Saturday, August 15, 2015

Dormition; Assumption: Many years = Χρόνια Πολλά

Xronia Polla

The Koimisis tis Theotokou, Dormition of the Virgin Mary, or Assumption of the Virgin Mary all are names referring to the feast commemorating what is believed to be the miraculous transport of Mary, in bodily form, to Heaven after her death. Some accounts claim that she died in Jerusalem; others put her death at the Graeco-Roman city of Ephesus, now in Turkey, and the site of an alleged "House of the Virgin Mary".  
About the Dormition The Ephesian origin is plausible as it was the Council of Ephesus which first proclaimed the feast. The story itself does not appear in the Bible, but is found in apocryphal stories and folklore, with written records dating back to as early as the third century. Accounts of the story differ, but here are the basic details. 
Saint Thomas, who had been preaching in far-off India, found himself swept up in a swirling cloud which took him to a spot in the air above her tomb, where he witnessed her ascent. He asked her where she was going; in answer, she tossed her girdle to him.
Thomas ultimately landed near the tomb, where he met the other surviving apostles. He begged them to let him see her body so that he could say goodbye, and that's when it was discovered that she had left the earth in body and in spirit, to intercede on the behalf of the faithful. The apostles found her clothes left behind in the tomb, where it was said that they emanated a wonderful fragrance, a true “odor of sanctity".
Χρόνια Πολλά  

In giving birth, you preserved your virginity.
In falling asleep, you did not forsake the world, 
O Birthgiver of God. 
You were translated to life, 
O Mother of Life.
And by your prayers, you deliver our souls from death.

~ Troparion of the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God ~

The feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God is celebrated on August 15 by the Christian world and is the greatest of those established by the Church in honour of the Mother of the Lord. It may be the oldest of all. The first evidence we have for it dates from the 5th century, round about the time when the 3rd Ecumenical Synod was called in Ephesus (451), at which the dogma of the Mother of God was defined and the honour due to her was developed. It appears that it was first held in Jerusalem on 13 August and was transposed soon afterwards to the 15th of the same month. It was a general feast of the Virgin, without particular reference to her Dormition. 
It was called “the day of Mary, the Mother of God”. The centre for the celebrations initially was a kathisma (seat), a church in her name, which was located outside Jerusalem, some three miles along the road leading to Bethlehem. The association of the feast with the Dormition of the Mother of God occurred at the famous church of Our Lady in Gethsemane, “Mavrikios’ house of prayer”, where her grave was. This church quickly acquired the status of the most important pilgrimage site of the Mother of God, and its renown became the reason why the feast on 15 August quickly spread throughout the Christian world, East and West, as the feast of the Dormition. 
 When enlightenment takes place there is no other place to be.

Asleep or awake there is only what is there and true.

Beyond our or any belief is a reality that is true and whole.

Neither time nor no-time reveals the whole to us.

Whole is what we are beyond time and no-time.

Chary. We are chary about enlightenment, about awakening.

That’s ok.

I wish us Χρόνια Πολλά to realize what we are, what Holy Mother births us to be! 

assuming there, is heaven

Here does the body go at death?

Some say Mary went, without dying, to heaven.

There's a hospice plan.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Meddling, meddling!
When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own — not of the same blood or birth, but of the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work together like feet, hands, and eyes, like the two rows of teeth, upper and lower. To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions. 
Here is for no obstruction.

Here’s to no obstruction!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

the absence of any visible way

Call me a John Cage/Leonard Cohen zen buddhist and a Daniel Berrigan/Thomas Merton catholic christian! 
The wait not to get into prison this morning was spent with a nice pastor telling me about Paul and forgiveness and the new life (cf. born again) that is necessitated by aware attention to letting go and moving through the unknown into a way of being fresh and without precedent because of  an a-causal, a-synchronicity, a-temporality, and a-historicity. Put differently, I was simultaneously translating his words into aphasic apophatic attentivity surrounding a cosmotheandric wholeness without and within, no separation, no delusion, no mind.

He was a perfect companion for our Samuel Beckett Waiting For Godot meets Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations reenactment.
Secularity—which is to say, our time in history—is the age of science and technology. To the extent that we’re secular, we no longer experience ourselves as being looked upon, overseen by powers out beyond us. Modern subjectivity is secular insofar as we experience our own human agency as supreme—we are the agents of creation and strive toward greater and greater control. Hence Immanuel Kant defined “enlightenment” as maturity: growing up to capitalize on the rational powers in our own hands. The danger that we vaguely sense in this historical development is that our drive to control everything is precisely what we can no longer control. We see the cosmos as being at our disposal, something there for us that we can manipulate toward our own ends and desires. In addition, by aligning itself so closely with science, secular thinking tends to identify truth with the empirical, the calculable, the measureable, and thus the spiritual dimension of human life—questions about the very meaning of human life—begin to seem illusory. Because no other vision of the Good has yet arisen to replace previous concerns such as afterlife in heaven or liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth, consumerism has tended to become our default mode of fulfillment, a kind of global faith in our secular world.  
Nietzsche hints in this direction in his famous “death of God” passage in The Gay Science. The madman proclaims the “death of God” and is distraught—he cares deeply and fears the repercussions of this loss. He assumes that with this loss the grounds for higher values have been undermined. The jeering atheists who just laugh at him are thoughtless, smug, and self-satisfied. They are perfectly content not to strive for higher values or for deeper self-awareness or to seek new forms of freedom. Rather than discipline themselves to ponder the meaning of birth and death, these secularists much prefer their current pursuit of poisonous greed, disdainful aversion, and pleasurable delusion. Although Nietzsche’s madman is crazed and disabled by the enormous implications of his insight, the atheists, already dead to any value beyond the most banal forms of self-satisfaction, are worse off.  

