Category Archives: General

Final Word

Sadly, Robert Shelby died of natural causes on the morning of March 15th, 2016. A memorial is planned for Saturday April 30th at 2pm in the Benicia Public Library’s Doña Benicia room. All are invited.

Introduction To “Self.” (Transtheism over belief v. disbelief.) 244 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-10-14. [879 txt wds]

To slightly paraphrase Jalal-ud-din Rumi: One day, you will find yourself outside this world which is like a mother’s womb, to enter, while yet in the body, indefinite vastness, and know that from there come saints and sages. Distinction between religiosity and spirituality is a subject I treated for many years. I find that Sam […]

Endurance, or departure? 242 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-5-14. [300 txt wds]

In the few years left to my life, I will be happy to contemplate being out of this world that holds so many people who call themselves “conservative” but  who really mean they oppose social progress and any improvement of the common lot save what they wrongly think should “trickle down” from them, the wealthiest. […]

How do we come to this? 241 —Robert M. Shelby, 10-3-14. [565 txt wds]

When, like me, our octogenarian and still older folks were kids back in the nineteen twenties and thirties, most Republicans were still sensible people who meshed with the common life of our communities. Of course, there were already a few nut cases, heads-in-cloud evangelicals, rich folks overcome with greed or the imagined superiority of wealth, […]

Life Culture v. Death Culture 234 Robert M. Shelby, 7-30-14. [415 txt wds]

My blog post essay in late November, 2013, was titled, On Changing Ideas. It follows that I should now write on our national illness, a culture of death, a national stagnation caused by fixed ideas, comfortable habits and narrow outlooks. Conservatives and tea-party types should avoid reading this, for they are, and will be, happy […]

Introduction to my Iroquois “Holy Man” poem. 11-18-13, Robert M. Shelby.

This poem, as do many of my poems, reflects study of History and Anthropology. I have always tried to do more than express myself. I wanted to capture something universal, or at least broader and deeper than the self I knew, during most of my life. I wanted to impress myself and signal something of […]

Blog comment on John Gavin’s Benicia Herald article, “The Origin Of The Beginning,” 11-17-13.

John, pal, you wrote: ” I just don’t get how it all started.” Yes. You’re back on Home Base, with all other honest people. We have many conjectures about origins and terminations. I go with Immanuel Kant and the General Semanticists on this: Starting and Ending, time, space, mass, motion, force, discrete “physical” objects, mental […]

What is “The Fall”? #229 –Rev. Robert M. Shelby, hDD, 11-11-13. [860 txt wds]

And how hard is it? If you think of it in terms of the biblical myth of Satan, or the casting down of a literary Lucifer, you are lost in “metaphysics,” which is imaginary narrative of a drama taking place in the Never-Never Land of a supernatural “Other World” along with or without dragons and […]

On Transcendental Singularity #228 –Robert M. Shelby, 11-10-13. (688 txt wds)

What do we need to understand about poetry? — this thing many try to write or recite? Maybe how it gets created? With all the arts, for  each art,  whether  visual,  literary,  auditory  or kinesthetic, there is first a craft — of which the artist or writer needs to learn as much as possible, along […]

Big Words I Could Have Said? #227 –Robert M. Shelby, 11-8-13. [639 txt wds]

Starting across Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue at Haste Street that morning in February, 1974, I’d lived half a block down-street, sixteen years before. Facing up-street eastward, reaching the other side of “Telly,” a hard-times looking fellow sold me his need to help poor dopers get unhooked from being down and out. He handed me a copy […]