THE SECOND COMING

    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: a waste of desert sand;
    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
    Wind 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?

            …W.B.Yeats

Advertisements

Stillpoint

 

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where the past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

— “Burnt Norton” by T.S. Eliot

There are stillpoints in life, not just in dance.

In one of those truths that can change the way we see everything else, in fact, it is all stillpoint. This moment contains within it, everything we are, have been, and will be. It is the culmination of our experience and the beginning of everything.

It is the one place that God can touch us, hear us, speak to us. To be still- not waiting, not remembering, not anticipating- but to be still and open and listening and allowing the Light that is in everything to shine through us.

For a moment.

And then, only then, to begin the new dance.

degas2  

Dancer on Stage- Edgar Degas

Starbuck’s War on Morality..(or something)

From Minneapolis Star-Tribunr, By PAUL WALSH

3starbucks

Seems that one person’s smut is another person’s morning latte.

A Christian group based in San Diego found grounds for outrage over the new retro-style logo for Starbucks Coffee.

The Resistance says the new image “has a naked woman on it with her legs spread like a prostitute,” Mark Dice, founder of the group, said in a news release. “Need I say more? It’s extremely poor taste, and the company might as well call themselves Slutbucks.”

Does not this observation by by Mark Dice of The Resistance speak far more loudly about his state of mind than it does about the moral fabric of Starbuck’s? If little tiny ink engraved nipples on the side of a coffee cup send Mr. Dice into an outrage, imagine what apoplexy a casual flip-through of this week’s TIME magazine must cause him. Or perhaps he is the type who takes a Sharpie pen to the library each month when the new National Geographics are delivered, to “protect the children” of course.

Thus, Chapter 8,397 in the continuing saga of the bending of the gospels into nothing more than a set of hare-brained, silly doctrinal stances, taken by whatever group wants to claim “Watchman on the Wall” status this week. There are so many such groups! This one- The Resistance claims 3000 members nationwide. Imagine being a person who is starved for the love Jesus can bring, and asking the only Christian in his/her vicinity for help..and it turns out to be a Resistance member with a big Bible in one hand and an empty Starbuck’s cup in the other!

I’d run from such nonsense. And I would urge anyone else to run, too. Because what they’re about to get pounded with is 21st century, American, Western, doctrinal Churchianity that seeks to bend human will into the image of whatever false idol that group has erected at the moment. They, no doubt, will hear much more about Satan than Jesus, and a whole lot more about God’s imminent and angry justice than about Jesus’ immediate and compassionate love.

Tao Te Ching 8

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don’t try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don’t compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

The story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11: 1-8), tells of builders on the plains of Babylon who wanted to build a tower that would “reach into the sky. This will make us famous..”

Built with bricks (not stone) and tar (not mortar), the tower was doomed from the start. Every inch of its increasing height bore down more heavily on its less than adequate foundation. The plans the builders had for both their achievement and the fame it would bring were folly. Instead of fame, their half-baked plans brought them derision, and a mess to clean up.

To simply be oneself is not a simple task. Caught in the onslaught of culture, the worship of false idols, the fragility and care of bent egos, and others’ definitions of success, it is a difficult process to discover, or re-discover, who we really are. The ancient truths of the Tao are invaluable it that quest:

Humility, fairness and generosity, cooperation, joyfulness, and presence are qualities that can be practiced; they get easier and more natural over time if they are not part of one’s life now.

Where and when to begin? Here and now. The Tao is. Here and now, as are we all.

Tao Te Ching 7

 

The Tao is infinite, eternal.
Why is it eternal?
It was never born;
thus it can never die.
Why is it infinite?
It has no desires for itself;
thus it is present for all beings.

God, the word, is finite. It’s meanings stretch only so far as the metaphors it gives rise to can carry it. There was a time and place where those meanings began, and there will be a time when the word is so laden with definition, that it will mean nothing.

It is the Tao within which the word God is enfolded. When the need to speak the word first arose, however it was spoken, the Tao was ready to contain it. When the word is spoken for the last time, its formlessness will be transcended by the Tao.

The Tao is. Always is.

To approach God within the confines of a metaphor is to immediately limit God. The Tao cannot be contained by such comparisons. To reach for God beyond the words God is contained within- Lord, King, Father, Abba, El Shaddai, Allah, Krishna- is to reach ourselves into the infinite and eternal. To ponder God-with-no-name is to begin to know how little we know about God. And how very very much we do know.

Willingness

 

Willingness

If you’re willing to see it,

There’s a tree over there about to explode in a fiery green

cataclysm against the sundown sky.

If you’re willing to hear it,

The heartbeat of the universe is throbbing pink and white

in the primrose patch at our feet.

If you’re willing to taste it,

A sugar-laced kiss on lakeside winds

is caressing your lips, even now.

If you’re willing to touch it

(and I can tell by the warmth of your fingertips you are),

The grass will reveal where God has been dancing for you

every summer of your life..

 

by: me