our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness Phaedr. 244a


Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft redux

from my archives.

Oh, you're going to zap me with penicillin and pesticides. Spare me that and I'll spare you the bomb and aerosols. But don't confuse progress with perfectibility. A great poet is always timely. A great philosopher is an urgent need. There's no rush for Isaac Newton. We were quite happy with Aristotle's cosmos. Personally, I preferred it. Fifty-five crystal spheres geared to God's crankshaft is my idea of a satisfying universe. I don't think of anything more trivial than the speed of light. Quarks, quasars - big bangs, black holes - who gives a shit? How did you pure logic / techs con us out of all that status? All that money? And why are you so pleased with yourselves? ~Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

Which is also to say -- why assume I'm against technology and progress and growth because (like Jung) I think we have something to learn from such as the Taos Pueblos? Jung frames it as a "truth or a self-understanding similar to that of Ancient Egypt." And the rest of what the chief says in that excerpt is very much to the present point.

What have we lost -- and need to re-learn?

Setting: Abraham and his son. The knife in the air. And now? We have that human reflex / instinct / condition of talking to the inner voice.

But must we bargain with it as well? We're doing it all the time. It's taking the place of our life, this bargaining. Is this peculiar to the Yahweh tradition? Is it built into the mindset of having a distant god that must be pleased? Because having that makes us give away responsibility for the outcome. And that means we give away the responsibility for living life. Our own living.

When did this come, this immobilizing stepping back from life? God is whatever created and creates. Does it ask me to come begging to it, trying to make deals?

It seems to me, unless you're asking for strength and love, that that's what you're doing in most prayer. It seems to me that a creator created me to be exuberant in what it made me. That my exuberance itself is both the prayer and offering it seeks from me. If it leaves me to define my space and actions, to schedule my curiosity's impulse to longing as my being's best guide, then I should do that with the best energy I can muster. Who am I to question what god has made, and what god has made of me? Living. That's the best praying I can think of.

What is our marriage with death to be? Like Psyche, our dark lover whose face we can't see, the mystery we come out of and will all yield to, our sublime friend there in the unconscious at all times? Or is death hated and belittled? The latter makes our living pointless, all just a test for some greater deathlessness. Yet to be deathless is to dance in and with and through our season. To understand we're never lost or alone or even here. We're never not in the act of love.

The answer to this, that endless act of love -- a state -- is to find the deity again in ourselves. In each other. In this flesh and blood of a living earth.

x's deborah