Saturday, December 26, 2020

first take

What if creation were incarnation?

Hypostasis of before and beyond.

The union of divinity, humanity, and cosmos.

One thing.

What if it came about by and of itself? 



And we are the mythology of christogenesis.

Unitive regenerative love.

Would you think it worth your while to be what you are for the moment experiencing everything as itself being itself?

I would think


Friday, December 25, 2020

giving way worth following

 As a child I was astounded there was news on the tv my father watched on Christmas night.

Today I am amazed there is Christmas amid all the news filling airways tonight.

That divinity is fully incarnated in humanity is an act of faith that only a mystic in dark direct unknowing experience could affirm.

It rains.

This day gives way.

It is worth following.

whence, joy


The Christ-child is 


In you

To you —

For heaven’s sake —

Listen to his cries

Attend and celebrate —

Become what Christ is

Here and


As it is



Christic Trinity)

Oneself, Yourself, Itself

Thursday, December 24, 2020

let him out

Christ will be born to us.

 "You don't believe in God," he added, speaking this time very sorrowfully. He fancied besides that his brother was looking at him ironically. "How does your poem end?" he asked, suddenly looking down. "Or was it the end?" 

"I meant to end it like this. When the Inquisitor ceased speaking he waited some time for his Prisoner to answer him. His silence weighed down upon him. He saw that the Prisoner had listened intently all the time, looking gently in his face and evidently not wishing to reply. The old man longed for him to say something, however bitter and terrible. But He suddenly approached the old man in silence and softly kissed him on his bloodless aged lips. That was all his answer. The old man shuddered. His lips moved. He went to the door, opened it, and said to Him: 'Go, and come no more... come not at all, never, never!' And he let Him out into the dark alleys of the town. The Prisoner went away." 

"And the old man?" 

"The kiss glows in his heart, but the old man adheres to his idea."

(—from:  THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV. By Fydor Dostoevsky and translated by Constance Garnett. 1879)

But not until he is released from prison.

Our terrifying beliefs and ideas about some distant God, pinched morality, and personal privilege.

Let Christ be.



By acts of love.

Unveiling truth.

what is given us

America is surprised its top executive can do anything it wishes without accountability or consequence.

Each American will claim that privilege for themselves.

Forget the coronavirus —

The upcoming devastation will be spectacular.

It is Christmas Eve.

Manger? Bethlehem of mythic lore? Angels and shepherds?

Love your life.

Take small steps across kitchen.

Open fridge.

Breathe one breath at a time.

Of course there are very dodgy people wreaking havoc from their Florida quarters and elected chicanery.

They might even love their families.

The planet turns.

Saturn whisks away from Jupiter.

God hardly notices the foolishness of the vain and arrogant.

A dog barks somewhere down the road.

Through open window, across morning, winter shuffles it’s feet.

Live your own


Look for what is good.

See what is true.

Time is, they say, an illusion.

It’s still a good Invitatiry antiphon for 24December:

     Today you will know the Lord is coming, and in the morning you will see [its] glory.

Try to see it this way.

No, do, see it this way.

There! Blessed be fictionalized yoda and every child and newborn since beginningless beginning to apparently rebegun endless transformation of known universe.

We go on doing what is given us to do.

We go on being what is given us to be.

Do the next thing!

Be the next possibility!

Brew coffee.

(Or tea...if you must.)

Make toast.





What is



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

continual attunement

 What’s a monk for during this time?

As monks, it is our duty and privilege to become attuned to the Lord's continual advent. For if it is true, as we believe, that one day the Lord will return once and for all to gather us all together and bring us home to the Father in the end time, we also know that his coming toward us is a relentless, already-happening reality. And we are meant to be experts-- experts at waiting, attentiveness; experts at emptiness, the emptiness that is constantly clearing a space for him. In Christ Jesus, our Emmanuel, God has made a giant leap towards us. Jesus our Lord is always drawing near. And attentiveness to his presence is the secret we were made for.          (—from Abbey Diary, 23dec20, St. Joseph’s Abbey) 

 I’ll wait here.

To see.

lovers of the place

My calendar says I am away on retreat at Trappist monastery today until sunday.

Then came COVID.

Silly thing, isn’t it, believing we are one place when, ipso facto, we are everyplace at once!

Tell me — where are you, really?

we breathe, there is breath, we are breathed, we come and go

Last night two poems at Tuesday Evening Conversation:


Midwinter spring is its own season

Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,

Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.

When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,

The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,

In windless cold that is the heart’s heat,

Reflecting in a watery mirror

A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.

And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,

Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire

In the dark time of the year…..


What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

The end is where we start from…


Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning…


(from “Little Gidding”  by T.S.Eliot)


"The worst thing we ever did

was put God in the sky

out of reach

pulling the divinity

from the leaf,

sifting out the holy from our bones,

insisting God isn’t bursting dazzlement 

through everything we’ve made 

a hard commitment to see as ordinary, 

stripping the sacred from everywhere 

to put in a cloud man elsewhere,

prying closeness from your heart.

