The Tiger by Ellen Wiles, including an interview with Win Tin – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

I was tortured a lot at the beginning of my time in jail. I was interrogated and refused to answer questions and then I was beaten. They put their foot on my head so I could not see who was beating me. I lost all my teeth in the upper jaw right at the start, and without any teeth I had to eat prison rice—which was so hard and old—for eight years. Eight years with no dentures. Such beatings could happen any time, simply because they don’t like your manners or if they feel you are not very obliging to them.

I was kept in solitary all the time I was in prison. I never lived with other people, and I was locked up alone all day. I was never permitted to meet anyone else.

We only got prison meals twice a day. In the morning we got rice and beans or vegetable soup, and a little fish paste, and in the evening we got the same thing. Once a week we got some egg or meat as well—one portion only, which was two ounces. We were not allowed to get any meals from outside. Only at the family visits could we get things like fried fish and fried chicken.

via The Tiger by Ellen Wiles, including an interview with Win Tin – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics.

Lack of vaccinations in West Africa dangerous for children | Vaccine News Daily

“Like every other medical service in the country, the Ebola outbreak has significantly reduced vaccination activities too,” DWB’s Philippe Le Vaillant said. “The Liberian authorities reported that the number of children vaccinated monthly had dropped by 60 percent at the end of 2014. Measles vaccination coverage also fell to 58 percent, while the minimum acceptable level should be at least 80 percent to protect against the virus. As of January, an estimated 92,000 children below one-year old in Liberia had not been vaccinated at all and are therefore today vulnerable to various preventable childhood diseases.”

via Lack of vaccinations in West Africa dangerous for children | Vaccine News Daily.

Quotations from Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, Terebess Asia Online (TAO)

Forgetting about preferences

Tao is obscured when men understand only one pair of opposites,

or concentrate only on a partial aspect of being.

Then clear expression also becomes muddled by mere wordplay,

affirming this one aspect and denying all the rest.

The pivot of Tao passes through the center where all affirmations and denials converge.

He who grasps the pivot is at the still-point

from which all movements and oppositions can be seen in their right relationship…

Abandoning all thought of imposing a limit or taking sides, he rests in direct intuition.

(2:3, p. 59, p.61)

When we look at things in the light of Tao, nothing is best, nothing is worst.

Each thing, seen in its own light stands out in its own way.

It can seem to be “better” than what is compared with it on its own terms.

But seen in terms of the whole, no one thing stands out as “better” …

All creatures have gifts of their own…

All things have varying capacities.

Consequently he who wants to have right without wrong, order without disorder,

does not understand the principles of heaven and earth.

He does not know how things hang together.

Can a man cling only to heaven and know nothing of earth?

They are correlative: to know one is to know the other.

To refuse one is to refuse both.

(17:4,5,8, pp. 131-133)

When the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten.

When the belt fits, the belly is forgotten.

When the heart is right, “for” and “against” are forgotten.

No drives, no compulsions, no needs, no attractions:

Then your affairs are under control.

You are a free man.

(19:12, pp. 166-167)

via Quotations from Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, Terebess Asia Online (TAO).

Quotations from Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, Terebess Asia Online (TAO)

Being humble

If a man is crossing a river and an empty boat collides with his own skiff,

even though he be a bad-tempered man he will not become very angry.

But if he sees a man in the boat, he will shout at him to steer clear.

If the shout is not heard, he will shout again, and yet again, and begin cursing.

And all because there is somebody in the boat.

Yet if the boat were empty, he would not be shouting, and not angry.

If you can empty your own boat crossing the river of the world,

no one will oppose you, no one will seek to harm you….

Who can free himself from achievement, and from fame, descend and be lost amid the masses of men?

He will flow like Tao, unseen, he will go about like Life itself with no name and no home.

Simple is he, without distinction. To all appearances he is a fool.

His steps leave no trace. He has no power. He achieves nothing, has no reputation.

Since he judges no one, no one judges him.

Such is the perfect man:

His boat is empty.

(20:2, 4, pp. 168-171)

via Quotations from Chuang Tzu by Thomas Merton, Terebess Asia Online (TAO).