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“He will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.” – Plato

After reading just the first sentence of Plato’s’ “the Allegory of the Cave” I was interested. As someone who is currently immersed in a long, hard campaign of self-improvement, words like enlightened or unenlightened automatically catch my eye. However, Plato doesn’t’ make it easy. After three pages I was doubting whether I had the mental fortitude to finish the story. I wonder if this is because I was coming out of the darkness and entering into the light. The crux of Plato’s story is the battle between light and darkness and where we stand in it. As a result of the choices I have made in my life I have a unique viewpoint on this struggle, and have had a lot of time for self-reflection. Plato’s opinions and beliefs as expressed so poignantly match the beliefs that I have come to call my own.

The first time I read the story I struggled and it wasn’t until I reached the end that I gained any understanding of what Plato meant to say. At this time in my life I was not read to “leave the darkness and comfort of the cave.” I walked away, literally and figuratively from the story and what it represented. When Professor Vail assigned “the Allegory of the Cave” for reading I did not immediately remember that I had already read it. However, upon reading Plato’s words I felt the same confusion that assailed me on the first reading. Once I realized the cave and the darkness were just analogies I was able to break the story down into manageable bite-sized hunks. My first reading of the “Allegory of the Cave” left me with a headache, partly because of the weightiness of the ideas expressed and partly because of the avalanche of memories that bombarded me with examples of my part in the spread of “darkness.” I almost put the book down, but refrained for several reasons. Once reason is that a very good friend of mine had asked if I wanted to discuss it the next morning. This friend and I have always had open and often brutally honest conversations with each other, so I knew that I could express to him my confusion, doubts and questions. It also helped that I have been working hard to be the best man that I can be and that I am not the same person who read and ran from the light the first time. So, I picked up the book again and took another step away from the darkness.

There were certain points that Plato “illuminated” that play o0ver and over again in my mind. The first point is how we all start out in the darkness (ignorance and the evils that it brings) and become so accustomed to it that it becomes our world. We are able to navigate it and find ourselves so comfortable in the darkness tat, when we are exposed to something new, i.e. knowledge and education in the form of light, it is extremely uncomfortable. In fact, it hurts because in the harsh light of reality we are forced to confront ourselves. In the dark we don’t see the results of our actions; the pain of our victims and loved ones. In fact, we are so used to the dark that we don’t even realize that what we are seeing and experiencing is not real. For all intents and purposes our lives are lies. We do not recognize this because who wants to admit being trapped in a lie. Instead, we, like Plato says, convince ourselves that “the truth is literally nothing but the shadows of the images.” When any of us are liberated from this shadow existence and shown the light, the first glimpse of this light will hurt our eyes, and it will be easier for us to turn back to the shadows than to continue to face this new pain. “When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled and he will not be able to see anything at all of 3hat are now called realities.” I have experience this first hand. In fact, it still happens to me every time I re-adjust my thinking, values and goals. I am constantly running into situations where my old criminal mentality is exposed as completely at odds with how the average citizen thinks. These moments result in pain and embarrassment for all involved. Thankfully these situations happen less and less often as I continue my journey back from the darkness of the criminal world and into the light of civilization.

“And when he remembers his old habituation and the wisdom o the den and his fellow prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change and pity them? Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.”

Now that I am journeying towards the light, I have found that I also agree with Plato when he says, “my opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good appears last of all and is see only with an effort and when seen that this is the power upon which he would act rationally either in public or private life must have his eye fixed.” Or, as one of my older friends told me, “If you know better than you have to show better.” This is the most challenging aspect of gaining knowledge, and why everybody that knows me will say I am smart, but now many will say I am wise. Gaining knowledge for the simple sake of learning is a waste of time. I now have to apply what I have learned.

As I am,

Prince

prince

Well, it’s May and I am seeing lots of green grass now and lots of flowers.  Plus a bunch of birds other than seagulls.

