“Those who are…disturbed by expressions of the Existentialist courage of despair”, excerpt from The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

“It is not astonishing that those who are unshaken in their courage to be as a part, either in its collectivist or in its conformist form, are disturbed by the expressions of the Existentialist courage of despair. They are unable to understand what is happening in our period. They are unable to distinguish the genuine from the neurotic anxiety in Existentialism. They attack as a morbid longing for negativity what in reality is courageous acceptance of the negative. They call decay what is actually the creative expression of decay. They reject as meaningless the meaningful attempt to reveal the meaninglessness of our situation. It is not the ordinary difficulty of understanding those who break new ways in thinking and artistic expression which produces the widespread resistance to recent Existentialism but the desire to protect a self-limiting courage to be as a part. Somehow one feels that this is not a true safety; one has to suppress inclinations to accept the Existentialist visions, one even enjoys them if they appear in the theater or in novels, but one refuses to take them seriously, that is as revelations of one’s own existential meaninglessness and hidden despair…one does not feel spiritually threatened by something which is not an element of oneself. And since it is a symptom of the neurotic character to resist nonbeing by reducing being, the Existentialist could reply to the frequent reproach that he is neurotic by showing the neurotic defense mechanisms of the anti-Existentialist desire for traditional safety.”

“There should be no question of what Christian theology has to do in this situation. It should decide for truth against safety, even if the safety is consecrated and supported by the churches. Certainly there is a Christian conformism, from the beginning of the Church on, and there is a Christian collectivism–or at least semicollectivism, in several periods of Church history. But this should not induce Christian theologians to identify Christian courage with the courage to be as a part. They should realize that the courage to be as oneself is the necessary corrective to the courage to be as a part–even if they rightly assume that neither of these forms of the courage to be gives the final solution.”

–from The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

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Digging for Truth

Deep down, I dig to the bottom.
What lies in this hidden depth?
Fear, grief, rage, confusion…
It rocks my reason, clouds my vision.

But what is the answer?
Where is the road out of this darkened wood?
Is it faith? Trust? Logic? Courage? Peace?
Is Love the answer? Where will it take me?

Right now everything is scary.
I feel caught in a cage,
In chains, buried deep underneath
Miles of ground, isolated by time,

Place, and no relationships that bring
Relief, connection, revelation, peace.
Anxiety rules the roost, it conquers all.
Fear is my father, abandonment is my mother.

Rage is my brother, grief is my sister.
This is my family. My friends are shadows,
Ghosts in a mist that only evaporate in my
Hands when I reach out to hold their hands.

I am lost in my mirrors, erroring in my program,
Nothing makes sense, nothing works.
What is the truth? Who is my savior?
From where does my salvation come?

Daring to Dream Again

Jumping in, swimming through, climbing up.
The journey continues, the effort is never done.
The edges come and go, the valleys grow lower,
But the mountain tops promise greater visions.

Oh, to be at the mountain top, to feel the wind,
The look down on the struggle, to look back at
The despair, to consider the overcoming of it all.
To be there, and not here, is my desire.

I look up into the mystical sky above my mind,
It stirs my heart in wonder, to dare to dream again!
To open myself to what is next, not in dread,
But in hope, in excitement, in aspiration and ambition.

To try again, to strive, to seek another endeavor,
To challenge oneself, again and again, that is what
Life is all about: growth, relationship, victory!
Oh, to be victorious once again! To be at peace!

Gargoyle

Desperately seeking freedom
From a wretched thing, a scowling,
Grey, hairy, saber-toothed gargoyle
Spirit, waiting in the wings.

To escape, to unlock the door of this
Stifling, suffocating, claustrophobic
Coffin of an existence, in despair,
In loathing, in terror, waiting for

The next moment to pass by,
Wondering simply how I can bear
Another second in this mind, this
Twisted mind, this gifted, but tainted

Mind, with its chemical imbalances,
Its phantoms of the past, rearing their
Ugly heads and screaming through the
Halls of my soul, stalking my every thought,

Taking notes, taking tallies, making plans,
Growing stronger every day, feeding on my
Nightmares, breaking through my every
Conscious thought and feeling, a parasite

That thrives in my body as a clock
Thrives on time, counting, heaping
More and more moments upon each
Other, burying myself beneath it.

“Courage and Despair”, an excerpt from The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

“…Twentieth-century man has lost a meaningful world and a self which lives in meanings out of a spiritual center. The man-created world of objects has drawn into itself him who created it and who now loses his subjectivity in it. He has sacrificed himself to his own productions. But man still is aware of what he has lost or is continually losing. He is still man enough to experience his dehumanization as despair. He does not know a way out but he tries to save his humanity by expressing the situation as without an “exit.” He reacts with the courage of despair, the courage to take his despair upon himself and to resist the radical threat of nonbeing by the courage to be as oneself. Every analyst of present-day Existentialist philosophy, art, and literature can show their ambiguous structure: the meaninglessness which drives to despair, a passionate denunciation of this situation, and the successful or unsuccessful attempt to take the anxiety of meaninglessness into the courage to be as oneself.”

