Saturday, December 04, 2021

that pure intelligence, one’s life

Of a Friday Evening Conversation, we look into this:

What is consciousness? Consciousness is the knowing faculty, but it is the knowing faculty when it has some knowledge—it is only then that we call it consciousness. One is conscious of something, consciousness must always be conscious of something. When consciousness is not conscious of anything it is pure intelligence. It is in this realization that the greatest secret of life can be revealed. 

One might say that the experience of pure intelligence is possible only for the only Being, for God, but no one can stand outside of the only Being. The only Being includes all. And undoubtedly there is a certain process by which one can attain to this pure intelligence. Man is not conscious of it anymore — he has lost the habit of experiencing what pure intelligence is. But all the meditations and concentrations, the whole process by which the mystic treads the spiritual path brings us finally to the realization of that pure intelligence. If one asks what benefit one derives from it, the answer is that since all that benefits us comes from one source, that source must be perfect. It must be all-beneficial. It is beyond our limited imagination, but it is the greatest thing one can attain in one's life.

 (— Sufi Inayat Khan)

If there is nothing else, what else is there? 

Khan says “the only Being.”

Nothing else.

No opposite. 

All included.

And where are you, where am I, if not there?

Nowhere else.

Letting everything else go.

Is this, this here, what pure intelligence, only Being, reveals?

One’s life…

Friday, December 03, 2021

the pure presence

Friend from Rockland sends Elias Amidon, The Way: Sufi Tao)

Once, a young seeker asked an old Sufi woman,
“Mother, tell me, what is the way of the Sufi?
What way do you follow?”
She replied:

The way we follow does not lead.
It is like a wind that has no origin
and that seeks no destination.
It flows everywhere without moving,
never straying from this moment.
The way we follow is holy and alive
but to call it a way is to make it a thought,
suitable for the mind but not the heart.

The love-wind we follow teaches without instruction.

It reveals a path without pointing.

Accepting what arises, it holds on to nothing,

holding on to nothing it embraces all things.

Following the way, one is gentle

and does not defend or claim to know.

Not knowing,

one goes the way in wonder.             


The way has no abode yet it is home.
In the evening friends gather and sing.
At dawn they go their own way without leaving.
Having no abode they are free.
Free, they are unafraid of rejection and death.
Unafraid, they give comfort to the comfortless.
If someone asks them who they are,
they say, a friend.

The way we follow does not separate or declare,
nor does it draw attention to itself.
Loving, it has no need to possess.
Intimate, its secret remains secret.
Though it is most holy, it is not special.
It belongs to all beings and is never withheld.
No one and nothing is outside of the way,
but few know it.

To know the way is to be the way.
Kind, the way is naturally kind.
Curious, it laughs with amazement.
If you do not know the way, be kind.
If you do not know the way, be curious.
Then like a leaf warmed in the sun,
in autumn you will turn gold, then brittle,
then earth, and never stop living.

~( Elias Amidon, The Way: Sufi Tao, on

Please, take me there!

And wake me when we get there.


We’re already there?

You’ve taken a sad song and made it better?

Well, I’ll be…! 

“One of the most joyful moments in the life of the spiritual seeker is when we recognize that the long sought-for goal is already here. We are the pure presence the sages and poets speak about.”  ~ Elias Amidon from Seven Contemplations on Awakening 

Thursday, December 02, 2021

lacking that fixity

Sometimes, it is put simply and clear. 

In Zen teachings, impermanence is the first of the three marks of  

existence. Everything changes, nothing stays the same. The second  

mark of existence is no-self, which derives from the first: if everything 

changes    and  nothing   stays   the same, then there is no such thing as a  

fixed self. The self is only a passing notion, a changing story, relative  

to its momentary position in space and time. Suffering, the third mark  

of existence, derives quite logically from the first two. We don’t like  

impermanence, we want to be someone, a fixed self, and we want that  

self to last. Lacking that fixity, we suffer. 

(--from The Face: A Time Code, by Ruth Ozeki)

As it is here. 

dies irae dies illa

 You would think there’s no stopping right wing takeover of the country.

You think?

Perhaps we’re not thinking at all.

Nor feeling well.


Dies irascible dies irrational!

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

not my brother

 It doesn’t matter, but there seems to be a cessation of belief that citizens of the United States are able or willing to exercise good and fair judgment as to the common good of its fellow citizenry.

