It’s hard to hear what is being said.
℣. Repléti sunt omnes Spíritu Sancto, (They were all filled with the Holy Spirit)
℟. Et cœpérunt loqui. (And they began to speak)
It is a language of fire.
They are faces of masks, masks that say I will not infect you; masks that say you will not recognize me.
Black faces, black hands and arms, like novices at sign language, try to spell out an inner sorrow, an inner rage at those who kill them and imprison their bodies.
Riot police, wearing black kevlar, hard black plastic helmets, elbow, knee, ankle and foot protection, carrying shields, batons, tear gas, rubber bullet firearms, zipties, face shields, looking like some Darth Vader storm troopers, line streets and step forward in sync with one another.
And the cell phones, the cameras, the tv crews, the reporters and commentators, the spectacle of it, the language experts deciphering a dead language with analysis of a foreign culture with species indecipherable to each other.
It is Pentecost.
We are meant to be able to speak one another’s language.
Maybe we are. The language of rage and violence. I kill you. I burn down your buildings. Fluent translations.
Let’s not talk about god. That’s too easy and irrelevant. God is something we know nothing about. So stop talking trash about what you don’t know.
10) Jesus says:
“I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.”
(11) Jesus says:
(1) “This heaven will pass away, and the (heaven) above it will pass away.
(2) And the dead are not alive, and the living will not die.
(3) In the days when you consumed what was dead, you made it alive. When you are in the light, what will you do?
(4) On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?”
Outside, wind swirls through trees swaying new green at edges of branches, white clouds against blue sky with bright sunlight. Birds chirp and sing, a riot of new growth during a time of uncertain outcomes.
Don’t talk of the Holy Spirit or a small band of men two thousand years ago. Rather, let's talk with each other.
No God is going to descend to turn us all around.
We're here alone.
(A phrase that points out the empty present absence that captures the uncomprehending vacant gaze that looks out at the world through veils of confused unknowing.)
(A different phrase that implores The Alone (די אַליין, di aleyn
) to be for us that which Alone is -- Here! A clear mind of don't-know.)
We are not here. And if not, neither is The Alone Here. There's a reciprocity of co-equality in this equation: If we are here, the Alone is Here.
But we are not here. We murder those we do not care for. We battle those whose care cannot find the sanity of reciprocal care.
Then, everything is up for grabs. Then, what is not real bursts onto our landscape with rage, retaliation, regret, and repugnant revenge.
Don't talk to me of some liturgical Pentecost with rhetorical Holy Spirit.
I have disappeared into the sudden stillness of windless desolation wandering charnel ground.
27. It is as though we had buried Someone we thought dead, and now hear him calling in the night: Help me! Heaving and panting, he raises the gravestone of our soul and body higher and still higher, breathing more freely at every moment.
28. Every word, every deed, every thought is the heavy gravestone he is forever trying to lift. And my own body and all the visible world, all heaven and earth, are the gravestone which God is struggling to heave upward.
(--from, THE SAVIOURS OF GOD, Spiritual Exercises, by Nikos Kazantzakis, Translated by Kimon Friar)
There is no easy religious piety remaining.
The streets are becoming our via dolorosa.
Tear gas and inadequate rhetoric from public officials are the tattered shredded pages of Torah, Gospel, Dhammapada, and Koran. Excited anguish and polymorphous grief are contemporary demonstrations, the prostrations, bowing, sitting shiva, and bardos of our current impromptu ceremonies.
No one knows what to do.
No one recites the saving words.
No one knows what to do with the bodies of our deadening prejudices.
A quiet murmur.
A child's whisper.
Veni Creator Spiritus! Veni Creator Spiritus! Veni Creator Spiritus!
וועני באשעפער ספּיריטוס!
ونی خالق اسپیروس!
Come, Breath of Original, Imaginative, Visionary Presence -- Find us Here with One No-Other, One Another!
Come, let us leave this place where we have erected and cultivated desolate vacuity! Let us arrive at this same place with feet standing in conscious manifestation of what is at root here.
Come, let us be what we have been from the ground of our being -- life growing with one another here.
Here, Alone, as One-Another, becoming what is to be, Shalom, Shanti, Salam, Pax!
שלום. سلام. शांति
For years meetingbrook has meditated on its early motto:
Here is One-
It is time.