Tuesday 31 January 2017

The emails are all full of despair over Trump, which I share. I find it particularly poignant that someone who clearly has no morel sensibility and no knowledge, is using his new-found power arbitrarily to destroy the rights of those who happen to worship God in a way that is different the majority of Americans. Let us shout to him that there one God, and many Lords who have revealed him (St. Paul's suggestion to the contrary in Corinthians6 not withstanding).
Just a bit more on angels and caterpillars, allegedly from Meister Eckhart:

If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature–even a caterpillar–I would never have to prepare a sermon, so full of God is every creature.  (from “A Sappath Poem”) 

If God told an angel to go to a tree and pluck caterpillars off it, the angel would be quite ready to to so, and it would be his happiness, if it were the will of God.

(I suppose the second one comes into the category of gardening, rather than the love of all creatures!)

Friday 27 January 2017

More about "god"

I said yesterday that  "God" isn't an abstract theory: it's an idea that has shaped Judaism and many other faiths. Earlier, on 17th December 2016 I wrote: "I can still allow the world to open for me the unseen 'isness' of the trees and the land; and, when the need becomes great, the unseen presence of the Angels." But the first words of Rainer Maria Rilke's "Duino Elegies" were "Every Angel is terrible". Great was the spiritual distance between myself and them.

Thursday 26 January 2017

Another aspect of "God" arises from the idea of "isness", that I mentioned on 17th December 2016: the bare revelation that something exists, as a revelation in its own right. Matthew Fox in his book "original blessing" attributes the word isness to Meister Eckhart (as "Istigkeit") - but I've been unable to find it in Eckhart's Works!
Anyway, it's a great idea: Isness makes the difference between on the one hand merely noting that an object is a tree (and so what?)  and on the other hand encountering, connecting, with the reality and presence of this being that is before you as a tree.
But, common! - "God" isn't an abstract theory: it's an idea that has shaped Judaism, Islam and Christianity and has over centuries raised up fighting between them. Implicitly or explicitly,"God" is the first word of the texts by which these religions live: Hebrew: beresheet bara elohim (in the beginning god created...); Islam: bismil lahir rahmanir rahim (in the name of God, the Most Gracious, the most Merciful); Christianity: en arche en ho logos (in the beginning was the word).
The mystery of pure being spans from the opening of the cosmos to the climbing of a caterpillar. 

Wednesday 18 January 2017

I've been musing about "god" recently. The notion is vital in Islam (Surah 6: "All praise is due to God who has created the heaven and the earth") and in Judaism / Christianity (The Bible, Genesis 1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"). In these texts God is creator and sustainer of everything. But our awareness of the scope of "everything" has expanded to a staggering extent since biblical times: from a few thousand kilometers to an awareness of enumerable galaxies, millions of light years in size and ages of many billion years. Indeed it was no doubt soon realised that God, that/who that is the ultimate, is beyond space and beyond our understanding. But the basis of the Abrahamic religions is that we can, in some way, be connected with the ultimate. And we are opened to this not from a telescope, but from the radiant being of a flower or a mountain. Or from each other.