Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Presence of Loved Ones Lost

However you celebrate/observe today and the next few days, I'd suggest spending some time with the presence of loved ones lost that remain within us. The love is still there and will outlast grief, loss, and any recriminations. For agape (loving-kindness) is a recognition, which cannot be denied, that we are deeply connected, an anamnesis (end of forgetting) that the appearances of distances and differences that separate us are a thin coating upon a deeper root. Like a growth of aspen trees, we are all connected in ways that cannot be seen.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

All Saints Day

 Blessings on All Holy Ones / All Saints Day. The observance of All Saint's Day was established with the holy ones among the dead in mind, whether known or unknown, recognized or unrecognized. The notion of what a "saint" is has changed over the centuries. The word "saint" is the English language borrowing of the Latin word "sanctus," meaning "holy." In the Hebrew bible and the LXX, the Greek translation used by early Christians, the children of Israel are to be told that they shall become a holy people (laity) (Exd 19:6).

In the Ecclesia Gnostica, we officially use "the Holy" rather than "Saint" much of the time, for example, "the day of the Holy Thomas." That usage helps in seeing 'Saint'/'Holy' as an attribute, the apprehension of a distinct spiritual difference, rather than a title/role recognized by an institution according to its rules. That expansive view leading us to consider holy ones from other traditions and examples living examples of holiness and the long work of transformation and sacrifice required.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupyers of the USA

Don’t let the impatience of the media mouths, or the jeers of their hollow echoes, make you feel somehow inadequate for not having “specific demands” or policies. This isn’t about politics or policies, this is about sovereignty. The sovereignty that backs the legitimacy of the Constitution of the United States the document from which all legitimacy of our federal government derives is We the People.

Monday, October 03, 2011

The Kalama Sutta

The people of Kalama asked the Buddha who to believe out of all the ascetics, sages, venerables, and holy ones who, like himself, passed through their town. They complained that they were confused by the many contradictions they discovered in what they heard.

The Kalama Sutta is the Buddha's reply.

  • Do not believe anything on mere hearsay.
  • Do not believe in traditions merely because they are old and have been handed down for many generations and in many places.
  • Do not believe anything on account of rumors or because people talk a a great deal about it.
  • Do not believe anything because you are shown the written testimony of some ancient sage.
  • Do not believe in what you have fancied, thinking that, because it is extraordinary, it must have been inspired by a god or other wonderful being.
  • Do not believe anything merely because presumption is in its favor, or because the custom of many years inclines you to take it as true.
  • Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers and priests.
  • Do not accept any doctrine from reverence, but first try it as gold is tried by fire
But, whatever, after thorough investigation and reflection, you find to agree with reason and experience, as conducive to the good and benefit of one and all and of the world at large, accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it.

The same text, said the Buddha, must be applied to his own teachings.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Am I OK?: Four Years of Disabling Illness and Counting

I have not seen anything from you on your blog in a while. You mentioned you had health problems. I hope you are well and that I will see more of your work in the future.

Thanks for inquiring,

Unfortunately, I have been in very poor and worsening health for the past 4 years, there is no end in sight and I have had to accept the fact that I am disabled. There are times when I am able to compose and write, but it is for short periods of the day on good days. Good days come and go by seeming whim, while exertion is rewarded with a month or more of deep disability. I have some hope to eventually be awarded my due disability benefits, and make what progress that can be made.

The only project I can keep going through this so far is the calendar, since I have enough time that I usually have enough good days to finish it at least before the year starts. There is much more that I really want to be able to do.

My recall is very poor when my energy is low, so when I have a bad period I usually can't recall very much of I was doing before. This has lead to times when I think of a new angle of research and only when I go to save my notes days later do I find that there already is a document named the same containing similar notes from a year or more ago. It is frustrating to say the least. I am trying to work out new strategies, when I remember to do so. Everything takes more time, and invokes layers of second guessing. I edit and rewrite something like this for days, for example, because I will post it.

The overall effect on me was summed up well by a cousin who hadn't seen me for years. She quipped, "When do you turn 60?" I replied, "You already missed it." I was 40 when this hit.

Thanks again. I share your kind hope that you will see more work from me. I'd like nothing more.