Saturday, April 06, 2024


Rabbi Aaron is on to something.

 They asked Rabbi Aaron what he had learned from his teacher, the Great Maggid. 

“Nothing at all,” he said. 

And when they pressed him to explain what he meant by that, he added: “The Nothing-At-All is what I learned. 

I learned the meaning of nothingness. I learned that I am nothing at all, and that I Am, notwithstanding.”

 [1:198] Tales of the Hasidim, Rabbi Aaron of Karlin (1736 – 1772)

I stand by him, or not far from him, maybe, closer than I think.


the universal body of reality

Last night's conversation touched on forgiveness.

Maybe I was cranky, but the thought occurred, what forgiveness? We don't forgive. It's not ours to do. Forget-about-it!

There's nothing to forgive. There's no past. Come to think about it, there's no separate self. What's to forgive? 

 The universal body of reality

Is so subtle that you do not

Hear it when you deliberately listen for it,

And you do not see it when you look at it.

As for the pure knowledge

That has no teacher,

How can it be attained by thought or study?

--Huanglong, 1002-1069

We live in a curious time.

We become a nation of victims. 

Our Grand Poobah Victim wants to become Number One Chief of Everything. His platform and credentials list himself as the greatest victim of all time, greatest savior of all time, greatest man of all time. We are lucky to be living during his exalted suffering and undeservedly generous accumulation of money.

I'll stick with Huanglong.

Where is he? Where is he?

theology in not so many words

Where did you see 

Jesus? I didn't.

Neither did I.

Do you think

that means anything?

No, I don't.

Does that mean I'm

not christian?

No, it doesn't.

I would like to be


What would that be?

Human, I'd be


Ok, then be that.

I will, I'll

be human.

Yes, human.

Do that. To become

human was Jesus' 

vocation, human

and he did that.

You do that too.

Is that what it takes

to be christian, to be-

come human?

Yes, that's what it takes.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

it’s the storm made me say it

 Wind then rain then snow then fierce wind

Electricity goes out then comes back then

(Undoubtedly) will go out soon again.

bathtubs filled with water, jugs and dozens 

of used juice half gallons filled at the ready

In time to remember MLK’s assassination


That awful year of war and murder

When we were younger and full of failure

The country in psychosis ammunition and hate

Something broke within so many forgetting

Why go on why not despair why not give up

Tonight it is just a snowstorm with gale winds

The darkness different the man who is a fool

Might become president again his handlers

Planning mischief and mayhem again theft

Of sucker’s money, right wing ideology

Roughshod over everyone, all skimmed

Money funneled into his accounts, sneers

And snark, disdain and denigration, a moral

Bankruptcy while stealing your money and 


I get ahead of myself

I must remember no one

Takes anything away

From us — we always

Give it up

We must not want dignity

And compassion, not want

Justice and democracy, not want

Community and common weal

it localizes

The prospect that universal, infinite, and eternal reality might be localized in an individual, an instant, or a particular yard of earth, is both intriguing and mind-boggling.

If so, if true, then a career of teaching ethics at university wants a do-over.

On second thought, who'd affirm such an outlandish proposition?  

We all want resurrection in some form. Jesus’ resurrection is a potent, focused, and compelling statement about what God is still and forever doing with the universe and with humanity. Science strongly confirms this statement using its own terms: metamorphosis, condensation, evaporation, seasonal changes, and the life cycles of everything from butterflies to stars. The natural world is constantly dying and being reborn in different forms. God appears to be resurrecting everything all the time and everywhere. It is not something to “believe in” as much as it is something to observe and be taught by.  

I choose to believe in Jesus’ bodily resurrection because it localizes the whole Mystery in this material and earthly world and in our own bodies too—the only world we know and the world that God created and loves and in which God chose to incarnate. (Read all of 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul keeps saying this in many ways.) [1] 

If the original divine incarnation was and is true, then resurrection is both inevitable and irreversible. If the Big Bang was the external starting point of the eternal Christ Mystery, then we know this eternal logos is leading creation somewhere good, and the universe is not chaotic or meaningless. Alpha and Omega are in fact one and the same. [3]  

--Richard Rohr, CAC, Resurrection and Incarnation, 3apr24

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2013), 86–88.  

