November 11, 2019 · 6:18 pm
Look, this is not a good country for gods. My people figured that out early on. There are creator spirits who made the earth and so we say thank you. But we never built churches. The land was our church. It gave us salmon and corn and buffalo, and wild rice. You follow that river for a way, you’ll get to the lakes where the wild rice grows. You go far enough south, there are orange trees, lemon trees, and those squishy green things… avocados. What I’m saying is that America is like that. It’s not good growing country for gods. They’re like avocados trying to grow in wild rice country.
It’s a strange paradox that a country with a strong fundamentalist movement would not be fertile ground for gods. To me it seems more like we choose to collectively idolize the wrong things, or choose our gods for the wrong reasons. We love our distractions, we love our teams, we want to be a part of a community, we want to be freed from our guilt and shame, and so on. America is a country of “God, Guns, and Guts.” Personally, I have a difficult time reconciling those three things in my life.
There is a palpable feeling that we are on the cusp of a major global shift, that this is the “moment of the storm.” It will be curious to see how things play out in the next few years.
Filed under Literature
Tagged as American, analysis, art, artwork, blog, books, comics, criticism, fantasy, fundamentalism, geek, gods, graphic novel, guns, idols, imagination, myth, mythology, Neil Gaiman, nerd, paradox, pop culture, reading, review, storm, symbol, symbolism, writing
May 29, 2016 · 8:01 am
Look at it but you cannot see it!
Its name is Formless.
Listen to it but you cannot hear it!
Its name is Soundless.
Grasp it but you cannot get it!
Its name is Incorporeal.
These three attributes are unfathomable;
Therefore they fuse into one.
Its upper side is not bright:
Its under side not dim.
Continually the Unnameable moves on,
Until it returns beyond the realm of things.
We call it the formless Form, the imageless Image.
We call it the indefinable and unimaginable.
Confront it and you do not see its face!
Follow it and you do not see its back!
Yet, equipped with this timeless Tao,
You can harness present realities.
To know the origins is initiation into the Tao.
I found this passage to be fairly simple, but still rich and beautiful. Here, Lao Tzu uses paradoxical phrases to describe the ineffable divine source. By referring to the divine as a “formless Form” and an “imageless Image,” a space is created that cannot be represented through words, because it exists beyond our capacity for comprehension. This is the divine source and the Eternal Tao.
But although we with our finite minds can never fully grasp that which is infinite and eternal, we should still endeavor to contemplate it, for by doing so we catch impressions of our divine origin and gain wisdom. This wisdom helps us navigate the challenging pathways of our existence.
Filed under Literature, Spiritual
Tagged as analysis, contemplation, divine, Eastern, formless, forms, images, ineffable, interpretation, Lau Tzu, meditation, metaphor, mysticism, paradox, philosophy, reading, review, source, spirit, spirituality, symbol, symbolism, tao, translation, wisdom, Wu
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