Have you read any comic books lately?  I heard that Peter Parker, aka Spiderman got killed by Doctor Octopus in issue 700 of the Amazing Spiderman.  I wonder if they brought him back to life or if someone else stepped into his webs as the new Spiderman.

Remember – it’s Friday the thirteenth.  Anything weird or unusual happen that day?  Well, I’m going to  chill out now and watch some of the Friday the 13th movies.

Good night.

Kenneth McDonald

kenny

Hey Circle,

How are you?  I guess you could say I a good for now.  I am glad you say my kids look good for Lori hasn’t even sent me a picture of them in over a year.

I don’t know what Lori’s deal is, all I know is she said that she was filing for divorce,  so fuck, I just have not really been doing all that much.

I will write another blog soon, but I just need to get money for a copy card so I can copy more of my sermons for you guys, for I only get one copy of stuff here.  I just need to wait and see how long it takes for me to get the copy  card.

I would love to hear from Dark Star, for yes, it would be great to hear from her.  I would love to be able to get more form people for yes, it feels lonely not hearing from people and losing my family and friends.  I guess I will have to find someone who can print out some pictures of my kids for I would love to see them soon, but still awaiting money to call my mom.  She don’t write me.  I guess she is going to write me soon, but that is what I always hear (LOL).  I guess most people only know how to say that they are going to do something soon.

God bless,

Joel

joel

 

Hey,

How is everyone?  I guess you could say I am okay for now.  Sorry for not keeping up with my blog but of course I will keep up with more parts now that it’s almost February.  Right now I am working on a new study on “God at the Center.” As soon as I’m done with it, I’ll copy it and send you folks a copy.

I will call as soon as I get more money, for it will cost me $3.50 but I guess it is worth the fact that you guys are my only friends as of now, for yes, this casr has taken alot away from me.

I have been working on passing around the Free List for, yes, it has come in handy for some of the guys in here.

Sorry for my writing; it’s late here, for hell, I only get a chance to write people at night, but I guess you could say it could be worse writing (LOL.)  Keep praying the court has a head and can see past the lies of the agents and overturns my case for you know I could never have done any of this crap.

Have you any pictures of Catherine?  For I could use some now that I can’t see her. Also enclosed are a couple of sermons of mine for I found a couple that I had copies of so I thought that I would send them.

Let Circle know that they are always in my prayers, for yes I keep  you guys in them everyday!

God bless and love,

Joel Dudley

father.dudley

Well, Happy January.  Have you had a good January?  Last night, for chow, we had ha and potatoes, breen beans, candied sweet potatoes, apple crisp and icecream.  Plus chocolate milk.  A good meal.

It’s 2016 now.  Have you seen the new Star Wars movie?  Have you been to L.L. Beans, yet?

As for Tor Strawbetty, I inform him that he is in luck.  I am to be meeting a group of dwarven windthrowers that have a ship that can get him where he needs to go; they are delivering me a couple of crates of Bar Harbor Blueberry Ale and afterwards they are heading to the moon.  They weill take Tor as a passenger.  As for climbing the mountain, there is a small outpost near the mountain called the “Aerie” that belongs to the Shi’ar; they can get him where he wants to go.

Well, it looks like the country’s gotten a lot of snow.  Well, good night and stay healthy.

Kenneth McDonald

(Editors Note: “As for Tor Strawberry…” Kenneth plays long-distance Dungeons and Dragons with a group in southern Maine.)

kenny

 

On Dafa:

To be always truthful, compassionate, and to have tolerance in our hearts and actions, for all of God’s creations.  To do this in the face of adversity, to stick to the principle of the universe, zhen, shan, ren and is to cultivate our true character, “shing shing.”  this is what is truly correct for out truth in the nature of the cosmos!  This is cultivation!

Love,

Kosmo

Hey, Circle, what’s poppin’?

