Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Readings from Sunday, June 24, 2007

---We kindly ask for your comments/thoughts to continue our Sunday conversation--


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.--Margaret Mead

In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do it.--Marianne Williamson

We don't accomplish anything in this world alone...and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one's life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.--Sandra Dan O'Conner

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.--His Holiness the Dalai Lama

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the Light that shines in our heart.--Chandogya Upanishad


In the village, people used to build their houses out of traditional materials, using no iron or lumber or nails, but the houses were magnificient. Many were sewn together out of bark and fiber. Like the house of the body, the house that a person sleeps in must be very beatiful and sturdy, but not so sturdd that it won't fall apart after a while. If your house doesn't fall apart, then there will be no reason to renew it. And it is this renewability that makes something valuable. The maintenance gives it meaning.

The secret of village togetherness and happiness has always been the generosity of the people, but the key to that generosity is inefficiency and decay. Because our village huts were not built to last very long, they had to be regularly renewed. To do this, villagers came together, at least once a year, to work on somebody's hut. When your house was falling down, you invited all the folks over. The little kids ran arouand messing up what everybody was doing. The young women brought the water. The young men carried the stones. The older men told everybody what to do, and the older women told the older men that they weren't doing it right. Once the house was back togeather again, everyone ate together, praised the house, laughed, and cried. In a few days, they moved on to the next house. In this way, each family's place in the village was reestablished and remembered. This is how it always was.

Everything has to be maintained because it was originally made so delicately that it eventually falls apart. It is the putting back together again, the renewing, that ultimately makes something strong. That is true of our houses, our language, our relationships.

It's a fine balance, making something that is not so flimsy that it falls apart too soon, yet not so solid that it is permanent. It requires a sort of grace. We all want to make something that's going to live beyond us, but that thing shouldn't be a house, or some other physical object. It should be a village that can continue to maintain itself. That sort of contant renewal is the only permanence we should wish to attain.


Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


The disciples were in sorrow, shedding many tears, and saying: "How are we to go among the unbelievers and announce the gospel of the Son of Man? They did not spare His life, so why should they spare ours?"

Then Mary arose, embraced them all, and began to speak to her brothers: "Do not remain in sorrow and doubt, for his Grace will guide you and comfort you. Instead, let us praise His greatness, for He has prepared us for this. He is calling upon us to become fully human [Anthropos]."

Thus Mary turned their hearts toward the Good, and they began to discuss the meaning of the Teacher's words.



Monday, June 18, 2007

Readings for Sunday, June 17,2007


There is a certain Love
that is formed out of the
elixir of the East.
There is a certain cloud,
impregnated with a
thousand lightnings.
There is my body,
in it an ocean formed of his glory,
all the creation,
all the universes,
all the galaxies,
are lost in it.


The only reason for time is so that everything doesn
't happen at once. Albert Einstein

Flatland, by Edwin A. Abbott, 1884

I call our world Flatland, not because we call it so, but to make its nature clearer to you, my happy readers, who are privileged to live in Space. Image a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows--only hard with luminous edges--and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen. Alas, a few years ago, I should have said "my universe:" but now my mind has been opened to higher views of things.
In such a country, you will perceive at once that it is impossible that there should be anything of what you call a "solid" kind; but I dare say you will suppose that we could at least distinguish by sight the Triangles, Squares, and other figures, moving about as I have described them. On the contrary, we could see nothing of the kind, not at least so as to distinguish one figure from another. Nothing was visible, nor could be visible, or us, except Straight Lines; and the necessity of this I will speedily demonstrate.
Place a penny on the middle of one of your tables in Space; and leaning over it, look down upon it. It will appear a circle.
But now, drawing back to the edge of the table, gradually lower your eye (thus bringing yourself more and more into the condition of the inhabitants of Flatland), and you will find the penny becoming more and more oval to your view, and at last when you have placed your eye exactly on the edge of the table (so that you are, as it were, actually a Flatlander) the penny will then have ceased to appear oval at all, and will have become, as far as you can see, a straight line.

