Monday, October 03, 2011

A VISIT TO THE MONKS IN HIDEAWAY CANYON

I KNOW A SECRET RESTING PLACE:
Beyond those mountains--I'm in the mood to go---sit!

Across the lonely road where Georgia Okeeffe lived---and painted this world famous picture.

And this one!
Here's my secret camping spot---Diana and I found it years ago--it rests pleasantly in my mind--till I come and  rest pleasantly in it.

Seen from the nearby mesa, I'm barely a dot on the landscape. (just left of center)

Turns out---I'm not alone---In the night this humble camper puttered by, settling some distance away.

And it turns out---to be a lady professor---whose Phd thesis was---about Thoreau! My beloved Henry David Thoreau---whose writings set me on this path of adventure some 38 years ago.  We have much to talk about. (she later sent me one of her books)
She tells me that deep in a river canyon, long miles away, live 40 or so monks who have retreated to a secluded place to "learn the wisdom of living well in Christ Jesus." Of course I will go--and damn the rain.
That's the Chama river--now raging after this summer rainstorm.
Back, Back into the lovely canyon
Till this sign tells me I have arrived.
And these solar panels tell me that they rely on God (indirectly) for power.
And here is their worship place. at the end of the road. They are Benedictines (40 or so in number) who established here in 1964.  They raise hops and own a brewery. for the full story: www.christdesert.org
Some paint

strange pictures,
Some carve intricate doors.

I start for home just as more thunderstorms  threaten.  I could easily get trapped out here.
OR WORSE!! The car ahead of me nearly slid in the ditch--I was sliding toward the canyon--I paused to appreciate the seriousness of my situation. Then ever so slowly moved onward.
Couldn't resist walking a segment of the famous Continental Divide Trail.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I met none of them--they are, by choice, cloistered---mumbling their prayers, fumbling their rituals, denying their sensual urges, hoping for divine revelation, believing the fantastic, reinforcing a destructive doctrine, living constricted lives, roadblocks to peace ----THEY ARE DRONES IN THE BEEHIVE OF HUMANITY.  I wish---Oh I wish, I had brought with me a list of Maslow's 22 characteristics of self actualized personalities---I would have nailed it to that fancy door---like martin Luther's 95 theses. But better still if  I could have left  the movie Zorba the Greek or Lonesome Dove so these zombies could see what a juicy human being looks like.  It is sheer cowardice to run from life in this fashion. 
Assembling together for common purpose is not their sin---(that is often how progress is made) Their big lie and sin against themselves and humanity is their PRETENTIONS TO CERTAINTY: Their futile attempts to wall out doubt with self-reinforcing community. (wanna see how this works? Go into a Mormon bookstore---ask for a copy of Tanner's Mormon Claims examined) 

22 comments:

shelly said...

My, my, my. Come on, tell us how you really feel. Not that I disagree with your ideas but trashing folks is a bit harsh. As long as they aren't mucking about in your life....... everyone has their own path, eh?

Michael said...

"it rests pleasantly in my mind--till I come and rest pleasantly in it."

Klassic Kodger... I got me a khinook konkourse. kan't wait to komiserate. : )

Anonymous said...

I have never understood how someone can think they have the right to judge how another person spends their life.

You have your life to do with as you see fit, what makes you think others can't do what they want with their life?

Sondra said...

HI Randy..glad you didnt slide off into that river..be careful out there...
Although I agree that everyone should be doing what THEY want to do...I ask myself this one question when I see people who blindly follow religious doctrine..."IF they had grown up without ever being told the "stories" would they come to these conclusions on their own and be doing what they are doing based on a personal relationship with God?" I dont really think so...its learned behavior, yet we can appreciate a flower without being told ahead of time how woderful a flower is, that realization comes natural and is part of WHO we are! Indoctrination is APart from us not a part of us.
Safe Journey.

Boonie said...

It is ironic that the Kodger wouldn't find something in common with the Benedictines, especially after mentioning the monk-like Thoreau.

It's not altogether impossible that, in an earlier life, you would have had some leanings toward a monastery. (At least until they kicked you out.)

Brenda A. said...

I always think it's interesting how people get all worked up when you call out a practice that is pretty messed up when you get right down to it.

If their path reinforces ideas that go against human nature then why is that path to be respected?

Anyway, it's not like you grabbed a hold of them and tried to shake some sense into them. You simply offered up your thoughts on the matter to your readers. Which in turn opens up a thought process by which maybe, just maybe a new idea can take hold in a mind that hadn't considered one like that before.

I enjoy hearing your point of views. Always food for thought.

Red Meador said...

Ima thinking you overstep your boundaries on this one and like Christians you are trying to push your agenda down the throats of people who are perfectly happy as they are. Can you not find peace and therefore you want to destroy those that have found it, be they Christians, which I do not agree with, or peaceful Monks.

Randy maybe it is time you take a long hard look in the mirror and see who is really looking back at you
Red

Randy said...

Shelly, Red, Anonymous: Thanks for the opportunity to comment on "Judgementalism". Please read Sondra's comment--I say ditto!
I was indoctrinated by the Southern Baptist---causing me to squander years of my life,innumerable pleasures, countless riches of experience. I wish, Oh I dearly wish someone would have "judged" my religion to my face. I might have questioned its absurdity sooner.
I was 27 when first I danced and began to loose religion's deadly grip.
A ? for y'all: Do y'all wish that those ladies trapped in fundamentalist Mormonism could hear some "judgements" about their lifestyle?
Judgemental troublemakers rolled into our area when I was a boy and "judged" us harshly for not allowing blacks to vote. We raged awhile---but finally "got it". We were jerks and they were right. It was a good and courageous "judgement" they made of us.
And now I "blow my whistle" to wake up sleeping dogs of decadent ideology, culture and religion. Are you blowing your whistle? About anything?