At last night's Tuesday Evening Conversation, Chris, Tina, Asha, Saskia and I circled around Jean Gebser and Ken Wilber's takes on the structures of consciousness and the indications of mutation into the (upcoming) integral  structure and the concretion of the spiritual

Gebser writes: 

What happens to the earth - and the earth is nothing but an event which in materialization has become progressively slower - originates in more encompassing and spatio-temporally non-localizable interconnections. (ibid)

We'll have to re-visit the whole-within-the-whole conversation, the localized and non-localizable, the spooky notion of quantum entanglement.

Until then, I'll sneak in the question -- Is any act, is every act -- is any thought, is every thought -- a non-localized impression on every other place, time, and being in the cosmos?

If we are, indeed, interconnected in ways we have not yet begun to consider, is the two thousand year old story/mythology of one man's transcendence of the there-to-fore limitations of human existence and its spiritual/material contours meant to be, for us, here and now, a meditation and contemplation whose significance exceeds our current structure of consciousness as we stare into the bottom of our coffee cups and empty box of donuts?  

Bring on the nor'easter snow storm!

Let's go out into the gale and drift away!

folding up tent


of mourning dove cool air through open window

Not everything is contained in three dimensions

There is, they say, a great deal more beyond us

It is beyond me, this doll within doll universe

My eyes close, sleeping life proscenium  prior to word

Presentation sans parole, aphasia sine sensus 

speculation without seeing, 

I am no longer able to comment

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

new hiking stick

Snowstorm coming

Big winds, staying

Power failing

Maine springing

Three-legged singing

amicus, brief


says to death 

'thank you'


says to Jesus

'going so soon'

veni, vidi, evanui

 curious, eh, that we think we look out at things

as if I am looking out at the room

as if I am in the room looking out at the room

some would say there is only looking

no inside no outside

no one here making this observation

Monday, April 01, 2024

easter monday, sprinkling water



nothing else



lets that




silently into



life passes inexorably, where arising is itself

These days the easter meditation remains a metaphoric and mythological mystery to me.

The possibility that the traditional occurrence-set of passion/death/resurrection/ascension/pentecost in its historical/theological telling is not five distinct occurrences  --  but one remembrance, one activity, one thought-fact -- intrigues me.

In the midst of suffering and death there is an overcoming and a surrender, a releasing and an arising into what can never be comprehended, but only passed through.

Like the torrent that rushes to the sea,

Like the sun and moon that glide towards

The western mountains;

Like the flight of days and nights,

Hours and seconds,

Human life passes inexorably.

--Padmasambhava (717-762), Tibet

I am aware that human life passes.

I am aware of little else beyond that fact.

whence contemporary resurrection

As good a thought on Easter Monday as you might find in scripture: 

[Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsburg often quoted Justice Louis Brandeis’s famous line, “The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people,” and she advised people to “fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” 

(—Heather Cox Richardson, in Letters From An American, 31mar2024)

From inert to moving and awake.

A splash of fresh water this morning. 

Sunday, March 31, 2024

the facticity of it

Today is a good day to be alive.

Today is a good day to die.

Such is the blessing of Easter.

what is risen -- what is rising through us -- a sober celebration -- today

 Might not seem like an Easter poem, but here it is anyway:

      The Second Coming 

                    BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS 

Turning and turning in the widening gyre   

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere   

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst   

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.   

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out   

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert   

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,   

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,   

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it   

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.   

The darkness drops again; but now I know   

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,   

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,   

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?   


(--1919, in The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats (1989) 

Maybe for too long we've thought a theos ek mēkhanēs (deus ex machina) would appear from the heavens or at least from the fly loft. Yeats seems to suggest that such thoughts of rescue might need to be grounded closer to earth, closer to the complexities of human perception, psychology, and existential ethical maturity.

Mythology is the skin of meaning. The sinews and bones, blood and inner interrelationalities are ours to activate and engage. It might be the rough beast of our indelicate desire to finally cut through the posturing bullshit of errancy and embrace redemptive truth of compassionate belonging.

It is Easter.

What is arising through our reluctance and fears? What is longing to move through moribund hesitancy into break-ground appearance (think crocus and daffodil) in this transitional time?

  • It is as though we had buried Someone we thought dead, and now hear him calling in the night: Help me! Heaving and panting, he raises the gravestone of our soul and body higher and still higher, breathing more freely at every moment. 

  • Every word, every deed, every thought is the heavy gravestone he is forever trying to lift. And my own body and all the visible world, all heaven and earth, are the gravestone which God is struggling to heave upward.
            (Nikos Kazantzakis, in The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises, The Vision, 1923)

What is risen  

What is rising through us

A sober celebration



 Surely, some revelation is at hand.