indian Givers by Randall Auxier   When I was a kid, my schoolmates used the phrase “indian giver” as a slur against anyone who gave something away but then wanted it back. I probably said it myself. None of us knew any Indians and I don’t know where we got this phrase –probably from television.…