16 Aug 2004

Knowledge

I have breathed this air.
I have loved whom I have loved.
I know what I know.
I, too, have thought vague philosophies,
dreamed silly dreams,
wondered silently
some things that did not fit in words,
hunches that never materialized.
I have done what I could.
Haven’t I? Or is it
I never tried, not really:
was it a blessing or a curse, that
I never had to give my all?
That nothing prevented me
from doing so
but lack of its necessity….
The more I discover about myself,
the more I find out
about this world of ours,
I keep thinking about Socrates’
words, when he said,
“All I know is that I know nothing.”
And I go back
to the silence, think to myself
he couldn’t possibly
have meant it like I imagine.
All that I have lived:
so much closer to naught
than to conceive it comprehends
even a single moment of the world.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:05 am

14 Aug 2004

We ought indeed to expect to find the works of God in such things as the advance of knowledge. Knowledge of the physical universe is not to be thought of as irrelevant to Christian faith [simply] because it does not lead to saving knowledge of God. In so far as it is concerned with God’s creation, physical science is a fitting study for God’s children. Moreover, the advance of scientific knowledge does negatively correct and enlarge theological notions — at the least, the geologists and astrophysicists have helped us to rid ourselves of parochial notions of God, and filled in some of the meaning of such phrases as “almighty”.

– David M. Paton

posted by John H. Doe @ 1:54 am

A characteristic of one who has faith is that he sees reasons for much of what happens, good and bad. Now, it may be that we are likely wrong, but I think it might do us good to see things in this way, rather than deciding there is no cause for whatever befalls us. In seeing such meaning, there is to our lives so much the more purpose, and with such a sense of purpose, one might find the ability to withstand a harsher world than without. And when I say that we are probably “wrong” about the why, I should perhaps say, “off”. Sometimes, the general idea, the gist of the underlying reason, perhaps we do get it, after all. In understanding there is a purpose, how blessed is the worst of days, how so do we glimpse a plan in the randomness. Amazing grace.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

13 Aug 2004

Mystic Wind

A mystic wind blows here.
Dreams spill out from
streams of sleep, quietly
flowing through the
darkness of night these
waters of forgetting.
Time is a stranger: we
are all lighter than
those sands. I will
remember this spot, where
I have forgotten all
there is to know and
understand the silence.

posted by John H. Doe @ 10:10 pm

we have all dreamed of something better, sometimes
without knowing why or even how we do so.
we awake and face the day with that little voice in the back of our heads,
believe! believe! ...and we think nothing of it, try and forget…
for what motivation shall we surrender our trust?
...and the feeling comes, the secret jesus whispers to us…
no reason to believe but that such a dream — it may be true.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:03 am

12 Aug 2004

Tiger got to hunt
Bird got to fly
Man got to sit and wonder “Why, why, why?”
Tiger got to sleep
Bird got to land
Man got to tell himself he understand.

– Kurt Vonnegut

posted by John H. Doe @ 4:24 am

Strange static when we try and tune in on some of these detours in the mind. Sometimes logic goes awry, and we think misshapen thoughts, those which seem to slip into oblivion when we try to put them into words. Like you had something for a second…. Some are memories, but one can never quite tell if what your mind tells you of it is exaggerating, or twisting around, for reasons of a deeper psychology over which you have no control…. Sometimes you can wrap your mind all the way around it, but what do you have? Trying to explain it is to try and render a Dali in Legos — if you’re lucky. If not, it’s more like multicolored slime: formless, disturbingly inexplicable.

Now, I do not know how many great things have come to be in the search for something else. But I think it not fruitless to try and follow some of these digressions from the clear, these speculations of weird. Try to hold onto them, make them spit their meanings out to you, get them to commit on what they tentatively prophesy. While looking for a certain thing, best to be always ready to find a flower at the side of the road, whose beauty is in its strangeness, that you were not looking for at all. Perhaps it is a new thing. Perhaps it is old, more ancient of days than you can imagine. Or can you? Always are there sands to sift in there, dreams to discover.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

10 Aug 2004

Every philosophical concept will have a counterexample, which it cannot account for. It is, I believe, fundamental to thinking itself. It is my conjecture to say that one can find an argument against anything, that 1 + 1 = 2 is not safe, that one can disbelieve even that he exists. But too, I believe that not all of these counterarguments make of what they contest a heap of illogic. For sometimes, these contraries miss the point of what they try to disprove, and that one might to fruition look for a counterargument to the counterargument — though that may prove somewhat more difficult. It is not that logic itself is flawed, that these things happen, merely that possibility is so rich. To even all of God’s theories, it may be, the Devil has counterexamples, but I believe He lets the argument rest — not the best way to spend eternity, I think, playing only on how things appear.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:09 am

9 Aug 2004

Woe to those Christians, whom I have seen of this day, who are not oppressed, but themselves are the oppressors.

posted by John H. Doe @ 2:47 am

“If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.”

– C. S. Lewis

“The life of faith does not earn eternal life: it is eternal life.”