Right now, I only have 1 ½ classes and those will be done at the beginning of August. I finished Psychology with a B; I’m not particularly proud or happy about that. I dropped the ball there a little bit. I didn’t study for the test as much as I should have and rushed through the when I took them. It’s kinda disappointing because I want to major in Psy. But, lesson learned. One of my other teachers (for my business class) is from the Gardiner area. He knows me or at least of me. That was kinda awkward at first. I wonder, will I ever be able to meet somebody who knew me or knows me from my past and not feel that rush of shame? Anyways the awkwardness was all on my part and once I got past that, everything has been cool.

I’ve been getting a lot of winter sun and I love it. The Winter has had great weather (at least the first part.) What’s the best thing y’all have done outdoors so far? I haven’t played much this season; most of my games have been scheduled for the same time that I have class, but that’s okay. I’ll take the education over a couple of hours of fun any day. I recently lost my job because of scheduling conflicts between work and school. That kinda sucks because I definitely could use the money, but again, I’m putting school over everything else.

So I don’t know what’s up with Mariah. I’m a sucka for love. I know Allah has plans for me so I”m just gall back and see what’s really good.

Alright. I’m gonna hope that all is well with you and yours.

As I am,

Prince

prince

So,

Can’t wait to see you, brothers!  July 4th in the a.m.  I took a thirty day set back.  I wasn’t even able to get into court ’til, like, 18 days in, so I figured, what was another week at that point.  This time has been good for reflection.  I have to remain clean or I will end up doing the rest of this year hanging over y head.  And I would prefer not to do that.  I’ll have 8 months left when I get out.  I got to get my self locked on to the right path.  I’m ecstatic to be fully clean from suboxone.  I never realized how tough it could be coming off of it.

So, I got to the jail and a few hours later.  I look up and who do I see?  Yup.  Staci Lace!  Whore!  So Juan bailed her out.  Ha, ha, ha, because Juan has no idea what he’s in for in the long run.  I talked to her a little bit and gathered that she has trial June 16th for the stolen car.  She followed me even to jail. Ugh.

So, no Maggie, no?  We’ll track her down, my brothers.  I hope this letter finds you doing well.  I miss you and Bella terrible and I can’t wait to sees you.  I’m mailing this out on Monday night so you probably won’t get ut until Thursday, at which point I’ll be home within.. months?  I’ll get released at 9am on a Saturday.

Love you, brothers,

Kosmo

 

When I am reading or crocheting, I just can’t put it down  In addition, the books I have been reading are “The House of Night” series.  There were 15 books in that series.  I have one more to read and I have to wait until the last book in the series comes in.

I have one little boy.  Well, he’s ten, but he will always be my baby boy.  I have a mother that is going in for the sleeve/stomach operation. My step sister has a lap band on her stomach.

My mom has a shattered pelvis on the right side and she told me that she couldn’t be walking with all this extra weight on two bum legs.  She has the left side paralyzed – she had three strokes and she was told that she would never walk without a walking device.  Well, she was walking down my Mimi and Bampy’s hallway.  She was using the wall to keep her balance but she was doing it.

I’m sorry for talking about my mom, I have a lot going on in my life and I would love to be let our just for this week..Like come, pick me up, and bring me back on Sunday.  That is the only difference I would come back.  I fell like I did my crime and I think I should do my time.

I could use a pen pal!

From: Arline

arline-lawless-3

“Deep speaks to deep.”
– Psalms 42:7

The chapter I’m reading at the moment is the best one yet – seeing your speech as your life.  This, in retrospect, isn’t that big a deal, as I said this the last time.  The three principles of pubic speaking “Spoke” to me.  Ha ha ha!  I find that these three principles can and should be applied to everyday life.

I need to focus more on” putting the audience first.”  I’m in the habit of doing many of the things which this book advises us to avoid: worrying how I will sound, how I will come across and what the audience is thinking.  I find that when I get into my speech or my talk or whatever it is I stop worrying so much about self and more about making sure the audience gets my message.

Make sense?

Deep speaks to deep.”  I love that; it means so much to me.  I found that part of the book where it talks about issues that move the heart and challenge the mind to call to my soul.

As I am,

Prince

prince

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Political Prisoners

Welcome to the blog from inmates of Maine's jails and prisons.

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