In the absence of any viable way to assert the existence of God or any other absolute foundation, two paths have opened up. The first is reactionary, a form of nostalgia for the premodern past that manifests in dogmatic attempts to live as though we still reside in some earlier epoch, as though we could still live medieval lives, as though a static human nature can still be taken to sanctify static values. The second path is secularity, which simply accepts our loss of values, rejects the religious past, and tries to make due by focusing elsewhere. Both reactions can’t help but adopt modern ways of thinking about religion. Both theists and atheists assume that faith is a certain kind of belief: certainty about the truth of otherworldly, supernatural propositions. They both proceed as though the question of the existence of God is ultimately an empirical hypothesis about what really exists or doesn’t exist out there, and like all good modernists, both pursue evidence for their convictions about belief and disbelief. While the hopelessness of the theistic effort is obvious, we should recognize that contemporary atheism is equally immersed in an untenable, uninspired vision of who we are as human beings.
(from, Religion Resurrected A secular Buddhist, recoiling from the ills of both theism and atheism, suggests that we move beyond both. by Dale S. Wright)
Later, in Special Management Unit (or segregation) we return to sit with man in orange behind plexi-glass for a conversation on Stoicism, Buddhism, German prisons, bravery and warrior culture, forgiveness, and trust.

It is a wonderful education.

We are such open students.

Something unforeseen this way comes!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

rain falls Tuesday night

Song for the Last Act

Now that I have your face by heart, I look   
Less at its features than its darkening frame   
Where quince and melon, yellow as young flame,   
Lie with quilled dahlias and the shepherd’s crook.   
Beyond, a garden. There, in insolent ease 
The lead and marble figures watch the show   
Of yet another summer loath to go 
Although the scythes hang in the apple trees. 

Now that I have your face by heart, I look. 

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read   
In the black chords upon a dulling page   
Music that is not meant for music’s cage, 
Whose emblems mix with words that shake and bleed.   
The staves are shuttled over with a stark   
Unprinted silence. In a double dream   
I must spell out the storm, the running stream.   
The beat’s too swift. The notes shift in the dark. 

Now that I have your voice by heart, I read. 

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see 
The wharves with their great ships and architraves;   
The rigging and the cargo and the slaves 
On a strange beach under a broken sky. 
O not departure, but a voyage done! 
The bales stand on the stone; the anchor weeps 
Its red rust downward, and the long vine creeps   
Beside the salt herb, in the lengthening sun. 

Now that I have your heart by heart, I see.
Louise Bogan, “Song for the Last Act” from The Blue Estuaries: Poems 1923-1968.

Monday, August 10, 2015

quelle heure est-il?

There’s still time, brother.
A study of more than 200,000 galaxies, encompassing wavelengths of light from the far ultraviolet to infrared, shows that the universe is producing half as much energy as it did 2 billion years ago and continues to fade.

A giant supercomputer created a virtual version of our entire universe! How does that help us? 
“Newer galaxies are simply putting out less energy than galaxies did in the past,” astronomer Mehmet Alpaslan, with NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., told Discovery News.

Older stars are fading out faster than new stars are forming, a trend that eventually will leave the universe a cold and lonely place. “At some point, all matter will eventually decay. We’re observing the lights slowly shutting down," Alpasian said. 
“The timeline for all this to come to pass is very long, hundreds of trillions of years,” he added. 
The study, released Monday at the International Astronomical Union conference in Hawaii, culminates a seven-year, international effort to measure both the distances and energy output of more than 200,000 galaxies.
(--from, Universe Is Dying, Galactic Survey Shows, // 


But...for what? 

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Nagasaki Mary

The photo is of the charred statue of the virgin Mary in the Catholic cathedral that was close to ground zero 9 August 1945.

(--from louie, louie,

et nous, post Nagasaki?

It is hard it imagine a sane people dropping a second atomic bomb, this time on Nagasaki, 3 days after Hiroshima.

It is a heavy karma the United States blinded itself with seventy years ago in 1945 on this date.

From BBC

Today, the Japanese pray for peace and their 70,000 ancestors killed in Nagasaki, their 140,000 killed in Hiroshima.

What the United States suffers in negative karma today is, no doubt, ugly and invidious and rotting with corruption following such a cruel and evil dropping of suffering and murderous heedlessness.

Haiku, glimpse of brief recollection, try to see what is there:

 From World Haiku Festival 2010 in Nagasaki

Competition on the theme of 
the Atomic Bomb

First Place & Winner of the Mayor of Nagasaki City Award

                the sun cannot know

                the smudge on the ground

                once had a name

                                        (Diane Mayr, USA)

Second Place

                cicadas chirping

                for the very last time...

                atomic explosion

                                   (Keith A. Simmonds, UK)

Third Place

                clasping a doll

                a child walks alone

                                        (G.R.Parimala Rao, India)

And today, no-place, one final one;

when I die
this final thought --
there is no 
only what we 
thought is)

                                                    (wfh, 9aug15, nowhere)