Saturday, June 10, 2023

at (long) last

 It was a day


the earth said remember me

Reading during torrential downpour. 

Then it stops.

Just like that.

During this period from 1983 to 1993 Wilber was beginning to seriously explore diverse epistemologies for understanding and acquire knowledge in general. In Eye to Eye (Wilber, 1983a, pp. 2-3), for example, he wrote of Saint Bonaventure’s “three eyes of knowing.” These are:

1. Eye of flesh (monologic/sensibilia/physical senses);

2. Eye of mind (dialogic/intelligibilia/rational senses);

3. Eye of spirit (translogic/transcendelia/inner senses).

Each represents a different epistemology and a different domain of knowledge acquisition.

(—from, Transcend and Include, Ken Wilber’s Contribution to Transpersonal Psychology, by Allan Combs

Last night’s Friday Evening Conversation looked into AI (artificial intelligence) with both curious and skeptical interest.

Would Bonaventure and Wilbur add a fourth?

4. Eye of artifice/interface (postlogic/apodictilia/post-senses nonemotional inevitability

It was a conversation that carried from the one at prison yesterday morning where movement from Plato’s analogy of the divided line, to Sartre's l'existence précède l'essence (existence precedes essence), to Heidegger’s Die Sprache spricht (language speaks).

This was followed by a poem by Jorie Graham:



The earth said

remember me.

The earth said

don’t let go,

said it one day

when I was


listening, I

heard it, I felt it

like temperature,

all said in a

whisper—build to-

morrow, make right be-

fall, you are not

free, other scenes

are not taking

place, time is not filled,

time is not late, there is

a thing the emptiness

needs as you need

emptiness, it

shrinks from light again &

again, although all things

are present, a

fact a day a

bird that warps the

arithmetic of per-

fection with its

arc, passing again &

again in the evening

air, in the pre-

vailing wind, making no

mistake—yr in-

difference is yr

principal beauty

the mind says all the

time—I hear it—I

hear it every-

where. The earth

said remember

me. I am the

earth it said. Re-

member me.

(—from, Poetry, January 2020)

There was a lot of responsing to the poem.

Each final circle we do is a reminder that things have been, things end, and things (by and large) move on from where they were.

And somewhere somehow in all of this, a pervasive sense of appreciation and gratitude prevails.

va bene

 Nothing’s missing

And I’m going

To find it

Friday, June 09, 2023

what’s wrong will always be wrong, wrote the poet

 Former president


No need pretend

Any longer

Thursday, June 08, 2023

the ten thousand things


 To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by ten thousand things. When enlightened by ten thousand things, the body and mind as well as the bodies and minds of others drop away.”                                (—Dogen Zenji,  in his Genjō Koan)

There is so much to study (習う). 

To study is prelude to dropping away.


            (Drop away)

I once thought you were

not me nor I you — now, here

nothing of that thought

remains, everything falls — ground

opens, sky opens — gone, gone


Wednesday, June 07, 2023


Why is there something rather than nothing? Where does the best response come from — theology or philosophy? 

I’d opt for poetry as the most engaging articulation responding to the question.

Here’s Richard Kearney:

It is a distinction going back to Husserl and Heidegger, who, for methodological reasons, separated the phenomenological question of being – why is there something rather than nothing? What are the ‘things themselves’? – from the theological ques- tion of how something came from nothing in the first place. Theology answers the question by invoking Revelation: there is something rather than nothing because the book of Genesis reveals to us that Elohim created the world in seven days. In short, the beginning of theology is the end of philosophy, and vice versa. Both are, of course, entirely legitimate disciplines with different methods and presuppositions. And both can, I believe, enter into productive and engaging dialogue (as I try to do, in my modest way, following my Paris teachers, Ricœur, Levinas, Derrida and Breton). But the dialogue is between different questions – the question of being and the question of God – rather than a soliloquy of the same. Of course divinity can reveal itself in and through Being (what I call ‘theopoetics’), and Being can open spaces for the advent of divine revelation (in the eschatology of the sacred). Granted. But they are not univocal. They are equivocal or polyvocal, at best. And that makes for many creative hermeneutic cross-overs and translations, each time honoring the distinct hermeneutic paths and bridges one traverses at any moment.

(—Journal for Continental Philosophy of Religion 5 (2023) 119–124, After Thoughts on After Gods, A Response to Hendel, Damen, Putt, and Hederman, by Richard Kearney,,  Charles Seelig Chair of Philosophy, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, US)


What do you make of it? 

Don’t. Make. Anything. 

(You are) Of it.

corpus, cosmos

There’s more to embodiment than meets the eye.  

We read about corpo-spirituality Monday mornings at the prison farm in Warren. We talked about cosmo-spirituality at Tuesday evening conversation over zoom.