Economic and social inequality, cultural and religious insensitivity, intellectual and ethical immaturity — a cultivated disingenuousness mocking neighborly integrity and opting for divisive hostility as a badge of political righteousness and cynical self-absorption.

No big deal. Just mistrust and wariness of fellow residents.

“He’s heavy and he’s not my brother,” becomes our new anthem.

On second thought, I’m wrong. 

It does mattter.

We’re in trouble.

it’s just brutal

It doesn't matter your politics.

It's a human life.

And a noteworthy story. 

Before he died, John told the doctor treating him how much he regretted not getting the vaccine. “The doctor said that he was beating himself up so much before they put him on the ventilator,” Jenny says. “He was saying: ‘Why didn’t I get vaccinated? Why didn’t I do it? Why didn’t I listen?’”

It is for this reason that his family has agreed to share his story. “He probably wouldn’t be dead if he’d had the vaccine,” says Jenny. “It’s really quite simple. He made a bad decision. We all make bad decisions all the time. And he paid the ultimate price for it. Which is so unfair.”

Jenny says she “just wants people to be vaccinated and, if they have doubts, to get medical advice – not advice from the internet. And to realise that Covid is brutal. It’s just brutal.”

(--from, The life and tragic death of John Eyers – a fitness fanatic who refused the vaccine, He did triathlons, bodybuilding and mountain climbing and became sceptical of the Covid jab. Then, at 42, he contracted the virus. by , The Guardian, 30Nov.2021)

Life is not a political argument.

Life is about the way we live our lives and let others live their lives.

At end, John questioned some things about his life as it was ending. 

endeavor to maintain meditation focus at all times

Every step we take. 

Rohatsu is Japanese for "eighth day of the twelfth month." December 8 has come to be the day Japanese Zen Buddhists observe the enlightenment of the historical Buddha.

Traditionally, this observation -- sometimes called "Bodhi Day" -- was held on the 8th day of a 12th lunar month, which often falls in January. When Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 19th century, Japanese Buddhists adopted fixed days for many holidays, including Buddha's birthday. Western Buddhists of many schools appear to be adopting December 8 as Bodhi Day, also. Bodhi means "awakened" in Sanskrit, although in English we tend to say "enlightened."

In Japanese Zen monasteries, Rohatsu is the last day of a week-long sesshin. A sesshin is an intensive meditation retreat in which all of one's waking time is dedicated to meditation. Even when not in the meditation hall, participants endeavor to maintain meditation focus at all times -- eating, washing, doing chores. Silence is maintained unless speaking is absolutely necessary. 

(—Rohatsu, Observing the Buddha's Enlightenment, by Barbara O’Brien)

We’ll be watching.


אַמִיצוּת … courage, boldness, strength … virtues

Faith is trust

Hope is energy surrounding faith

Love is pervasive activity of faith and hope rooted in source and ever-present origin.

When we say ‘l trust you are well’ we affirm that, at heart/at source, the one addressed dwells in presence of that which is good, loving, true, and whole.

Whether they are aware of it or not.

Whether or not they activate/occupy the potential, the power, the energy of their core, root, source being/becoming.

There is a ‘knowing’ of radical reality with or without moment-to-moment consciousness of such a thing.

To approach, to arrive at, to stand within that moment-to-moment consciousness is the prayer of each for each, the prayer of all in all, the prayer of undifferentiated suchness with that-which-is Itself.

This is our true home.

Our original face.

The heart’s longing.

The silence surrounding what-is … being … said.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

poiesis, not theoria, has the last word

The making word. 

 So, let me conclude by repeating the question motivating my reflections throughout: why do we need art to recover God after God? Why look to poetry and painting rather than doctrine and theology? Why is Creation a matter of making as well as revealing? Because, we hold, poetics is the first bridge between word and flesh. Theopoetic imagination is the Janus-face looking back to Creation and forward to the Kingdom. It is the medium and membrane that moves us, that makes ideas of Triune divinity touch our lives, reminding us that abstract disputes about Filioque’s and other dogmas—dividing our churches for centuries—are but footnotes to the real work of theopoetics: us “making” God as God makes us. When it comes to divinity poiesis, not theoria, has the last word. Orthopoiesis trumps orthodoxy. In the beginning God creates Sophia. In the end, Sophia recreates God.