THE BHAGAVAD-GITA, transl.by Bhagavan Sri Krishna Chapter 11:3 6-8

The Bhagavad-gita is the battle between the blind King's sons, the Kauravas, and their cousins, the Pandavas. Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, out of affection for His devotee, the prince Arjuna, has agreed to drive his chariot. As Arjuna takes up his bow and prepares to fight, he sees the sons of Dhritarashtra drawn in military array and requests infallible Krishna to draw his chariot between the two fighting forces. There in the midst of both armies, Arjuna's mind reels as he foresees the imminent death of his teacher, relatives, and friends. He throws down his bow and arrows and decides not to fight.
Arjuna asked: "O greatest of all personalities, O supreme form, though I see You here before me in Your actual position, as You have described Yourself, I wish to see how You have entered into this cosmic manifestation. I want to see that form of Yours. If you think that I am able to behold Your cosmic form, O my Lord, O master of all mystic power, then kindly show me that unlimited universal Self."
Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, "O Arjuna, whatever you wish to see, behold at oncea in this body of Mine! This universal form can show you whatever you now desire to see and whataever you may want to see in the future. Everything - moving and nonmoving - is here completely, in one place. But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore, I give you divine eyes. Behold My mystic opulence."


...Will matter then be destroyed or not?
22) The Savior said, "All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.
23) For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.
24) He how has ears to hear, let him hear."


By day I praised you
and never knew it.
By night I stayed with you
and never knew it.
I always thought that
I was me--but no,
I was you
and never knew it.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Readings from Mary Magdalene Community Sunday, June 10, 2007



Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you are not lost. Wherever you are is called here, and you must treat it as a powerful stranger, must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again, saying here no trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, you are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.
David Wagoner


In ancient times there were great Taoist Sages.
Their way of living was so deep, so subtle,
it cannot be directly explained.
Instead, here is how they looked . . .

. . . Polite, as if they were always a guest
Yielding, like ice that is on the verge of melting
Sincere, like an uncut block of wood
Receptive, like a valley
Opaque, like muddy water


When asked by a reporter something like: "What, in your opinion is the most important question facing humanity today?" Einstein thought for a bit then replied,
"I think the most important question facing humanity is, "Is the universe a friendly place?'. This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves "For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.
"If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially 'playing dice with the universe', then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives."


Chaos theory is really about finding the underlying order in apparently random data.
When was chaos first discovered? The first true experimenter in chaos was a meteorologist, named Edward Lorenz. This effect came to be known as the butterfly effect. The amount of difference in the starting points of the two curves is so small that it is comparable to a butterfly flapping its wings.
The flapping of a single butterfly's wing today produces a tiny change in
the state of the atmosphere. Over a period of time, what the atmosphere
actually does diverges from what it would have done. So, in a month's time,
a tornado that would have devastated the Indonesian coast doesn't happen.
Or maybe one that wasn't going to happen, does. (Ian Stewart, Does God Play
Dice? The Mathematics of Chaos, pg. 141)


When the soul had overcome the third power, it went upwards and saw the fourth power, (which) took seven forms... . They ask the soul, 'Whence do you come, slayer of men, or where are you going, conqueror of space?' The soul answered and said, 'What binds me has been slain, and what surrounds me has been overcome, and my desire has been ended, and ignorance has died. In a (world) I was released from a world, (and) in a type from a heavenly type, and (from) the fetter of oblivion which is transient. From this time on will I attain to the rest of the time, of the season, of the aeon, in silence.' When Mary had said this, she fell silent...


" If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try
to hold onto."
Tao Te Ching

"Dancing is not rising to your feet painlessly like a whirl of dust
blown about by the wind. Dancing is when you rise above both worlds,
tearing your heart to pieces and giving up your soul..."


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Readings from Mary Magdalene Community