Saturday, September 12, 2020

despite whatever forms of manipulation and control are exercised

A doctoral dissertation on interreligious dialogue contains this excerpt on Raimon Panikkar: The Divine

Hall (2002) states that, according to Panikkar, “The divine dimension of reality is not an ‘object’ of human knowledge, but the depth-dimension to everything that is. The mistake of Western thought was to begin with identifying God as the Supreme Being (monotheism) which resulted in God being turned into a human projection (atheism).” (See also Panikkar, 1996:42-44; “The Cosmotheandric invariant” and “The divine dimension” in “The rhythm of being”, Panikkar’s Gifford Lectures, private manuscript, chapters 6 & 7).

Knitter (2002:129) says this would limit the freedom of the Divine and box God in. God, who is evidently operative in the religions of the world, especially in the lives of those people who exist in the different religions of the world, is highlighted as “no common denominator”. Hall (2004), says this has led “Panikkar move beyond God-talk to speak of the divine mystery now identified in non-theistic terms as infinitude, freedom and nothingness ... despite whatever forms of manipulation and control are exercised, the aspect of (divine) freedom remains” (see also Panikkar, 1993:61).

Panikkar (1993:61) says that God is not a Deus ex machina with whom we maintain formal relations, but a mystery of the inherent inexhaustibility of all things, at once infinitely transcendent, utterly immanent, totally irreducible, absolutely ineffable. This divine dimension is discernable within the depths of the human persons ... this mystery that is alive in the religions does not exist by itself, instead it has its being anchored in the diversity of humanity and the world (Knitter, 2002:129). Humanity


Stellenbosch University

Panikkar (1993) condemns the technocratic cultures for not recognising the threefold reality of human dimension, which he sees as aesthetic, intellectual and mystical. According to him in these cultures, it is only a two dimensional human experience.

Hall (2004) contends that for him the third dimension of human experience is not remote from ordinary reality, “but a ‘further’ depth-dimension within all human awareness.”

“... if we aren’t aware of the Divine who has its being within us and of the earth that forms us, we don’t know who we are” (Knitter, 2002:127). Hall (2004) says that, “Panikkar’s intention is to show that genuine human experience involves the triad of senses, intellect and mystical awareness in correlation with matter, thought and freedom.” There is an interrelatedness, that exists between the cosmotheandric experience, which is not “just a given, static reality, but is alive, it is growing, and it is changing and dependent on how well the human ingredient is aware of and responds to the Divine and the earthly” (Knitter, 2002:128).

Hall (2004) says, “This cosmotheandric insight stresses human identity with the worldly character and temporal nature of the cosmos [as well as revealing] a human openness towards the infinite mystery that ipso facto transcends human thought.”

And Knitter (2002:128) confirms, “... and because they do, they will know the deeper unity of religions that grounds tremendous diversity ... as well as valuing their own religion and at the same time be free of it.” The universe

Panikkar (1993:79) does not believe in the term, “no disembodied souls or disincarnated gods, just as there is no matter, no energy, no spatio-temporal world without divine and conscious dimensions.” Instead, he says, “every concrete reality is cosmotheandric, that is, a symbol of the ‘whole.’ It is not only God who reveals but the earth has its own revelations” (see also Hall, 2004).


Stellenbosch University

Panikkar (1993:77) reminds us that relatedness exists between the Divine, human and the world; they cannot exist without relating to each other. [emphasis added] Despite the vast differences; they give life as they interact with each other

(— from,  CHRISTIANS AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY? A THEOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF THE MEANING OF AN ETHIC OF EMBRACE IN A CONTEXT OF RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY, by, Hirschel Lothar Heilbron, Dissertation presented for the degree of Doctor of Theology (DTh) in Systematic Theology at Stellenbosch University, Promoter: Dr. G.V.W. Brand March 2012)

not instruction, but provocation

Epigraph from American Nietzsche: A History of an Icon and His Ideas, by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen:

Truly speaking, it is not instruction, but provocation, that I can receive from another soul. 

            --Ralph Waldo Emerson, Divenity School Address" 1838

I profit from a philosopher only insofar as he can be an example. 

             --Friedrich Nietzsche, "Schopenhauer as Educator" 1874, in Untimely Meditation

Evening conversations at meetingbrook look through such quotes as we speak to one another. 

It is a delightful perusal. 


 "Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except yourself." 

     — Buddha

Friday, September 11, 2020

as if it were now

The Franciscan who died on 9/11 sat next to me 34 years before his death that day in September.

The Franciscan who eulogized him was a friend for years.

I live in Dogen and Francis Hermitage.


september 11, 2020

Roaring lies fly fast

Crashing American lives —

President smiles, flees

Thursday, September 10, 2020

not much else

 Emptiness means empty of separate existence.

Truth means letting go of all opinions.