The worst thing we ever did

was take the dance and the song

out of prayer

made it sit up straight 

and cross its legs

removed it of rejoicing

wiped clean its hip sway, 

its questions, 

its ecstatic yowl,

its tears.

The worst thing we ever did is pretend 

God isn’t the easiest thing 

in this Universe 

available to every soul 

in every breath”

(—Chelan Harkin, from her poetry book 'Susceptible to Light’j

Reading poems together is contemporary koan study honoring the premis we are one body living one life in the one verse (universe).

Like singers in a choir, we are brought in, and reserved back, in the performance of breathing beings appearing and disappearing for particular phrases and notes, phases and noticings. 

Spirit, ruach, pneuma, prana, breath — this is the foundation of Being — no beginning, no end. 

We, each so-called individual, are undulations of understanding, intimations of compassion, arising and falling, into and out of the magnificent in-breath and out-breath of dream-song, melodic-presence, and easing-divinity embracing with intimacy the incarnational christification of inchoate and unceasing creation.

World within, and

World without,




Tuesday, December 22, 2020


Nothing comes between you and me. Nothing, that is, no barrier.

You may recall Simone Weil’s essay ‘Metaxu,’ in ‘Gravity and Grace’: ‘The essence of created things is to be intermediaries. They are intermediaries leading from one thing to the other, and there is no end to this. They are intermediaries leading to God. We have to experience them as such.’

In the definition provided in the Glossary of ‘The Intimate Universal’ (2016)— see below— Desmond provides a useful short definition of Metaxology. Based on his fourfold sense of being—-univocal, equivocal, dialectical, and metaxological—-he argues that all is in relation. The four senses don’t cancel each other out. In poems, the narrative moves from univocal to metaxological, from determined clarity to the full relativity of the between. In this definition Desmond indicates the narrative as moving through the senses to a truer account. The between, he says, is ‘open to the poetics of the trans-systematic.’ But the goal of the poetic narrative is not a dialectical whole. Though the narrative moves through the senses of being dialectically, it concludes on the threshold of an open whole. The poet nothing affirmeth, but the poem reveals the form of metaxological being. 

The between is plurivocal. The popular American poet Mary Oliver had mastered the four senses of being so that her poems could flow in the patterns of the between. We see this flow, which concludes with an image of the ‘intimate universsl’—- ‘the family of things.’

(—from ,The Poem as Metaxu with a Poem by Mary Oliver,by Tom D’Evelyn, April 4, 2020 in VoegelinView)

Let’s keep it this way. 

alternate christmas mulling, metaxology

Irish philosopher William Desmond writes about metaxology.

Wikipedia tries its hand to clarify it for us.

The potencies of being

Within the ethos there are seven potencies of being. This "enabling repertoire of self becoming" has the "character of an endowment", and is thus seen as a gift. The potencies are not a program to follow; they simply are all together the powers from which ethical selvings, expressed through particular senses of being, take their endowment. The seven potencies are:

