Saturday, December 21, 2013

Puzzling episodes

As solstice gives itself on earth to early darkness, still, only now with the increase of returning light.
JE: OK, thanks for the interview Malcolm. I love the revival of Lewis / Tolkien’s theology of imagination, and their sense of the power of story, metaphor and myth to transform us. But it seems to me that way of thinking can end up in the postmodern idea that everything is a story or metaphor, that the gospels are just another inspiring myth. We just need to find some ‘sacred fiction’ that works for us, whether that’s Star Trek, Doctor Who or Lord of the Rings (which by-the-by was voted the most popular book of the 20th century, and is obviously much loved by non-Christians.) 
MG: That’s the opposite of what Lewis and Tolkien were saying. The point is, it’s about the re-marriage of the divorced parents – Imagination and Reason. It happens that it was our mother, Imagination, rather than our father, Reason, who’s been absent, and who we need to get to know again. But the point of bringing them together – the reason, for CS Lewis, why coming to Christ was so transformative – was that he loved myth, but as long as it was just myth, however moved by it he was, he didn’t feel he could re-connect it to Reason. The problem with Reason by itself was that as long as it was devoid of resonant story, it was just facts without meaning. The point about the Christian story was not simply that it was mythically resonant, but also that it was (they believed) historical fact. Tolkien said Lewis should think of the Gospels as a great myth written by God in the material of history. The previous poets had used language to tell a story, while the Author of the cosmos was able to tell a story in and through the actual material fabric of what happened. 
JE: But it sounds like Lewis was saying ‘there’s various different myths, of Dionysus, Oedipus, Balder the Brave etc but my myth is true’. 
MG: Well he’s not simply saying it’s true, he’s also saying it’s the truth of all the other myths as well, it’s the one that gives the other ones their grounding. It would not be sufficient to say ‘we all need a story to live by’, because someone could come back and say ‘you’re just making it up’. If you can show that something actually happened, which seems to make sense of all these other myths….There’s a great essay of Lewis’ called The Grand Miracle, in which he refers to the life, death and resurrection of Christ as like a missing chapter in a great work, the great work being the Cosmos. He says ‘if someone proposes to me that there is a missing chapter to a book I know very well, they’d have to show not only that it’s in the style of the rest of the novel, but that it makes sense of otherwise puzzling episodes’. And that’s exactly what he thinks the resurrection did.
(--from  "Malcolm Guite on poetry as a door into the dark" at the Website of Jules Evans, Philosophy for Life) - See more at:
So it is incremental anticipation holds still in exchange a pivoting intuition into its own rediscovery.

Turning light


“silence is the language of god, 
all else is poor translation.” (-Rumi)

Friday, December 20, 2013

and the wisdom to dwell in the difference

Alone, we can do nothing.
Another instance of Heidegger's use of the hermeneutic circle occurs in his examination of The Origin of the Work of Art (1935–1936). Here Heidegger argues that both artists and art works can only be understood with reference to each other, and that neither can be understood apart from 'art,' which, as well, cannot be understood apart from the former two. The 'origin' of the work of art is mysterious and elusive, seemingly defying logic: "thus we are compelled to follow the circle. This is neither a makeshift or a defect. To enter upon the path is the strength of thought, to continue on it is the feast of thought, assuming thinking is a craft. Not only is the main step from work to art a circle like the step from art to work, but every separate step that we attempt circles this circle. In order to discover the nature of the art that really prevails in the work, let us go to the actual work and ask the work what and how it is."[2]:18 
(--Wikipedia, re. Hermeneutic circle)
Together, there’s something.

O come all ye lightfilm

Short day-
light, long dark- 
night; winter sol-
stice rain and
ice: moving

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Listening Itself

At first poetry seemed precious.

Then it became interesting.

Now, it is the creative energy of existence.

My word! (As the saying goes.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Prelude to final class

It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.
(--from "The Opening of Eyes," poem by David Whyte)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Night prayer



Words, too, stretch morning exercise

The quote arrived in this form:
"Only in God is man capable of living fully." (p. 35,  Fr. Alfred Delp SJ, “The Prison Meditations of Father Alfred Delp”, 1963 Herder and Herder, New York)

It thought about transforming into: Only God! Only Cosmos! Only all existing beings and things! Only this awareness will allow life to fully be capable of meditating within itself.

How will we know when it is time?

Day will become itself.

And the tiger cat will lie down with the border Collie.

Sun will pass through cedar branches

And we will "See what is revealing itself with and through this becoming." 

(Om mane padme hum!)

Monday, December 16, 2013

David Whyte: Preserving the Soul (excerpt) - Thinking Allowed with Dr. J...

Starting on the path with a poet-guide.

Plowing job ok?

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” (--Simone Weil)

Window evaluation.

What does orange hatted Buddha and Celtic cross have to do with me?

I don't snow.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday morning service of light and snow and trees

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende!

Snow cancels
remains still

Nothing moves

Except this question:
Domine ad adjuvandum me festina?

It is curious that Latin word for God (Deus) could be misspelled (dues) thereby fashioning a completely different theological emphasis.

Woods things be different still if trees and snow and light were our reverent soul companions?