Saturday, October 30, 2010


if you think clearly then you will love ... so it is all about thinking ... well love too if love justifies thought ... and I'd leave it there a happy dualist not of opponents but of amicable components if I could if I weren't obsessed and driven by the myth of three ... what's odd though is how little I have to spend to find a natural third ... good thinking and good will ... reason and love yes but whose ... my love my thought or yours but who are we two ... my love my thought but who or what am I ... my drive my desire my wit and penetration but everything I do is grounded first in me ... not self-centered but centered in myself ... everything I experience starts with me ... how could it not ... but see see this might be a clue ... who'd bother to think to try if he weren't first prompted by some kind of care some kind of love ... and who what would I be without some thought to see myself reflected ... who then would I be or how possibly without thought without love ... this who I am yes indeed but without thought without love nothing

Friday, October 29, 2010


one thing almost all of us seem always to forget is who we're really talking to almost all the time even when we're talking to each other ... the one we're really trying to impress ... the one thank god we think ... the one whose voice we do not hear ... mystics and magicians aside ... I mean the rest of us who go to other work figuring planning ... doing all that work in our heads means mostly talking ... not so much what's this but what do you make of that ... not so much and now I sign my name now I make a fortune but wait a second who's really paying attention who just now might give a damn ... damn I should have known it ... damn that makes me mad ... who is the me you're really telling ... who's the I that didn't know ... what is this stepping back and talking to yourself and why is it important you tell it the truth ... what's the point when the point is that you bother to talk at all ... these silent soliloquies you give ... these stage front confessions ... what do you say when you hear yourself talking so poorly in truth as you pray


now as to the quality of that which they sought ... by definition it would have to be the pearl of great price ... the prize you win that wins everything ... owl was right ... one thing just one thing makes everything else ... the baptists and the gnostics arian to zoroaster everybody has this one thing on their mind ... we want its name on our lips as we live and when we die ... it's the one thing and the only thing that would make anything else worthwhile ... but it does and that's the beauty of it ... if you have just this one thing and you lose everything else you haven't lost anything ...and that's the irony of it because this one thing this only thing is the one thing we keep forgetting ... the siren blows and we're back in the race running with all the other particulates ... relativity rules but the absolute reigns ... it's complex we complicate things but we know it's really simple ... one thing one thing only is necessary 2/2


the seer sits in his chair and sees ... well understands ... perhaps he knows ... in his drug factory owl flips out because one rare time he takes his own drug and travels in time ... he sees well he thinks he does two centuries back ... he does at least know or thinks he knows that one by one everything goes out till he's down to one last cell and in order to get back to where he started he has to build everything back ... now maybe in spirit that door and the experience beyond it really did open to him ... in one philosophy an idealistic realism it did ... seems like a large sect in the south has the same philosophy which they call the inner light ... and another sect 1800 years before in the first aftershocks of the second cosmic explosion riding the ripples of the blast sailing in its echo said the same thing ... said the final truth was hidden and they had found a way to it ... after all these years after all this testimony something does in fact remain hidden ... some do seem to know the way ... what do we look for to show us its success ... constancy 1/2

wolfe, kool-aid, "cosmo's tasmanian deviltry"; bloom, american religion, ch 13; douglas w johnson, the great jesus debates, ch 1

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


that's also how wargames are like literature ... they both want you to linger ... one does it by brilliance the other by giving you things to do ... they are more of course dissimilar than alike ... brilliance for instance makes us pause but a list of things to do usually comes with a deadline as wargames do with their sequences of play and limited number of turns ... the well-spoken word the haunting sonata give us pause to wonder and wonder is the pathway to the eternal ... everything in a wargame from movement rules to victory conditions is governed ruled and harassed by time ... just reading a good novel distracted by an abstraction you can miss your stop on the line ... but literature is more charged than that ... best wait till you get home to read it ... wargames now that they're on the small screen can be played anywhere ... their abstracted distractions are always a run in time ... historic ancient nostalgic fictive what if could you do better running time ... nonetheless consuming sometimes wasting real time ... as if after all we meant just killing time 2/2


one of the worst pieces of advice I've received in my life I received corporately when a high school teacher of english warned the class in response to an answer I gave don't use literature as an escape ... I see now he should have qualified his warning ... I see now literature is a great escape ... why else do it ... it is in effect the definition of literature as opposed to writing in general ... there's something in the use of the language that makes us willing to linger ... all writing is a collection of ideas and it's those we come to the written word to take away with us when we leave ... ideas that tell us how to do things or why things work or happened the way they did how people behave and how they can be expected to act ... only in literature is taking your time reading it a virtue or reading it out loud just to hear it said ... this is a mistake from the pounding passage of time where we get pounded distracted or hurried on from one idea to another ... eventually we'll escape from and through the race of time but here we linger to listen 1/2

Monday, October 25, 2010


the lord will provide ... isn't that another way of saying I believe ... not just I believe and this is one way I do it but if I have true faith this is what I must believe ... and if I have the best kind of true faith I believe it all the time ... to live life each moment according to the ancient prayer said most nearly when we're children ... now I lay me down to sleep I pray the lord my soul to keep and if I should die before I wake I pray the lord my soul to take and if I should wake before I die I pray what I know to be true ... the lord will provide ... and that's how each day is an alive long day not dead with dread a common expectation that no one escapes still living but a living expectation that the lord will provide ... a humbling anticipation that all I can do is help ... a startling interruption sometimes to step aside to get out of the way ... but mostly do your duty ... mostly be of good cheer ... dutiful hope the lord will provide