  1.  The Idiotic: By definition something which cannot be defined specifically. Related closely to the aesthetic, the idiotic potency is always with us as we dwell in the ethos. It is the potency of being present before all dianoetic reduction or understanding. As incarnate beings (thus related to the aesthetic potency) the idiotic concerns our pre-determined being. It is the original intimation of the good of the "to be". Dwelling in the ethos we generally expect being to be good. This is seen in the immediate expectation of newborns to be healthy; when we see an unhealthy baby we are shocked and sad. Our original expectation of being is goodness. 
  2. The Aesthetic: Our being in the world is always incarnate. We live through our bodies and basic to our being is our embodied relationship with the world. The aesthetic is the idiotic incarnate. In beauty and the sublime we get physical intimations of the good of the to be. The aesthetic potency refers to much more than the "Kantian" purified realm of the aesthetic. The aesthetic potency deals with our embodied sensual communication and interaction with the world. In the experience of the sublime, for instance-again not taken in the Kantian sense-we get an intimation of the overdetermination of the origin. The exceeding power and force of being is intimated aesthetically to us through the sublime; our reaction is a sensual one through which we come to know the overdetermined power of the "to be". Our relationship with the ethos is always communicative.
  3. The Dianoetic: The rational potency of lawmaking and determination. The dianoetic potency looks at the world through laws and determinate formulas. Within the equivocity of the ethos and the interplay of sameness and difference there emerge some subtle constancies which we can determine through the dianoetic potency. There are some regularities which prove helpful to live in the ethos, and these are determined by this potency. The dianoetic are constancies always already at work in forms of being together. 
  4. The Transcendental: The potency of a binding universality or condition of possibility. Some constancies in the ethos are so prevalent so as to be called transcendental. The transcendental potency is that which empowers us within the ethos to look for the more general and unconditional condition of possibility. Taken in a Platonic sense, as opposed to Kantian, this condition of possibility is something more akin to the original "good" that always qualifies the ethos. We come to the realisation of the 'agapeic origin' thanks to the transcendental potency. Itself not free of equivocities, the search for the unconditioned condition of possibility must include evil and death in whatever condition of possibility it finds. The origin that gives the 'to be' is thus itself not free of equivocities. To see the transcendental we must die. The transcendental is not a metaphysical qualification but rather ontological as referring to the Good itself. The origin as the agapeic good that gives all being has an ontological determination as Good. There are two transcendental relationships: 1) that between the origin and the ethos: having the characteristic of agapeic; and 2) that between the self and other: having the characteristic of being metaxological 
  5. The Eudaimonistic: The sense of wholeness of how we are in the world. This potency, calling up the 'daimon' as the between is the potency of the possibility for a more general wholeness that calls up the idiotic and aesthetic as well as the dianoetic and transcendental. Seen metaxologically, eudaimonic wholeness in this sense might be made concrete by either the "erotic sovereign" (Nietzsche) or the "agapeic servant" (Jesus). Desmond finds it problematic whether the erotic sovereign can be regarded as being truly whole, given that it doesn't fully consider the otherness of the ethos, which is overdetermined. The erotic sovereign is in the end transcendence without transcendence, because it only transcends again into itself, even if as a higher form, and there is never another involved. The eudaimonistic, calling up Aristotle's original conception of a man of phronesis as happy, is the potency that can take both the dianoetic and transcendental as constancies and law, and apply them to specific instances within the chiaroscuro involved in the idiotic and aesthetic. This being in between of the daimon correlates to a higher sense of wholeness being both involved in and transcending the ethos. 
  6. The Transcending: This is the potency of the "between" itself; the mystery of self-surpassing and the excess of the overdetermined milieu itself. The transcending potency can only be seen metaxologically because it is itself a move towards the open overdeterminate, which is only seen thus. A movement towards the agapeic cannot be done dialectically or univocally because both narrow and define, nor equivocally since transcending requires movement in the between, not mere equivocity.
  7. The Transcendent: The ultimate power that itself allows for the possibility of all transcending. "For this we have the extraordinary word God." The Good itself, the power behind everything, is what is always intimated in the between. It allows for self-development and transcending to the Good.
(—from William Desmond, philosopher, Wikipedia)
Good be between ye!

This week, and all the ways we are weak and needing of something strong between us, may it be so!

Monday, December 21, 2020

it is time for light, peace, and all good

Francis looks to Earth

for Incarnation,

Resurrection, and


This Solstice,

this Christmas

let's incarnate


Bronze of Francis from Upper Basilica in Assisi,



Sunday, December 20, 2020

incarnating through no other

Remember, you are earth. 

Then, become earth. 

That’s where God is.

Dirt. Water. Fire. Breath.

Entering no other, through no other born.

As no other.

in the film, the word was

assythment :

-- satisfaction for an injury done; compensation, reparation, indemnification.

the location of dreams, of friendship

 You said they weren’t your kind of people. Manhattan, 1962, straggly sandlot baseball guys stepping into a party a subway ride from Brooklyn.

Nor were they mine, Vinnie. You were clearer. 

Six years later in Vietnam five days before Christmas an explosion stepped into and torn through sent you back from Southeast Asia 

A left handed catcher. A kind kid. A casualty of unconscionable war.

I think of you these 52 years later. In my dream I was suddenly aware that I had been in Vietnam, that I had been part of a unit of soldiers, a battlefield fellowship. As I opened my mouth to tell this arisen belief...I realized it wasn’t true. I hadn’t been a soldier. I’d not been in Vietnam. I stopped speaking.

This morning, back in silent breath, waking from dream, seeing calendar noting Vincent Thomas Daiello, (SGT.), died 12/20/1968, my dream turns to look at me, waiting for me to see it standing in green imagination.

If Vinnie was there, I was there. If men served, I was not absent to their service. If men died, I could not go on living the person I was. War changes everything.

This from Vietnam War Facts, Stats and Myths:


9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.

2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam.

240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Of Those Lost

The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1961. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. The Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.

The oldest man killed was 62 years old.

58,148 were killed in Vietnam, 75,000 severely disabled, 23,214 were 100% disabled, 5,283 lost limbs and 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.

Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21 years old.

11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.

Of those killed, 17,539 were married.

The average age of the men killed: 23.1 years.

Veteran Successes

Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.

They have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.

Their personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.

87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem.

There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study).

Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.

85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.

97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged.

91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served.

74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.

Many Still Missing

As of April 14, 2017, there are 1,611 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War across Vietnam (1,258), Laos(297), Cambodia(49), and China(7).

Vietnam Combat Area Casualty File

The Statistics in the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF 11/93) show an average age of death much higher than that of news reports.

The average age of the 58,148 killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action).

Deaths Average Age

  • Enlisted: 50,274, 22.37 years
  • Officers: 6,598, 28.43 years
  • Warrants: 1,276, 24.73 years
  • E1 525, 20.34 years
  • 11B MOS: 18,465, 22.55 years
  • Totals: 58,148, 23.11 years

...   ...   ...








Nears our breath

Nears us 

To everything

With everyone.