Peace means what is is exactly what is.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

the end of decency

 Even the morally bankrupt can’t possibly take much more of this negligent uncaring man.

radix silentio

We speak words like these 

 but we've not yet come to word -- 

 beginning and end

Tuesday, September 08, 2020


Hic, haec, hoc. 

 This, this, this.

Monday, September 07, 2020

even today i am still arriving

It was merely suite #1 in G major by Johann Sebastian Bach. I cried. Bach has come closer to me since I used to play it on radio for our Border Collie. I think it calmed him. It does me. Orchestral Suite # 2 follows. They are visits as I read Bernard Lonergan's Insight: A Study of Human Understanding. I began reading the work in 1964 in the library of a Franciscan seminary college in Callicoon NY. After 56 years I still look for it in my library and still hold it near begun.

Last night at Sunday Evening Practice we read from Nietzsche and Zen, An Essay in Philosophical Theology, by Stephen Priest. An excerpt: 

The fear of death is not overcome by belief in a metaphysically transcendent afterlife. For example, Nietzsche repudiates, and the Zen Buddhists do not endorse, any reality similar to the Judeo-Christian heaven or hell. Rather they advocate a profound self- transformation in what it is to be human. A human being has to become the kind of being for whom death is not disturbing. This transformation is not essentially brought about by the acquisition of new beliefs but by living in a different way. By the practice of the kind of meditation called za-zen, and by ceasing to be subject to 'herd morality’ or 'slave morality' a person becomes the kind of being who is not afraid to die. Nevertheless, fear of death is defused by the acquisition of two central insights. One concerns rebirth, the other concerns the self.

It is an entailment of Nietzsche’s doctrine of eternal return and the Zen doctrine of rebirth that any human being has been born and has died innumerable times before this life. We face innumerable births and deaths in lives to come. Both doctrines admit of both a metaphysical and a non-metaphysical interpretation, or both a literal and metaphorical reading.

Read metaphorically, Nietzsche is saying that one should have the strength to live one's life as if one could bear for it to be repeated in every detail an infinite number of times in the future. One would then live with a life-affirming energy and an authenticity of commitment which would make living thoroughly worthwhile. The French atheistic existentialist novelist and playwright, Albert Camus, says at the start of his essay The Myth of Sisyphus (1942):

‘There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.’

Nietzsche would have urged us to answer in the affirmative.
Read literally, Nietzsche is saying that one's life as a matter of metaphysical

fact has been repeated in every detail an infinite number of times in the past and will be in the future. Nietzsche, the anti-metaphysical philosopher, is showing us that he can do metaphysical philosophy of the most disturbing and outrageous kind.

Read metaphorically, the Zen Buddhists are saying that within this life there is a kind of birth and death from moment to moment; a coming to be and passing away of the galaxy of thoughts and emotions that constitute one's 'self' or 'mind'. Inwardly, or mentally, each of us is ceasing to be and beginning to be at any moment of our lives, no matter how brief. I am always dying, always being reborn. (We shall see later, however, that what we think of as the end of a life is not radically different from these transitions. Up to a point, this blurs the distinction between the literal and the metaphorical readings.)

Read literally, the Zen Buddhists are saying that at the moment of one's biological death (or soon after), one is reborn as a new life. There is life after death in the sense of another life after death. Each human person lives many karmically induced lives. The life that one thinks of as 'my life' is only the current one. Clearly, the metaphorical and the literal construals of each doctrine are mutually consistent. I can live my life as though it would be infinitely repeated and it could be true that it will be infinitely repeated. I might be psychologically reborn and die at every moment of a life and be reborn at the end of that life.

(--pp. 10-11, from NIETZSCHE AND ZENAn Essay in Philosophical Theology, by Stephen Priest) 

Someone mentioned during conversation she thought it would be interesting to know when she would die so as to be prepared. It occurred to me that I just might know when. It is now I die and now I am reborn. And here I go again, and here I return. Gone once more, back once more.

This process of coming and going, going and coming in and out of existence is the fundamental oscillation of being-in-the-world.

The first line of the poem "Please Call Me By My True Names" by Thich That Hanh, often breezed by on the way to the rest of the poem, is: 

Don’t say that I will depart tomorrow—even today I am still arriving.

I look around.

A breeze passes through.

For now I am still here. I have nowhere else to go. 

solventur risu tabulae

A time will come when Horace's words will follow dishonorable individuals out of their offices they irresponsibly administered.

I suspect many lips will curl when thinking of the back of them leaving with scorn.

Solventur risu tabulae, tu missus abibis

 The case [person?] is dismissed with a laugh [ridicule?], the court is dismissed, and you are sent away. (Horace) 

It is an odd and awful time we live in.

May both the corrupters and their supporters turn to kinder more respectful ways going forward! 

Sunday, September 06, 2020

facing radical core

Heart is for love. Yes

Love is root reality. 

Face what is in heart