Anonymous said...

You said you didn't meet any of the monks. No discussion with them. You didn't blow your whistle at any sleeping dogs. You came back to your blog to criticize them to your current audience. You have not passed on any additional information about them except some photos and their own website. Pretty harsh without much info.

Red meador said...

What anonymous said. Plus you can justify all you want ,you are still wrong. There is no justification for what you wrote.

I have no love for any type of religion.The really ugly side of you jumped out in this one. What happen as a kid was a long time ago, let it go , get over it, grow up.

Red

Mary Matzek said...

I've met monks. You can't engage if they won't talk to you or respond. I agree with Sondra. Right on! Religion does a lot more harm than good in my opinion. Organized religion is such a money grabbing institution, perpetuating itself for false comforts.
Mary

1Vikinggirl said...

Fascinating how so many in the land of the free, fighting against what is seen as oppression in all parts of the world, can not allow the single person a personal opinion.

Annie said...

Hello Randy, a friend forwarded me a link to your blog. When I read your 'about me' comments I thought oh good an open-minded, adventurous explorer of life!

However I was seriously disappointed whilst reading your "philosophysing" on the Monks in the Desert - you very kindly posted a link to their web site but I wonder if you actually read any of it yourself?

Give it a go and try to go deeper and not let preconceptions get in your way.

Anonymous said...

Anon here again. Randy usually goes to investigate a situation, skillfully engages the target person and then philosophises his findings. I love those stories. Without that engagement, it is a guess what is going on and this time your guess seemed to reflect more of your personal anger than anything interesting.

That's fine if monks won't talk to you. My guess is they are out there by choice, doing their own thing, and making some beer and art. If they didn't want any attention (or money?) all they wouldn't have a website.

Red Meador said...

And with his I depart this posting.
"YOUR TIME IS LIMITED" Don't waste it living someone else's life...... Steve Jobs.

Red

Randy said...

Annie/Red: Thanks again for the challenge. Superficially, your point seems valid: Let's all make nice! And yes, I've read their web page. (not impressed)
Let me invte you to think more deeply: Suppose these nice men were a very benign branch of the klu klux klan--spending their days praying and ritualizing for the peace that comes when the races are kept separate---"as God intended." Surely you would say: WHOA! As nice as you guys may be personally---one on one, you have allied yourself to an evil organization. You are a (albeit small) PART OF THE PROBLEM. Your foundational doctrines are wrong.
When you consider the worldwide damage of Catholic doctrine, (do I need to enumerate) how can you not judge, with me, any and all who subscribe to it. However tenuous their connection--- they are a part of the problem.
Here's a suggestion for them: google intentional communities directory. Here are hundreds of "retreatist", back to nature, and "lets all pray together and find God's will" communities THAT DO NOT forbid sensible birth control, divorce or sexual expression----organizations whose hands are not bloody.

Carolyn said...

Interesting comments. I've been reading this blog for a couple of years now, I guess.

I seldom comment but enjoy reading his comments as well. I thought this was a typical Randy post and enjoyed it. He always has strong opinions... I expect it.

I get tickled, I get informed, I shake my head, I get entertained and amused at his musings... ;)

I don't have to agree with the blogs I read. I read them because I like to 'see' through others' eyes. Especially someone who is a risk taker and extremely curious.

I find it fascinating that readers of blogs take what the blog person has to say to heart and jump on them for their opinions on their very own blog.

I just find it all fascinating. A blog is a blog written by a person who wishes to put down their thoughts, travels, rants ... whatever.

Read it or don't read it. Agree or don't agree. What difference does it make? It's an opinion. I read some columnists and want to slap their faces... but I read them... or not.

Differing opinions are fun as long as it's in the vein of friendship. Reading someone's blog for a long time is a kind of friendship. I feel as though I could walk up to Randy if I see him around and about and say hey... I've been on a lot of journeys with him... ;)

Blogs are fascinating as are the people who read and comment on blogs.

I think so. ;)

Anonymous said...

My sister visited this monastery just a few weeks ago. The monks there were incredibly rude. There is a reason for their isolation. They can't live in the real world. Charles Darwin said: "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."

Jim said...

==========
If these MONKeyS actually believed the gospels they supposedly spend so many endless hours studying, they'd spend their lives helping the poor, visiting those in prison, and caring for orphans and widows instead of contemplating their navels in this exclusively male circle-jerk.
==========
Though the church holds me hostage no longer, I was raised in it -- indoctrinated by it -- and canNOT purge its influence on my core values and world view no matter how hard I try. I also still know my bible pretty well. Nowhere do I find the scripture which instructs us to build temples out in the middle of nowhere (which most people will never see) so we can glorify our detachment from the rest of humanity. These MONKeyS are selfish, self-absorbed, and concerned about nobody but themselves. Any corporation would hire them (or at least their value set) in a New York minute. They are the antithesis of the godman they claim to represent -- the one who instructed his faithful to sell all their possessions and give the money to the poor.
==========
sail4free
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matt said...

thanks for posting something randy i'd been checking for days...

religious belief (true or not) can inspire people to extreme good or bad or usually just somewhere in between like most of us...it is a mystery

Ed said...

"Their big lie and sin against themselves and humanity is their PRETENTIONS TO CERTAINTY:"

Whereas your opinions have a certainty that are to be emulated for their truth and purity based upon of reason.
OH, how I wish I had your certainty!

Randy said...

Ed: Thanks for the challenge. It gives me the opportunity to point out the DRAMATIC, EARTHSHAKING, PROFOUND DIFFERENCE between say Papal confidence that his is the only "true" church and Socratic confidence that he KNEW NOTHING---FOR SURE. I like to think my confidence is the Socratic kind.