(—Richard Kearney (2017) God making: an essay in theopoetic imagination, Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, 4:1, 31-44, DOI: 10.1080/20539320.2017.1319625)

Making the world. 

thought itself is an afterthought.

 Responding to Ross Douthat, The Case Against Abortion, NYTimes, Nov.30,2021:

When I studied Logic and Ethics at university in 1968, I could never get the syllogistic formula to make sense.  

1. Human life requires ethical coherence.  

2. A society that murders criminals in prisons and enemies in war has no voice in the discussion that taking human life or potential thereof is wrong.  

3. Thus, giving birth to a child is a rational choice emanating from irrational sexually active encounters where thought itself is an afterthought.  

Thank God I didn’t go on to teach philosophy.

Well, then, that's that! 

there is no-other until

 Freedom arises

When everything falls away

No-self knows other

Monday, November 29, 2021

האור עצמו

 How much light you need

depends on what you want to 

see — light in itself

a challenging divestment

 Revelation is not an inner understanding. It is a surround that turns in outer landscape once you emerge from captured beliefs and locked ideas about the way things should be.

Revelation is the face of what-is-real surrounding the emerging longing for a way to be real in an environment of illusion and fabricated appearance.

In his story about his niece finishing her pilgrimage in Santiago, David Whyte described the ritual of leaving behind something that brought you there to where you now are.

Leaving behind what brought me here is a challenging divestment. Whether beliefs, rituals, ideas, templates, interpretations, grudges, affections, images, accomplishments, failures.

Standing at one’s ever-present origin means incipient inception as continual inaugurative activity. Each step first step. There is no other reality than this actualizing reality stepping into what is now becoming itself.

We live in illusion when we attempt to dwell in the past or future. 

It is rare to hear now speaking, to enter conversation with what is here now emerging as it is.

Eight bells.

It is time.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

sparse and scarce, deep and distant

Sitting under Sala tree, or reciting psalms waiting for משיח (messiah), long shadow of broken tree holding broken man, narratives of presentiment fashion foreheads with mythic heuristic questions each must ask and learn for themselves.

We are perpetual vagabonds stepping through unanswerable questions and formulaic improbable answers about who we are, what has brought us here, and is there any help getting through this?

In Christian calendar begins Advent.

Something out there or in here is coming.

From where? Or for what? Or what’s the price of admission? We’re unsure, even now, even after thousands of years of inquiry, prostration, choral effort, sitting shiva, vacant tombs, charnel grounds.

During day sun occupies sole reference. It is at night billions of appearances flicker vast pinpricks of deep and distant stars in dark and desolate imaginings wondering, alternately: What is out there? What is in here?

Clicking second hand.

A man’s quiet voice, “Let me tell you what I heard.”

And another. And another.

Whispering their partial fragments, what they pass on into the hollow well of understanding, where dipping buckets bring up sparse and scarce dripping nourishment to slacken mouths.

The landscape is torn and prickly. No one deciphers what figures in the distance call out.

Is it declarative? Or plaintive plea?

Something, cracked voice says, is coming.

It is not believed, not a believable message, ever further incredulous ears used to dust and dry crackling comprehension passing through air, ear, airways.

Still…we listen.

What choice have we?

So, for another duration of resilient discordance, one sits, or stands, where one is — wondering, waiting, breath upon breath, for what is, angularly approaching.

how we see ourselves and the universe

 The zen saying is “Better to see the face than hear the name.”

These times have been hard for faces.

Your image of God creates you—or defeats you. There is an absolute connection between how we see God and how we see ourselves and the universe. The word “God” is a stand-in word for everything—Reality, truth, and the very shape of our universe. This is why good theology and spirituality can make such a major difference in how we live our daily lives in this world. God is Reality with a Face—which is the only way most humans know how to relate to anything. There has to be a face!

(—Week Forty-Eight: Images of God, Creating God in Our Own Image, Richard Rohr)

 So much of what we hear these days is nothing to look at.

And what we are shown these days is ideology with angry, cynical, sound.

We are longing for, if not ready for — the sound of what is, being, said — just this, as it is, facing us as itself.

quid ignotum venit

 What are we waiting

for? What are we missing here?

Nothing approaches