– William Temple

To me, these mean simply that living for Heaven is best done by living in the now, for Heaven is already yours: behave as if you are there already, and you make it so that this world more resembles the next. To we Christians, this world is a foreign place, which we are only visiting, that we are most fundamentally citizens of the next world. Let us represent it well, that world.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:53 am

One Breath

I can tell you in one breath
all that has ever been:
I tell you it is love. For
God is love, who made all things,
and gave all things
their shape and character,
and to some of we things,
He gave such freedom, to choose
to defy or to follow,
whether to ourselves love or no.
I tell you all the pain, all the joy,
all the wrong and the right,
all of it, when a circle
is drawn round their scope,
it is all from love,
and to love it shall all return.
And I think that
one thing we forget
(or are we even aware?),
that from the moment
we cry our first exhale,
love remembers it all, love
safeguards all the
smallest of the trivialities,
the grandest of our follies.
For God is love, and
not the smallest of sparrows
falls without He knows:
the smallest, He remembers.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:03 am

7 Aug 2004

Where my Lord has gone, I have attempted to follow. It seems, though, He leads us just past the brink of where we want to go, into lands we never thought to venture in. In our normal courses, we do not want the bother of dealing with certain things, and these are just the things that He would have us deem of import. If and when we heed the call, however, it always is not so much the huge inconvenience we had thought, for as He said, the burden is light that He would have us carry. But it is such to follow, I think: that we will be bothered, that we will be harassed, that we will be nonplused, until we find it habit always to go out of our way: ours, where we found it so comfortable, following the world’s wisdom instead of His.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:07 am

6 Aug 2004

I have thought that I have known things; I have thought that I have had some answers. What did I have? It would more seem, I think, that when I look back and peruse the comprehension of my heart and mind, that the only things I had ever truly learned were what I grabbed onto in desperation, when my world at the time was collapsing in on itself. Nothing rational, did it seem, would stay; nothing that I ever thought out logically would hold; all the high ideals of my youth were straw men, hollow men. The things most important to me I clutched as a drowning man, never questioned, for they had rescued me when I was about to go down.

My faith is one of those things, though I do not want to admit it. I would like to think that if I were given chance enough and time, that I would have chosen to believe in Jesus Christ in a civilized manner — but perhaps, all eternity would have passed and I would have still been defiant in my beliefs, instead. My Lord came to me when I was beaten to the ground, and He raised me up as if from the dead. My faith is emotional, it is desperate: it cares little of logic, and it cares little if it makes sense to anyone but me. It is not to say that it is not rational, for rationality came later, why; but the leap into believing never was. And it has since saved me.

In the end, I may know nothing, but what I believe, I think, is more that just opinion — for such things burn away when tested against the heat. One hopes you never get as desperate as I have been, but there the question must go: what do you hold onto when you come undone? And what holds onto you?

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:57 am

5 Aug 2004

In creativity is a touch of the infinite:
the echo of our Creator when we pluck something from the void:
a dance with eternity to stretch the borders of the world.

posted by John H. Doe @ 8:26 am

Into God’s hands let us now — for the coming year, and for all the years of time, and for Eternity — commend our spirits. Whether for the Church or for ourselves, let us not take ourselves into our own hands, or choose our own lot. “My times are in Thy hand.” He loveth the Church, which He died to purchase, His own Body, and all the members of the Body, better than we can; He loveth us better and more wisely than we ourselves; He who made us loveth us better than we who unmade ourselves; He who died for us, better than we who destroy ourselves: He who would sanctify us for a Holy Temple unto Himself, better than we who have defiled what He has hallowed. Fear we not, therefore, anything which threateneth, shrink we not back from anything which falleth on us. Rather let us, though with trembling, hold up our hearts to Him, to make them His Own, in what way He willeth.

– Edward B. Pusey

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:44 am

Where does the time go? Have I lived these seconds, these minutes, these hours, these days? Outside my little islands of awareness I seem to be nowhere, to then from while to while to plug in, look back and see what time has passed by right from underneath my nose. I grow more desperate as I go on. I imagine as a child I was immortal, but somehow that forever has passed, and I become more as the dust from which I came, the ashes that will blow clean from the face of the world. Time I imagine is the mystery between those of death and love, a little more than the former, a little less that the latter: as time may cheat death, so love may cheat time. Like the others, I think I will never understand it.

Maybe it is like I am waiting for something that has already come and gone — like I am waiting for childhood to happen again. And my mind grows numb with the waiting: only for a few seconds at a clip am I aware that time is actually going by, and the rest is that eternal now oblivious of its progression. Yet, I am still hopeful. I whittle away, shaving by shaving, at all that needs to be done in my life. Things, every once in a while, get done. Work is magical: I make a thing to happen, I affect the world in a credible way. Time enough, some moments. And then, too, I can love: deathlessness, timelessness, that which is the substance of the infinite…. But look at the time: I must be late for something, now, no?

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:09 am

3 Aug 2004

I have seen the apocalypse come and go like so many fashion statements. The final curtain is worn in the most provocative manner by would be prophets, depending on which end time is the most popular with the masses. It seems, too, at times, that everything is an ending or a beginning; no one wants to be stuck in the middle of anything; it is the constant longing for change, for something to be happening. We want God to clean up all the messes we’ve made, and to absolve us from all responsibility — that we may forget about it all. The end of the world is nothing new, I think. It is the ultimate in vanity, if you care to see it: the thinking that you will outlast all civilization. Still, the end may happen, despite all the predictions that it will happen. But I think that the apocalypse will not be as one might predict, that the world may just roll quietly along, until one day we look around and see a different world all around us: that the end of this one world would be… the beginning of quite another.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:04 am

2 Aug 2004

Never wander so far you forget where home is.

posted by John H. Doe @ 7:57 am

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