Your Narthex or Mine?

In my humble opinion, matter is not generative. Only spirit is truly generative. Therefore form is not terribly interesting or compelling of itself. I like the term oikumene because it seems to head towards the search for what is true and living in the houses of worship of the world. I am compulsive in my dedication to knowledge of my creator. I am very broad in my willingness to taste (and possibly see) from any source where goodwill is evident.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

sudden spike in page views after midnight

I'm up late folding laundry and watching "Secrets of the Jesus Prayer" on WHUT (Howard University Television).  Earlier I checked in on my 'stats' and definitely saw zero views today.  Now however there have been 13.  Possibly because I have so many 'hits' from China and the Ukraine? ?  Interesting.

I have read the Philokalia *    and The Way of A Pilgrim (The Way of a Pilgrim several times).  It's a good read.  My favorite part of this program for television was the speech of a blind monastic guy named Theophile (lover of God).  I will paraphrase for now:  The Jesus prayer links the mind and the heart.  The linking of the mind and the heart is the work of God.  I like this particularly because, in my effort to understand the way my own mind works I have come to realize that for me the progress is always from affect to cognition.  I love/respond first and then I understand.  Sometimes much, much later.

* (I read something I thought was the Philokalia but when I just looked it up on Amazon to create the link it's like 1600 pages and that I did not read.)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Homily from The Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal

A Homily from The Christian Community Movement for Religious Renewal

I decided to copy and paste the whole thing even though the beauty of blogs is that you are directed by hyperlink to read elsewhere and then come back for thoughts on the subject.   The link goes to the original site.

Regarding St. Johnstide:

St. Johnstide
John 1: 19-28, 29-34, 35-39

This is the testimony of John, when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" Freely and openly he made confession. He confessed, "I am not the Christ [the Anointed]."
Then they asked him, "Who are you then? Are you Elijah?" And he said, "No, I am not."
"Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No."
Then they said, "Who are you? What answer are we to give to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?"
He said in the words of the prophet Isaiah, "I am the voice of one crying in the loneliness: Prepare the way for the Lord [so that the Lord may enter into the inmost soul [self]."
And those who had been sent by the Pharisees asked him, "Why do you baptize if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?"
John answered them, "I baptize with water. But someone is standing in your midst whom you do not know, who comes after me although he was before me. I am not worthy even to untie the strap of his sandals."
This took place in Bethany near the mouth of the Jordan where John was baptizing.

The next day he [John] sees Jesus coming to him, and says, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes upon himself the burden of the sin of the world. He it is of whom I said: 'After me comes one who was before me, for he is ahead of me [for he is greater than I].[After me comes one who was (generated) before me, for he is the prototype.] Even I did not know him; but for this I have come, and have baptized with water, so that human souls in Israel might become able to experience the revelation of his being."
And John testified: "I saw how the Spirit descended upon him as a dove from the heavens and remained united with him. I did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend, so that it remains united with him, he it is who baptizes with the [breath of the] Holy [Healing] Spirit [and with fire].' And I saw this, and so I testify that this is God's Son."

The next day John was again standing there, and two of his disciples were with him. And as he saw Jesus walking past, he said, "Behold, the [sacrificial] Lamb of God [through whom humanity's sense of self will be purified.]"
The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, "What are you seeking?"
They answered, "Rabbi [Teacher], where are you staying [where do you live] [where do you take refuge]?"
He said, "Come and you will see!"
And they came and saw where he stayed [lived], and stayed [remained] with him all that day. It was about the tenth hour [four o'clock].

2nd St. Johnstide
July 7, 2013
John 1: 19 - 39

Each of us, at the core of our being, has an eternal self. This eternal Self clothes itself in different personalities, with its own particular time and destiny. Our self-awareness is usually limited to our current incarnation. The eternal core self is hard to find, hard to recognize.

When John the Baptist is asked who he is, he answers from an awareness of his temporal self. 'I am not Elijah, not the Christ, not the prophet.' At the same time he is clear about his personal destiny - that he came to baptize.

He is also clear about Jesus' identity. He sees past Jesus' earthly personality to His eternal core as the Lamb of God, upon whom the Spirit of God descended and remained. And he is aware that his own destiny is to serve Christ Jesus.

Awareness of one's own eternal core Self is a gift of grace. Perhaps it is more important to develop an awareness of the eternal selves of others than it is to look for our own eternal core. Perhaps it is more important for us to stand as witnesses for each other - to recognize, as John did, the eternal self of the other, to accompany their destiny. Perhaps this is part of the change of heart and mind that John advocates: that we turn away from self-involvement, toward a humble support of others. As someone said:

Attention is not concentration.  Attention is interest.  If you're interested in something, then you're attentive.  And if you're attentive, you discover many things.[1]

[1] Anonymous.

My Response:
Steiner said somewhere that each human is his own species.  I associate that thought with the words spoken to Moses via burning bush ; I am the I am.  The I am is a font of consciousness, the source of all self awareness identified almost as if 'It' were an element with properties.  It constantly puzzles us to think about because it's two mutually exclusive ideas declaring their oneness... the principal of individuation with no parturition.  How does that work?

coeur volant  - Duchamp

Not too long ago I watched the Wishes Fulfilled program by Wayne Dyer on NPR.  I struggle with his suggestion that we go around saying 'I am God'. (He talks about Moses conversation with the Bush too.)  I feel that it's important to go through the realization that we are God together.  In the movie Before Sunrise the Julie Delpy character says that God is the space between us when we are in communication (not exact words at all). I feel very happy with that way of articulating how "human souls in Israel might become able to experience the revelation of his being."  

I love the story of John still in Elizabeth's womb leaping with joy in recognition of the presence of Christ, also yet to be delivered.