Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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from a personal poetical exploration of
thich nhat hanh's 14 precepts

sixth precept: compassion is understanding

Do not maintain anger or hatred. Learn to penetrate and transform them when they are still seeeds in your consciousness. As soon as they arise, turn your attention to your breath in order to see and understand the nature of your anger and hatred and the nature of the persons who have caused your anger and hatred.

community is having to accept folks you don't
and sometimes never
like I was astounded to finally discover
whom many swarthmore people would prefer not to see
one called him "unaesthetically pleasing" - bearing pit acne
or comingle with him in the slightest
after a brief breakfast
she described him annoying and pitiful,
collusion from another friend
invected him intolerable
especially in the morning, before he's taken his medication
all the moreso of standard thought rambling persistence
he confesses a lack of understanding social cues
his blight and brilliance
these women find him infringing
he steals their voice and space
with ugly indeference for polite and constructs
he doesn't let slide a cliché

a woman friend of his behalf spoke
sat sitting alone "exuding hatred for the world"
he came along, cheery,
"may I sit here?"
and there was no one else who could have lifted her appropriately
without social cues.

remembering my own brutal social indoctrination
learning to pay attention to the unspoken
versus unrepentant ostracision
I see his suffering as my own
watching the wary ways
people do not face him
evading contact and connection
results in burning zeal
seeking anger and hatred transformation
I sent the explicitly negative the following:

Date: Sun, 10 Dec 1995 20:58:19 -0500 (EST)
From: Justin Hall <jahall@cyborgasmic.com>
To: <recipient list supressed>
Subject: <title supressed>

When we grow a lemon tree, we want it to be vigorous and beautiful.  But,
if it isn't vigorous and beautiful, we don't blame the tree.  We observe
it in order to understand why isn't growing well.  Perhaps we have not
taken good care of it.  We know it is funny to blame a lemon tree, but we
do blame human beings when they are not growing well.  Because our
brothers, sisters, and children are humans, we think they should behave
in certain ways.  But human beings are not very different from lemon
trees.  If we take good care of them, they will grow properly.  Blaming
never helps.  Only love and understanding can help people change.  If we
take good care of people, we will be rewarded by their pleasantness.  Is
this much different from the rewards we recieve from our lemon tree?

- Thich Nhat Hanh, Interbeing, page 31

these like minds
beautiful people
have reacted with strength
vehement violence
to another friend
I want to be a bridge
sharing beauty and pain of either side
prevents the short sidedness of blame
the more there is talk somehow between them
breeds mutuality and compassion
the closer are we all to understanding
"when we help children see and understand the suffering of humans and other living beings,
we nourish compassion and understanding in them." (28)
he learns the pain of having space infringed
as he is observed the presence of unspoken words.
in turn they learn the pain of being beside the norm beautiful
dealing with detrimented dermatology
and the beauty of abstracted conversation beyond the norm convention
they have understood "the nature of the persons
who have caused their anger and hatred"
and so are they in touch with the seventh

(unfortunately, I acted without respect for freedom of thought)

fifth | interbeing | seventh