 Often spirituality and concomitant prayer is seen as pointing elsewhere, to some higher reality, in a dimension other than the ones we occupy, an entreaty for something thought to be within the benefice of a greater being whose wisdom and judgment is to be respected, praised, worshipped, and, more than likely, feared.

And yet, there is philosophical and theological speculation that embeds spirituality and prayer as being far more interior, subliminal, the realm of the within, the misapprehended unconscious, this reality, this terraform materiality often called “creation.”

Aristotle addresses the question of ethical criteria already when he remarks that if you wish to communicate the meaning of a virtue you recount the story of someone who embodies it - e.g., Achilles for courage, Penelope for constancy, Tiresius for wisdom. Such narratives - ancient or modern - provide phronesis with exemplary paradigms by which to measure, judge, and act. Otherwise how could one tell the difference between just and unjust actions? 

(—in, “What is Diacritical Hermeneutics?” by Richard Kearney, Journal of Applied Hermeneutics, 10dec2011) 

Phronesis (Ancient Greek: φρόνησῐς, romanized: phrónēsis), is a type of wisdom or intelligence relevant to practical action in particular situations. It implies both good judgment and excellence of character and habits, and was a common topic of discussion in ancient Greek philosophy. Classical works about this topic are still influential today. In Aristotelian ethics, the concept was distinguished from other words for wisdom and intellectual virtues – such as episteme and sophia – because of its practical character. The traditional Latin translation is prudentia, which is the source of the English word "prudence". Among other proposals, Thomas McEvilley has proposed that the best translation is "mindfulness".[1]-(Wikipedia)

We look thither and yon, here and there, everywhere and nowhere, inside and out, up and down, alone and with others. 

U2 sings our common hymn, our common anthem: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. (YouTube)

Creation, some claim, is the original scripture. 

Through the ages, with words and language, secondary scriptures emerge. The attempts to encapsulate in concepts, dogmas, sutras, suras, creeds, precepts, commandments, position papers, inquisitions, fatwas, excommunications, shunning, crusades, six day, seven day wars, holocausts, genocides, hate crimes, mass shootings, nuclear bombs, ak47s, ak15s, kalashnikovs, suicide bombings, terrorist attacks, slander and calumny, edicts of condemnation, divorce decrees, suicide notes, epitaphs, epilogues… and apodictic statements.

Such divertissements do not further the story of the internal organic manifesting realization of original spirituality.

Creation spirituality is silent reverence.

Walk it. Sit it. Look into another’s eyes with it.

Mostly, listen with it.

we are corpus

we are cosmos

look and 




let us pray


Zazen is physical prayerful presence.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

normandy 6 june

Their death on the beach

The horror experienced —

Price paid to evil

Cost of belief in one man’s

Awkward unkind opinion 

Monday, June 05, 2023

when history collapses in on itself


It’s chilly

June fifth

RFK was shot


Years ago

It’s so


He’ll die



It’s chilly

perichoresis, hoop-whee-ooh

Richard Rohr writes his on the Trinity and why it seems so difficult:

For too many Christians, the doctrine of the Trinity was unfathomable, abstract, and boring theology because we tried to process it with our rational and dualistic minds. We viewed it as not much more than a speculative curiosity or a mathematical conundrum (yet surely never to be questioned by any orthodox Christian). I imagine many of us were told—as I was as a young boy in Kansas—that we shouldn’t even try to understand the Trinity because it’s a “mystery.” However, the Trinity perfectly illustrates the dynamic and interactive principle of three and was made-to-order to demolish our dualistic thinking and to open us to the mystical level.  

The fourth-century Cappadocian Fathers tried to communicate this notion of life as mutual participation by calling the Trinitarian flow a “circular rotation” (perichoresis) among the three. They were saying that whatever is going on in God is a flow that’s like a dance. And God is not just the dancer; God is the dance itself! Then the Incarnation becomes a movement outward and downward (which is why we must never be afraid of these movements in our own lives). Jesus comes forth from the Father and the Holy Spirit to take us back with him into this eternal embrace, from which we first came (see John 14:3). The circle dance broadens; we are invited to join in and even have participatory knowledge of God through the Trinity.   

Trinity is the very nature of God, and this God is a centrifugal force, flowing outward and then centripetally drawing all things back into the dance (read 1 Corinthians 15:20–28 in this light). If this God creates “in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26), then there must be a “family resemblance” between everything else and the nature of the heart of God.   

Scientists discover this reality as they look through microscopes and telescopes. They are finding that energy is actually in the space between atomic particles and between the planets and the stars—in the relationships more than the particles! This seems to mean that reality is relational at its core. When we really understand Trinity, however slightly, it’s like we live in a different universe—and a very good and inviting one! 

