We go on.
Lasciate ogni speranza Voi ch'entrate abandon all hope ye who enter here the inscription at the entrance to the inferno of Dante's Divine Comedy courage! behind that gate there is no hell hell has been dismantled by theologians and deep psychologists converted into allegory for humanitarian and educational reasons courage! behind that gate the same thing begins again two drunken grave-diggers sit at the edge of a hole they're drinking non-alcoholic beer and munching on sausage winking at us under the cross they play soccer with Adam's skull the hole awaits tomorrow's corpse the "stiff" is on its way courage! here we will await the final judgment water gathers in the hole cigarette butts are floating in it courage! behind that gate there will neither be history nor goodness nor poetry and what will there be dear stranger? there will be stones stone upon stone stone upon stone and on that stone one more stone
"When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, 'Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.' So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, 'Who are you?' because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead" (John 21:1-14).
Thinking of the second coming or of Jesus “returning” often raises the same kind of problems that we saw with the ascension. People who still think that “heaven” is a long way away, up in the sky, and that that’s where Jesus has gone, imagine that the second coming will be an event somewhat like the return of a space shuttle from its far-off orbit. Not so. Heaven is God’s space, God’s dimension of present reality, so that to think of Jesus “returning” is actually, as both Paul and John say in the passages just quoted, to think of him presently invisible , but one day reappearing. It won’t be the case that Jesus will simply reappear within the world the way it presently is. His return— his reappearing— will be the central feature of the much greater event that the New Testament writers promise, based on Jesus’s resurrection itself: heaven and earth will one day come together and be present and transparent to each other. That’s what they were made for, and that’s what God will accomplish one day. It has, in fact, already been accomplished in the person of Jesus himself; and what God has done in Jesus, bringing heaven and earth together at immense cost and with immense joy, will be achieved in and for the whole cosmos at last. That is what Paul says at the heart of one of his great visionary prayers:
His plan was to sum up the whole
cosmos in the king— yes,
everything in heaven and
on earth, in him. (Eph. 1: 10)
A phenomenology of appearance, making manifest that which is there, only mostly unseen.This means that the second coming takes on all the dimensions present in Israel’s scriptures, the dimensions of the whole creation singing with delight when Israel’s God comes to “judge” the world (Pss. 96; 98). “Judgment” in this sense is like the “judgment” given when a poor widow finally has her case heard, the bullies who have been oppressing her are firmly rebuked, and she is vindicated. “Judgment” is what happens when someone who has been robbed of home and dignity and livelihood is upheld , with everything restored. “Judgment” is what happens when a forest that has been damaged through overzealous logging , on the one hand , and acid rain, on the other, is wisely replanted and the source of pollution identified and stopped. The world is out of joint, and God’s “judgment” will perform a great act of new creation through which it will be restored to the way God always intended it to be.(--An excerpt from “Simply Jesus,” by N.T. Wright, in Martin, James; Lewis, C. S.; Wright, N. T.; Tutu, Desmond; Tutu, Mpho; Wolff, Catherine; Patchett, Ann; Moss, Candida; Crossan, John Dominic; Morris, Jonathan; Groome, Thomas H. (2013-03-12). The 10 Best Books to Read for Easter: Selections to Inspire, Educate, & Provoke: Excerpts from new and classic titles by bestselling authors in the field, with an Introduction by James Martin, SJ. (Kindle Location 527). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.)
Perhaps we can begin by looking at a few descriptive definitions of contemplation given by Merton in one of his last works: The New Man
These quotes show us the mature Merton in his approach to contemplation. Yet they remain in continuity with the body of his writings. In a much earlier work entitled: What is Contemplation?, Merton had written:
Why do we think of the gift of contemplation. infused contemplation, mystical prayer, as something essentially strange and esoteric reserved for a small class of almost unnatural beings and prohibited to everyone else? It is perhaps because we have forgotten that contemplation is the work of the Holy Spirit acting on our souls through His gifts of Wisdom and Understanding with special intensity to increase and perfect our love for Him. These gifts are part of the normal equipment of Christian sanctity. They are given to us at Baptism, and if they are given it is presumably because God wants them to be developed.... But it is also true that God often measures His gifts by our desire to receive them, and by our cooperation with His grace, and the Holy Spirit will not waste any of His gifts on people who have little or no interest in them. (2)
Delusion conceives of things as
Existent or nonexistent,
As being real or unreal,
As born or unborn.
In an uncluttered place,
Concentrate your mind,
Remain steady and unmoving,
Like a polar mountain.
Observe that all phenomena
Have no existence,
That they are like space,
Without solid stability,
Neither being born nor emerging.
Abide in oneness:
This is called the place of nearness.
(--from the Lotus Sutra, circa 1st Century BCE/CE)
Our real free-will-wielding consciousness is in the mind of the “sim player”, wherever it may be.
1 We live in a post-human simulation written by humans of the future. This is Nick Bostrom’s “Simulation Argument.” “God” is thus, effectively, a future human, maybe some sniveling teen hacker working at the 2050 equivalent of Blizzard Entertainment. We are contemporaries of the hacker.
2 We live in a simulation created by an AI, a la “The Matrix.” God is the Architect of the Matrix; we may be slaves or we may just enjoy playing the simulation that the AI created. We may be on earth or somewhere entirely different.
3 We live in a simulation created by an alien. God is the alien; again, we may be slaves or we may just enjoy playing the simulation that ET has created.
4 Stanford physicist Andrei Linde, the developer of the “eternal chaotic inflation theory” of the multiverse, once said “On the evidence, our universe was created not by a divine being, but by a physicist hacker.” That would make God a physicist – a future human one, or one from another planet.
5 We live in a digital system, which continuously evolves to a higher level due to a fundamental law of continuous improvement. Physicist Tom Campbell has done the most to develop this theory, which holds that each of our consciousnesses are “individuated” parts of the whole system, interacting with another component of the system, the reality simulation in which we “live.” God is then a dispassionate digital information system, all that there is, the creator of our reality and of us. We are effectively a part of God.
“The kingdom of God is within you” – Jesus
“He who knows his own self, knows God” – Mohammed
“There is one Supreme Ruler, the inmost Self of all beings, who makes His one form manifold. Eternal happiness belongs to the wise, who perceive Him within themselves – not to others” – from the Vedas, original Indian holy text
“The first peace, which is most important, is that which comes within the souls of men when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its Powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Tanka, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.” – Native American
(--from Jim Elvidge, “Who is God?” on blog “The Universe -- Solved,” Musings on the Nature of Reality, http://blog.theuniversesolved.com,
What is the origin and the global structure of the universe?
For a long time, scientists believed that our universe was born in the big bang, as an expanding ball of fire. This scenario dramatically changed during the last 30 years. Now we think that initially the universe was rapidly inflating, being in an unstable energetic vacuum-like state. It became hot only later, when this vacuum-like state decayed. Quantum fluctuations produced during inflation are responsible for galaxy formation. In some places, these quantum fluctuations are so large that they can produce new rapidly expanding parts of the universe. This process makes the universe immortal and transforms it into a multiverse, a huge fractal consisting of many exponentially large parts with different laws of low-energy physics operating in each of them.
Professor Linde is one of the authors of inflationary theory and of the theory of an eternal inflationary multiverse. His work emphasizes the cosmological implications of string theory.
“There is no time now
and nothing like this.”
With That Moon Language
Everyone you see, you say to them
Of course you do not do this out loud:
Otherwise,Someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this,
This great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one
Who lives with a full moon in each eye
That is always saying,
With that sweet moon
What every other eye in this world
Is dying to
- Hafiz -