When I stopped believ-
ing in God I found nothing
to replace belief
We come near.
Sometimes very near.
We deal with the world as it appears to us, not as it intrinsically is, so some of our interpretations may be more accurate than others. This somewhat disturbing news means that the “objective truths” on which we rely are inherently illusive.2 The world is there; its energy and form exist. But our apprehension of it is only a mental projection. The world is outside our bodies, but not outside our minds. “We are this little universe,” the Benedictine mystic Bede Griffiths (1906–93) explained, “a microcosm in which the macrocosm is present as a hologram.”3 We are surrounded by a reality that transcends—or “goes beyond”—our conceptual grasp.
What we regard as truth, therefore, is inescapably bound up with a world that we construct for ourselves. As soon as the first humans learned to manipulate tools, they created works of art to make sense of the terror, wonder and mystery of their existence. From the very beginning, art was inextricably bound up with what we call “religion,” which is itself an art form. The Lascaux Caves, a cultic site since 17,000 BCE, are decorated with numinous paintings of local wildlife, and nearby, in the underground labyrinth of Trois Frères at Ariège, there are spectacular engravings of mammoths, bison, wolverines and musk-oxen. Dominating the scene is a massive painted figure, half man, half beast, who fixes his huge, penetrating eyes on visitors as they stumble out of the underground tunnel that provides the only route to this prehistoric temple. Like Lion Man, this hybrid creature transcends anything in our empirical experience but seems to reflect a sense of the underlying unity of animal, human and divine.
(—from introduction, The Lost Art of Scripture : rescuing the sacred texts / by Karen Armstrong. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019.)
Heat blisters western United States. Rain drowns east coast.
Human myopia sees little of inner turmoil in persons to our left and right. We weary of tasks and uncertainties of functioning engineering of institutions and their futures.
We brew coffee. Walk prescribed routes managing irregularities. Watch warily proscribed assassinations and withdrawals from battlefields there was never a chance of winning.
What makes the whole fragility tolerable is spirit of accommodation that indicates that this, this, is within our capability, within our absurd efforts to see this through for as long as we can, with good humor, with spirit of encouragement.
We’re a little terrified of what we don’t know.
Yet, we go on like woman, sitting, with head resting on walking canes waiting on son in another emergency.
Watching two people jostle over nothing but what was in somebody’s head.
Reminds me of the line:
What we have here is failure to communicate.
There’s no communication when the desire to communicate is muffled inside the historic confusion of baffling perception.
Imagine a world free and kind.
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel taught in his classic work The Prophets: “Asceticism was not the ideal (p.258) of the biblical man. The source of evil is not in passion, in the throbbing heart, but rather in hardness of heart, in callousness and insensitivity.…We are stirred by their passion and enlivened imagination.…It is to the imagination and the passions that the prophets speak, rather than aiming at the cold approbation of the mind.”
(--from, ch.2, A Way to God: Thomas Merton's Creation Spirituality Journey, by Matthew Fox, 2016)
Imagine yourself free and kind.
Imagine God free and kind.
If you pray or practice zen...
you create and transform what is surrounding you
by seeing what imagination sees with a warm clear heart
a warm clear mind
and a warm open hand.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama celebrates his 86th birthday today.
Two quotes by the Dalai Lama:
1. There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.
2. Don't ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness. Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.
How fortunate to have such a person as our brother and beloved teacher!
"Now that it is my birthday, I want to express my deep appreciation to all my friends who have really shown love, respect and trust. I can assure you that I am committed to serving humanity and working to protect the climate," he said.
The Dalai Lama urged people to practice non-violence and be compassionate towards each other. "I am committed to non-violence and compassion until my death. This is my offering to my friends. All my brothers and sisters should keep these two things in mind - non-violence and compassion... On my birthday, this is my gift," he said.
So has time gone by.
Two trauma room surgeons from Parkland Hospital who labored over John Fitzgerald Kennedy on 22nov1963 speak of the minute by minute ministrations preceding the president’s being declared dead.
These interviews, many years later, still mesmerize the listener.
There is observational and acoustical differences from official recounting about directionality and interstice of kill shot.
This 4th of July holiday, with its call for freedom, invites the breath of clear minds and wise hearts.
I’m ok with not knowing as a way of being.
One investigator quotes Susan Sontag’s words from On Photography, “Images…usurp reality.”
Still, wrestling with nascent ignorance remains unsettling.
We are ever-being born, ever-dying, and suffused with irremediable longing to see clearly the fruits of wisdom.
Freedom calls to such respondents.
Usurpation leaves us in authentic confusion.
Maybe we are "in god."
It might be that thought and extension are only two indices of multitudinous dimensions that exceed our capability to fathom.
...the term panentheism( from the Ancient Greek expression
πᾶν ἐν θεῷ, pān en theṓ, literally "all in god"). (wikipedia)
God is not out there any more than we are not out there. There is no out there.
The whole is the whole. Anything within the whole is of the whole.
When the mantra Om Mane Padme Hum is pronounced there is a realization of the reality of our holistic inclusion with what is here, whole, and encompassing.
The translation I render is Behold what is within without; Behold what is without within.
Our designations of up/down, in/out, high/low, many/few, divine/human, sacred/profane, north/east/south/west -- are artificial rational distinctions that we measure and calculate and rely on to have agreed directions and distances through which to navigate.
Mystical spirituality is willing to abide in the directionless.
God, in this field of inquiry, is nowhere to be found because God is not lost, not anywhere else, not out there or in here.
God is the whole within which every other whole looks through.
We cannot see God.
God is that which is, seeing itself, through and with and through.