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Original Zen

Original Zen


Shadow Garden

When Einstein was asked
Do you believe in God?
He replied
I believe in Spinoza’s god

And who is that, one wonders?

All that is and ought to be
Now and forever
Blue waves without end
Stars and green mountains and red rivers

Dark roiling matter without end


The eternal reunions and disbursements of Nature
As it is and ought to be

Though we can’t see it
Blinded by this and that
Preset premade chain/anchor
On rational thought


Augustine poisoned us all
By saying we were all already poisoned
From conception on
By a toxin he felt and universalized

Save us from all individuals
Who seek to make their own experience
The law of the land
The world



What is the Holy?

What is the Holy?

Van Gogh. Two Peasant Women Digging in a Snow-Covered Field at Sunset, 1890

The holy is not the gods. Humans have been told about thousands of different gods, for thousands of years, primarily to steer us into obedience of earthly powers, and to make us give up our searching.

The holy is not religion. Religions were designed to organize this obedience, to add layers and layers of fictional supports, to add so many layers our heads spin, so we give up our searching.

The holy is not empire, or nation, or nation-state. These things are formed to protect earthly power, with layers and layers of fictional supports, to make our heads spin, while they and their religions use the old gods and the new to make us obedient, so we give up our searching.… |To be Continued “What is the Holy?”

The Divine Invention

The Divine Invention

The Beguiling of Merlin, by Edward Coley Burne-Jones. 1874
The Beguiling of Merlin, by Edward Coley Burne-Jones. 1874

 The truly divine thing is invention, creation, imagination. All religions were created by novelists and poets. That has been on my mind and under my thoughts for decades. It reached the surface again tonight, like the creative process itself. In a rush, a burst, a light coming on against nuanced black. We tell stories. Some of us make stories. Some repeat them. But novelists invent, poets invent. Song-writers invent. They take things from nature and their own lives and think again. They expand from kernels and images they can’t escape. They weave and add new people and make stories for them, too.… |To be Continued “The Divine Invention”

The Moral Order

The Moral Order

Is there a moral order in the universe? If so, does it come from a god, or some other force? If there is a moral order, is it something we should try to align ourselves with?

I think about that a lot, when I walk outside, look at the stars, hike, swim in the sea, walk along the strand. I also think about that whenever I read about comparative religion, and wonder how people could deduce a moral order from ancient scripture, and sometimes I wish I could as well. That it would be good to have that kind of faith, even though the scriptures themselves, at least to me, are anything but moral.… |To be Continued “The Moral Order”

The Ground of Change

The Ground of Change

William Blake's Elohim Creating Adam. 1795
William Blake’s Elohim Creating Adam. 1795

Wright’s book is picking up steam. He writes with compression, gets to the point quickly, after marshaling his facts and evidence. And the story he tells is enthralling. Polytheism, to monolatry to monotheism. Some of it I already knew. But much of it is new to me, based upon recent excavations and readings of better, more accurate translations of existing scripture. Wright’s gift is to put it all together in a very accessible, organized manner.

There is much evidence to suggest that Yahweh evolved from at least two Canaanite gods before him, El and Baal. |To be Continued “The Ground of Change”

The Sting of the Sun

The Sting of the Sun

Evolution of God, by Robert Wright

About 100 pages into a fascinating new book, detailing the rise and fall of gods, goddesses, the religious impulse and its repercussions. The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright, is a general history, starting from the earliest hunter-gatherer societies, moving into chiefdoms after the discovery of agriculture, onto city-states in Mesopotamia and Egypt, and through the advent of Levantine monolatry and monotheism. I’ve reach the foot of Mount Monolatry and fierce storms are taking shape.

Wright reminds us how much religion permeated every culture, from the dawn of human time to the present. All things were tied to the gods, especially early on in our evolution.… |To be Continued “The Sting of the Sun”

Multiplicity, Faith and History

Multiplicity, Faith and History

Mendut Temple, Central Java, Indonesia. Photo by Gunawan Kartapranata
Mendut Temple, Central Java, Indonesia. Photo by Gunawan Kartapranata

Pascal said:

“The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me.”

He was thinking about the heavens, the stars, galaxies, night. He said in another pensée:

“For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either.”

I imagine most of us have these feelings from time to time. The immensity of the universe dwarfing us, subduing us, making us feel more than alone. Devastatingly alone.

But the reverse can occur, as well as all of the points in between.… |To be Continued “Multiplicity, Faith and History”

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