Saturday, February 11, 2023

nothing but dust and nonsense

The lead quote:

So, following the saintly fathers, we all with one voice teach the confession of one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and a body; consubstantial with the Father as regards his divinity, and the same consubstantial with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects except for sin; begotten before the ages from the Father as regards his divinity, and in the last days the same for us and for our salvation from Mary, the virgin God-bearer as regards his humanity; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only- begotten, acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation; at no point was the difference between the natures taken away through the union, but rather the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ himself instructed us, and as the creed of the fathers handed it down to us. 

(—The Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (a.d. 451) in God after Metaphysics A Theological Aesthetic, by  John Panteleimon Manoussakis, 2007)

Followed by:

It is nothing less than the loud assertion that this mysterious Maker of the world has visited His world in person. It declares that really and even recently, or right in the middle of historic times, there did walk into the world this original invisible being; about whom the thinkers make theories and the mythologists hand down myths; the Man who made the World. That such a higher personality exists behind all things had always been implied by the best thinkers as well as by all the beautiful legends. But nothing of this sort has ever been implied by any of them . . . The most that any religious prophet had said was that he was the true servant of such a being. The most that any visionary had ever said was that men might catch glimpses of the glory of that spiritual being; much more often of lesser spiritual beings. The most that any primitive myth had ever suggested was that the Creator was present at the Creation. But that the Creator was present at scenes a little subsequent to the supper-parties of Horace, and talked with tax collectors and government officials in the detailed daily life of the Roman Empire, and that this fact continued to be firmly asserted by the whole of that great civilization for more than a thousand years—that is something utterly unlike anything else in nature. It is the one great startling statement that man has made since he spoke his first articulate word . . . it makes nothing but dust and nonsense of comparative religion. 

(—G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man, Ibid

 There is always the question, here applied to The Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon’s statement, whether the words…

 “ the property of both natures is preserved and comes together into a single person and a single subsistent being; he is not parted or divided into two persons, but is one and the same only-begotten Son, God, Word, Lord Jesus Christ, just as the prophets taught from the beginning about him”

…are, indeed, true.

For a moment, if I imagine they are true, does/did a single individual exist from/through whom what we experience as this apparent cosmos comes into existence, is sustained by, and moves through a spiritual/energetic holism toward an, as yet, unknown and undetected teleology signatured for all creatures and all elements encircled by this creative physics/theological explanation?

In Chesterton’s assertion, “the one great startling statement that man has made since he spoke his first articulate word” — namely, “the creator present at scenes talking with tax collectors and government officials in the detailed daily life of the Roman Empire” — is, indeed, unusual. The creator entering creation and attempting to steer it toward a happy conclusion.

The Jesus phenomenon has intrigued thought and activity for some two thousand years. 

Could the story, the speculation, the antagonisms, and heuristic possibilities actually be so intimate to our narrative DNA as to ultimately and unexplainably be true and accurate? 

If we push a little further, do we suspect that this narrative is one auto-generated by an organism grown in sophistication and knowledge to such an extent that the activity of unfolding consciousness begins to encircle the possibility that everything that is is the expression of everything as it is becoming manifest in the visible experience of that which visualizes from the inside out?

How do we see such a story? How incarnate and embody such curious explanation of the origin and contemporary expression of this creation/existential reality?

In a Dark Time

                 BY THEODORE ROETHKE

In a dark time, the eye begins to see,

I meet my shadow in the deepening shade;   

I hear my echo in the echoing wood—

A lord of nature weeping to a tree.

I live between the heron and the wren,   

Beasts of the hill and serpents of the den.

What’s madness but nobility of soul

At odds with circumstance? The day’s on fire!   

I know the purity of pure despair,

My shadow pinned against a sweating wall.   

That place among the rocks—is it a cave,   

Or winding path? The edge is what I have.

A steady storm of correspondences!

A night flowing with birds, a ragged moon,   

And in broad day the midnight come again!   

A man goes far to find out what he is—

Death of the self in a long, tearless night,   

All natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Dark, dark my light, and darker my desire.   

My soul, like some heat-maddened summer fly,   

Keeps buzzing at the sill. Which I is I?

A fallen man, I climb out of my fear.   

The mind enters itself, and God the mind,   

And one is One, free in the tearing wind.

(Poem by Theodore Roethke, "In a Dark Time" from Collected Poems of Theodore Roethke.  Copyright © 1963)

The circumstances.

