Saturday, February 06, 2021
Sadako Sasaki was a two year old girl when the atomic bomb was dropped. She is remembered for attempting to fold a thousand paper cranes before her death of cancer.
Published: Jun 11, 2011
a thousand paper
cranes carried her prayers for peace
lay with her in sleep
in her almond eyes
the flash of a smile spoke love
folded into death
yet her mother held her hand
recalling heavens of ash
When will we clear the skies that the cranes may fly and little girls may live?
Friday, February 05, 2021
There is a longing to enter into and comprehend what it means to share in the body of Christ.
An emerging mystical consciousness surrounds a grounding creation spirituality that begins to recognize the embodied reality throughout all of nature and material manifestation of a permeating reality of Christ-nature, an underlying essential and existential trueness and goodness that is our bodily and spiritual home with what is called God, with what-is love itself.
Abhishiktananda (Henri le Saux)3 is quoted:
“The discovery of Christ’s I AM is the ruin of any Christian theology, for all notions are burnt within the fire of experience.”4
Then Richard Kearney writes:
Though Abhishiktananda was the chief celebrant, he himself seems to have written little about this event—yet there are some telling hints in diary entries which I shall consider below. It was the host, Sara Grant, who provided the best account, describing the Vigil as a genuinely “trans-cultural celebration” which was much more than a “preparatory para-liturgy.” And while the sharing of scriptures from different biblical and Vedic sources was central, what was most striking for her personally was the “bodily aspect of the being and the fact that we experienced it as community.” She explains: “suddenly we realized that until his death, Jesus was bound by history and its limitations, but through his death and resurrection he had burst the bonds of space and time and could be recognized as not only Lord and Christ but as Sat purusha, the archetypal Man of Vedic tradition in whom every member of the human race can recognize the truth of his or her being” (Grant 2002: 72)
(—Ch.2, pp.140-141, TOWARD AN OPEN EUCHARIST, Richard Kearney, in Ritual Participation and Interreligious Dialogue Boundaries, Transgressions and Innovations, Edited by Marianne Moyaert and Joris Geldhof, 2015)
The world longs for unity.
Unity is the root reality of Being.
Why are we so slow to notice?
Why is it such a struggle to practice what we know in our bones and in our sight to be true?
Thursday, February 04, 2021
(by Louise Glück)
First divesting ourselves of worldly goods, as St. Francis teaches,
in order that our souls not be distracted
by gain and loss, and in order also
that our bodies be free to move
easily at the mountain passes, we had then to discuss
whither or where we might travel, with the second question being
should we have a purpose, against which
many of us argued fiercely that such purpose
corresponded to worldly goods, meaning a limitation or constriction,
whereas others said it was by this word we were consecrated
pilgrims rather than wanderers: in our minds, the word translated as
a dream, a something-sought, so that by concentrating we might see it
glimmering among the stones, and not
pass blindly by; each
further issue we debated equally fully, the arguments going back and forth,
so that we grew, some said, less flexible and more resigned,
like soldiers in a useless war. And snow fell upon us, and wind blew,
which in time abated — where the snow had been, many flowers appeared,
and where the stars had shone, the sun rose over the tree line
so that we had shadows again; many times this happened.
Also rain, also flooding sometimes, also avalanches, in which
some of us were lost, and periodically we would seem
to have achieved an agreement; our canteens
hoisted upon our shoulders, but always that moment passed, so
(after many years) we were still at that first stage, still
preparing to begin a journey, but we were changed nevertheless;
we could see this in one another; we had changed although
we never moved, and one said, ah, behold how we have aged, traveling
from day to night only, neither forward nor sideward, and this seemed
in a strange way miraculous. And those who believed we should have a purpose
believed this was the purpose, and those who felt we must remain free
in order to encounter truth, felt it had been revealed.
(Glück, Louise. Faithful and Virtuous Night: Poems (pp. 3-4). Farrar, Straus and Giroux.)
Words have consequences.
When something is said there is meant to be a connection between the words spoken and what is commonly referred to as reality.
When words and reality have little or no connection, there is a diminishment of both words and reality.
Things are not what we pretend they are. Things are what they are. It becomes the responsibility of anyone who speaks to re-present reality in words with as much clarity and fidelity as possible.
This responsibility to represent and clarify reality is singularly a duty of elected officials in their roles of governance and leadership.
When leaders fail to honor and respect the fact of and representation of reality, there is harm done to reality, words, and the human beings dependent on the healthy connection of word and reality.
Looking to another key rhetorical theorist, Plato defined the scope of rhetoric according to his negative opinions of the art. He criticized the Sophists for using rhetoric as a means of deceit instead of discovering truth. In "Gorgias", one of his Socratic Dialogues, Plato defines rhetoric as the persuasion of ignorant masses within the courts and assemblies. Rhetoric, in Plato's opinion, is merely a form of flattery and functions similarly to cookery, which masks the undesirability of unhealthy food by making it taste good. Thus, Plato considered any speech of lengthy prose aimed at flattery as within the scope of rhetoric.
Aristotle both redeemed rhetoric from his teacher and narrowed its focus by defining three genres of rhetoric—deliberative, forensic or judicial, and epideictic. Yet, even as he provided order to existing rhetorical theories, Aristotle extended the definition of rhetoric, calling it the ability to identify the appropriate means of persuasion in a given situation, thereby making rhetoric applicable to all fields, not just politics. When one considers that rhetoric included torture (in the sense that the practice of torture is a form of persuasion or coercion), it is clear that rhetoric cannot be viewed only in academic terms. However, the enthymeme based upon logic (especially, based upon the syllogism) was viewed as the basis of rhetoric
The crisis hanging over America is real.
A detachment looms.
A separation of words and reality.
(Pause. A breath. Then this:)
(by Natsume Soseki)
The crow has flown away:
swaying in the evening sun,
a leafless tree.
Wednesday, February 03, 2021
Tuesday, February 02, 2021
Monday, February 01, 2021
A long reading for Sunday Evening Practice.
Kathleen Deignan's article, The Forest Is My Bride: Thomas Merton’s Writings on Nature, from 16June2002, early on contains Merton's words:
…Like everyone else I live under the bomb. But unlike most people I live in the woods. Do not ask me to explain this. I am embarrassed to describe it. …
…I live in the woods out of necessity. I get out of bed in the middle of the night because it is imperative that I hear the silence of the night, alone, and, with my face on the floor, say psalms, alone, in the silence of the night.
It is necessary for me to live here alone without a woman, for the silence of the forest is my bride and the sweet dark warmth of the whole world is my love and out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in silence, but it is the root of all the secrets that are whispered by all the lovers in their beds all over the world.
(--Dancing in the Water of Life: The Journals of Thomas Merton Vol.V p 239 – 240, WC 195)
Walking mountain out our barn door we get glimpse of such nuptial invitation, a more profound celibacy, an intimacy of interconnection, respectful and responsible, reciprocal.
Deignan was a welcome presence, her lovely writing mingling appreciatively and became a valuable member of this irregular sangha bowing with gasshos to each other saying goodnight, godspeed, whisper well.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
(—from Thoughts in Solitude, by Thomas Merton)