Friday, October 05, 2007

Understanding belongs to the collective. There is no private understanding. When we understand anything it belongs to everyone. And don't mention secrets. More ill and wrong hides in the seduction of secrecy than anywhere else.

Make no mistake about it; if you do not find it now, you will repeat the same routines for myriad eons, a thousand times over again, following and picking up on objects that attract you. We are no different from Shakyamuni Buddha. Today, in your various activities, what do you lack? The spiritual light coursing through your six senses has never been interrupted. If you can see in this way, you will simply be free of burdens all your life.
(--Lin Chi, d 867?)


You can see.

In this way.
Teilhard refers to "Centeredness" as a characteristic of the universe on all levels. Each corpuscle of matter has a centre "within", its principle of organisation. The more complex the being, the greater degree of centreity. Teilhard teaches that Centreity is the true, absolute measure of being in the beings that surround us, and the only basis for a truely natural classification of the elements of the universe. The axis of evolution stretches from the lowest degree of centreity to the highest, and entities having the same degree of centreity constitute "isopheres", forming universal units of the same type of being. So pre-living entities are ordered on Earth in the lithosphere, the hydrosphere, and the atmosphere. Organic beings make up the biosphere, and thinking entities (which in Teilhard's system solely means man) the noosphere. When ranked in their natural order, the whole family of isopheres will define at the heart of the system a focus-point of universal synthesis, the Centre of centres, Omega [Activation of Energy, pp.10-13, 102; Beatrice Bruteau, Evolution towards Divinity, p.138]
(--from , Teilhard de Chardin's Evolutionary Philososophy
It is a common flaw in our thinking to appropriate the divine to individual possession -- I am saved, God loves me, You are damned, I have the truth, Me me me.
I suspect divinity sips tea alone in a cafe, head shaking at the spectacle of absurd pronouncements of ownership and domination, forever waiting to be recognized as free gift for one and all -- one in all.


Word over all, beautiful as the sky!
Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly
That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly
wash again, and ever again, this soil'd world:
... For my enemy is
dead--a man divine as myself is dead;
I look where he lies, white-faced and
still, in the coffin--I draw near;
I bend down, and touch lightly with my
lips the white face in the coffin.
(--Poem by Walt Whitman)
I look at the corner table.

Where's the one who sat there?

What is there to understand?


I have not.



Thursday, October 04, 2007

The one not separate from reality is the one capable of unifying opposites.

The Canticle of the Sun
by Francis of Assisi

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance.
Be praised, My Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.
Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.
Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of you; through those who endure sickness and trial. Happy those who endure in peace, for by you, Most High, they will be crowned.
Be praised, my Lord, through our Sister Bodily Death, from whose embrace no living person can escape. Woe to those who die in mortal sin! Happy those she finds doing your most holy will. The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.

(Poem/Canticle by Giovanni Bernardone -- Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226)
(translated by Bill Barrett from the Umbrian text of the Assisi codex.)
We like Francis.

St. Francis And The Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as St. Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of
the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking
and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

(--Poem by Galway Kinnell)
It's his feastday. It's an opportunity to learn.

He reteaches us loveliness.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


From here.

To here.
To shake off the
Dust of human ambition
I sit on moss in
Zen robes of stillness,
While through the window,
In the setting sun
Of late autumn,
Falling leaves whirl
And drop to the stone dais.

- Tesshu Tokusai (?–1366)
Francis falling.

Through Francis.

Into Francis.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Not much for joining. Thus, never leaving. I read reunion news from seraphic Franciscans forty four years ago at edge of twenty. Alas, as hermit, I never attend. Am invisible. A history merely linear. No return.

Angels know circularity. I'm no angel. They are the message carried through and around history.

Angels are nothing but clear mystery communicating itself to sentient being.
Whenever a thought occurs,
Be aware of it,
As soon as you are aware of it,
It will vanish.
If you remain for a long period
Forgetful of objects,
You will naturally become unified.
This is the essential art of zazen.

- Dogen (1200-1253)
When message is delivered, messenger disappears. Tom the mailman does this everyday. Angels, I suspect, are very good at this, very good as this.
'He has given his angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways.' These words should fill you with respect, inspire devotion and instill confidence; respect for the presence of angels, devotion because of their loving service, and confidence because of their protection. And so the angels are here; they are at your side, they are with you, present on your behalf. They are here to protect you and to serve you. But even if it is God who has given them this charge, we must nonetheless be grateful to them for the great love with which they obey and come to help us in our great need.
(--from a Sermon by St. Bernard, Office of Readings, Feast of All Angels)
As transitus of Francis arrives, I am aware of his departure. He arrived, became the message my youthful imagination heard, then went (as everything does) its wandering way. He travelled this way and that. His community thought him crazy. Maybe he was. They had him relinquish reins. They locked him away. (Their poor and holy father was a nuisance. Saints are such an embarrassment.) I am not worthy of such insanity. I have to settle for common ridiculousness. The frequency of his sound reverberated and wobbled and settled into a current idiorythmic expression of the good poverello's inspiration. We are poor mimeticists
# Like a dream
Abandon evildoing;
Practice virtue well;
Subdue your mind:
This is the Buddha's teaching.

