Saturday, December 24, 2016

come to think of it

No room


the inn

So, Christ took

room within

αὐτός êpha; Christmas is newborn wholeness of being

An assertion for which no proof is offered, nothing other than the saying of it by someone.
Latin, literally “[s]he (the master) said it,” translation of Greek autos epha, phrase used by disciples of Pythagoras when quoting their master. Hence, "an assertion made without proof, resting entirely on the authority of the speaker" (1590s), ipsedixitism "practice of dogmatic assertion" (1830, Bentham), etc. 
At some point in almost any conversation you can expect someone to partially raise their hand and say, “I’m just sayin’!” While this seems to be a New York locution intended to disclaim offense, it nevertheless serves to place in perspective the fact that what is being said is being said for its own saying, in itself, without the typical antagonism or incitement associated with such a statement or pronouncement.

Still, what is being said, is being said.

When Saskia asked from route 24 heading south to her sister’s for Christmas “What do you think of Christmas?” she explicitly asked in order to stay awake nearing 10pm after a full day of baking, wrapping, packing, then 5 hour driving.

In our Wohnküche, Friday Evening Conversation was taking place, essentially, on the same topic. But we were not fighting sleep at 65mph.

When asked back, Saskia allowed, “Newborn wholeness of being.” (autos epha) 

It rang its own bell.

And I thought -- it’s a good phrase! It resolves something for me, namely, my dissatisfaction over the years with the quasi-bellicose interrogative -- “Have you been born again?” -- as if security police were asking for your papers, not to help you confirm your identity for yourself, but with an edge signifying a precipice you might easily fall from into a dark hole if something wrong or suspicious is detected in your name or being-there.

Rather than “born again,” Saskia asserted “newborn.”

It had never happened yet, this newborn reality, this newborn being, this newborn word. It is both beginning and origin, an extra-temporal emergence into appearance, not as a re-do, but as a one-off.

And this one-off is a singular event each ‘time’ it happens. 

Christmas is “Newborn wholeness of being.”

She said it.

Autos epha!

Ipse dixit!

And here we are!

Her dog-mate-sans-tic was in the back seat sound asleep.

(We’ve got to continue learning how to speak words into being without fear of what is being newborn!)

Friday, December 23, 2016

ipse dixit

On phone someone asks, "What do you think about Christmas?"

They answer their own question, "Newborn wholeness of being."

I listen.

Nothing to say.

How stay whole?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

what crosses mind

It's a nice thought: peace on earth, good will to all!

I'll sleep on it.

In the morning I might awaken. I'll tell then what crosses my mind.

what is now/here is what surrounds us

This year Christmas is the day after Saturday.

Which follows Friday.

To be followed by Monday. Why is this rendering important?

Because what is special and important about Christmas is that each day is as important as any other.

Now is Umwelt -- that is, what is now/here is what surrounds us.

If what is called Christ is now, then Christ surrounds us here.

Our circumstance is the dwelling place of anything we consider to be that which saves us.

The present is the only time worthy of prayer and attention and action.

Today is Thursday.

There is no other.

Just as Isaiah wrote, “I am the Lord, there is no other.”

No other is holy.

Nothing other is holy.

What is God but the holiness of this reality unendingly inviting us into what is here what is now?

Belong to this.

Make God nothing other.

See nothing other.




With love, attend!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016



I don't know why, but


prêt à partir

Officially, so they say, is winter here.

Walking Scarborough marsh pathway yesterday with ice grippers. Frost flecks rising in morning sun, a haze of frozen crunching steps.

We begin a new political season with the darkest night. They say light will slowly reemerge. 

Walking Maine mall yesterday afternoon I am surprised at sheer surge of the number of people and the excess of things on shelves and counters. I buy nothing. I'm passing time. Then, slinky traffic leaving at rush hour, the craziness of dense populace.

Back at hermitage after driving two days -- this morning opens, silently.

It is, they say, Christmas. Today, winter solstice. Always, just now. It is the third designation catches my attention.

Just now.

Nothing else.


Ready, as they say, to go.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

the longest night

Vincent T. Daiello died in Vietnam 48 years ago today.

We played sandlot baseball together.

He was a left-handed catcher.

I was at 3rd base with a scatter-arm.

He wrote me soon before he died.

I have the letter in a box.

Monday, December 19, 2016

no. I haven't

If you wish to celebrate the appearance of Logos creative/origination please, do so.

We need to become human.

Now more than ever. The world is declining.

Have you thought of spiritual practice?

prayer -- where we are, as we are, looking

The conversation yesterday was about prayer. Differently, yet helpful.
First, from Richard Rohr:
I think the genius of the Dalai Lama and Buddhism is that they do not get lost in metaphysics and argumentation about dogmas and doctrines. As the Dalai Lama writes, 
The essence of all religions is love, compassion, and tolerance. Kindness is my true religion.” [1] We could dismiss that as mere lightweight thinking, until we remember that Jesus said the same: “This is my commandment: You must love one another” (John 13:34; 15:12). It is our religion, too, or at least it should have been. 
The Dalai Lama is not saying anything we do not already know on some level. Mother Teresa offered simple wisdom; people would go away quoting her, adding that their lives had been changed. Contemplation leads you to have simple, clear eyes, common-sense faith, and loving energy that makes whatever you say quite compelling. Ironically, it also allows you to deal with complex issues with the same simplicity and forthrightness, as we now see in Pope Francis.
It seems we all need to encounter people who are able to operate as an example, a model. The East has always recognized that transmission of spirituality takes place through living models, whom they call gurus, sanyasis, pandits, or avatars. This is why the Catholic and Orthodox traditions honor saints. Love is caught more than it is taught. You cannot learn how to love through concepts, ideas, and commandments. You need to see and feel a living, loving incarnation. “She is doing it. He exemplifies it. It is therefore possible for me, too.” It is almost more a taste, a smell, or a touch than an idea. Recent Christianity has relied far too much on ideas instead of living models. Sincere believers can smell holiness, even when the words might seem unorthodox. They can also smell unholiness from people who seem to do religion perfectly. 
(--Richard Rohr, from Transmitting LoveMonday, December 19, 2016)
It occurred to me during hospitality Sunday morning and practice Sunday evening that there is a speaking about what prayer is even for someone for whom the word "God" is impossible to hear.

Here are 3 indications for prayer, 3 pointers:

--1. Like the zen master who looked in the mirror each morning and called, " Zen master, zen master!" "Yes?" He answered."Do not be fooled today!" Inviting a watchfulness toward outer things.

--2. So too, while looking into the mirror of inner watchfulness, saying, "Don't do anything stupid today!"

--3. And a final invitation, "See everything as Itself." This is a watchfulness that transcends inner and outer --  sees "itself" within everything and everything within "itself" -- as that which is, just there, as itself, and no other.

Martin Luther, at his speech at the Diet of Worms in 1521, supposedly said "Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me!"

Those words, whether indeed spoken or added by some writer, encapsulate a whole spirituality of prayer that travels well, even up to this current viewing.

"Here I stand; I can do no other. God help me!" -- seems to be a connective acclimation of prayer that fits well between, for example, a Christian view and Buddhist view of where we are, as we are, looking.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

setting the table

Learning is not difficult.

 Just stick you hand out the sliding door as dawn light turns over hills and, if it comes back in dry, there is not freezing rain falling through mists alongside Bald Mountain.

What have I learned?



(perhaps there’s nothing to, let's get to it...I'm sure someone's just itching to grade us)

Someone suggested whirled peas should be on the table.

Am interested in embodying such a delicacy.