The correspondences.

The natural shapes blazing unnatural light.

Is “One” and “God” and “mind” all of a piece?

And, are we, in the interim, and, at best, dust and nonsense?

Maybe, joyfully so?

(naibu), 内部, (within)

Prison resident

At Friday conversation

“Then, what is your goal”?

(threw marker completed pass)

“To love what is (now) here” — (Yes)

when conscious spirit is all enfolding

 What an absurd thought

That there is nothing outside —

All is here, within

Friday, February 10, 2023

receding, receding

 Moon rising (not there)

Radical interior

Right here within sky

rolling up timeline

lies hang out

somewhere at 

the edges

truth resides

somewhere in

the middle


do we

find ourselves

if you lose something, it is, gone

 Do you think it is

Meaningless, this everyday

Life — No, no, I don’t —

I do not, no, I do not

(Stumbling to say something else)

Thursday, February 09, 2023

on bed, with dog, drips melting snow from roof

 Someone speaks of pre-birth knowledge and after-life awareness on YouTube.

I walk upstairs. I find I am not interested in these experiences, neither do I have an opinion or a preference about them. 

I wonder what my lack of interest connotes. An indifference to pre- or post-existence?

These matters are of passing interest,

I do not live with an eye to securing some afterlife advantage. Nor do I fear some afterlife disadvantage.

I enjoy looking around my room. So too looking out windows. As also walking with dog up incline to Hosmer Brook (our meetingbrook) and beyond — looking at trees, broken branches, iced stones, animal tracks in snow.

This life is enough.

These sights, sounds, questions, and conversations.


Without that.

What, then, does it mean to be spiritual?

To breathe through this experience.

If that is where God is, then ok, attention to God.

As such, God is the awareness of this life, this experience, this moment.

Nothing else.

I send donation to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children. 

It’s a small response.

As I am, a small response.

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

sadness of the false

 I look forward to 

Truth becoming important

In congress — don’t you?

buying soap and birdseed

Furnace blows warm air

floor vents  — February — one

day slowly passes

the final choice that is not finished

 Mutation, chaotic bifurcation,


New time-space orientation

Keep eyes open

We are not done with delving

Into the hidden unknown

It snowed last night

New white fall covering soot

You will become free

When irruptive time

Folding space

Nears everything

Copresently inhabiting

Everything everywhere

You like the idea, don’t you,

Becoming all that is arising

A footprint in snow

Chivers and peanut butter 

Toasted English Muffin

Cream in hot coffee

I choose

To love you

As you are

As I am

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

obligation fulfilled

 Good job, Mr. President.

Sorry some of the kids overstayed their bedtime and were cranky.

little nubs of erasure on zen page

 helping auditor 

with numbers -- nothing adds up,

you can count me out

one minus one is nothing to talk about

 when younger I thought

I had to prove myself -- now

there's no-one grading

no distraction in silent mind

 When in silence, no

sound is other than itself --

just listen to it

with plenty and many without.

 It's a matter of perspective, isn't it?

Call on Jesus to crush a point of view you do not espouse as a right-wing conservative, and you're a good Christian.

Call on Jesus to help change the minds of the rich and powerful toward the weak and needy, and you're a left-wing revolutionary.

Verse of the day 

Did I not weep for those whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? But when I looked for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came. 

- Job 30:25-26

Voice of the day 

When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.   

 - Dom Helder Camara  


 Prayer of the day 

Thank you for the life and work of Dom Helder Camara; may we dismantle the systems of greed that leave some with plenty and many without.  



It is absurd, isn't it -- the variance of perception, the desperateness of potentially refitting a good agent of beneficial assistance into an armed vigilante? 

And the way we raise up despicable characters -- pathetic poseurs and former elected criminals -- into paragons of projectionist protectionist menace and pseudo-messianic profligate Ponzi carnival barkers. 
We used to think shame accompanied the unmasking of those who would swindle and deceive. Now bare-faced pride at successful deception and untouchable immunity from prosecution -- sneers from lips and mocking eyes -- staring out from adulated images posted by cackling admirers. 
The likes of Dom Helder Camara are few and muted. Any words issued from behind sexual scandals and impotent perches of diminished power sound faint and foolish in the public square. 
Where are the prophets? 
Where the models of authentic resistance? 
Where, in Jesus' name, are the Christ-imbued presence-filled real-deals? The individuals and the communities who do not fear showing up, facing and saying what needs to be done and said?