–from The Courage to Be, by Paul Tillich

Haunted

Inside out, the guts roam free.
The terrible truth of insanity.
Sex, power and money can’t
Match the sour in this stomach.

Rhythm claimed, silence conquered,
Routine found, resurrected again.
Sleep deprived, tottering nerves,
On the edge again and again.

Living a truth my body can’t stand,
Taking a dose of reality a day.
On the level, in the zone,
Out of hell, and right back in!

Mange of cruelty, sty of freedom,
Ebbing slowly toward the center,
Trudging through the abandonment
Of a lost soul, a broken heart, a death.

Imagine the pain, you’re there, I’m here.
Countered the plane of twisted confusion.
Day to day, the grind tears through me,
The tears don’t come, but they stain all the same.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

(Preamble)

Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people.

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations.

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge.

Now, therefore, the General Assembly, proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.

Read more at http://www.amnesty.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights-anniversary/declaration-text

Amnesty International

(Content from http://www.amnesty.org/)

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights to be respected and protected for everyone.

We believe human rights abuses anywhere are the concern of people everywhere.

So, outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world, we work to improve people’s lives through campaigning and international solidarity.

Our mission is to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

Our members and supporters exert influence on governments, political bodies, companies and intergovernmental groups.

Activists take up human rights issues by mobilizing public pressure through mass demonstrations, vigils and direct lobbying as well as online and offline campaigning.

Campaigning for those who need help

“They carried guns all the time. I was afraid of the guns. Actually, I was in constant fear.”
Fereh Musu Conteh, 13 years old, abducted by an armed group in Sierra Leone

Our campaigning remains firmly rooted in the power of individuals working in support of others who need protection or support.

Working with and for individuals the world over, we campaign so that every person may enjoy all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We undertake research and take action aimed at preventing and ending grave abuses of these rights, demanding that all governments and other powerful entities respect the rule of law. It means we campaign globally and locally where ever we can make a difference. For example, we take action to:

•Stop violence against women
•Defend the rights and dignity of those trapped in poverty
•Abolish the death penalty
•Oppose torture and combat terror with justice
•Free prisoners of conscience
•Protect the rights of refugees and migrants
•Regulate the global arms trade

Thousands of Amnesty International members respond to Urgent Action appeals on behalf of individuals at immediate risk. Publicity through the news media and the internet takes our message in many languages to millions of people.

Campaigning can change people’s lives – of victims and survivors of human rights abuses, of human rights activists and defenders and even of the abusers.

Independent and democratic

We have a number of safeguards in place to protect our autonomy. We are:

•Independent of any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion
•Democratic and self-governing
•Financially self-sufficient, thanks to the generous support of donations provided by individual members and supporters

We do not support or oppose any government or political system and neither do we necessarily support or oppose the views of the victims/survivors or human rights defenders whose rights we seek to protect.

Solace

crossing quotes into the desert of ambition and sensory overload,
acheing for a truth that resonates in the soul, mind and heart.
staying mellow is my goal for the moment, a steep climb from
where I stand, in the valley of mixed episodes of manic-depression.

chaos rules inside my brain, echoes of cries from down deep,
swooping and grapping, the hands of terror and excitement,
follow my every move, invade my every thought and emotion.
the journey is arduous, the provisions are few, a pill here, a pill there.

thank god for insurance, thank god I still have a job, thank god for
my wife, my family, my friends, my doctors, my counselors.
without a support system, I would be a ship lost in a sea full of
tempests and monsters, with no anchor, and no shore to sail to.

sometimes the whirlpools catch me in their spin, but I sail on,
and I break free, eventually, sometimes pirates attack, even
come aboard and tease my sanity with rape and pillage of my
stability and quietude. There is no peace in the storm.

But mirages sometimes turn out to be islands,
And a break comes with a smile and a helping hand,
A generous soul steps in to consider someone else’s woes,
my woes, my heart, my feelings, my thoughts.

Yes, there is a calm to the storm,
And an eye at the center of every hurricane.
I find solace somewhere, in some face full of concern,
in a suggestion that actually helps, a practical, earthly wisdom.

nauseous

track the back of macked lack nasty motley dude
drive huge march loud amble tease treat seat loft
angel doddle oggle ask ort swear type tike psyche
sack step quiver lab lob lib rob raid stack lock eat
nick knock knack rock route yell ate rake valuate
liver exile zip mead zap walk weird take sort swipe
pipe peep pope preach rich reach ratchet locket knee
nike like queen x-ray veer zoom march munch mich
left let quit trite malevolent violent every rip ocular
hit hike hock hawk quite clear came meece meek
claim monk cigarette nice simulate either older mean
mention every happy nauseous client window able