Nature regenerates itself. White Bald Mountain. Snow through night. Innumerable small falling flakes rendered full moon invisible. With morning, snow shrouds mountain stone with same soft ease it did brilliant moon -- this religious liturgy.
Boundless and freeHistory and sacred memory call to mind the first evenings of Passover. Slavery is repugnant to nature. Yet it continues. From Guantanamo to Pakistan, Africa to towns and suburbs across America -- enslavement is unregenerate nature.
Is the sky of samadhi,
Bright the full moon
Truly, is anything
Nirvana is right here,
Before our eyes;
This very place is the
This very body
Nicholas Kristof writes about disturbing incidences of sex-slavery. "This kind of neo-slavery is the plight of millions of girls and young women (and smaller numbers of boys) around the world, particularly in Asia."
This nexus of sex trafficking and police corruption is common in developing countries. The problem is typically not so much that laws are inadequate; it is that brothel owners buy the police and the courts.Think of Passover, think of Crucifixion, in a new way. Think anew the ancient narratives, not merely as historico-religious recherché, but as contemporaneous real-life revelation impacting our brothers and sisters worldwide. This memoria is daily awareness of the suffering experienced in our world, suffering promulgated by human forgetfulness and human ignorance. We forget, and we cultivate ignorance, when we refuse to stop, turn, and consider with compassion the suffering we cause by our unmindful acts and ego-obsessed behavior. We are called to a much clearer way of being.
But Ms. Parveen’s tale arises not only from corruption, but also from poverty.
“If I had money, this wouldn’t be happening,” said Ms. Parveen’s mother, Akbari Begum. “It’s all about money. In the police station, nobody listens to me. The police listen to those who sell narcotics.”
“God should never grant daughters to poor people,” she added. “God should not give sisters to poor brothers. Because we’re poor, we can’t fight for them. It’s very hard for poor people, because they take our daughters and dishonor them. There’s nothing we can do.”
(-- "Sanctuary for Sex Slaves," By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, Published: April 3, 2007, The New York Times, Meerwala, Pakistan, http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/03/opinion/03kristof.html?hp)
Sacred time and sacred awareness invite us into profound emptiness -- there to encounter and embody mystery-of-being yearning to fully realize itself in our midst.
We have to open our being to the unobvious. Often, profound experience and truth dwell just out of view, beyond our distracted attention. We are being called to dwell in an open place of kindness.
In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.Is Basil's presentation of 'baptism' a call requesting our burying Christ, our burying ourselves (self-emptying) in the profound loving and compassionate regeneration? Is what we are, and how we are, actually (and really) at core, the mystery of nature, at origin? Will regenerating nature wash over us -- darken our understanding so as to enlighten our soul -- bringing us to the precipice, to the starting line of authentic life with what we call "God and neighbor"?
Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptised are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature.
(--From the book, On the Holy Spirit, by Saint Basil, bishop, Office of Readings, Tuesday of Holy Week, http://www.universalis.com/readings.htm)
Will we ever come to see -- here?
Notes from the Other SideIs 'there' (possible and possibly) 'here'?
I divested myself of despair
and fear when I came here.
Now there is no more catching
one's own eye in the mirror,
there are no bad books, no plastic,
no insurance premiums, and of course
no illness. Contrition
does not exist, nor gnashing
of teeth. No one howls as the first
clod of earth hits the casket.
The poor we no longer have with us.
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,
and God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.
(--Poem: "Notes from the Other Side" by Jane Kenyon, from Constance. Graywolf Press.)
There is so much said and written about degenerate behavior. Do we have the heart to pause, stop, and turn -- to fall below surface, to let flow over and through us a regenerating spirit interpenetrating our being itself?
Do we stay stuck in unregenerate nature because we fail to see and enter into the 'undergoing' emptiness of reversal and return?
Is the call to 'regenerate nature' what Passover and Baptism, Surrender and Enlightenment, Ahimsa and Moksha, Hashem and Avalokiteshvara, Tao and Waken Tanka -- all sound toward us?
Panta Rhea, ("Everything flows"), wrote Heraclitus.
Nature regenerates itself.