(Wait, you, right there!)

 I see you. 

Are you. are you, the one we are waiting for? 

The one who, by showing up, is to come forth, speak forth, be forthright?

Go ahead — 

Be now!

Speak now!

Embody what is the now made manifest!

the reason for all things is revealed in the incarnation

 The first lecture of The Franciscan Intellectual Tradition by William Short is about Christ at the center as the center.

The 13th century. That’s where I go.

Sent, coming from another. But from where?

The wisdom of God. The love of God. Incarnate.

But a crucified love.

At origin.

Of all, creation.

That’s what we get. That’s what we got.

What to make of it?

The primacy. The alpha.

The end. The omega.

This is known only to God.


Is known


To God.

(I wonder if the thermos on kitchen counter has any coffee from yesterday.)

Monday, February 06, 2023

odd, to be lost, with no direction home

 In prison this morning we spoke about Quality.

Is quality the arising of the veridical?

The nascent appearance of truthing energy? 

Hidden spirit embodying and concretizing?

The emergence into appearance of that which is urging itself from within to that which is obviously itself within/without?  

Robert Creeley writes:

            drive, he sd, for  /  christ’s sake, look  /  out where yr going.                       

              (from “I Know a Man”)

I have no idea where I am going.

Nor do I think I am going anywhere.

We look out. We look in. We look out. We look in.

Search me, God, and know my heart;

    test me and know my anxious thoughts.


See if there is any offensive way in me,

    and lead me in the way everlasting. 

I cannot fathom who I am, or where I am, how I am, or why I am.

And so, the words of Jeremiah:

Why are you like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, O LORD, and we bear your name; do not forsake us!          (Jeremiah 14:9)

In our midst.

Your name we bear.

Do not desert us.

We wander the desert of that which is not us, mirages to left and right, winds of opinion and doubt sweeping away evidence of who we've been, where we've been, wondering which step to take, in what direction, with what energy remaining.

One step, after another, step.

look out where yr going

 Who am I?


Who are you?


What is this?




Give me a break!

Oh . . .

I am broken

Everything is broken 

Pick up the pieces

With kindness and compassion

I am of a piece

You are of a piece



We might

As well



          I Know a Man 

               BY ROBERT CREELEY
As I sd to my   
friend, because I am   
always talking,—John, I

sd, which was not his   
name, the darkness sur-
rounds us, what

can we do against
it, or else, shall we &
why not, buy a goddamn big car,

drive, he sd, for   
christ’s sake, look   
out where yr going. 
(Poem by Robert Creeley, “I Know a Man” from Selected Poems of Robert Creeley, © 1991)

Sunday, February 05, 2023

becoming a stethoscope

 Choose your mythology.

Which story attracts your attention?

Which telling moves you to ask questions that move you from certainty to journey through unknowns?

Who is your "God"?

"God" -- meaning that which introduces meaning and fidelity into your life. That which inspires a sense of exploration or purpose to be born, cultivated, and enacted.

I’m not so interested in which or whether there is any religion’s God operative in your thinking. If you have a savior or redeemer, whether you say one or three or a hundred thousand gods are in your pantheon.

I want to know what you make of the fleeting passing instants and instances of apparent manifestation wherein the 5% (five percent) of anyone’s life are up and online for us, now or in the past, those miniscule windows into shared reality that are immediately thrown into the process of translation and interpretation by our personal psychological existential administration?

Of course there arises the question as to whether we ever really know another, or, just the 5% evanescent cohabiting transient neutrino-like indecipherable hermeneutical guesses we make in our jotting notebooks we call fact, fiction or mythic encounter.

We don’t know another person. We only have our approximate “readings” of them.

Nor is there any “God” out there or in here. What is out there is what is out there. What is in here is what is in here. 

The Jewish sages were right when they said: “Don’t name the unnameable. You can’t see the unseeable.”

Names and visages, categories and images, beliefs and manifestations — are all the playthings of  logbooks, file cabinets, computer documents, and exam booklets.

What we don’t see, cannot hear, nor actually touch is the veridical life of anyone other, or even our so-called selves.

Did Jesus exist?


Do you exist?

Do I?

As an elder Jew I knew would often say — “Don’t ask!” 

Maybe he meant — “Let your questions be your breath.”

Be stethoscopes to one another!