Like a star, an optical illusion, or a flame,
A magical illusion, a dewdrop, or a bubble,
Like a dream, a flash of lightning, or a cloud--
So should one consider all compounded things. While reciting [Shantideva's] words, we should reflect on impermanence and the lack of reality in phenomena. . .

- The Dalai Lama, A Flash of Lightning in the Dark of Night
If someone says my name on the street, I am reminded I am visible. It is a conceit to be anonymous, where no one knows my name. The surprise is hearing it. I respond,  greet, nonplussed -- a persistent state of perplexity, confusion, or bewilderment uncovered.

I am surprised to stand in midst of, say, university classroom -- a reluctant lecturer. Nothing univocal; everything equivocal. A facticity which is reciprocal -- dialogical.
Heidegger discusses facticity as the thrownness (Geworfenheit) of individual existence. By this, he is not only referring to a brute fact, or the factuality of a concrete historical situation, e.g., "born in the 50's." Facticity is something that already informs and has been taken up in existence, even if it is unnoticed or left unattended. As such, facticity is not something we come across and directly behold. In moods, for example, facticity has an enigmatic appearance, which involves both turning toward and away from it. For Heidegger, moods are conditions of thinking and willing to which they must in some way respond. The thrownness of human existence (or Dasein) is accordingly disclosed through moods.
(--from Wikipedia,
We are thrown here. Some say it has been a choice, a series of causes and effects. An inevitability of consequences, traceable and tractable. Who knows?
Mozart, 1935

Poet, be seated at the piano.
Play the present, its hoo-hoo-hoo,
Its shoo-shoo-shoo, its ric-a-nic,
Its envious cachinnation.
If they throw stones upon the roof
While you practice arpeggios,
It is because they carry down the stairs
A body in rags.
Be seated at the piano.
That lucid souvenir of the past,
The divertimento;
That airy dream of the future,
The unclouded concerto . . .
The snow is falling.
Strike the piercing chord.
Be thou the voice,
Not you. Be thou, be thou
The voice of angry fear,
The voice of this besieging pain.
Be thou that wintry sound
As of the great wind howling,
By which sorrow is released,
Dismissed, absolved
In a starry placating.
We may return to Mozart.
He was young, and we, we are old.
The snow is falling
And the streets are full of cries.
Be seated, thou.

(--Poem by Wallace Stevens)
We play the present.

It is a grand failure.

A great joy.

To be here.

As nobody.

As (this).



Monday, October 01, 2007

Once I had a dream. But it faded. Now I have no dream. Morning comes and night arrives. Light from lamp. Click. Darkness. Sleep.

If you think that you have
Cut off illusory mind,
Instead of simply clarifying
How illusory mind melts,
Illusory mind will come up again,
As though you had cut
The stem of a blade of grass
And left the root alive.

- Menzen Zuiho (1682 –1769)
Hibiscus tree comes into house through barn on handtruck. Season changes. Cool nights.

We pray for all beings.

When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognised myself in none of the members which St. Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favourably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realised that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.
(--from St Thérèse’s autobiography, Office of Readings, feast of Thérèse of Lisieux)
Dog to vet, just to check in. Cancer quietly spreads. But eyes are clear. Mountain walks. Not yet. But soon. He will become the mountain. I will become the mountain. Nothing else. Nowhere other. Mountain as dog and man unborn and gone beyond.

The Fall

There is no where in you a paradise that is no place and there
You do not enter except without a story.

To enter there is to become unnameable.

Whoever is nowhere is nobody, and therefore cannot exist except as unborn:
No disguise will avail him anything

Such a one is neither lost nor found.

But he who has an address is lost.

They fall, they fall into apartments and are securely established!

They find themselves in streets. They are licensed
To proceed from place to place
They now know their own names
They can name several friends and know
Their own telephones must some time ring.

If all telephones ring at once, if all names are shouted at once and all cars crash at one crossing:
If all cities explode and fly away in dust
Yet identities refuse to be lost. There is a name and a number for everyone.

There is a definite place for bodies, there are pigeon holes for ashes:
Such security can business buy!

Who would dare to go nameless in so secure a universe?
Yet, to tell the truth, only the nameless are at home in it.

They bear with them in the center of nowhere the unborn flower of nothing:
This is the paradise tree. It must remain unseen until words end and arguments are silent.

(--Poem, The Fall, by Thomas Merton, in Selected Poems)

Growing at home.

With no name.

No sound.





Sunday, September 30, 2007

Genuine intimacy is Buber's "Thou." It is the slender waist of hourglass where everything passes through enroute one vastness to another. It is liturgy of eucharist wherein what was not one becomes one before expanding to amnesiac diversity.
Just don’t seek from others,
Or you’ll be far estranged from Self.
I now go on alone;
Everywhere I meet It:
It now is me; I now am It.
One must understand in this way
To merge with thusness.
- Dongshan Liangjie (807–869)
September has been a lovely month. October leans against barn door. It is the month of darkening light, holy women, Francis of Assisi, angels, baseball playoffs, remembrance of family gone beyond, and finally the thin place of worlds in proximity.






(--Poem be Robert Lax, from A Thing That Is)
If you look for me, find me there.

Where gaze requires no words.

Just feet to turn it around.

This circus cosmos.

Peanuts! Popcorn!