Perhaps the revelation is the inter-relational nature of reality. The conscious split fabricated between one thing and any other thing is countered by unconscious attention to the wholeness as wholeness entering and leaving, filling and emptying, one-another unceasingly and with unabashed delight. 

Nishitani Keiji says it this way:

By the “self-awareness of reality” I mean both our becoming aware of reality and, at the same time, the reality realizing itself in our awareness. The English word “realize,” with its twofold meaning of “actualize” and “understand” is particularly well suited to what I have in mind here, although I am told that its sense of “understand” does not necessarily connote the sense of reality coming to actualization in us. Be that as it may, I am using the word to indicate that our ability to perceive reality means that reality realizes (actualizes) itself in us; that this in turn is the only way that we can realize (appropriate through understanding) the fact that reality is so realizing itself in us; and that in so doing the self-realization of reality itself takes place. (Nishitani Keiji, Religion and Nothingness, 5)

 The beginning of a song "Let Me In" sung by The Sensations in 1962 also captures it well: 

  Let me in whee-ooh (whee-ooh, whee-ooh, hoop-whee-ooh)

(Whee-ooh, whee-ooh, hoo-ooh-oop-whee-ooh, whee-ooh)

you say shikantaza; i say sit-and-stare

counting raindrops  up 

over two trillion sixteen

million seventeen

thousand give or take a few —

since friday — I sit and stare

…   …   …

Latin definition for: sto, stare, steti, status


1. remain, rest 

2. stand, stand still, stand firm  

Sunday, June 04, 2023

allowing any absence to be interpreted as a presence

Simone Weil today. Both in podcast: 

Simone Weil’s radical philosophy of love and attention

The Gray Area with Sean Illing

Sean Illing speaks with history professor Robert Zaretsky about Simone Weil, a 20th-century French writer and activist who dedicated her life to a radical philosophy of love and attention. They discuss how she inspired her contemporaries — like Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir — and how her revolutionary ideas have remained relevant and important. 

--on Apple Podcasts:

And in her book: Love in the Void: Where God Finds Us, by Simone Weil, Edited by Laurie Gagne  

Then there is this on Wikipedia:


Absence is the key image for her metaphysicscosmologycosmogony, and theodicy. She believed that God created by an act of self-delimitation—in other words, she argued that because God is conceived as utter fullness, a perfect being, no creature can exist except where God is not. Thus, creation occurred only when God withdrew in part. This idea mirrors tzimtzum, a central notion in the Jewish Kabbalah creation narrative.

This is, for Weil, an original kenosis ("emptiness") preceding the corrective kenosis of Christ's incarnation. Thus, according to her, humans are born in a damned position, not because of original sin, but because to be created at all they must be what God is not; in other words, they must be inherently "unholy" in some sense. This idea fits more broadly into apophatic theology.

This notion of creation is a cornerstone of her theodicy, for if creation is conceived this way—as necessarily entailing evil—then there is no problem of the entrance of evil into a perfect world. Nor does the presence of evil constitute a limitation of God's omnipotence under Weil's notion; according to her, evil is present not because God could not create a perfect world, but because the act of "creation" in its very essence implies the impossibility of perfection.

However, this explanation of the essentiality of evil does not imply that humans are simply, originally, and continually doomed; on the contrary, Weil claims that "evil is the form which God's mercy takes in this world".[69] Weil believed that evil, and its consequent affliction, serve the role of driving humans towards God, writing, "The extreme affliction which overtakes human beings does not create human misery, it merely reveals it."[70]  



Metaxu: "Every separation is a link"

Metaxu, a concept Weil borrowed from Plato, is that which both separates and connects (e.g., as a wall separates two prisoners but can be used to tap messages). This idea of connecting distance was of the first importance for Weil's understanding of the created realm. The world as a whole, along with any of its components, including our physical bodies, is to be regarded as serving the same function for us in relation to God that a blind man's stick serves for him in relation to the world about him. They do not afford direct insight, but can be used experimentally to bring the mind into practical contact with reality. This metaphor allows any absence to be interpreted as a presence, and is a further component in Weil's theodicy. 


 In the Christian metaphor, today is the consideration of The Trinity. 

Where does separation take place? Why is the notion of one-in-three or three-in-one so ungraspable to our consciousness? Is that because the very activity and notion of consciousness is to make two? To make other? 

Is this something Weil was pointing to with this: “Complete attention is like unconsciousness.”  Have we not grasped unconsciousness, considering it unworthy of our intellect? Does unconsciousness include a complete receptivity of all that surrounds, but which is not grasped by logic and reason?

Is this why mystics have been deemed so dangerous? They are not strangers, it is said,  to unknowable mystery.

Her death at 34 in 1943 was far too early.

If you hear from her, tell her we're thinking about her. (It's just a thought.)