there's a spiritual dimension to all addiction as any addict can tell you and it's not good ... there's a spirit to any addiction ... it's the element that gets you high ... oh you can give me the formula or name the active ingredient but the form you mean is academic and mechanical and the action just a series of predictable events ... I mean a living breathing spirit whose breath is in your blood ... I mean the breath of the spirit in the oxygen cracking open in your head ... the addict doesn't think he's dreaming ... he knows if you say it you'll only bring him down ... he thinks the new colors he sees and the combinations are hiding in the spaces hidden in the new places in straight time we're too slow to see ... and if it's this that makes him proud and strips the humility from him the spirit no matter how pleasant that befriends him is a false spirit ... no friend at all ... a high spirit but worse because it's so high and so fast it will leave us in the echo behind if it can

tom wolfe, the electric kool-aid acid test, "the unspoken thing" and "dream wars" before it


there's only one kind of peace ... the peace between friends ... when you have the peace of solitude meditation grace it's personal ... you're with a friend ... the same friend you're with when you're with another ... the same that makes the two of you three ... it's the spirit of freedom the truth that sets you free ... the spirit that makes you whole the wholly spirit who makes us complete ... and no wonder unless you stop to wonder how ... sent to us he's sent to bring us back ... no sooner have we sat in that big swivel chair by the window on the train got the soda in our hand and begun to speak to the spirit by our side when we're there ... and the conversation becomes an understanding and the words become light ... things now don't work the way they did ... intention isn't trying learning isn't hard and oddly most of all the company isn't wearing ... we have no cause for complaint we have no cause to worry we have no cause to quarrel ... we have the argument's conclusion the decision in the smile on his face


I'm not much on small talk ... I don't do it well ... I prefer big talk ... even though I don't do that well either ... you might say try middle talk ... but I don't have that gear ... I know this idea about talk has a gear ... that it's about moving ... and I like third gear best ... it goes up to the speed of light ... but most time I struggle in low gear going up a hill ... this is when we talk the smallest ... short phrases and clauses as we catch our breath ... I know what's important now isn't what we say but I think as if it were ... I know we're going uphill but I think we're in the air taking off ... I know we're talking small as if to say we could but we won't talk big ... but I try anyway ... but that doesn't work out ... so all in all it's best just to keep quiet ... just then a funny thing happens ... being quiet keeping it like a vigil but an easy one you start to hear the others ... and then you start to think ... only later do you learn after you think some more there was a grace in that quiet ... a gentle good will


lord help my unbelief ... not the kind that says I don't know who you are but the kind that turns me from you ... not the kind of unbelief that thinks the argument for atheism from the presence of evil has any chance of being right ... but the kind that makes me not care for its details ... my unbelief doesn't care about the unfortunate ... it says we need the unfortunate to keep the equation in balance ... just enough evil not too much not too little to keep the ship level flying through the narrows on to the other side ... help me lord my own unbelief the kind that doesn't let me care about the details that disturb the conclusion ... the facts that disrupt the equilibrium of that conclusion ... I have the kind of unbelief that doesn't believe in kindness as any other than a wise tactical maneuver to a preordered conclusion ... the winning side ... victory on just the right move at just the last moment ... belief tells me lord you set us up and then you let us down but you let us down easy ... let my unbelief lord let me lay it down


nothing is alone ... that I take to be metaphysical maxim #1 ... I guess there could have been nothing all by itself but I know that I'm here so it's too late for that ... now I've seen evidence of chance and necessity and of the two necessity appears to have the upper hand so that's maxim #2 ... necessity rules ... I've seen people and things and of the two people are much more finely developed so that's maxim #3 ... people are what it's all about ... now I ask can I work out a theology with just these three metaphysical clauses ... what would god be like according to maxim #1 ... before creation before god made something else god was not alone ... according to maxim #2 there must be something about god you can always count on so I figure that would be generosity ... once again after all I'm here ... and lastly according to #3 it's personal ... god's necessity his generosity is intentional ... with this theology in place I know what I'm looking for ... a social god necessarily because intentionally generous

Thursday, October 21, 2010


and when human hearts are breaking under sorrow's iron rod ... then they find that self same aching deep within the heart of god ... says the anglican hymn ... the corruption of the body suddenly or inevitably now in the past or in the future the thing in fact or just the threat of it has been solved intellectually as a puzzle by the christian doctrine ... why does evil happen ... jesus ... where does it come from where does it start ... jesus ... how do I stop it how do I escape ... jesus ... because that name only is the bridge from nothing to it all ... the only bridge ... the only name ... the one we must all come to know sooner or later ... then why am I still waiting if I know and believe all this ... why don't I love the name of jesus as jesus himself loves me ... why don't I feel his presence as he feels my pain ... well that's where being a gnostic comes in the room with an answer ... all your life from the start and by grace this is what you chose to look for ... the academic answer to the academic puzzle ... relax and enjoy it

n t wright, in, the case for faith, by lee strobel, dvd; bloom, the american religion p127


say the soul has three parts ... a connection to corruption a body that must die ... a connection to eternity a mind that understands universals ... and a connection to god inasmuch as the soul can love ... that we are tired of pain and trying and want to sleep ... that one thing only holds our interest and keeps us awake the search for truth ... that one thing and one thing only is eternal from start to finish from before and beyond ... the love of god and what god loves ... say all this is true what we say here about the soul ... how does the american gnostic see it ... that he's ancient and as old as god ... yes inasmuch as god loves him ... that once he hears the whole story he will be free ... yes the truth will set him free and it will have the one complete story to tell ... that the soul will be solitary at the moment of her greatest transfiguration ... well yes but not to do or say or talk about later ... for the soul then will be god but not and this is important the soul as we ever know it

bloom, the american religion p99

Monday, October 18, 2010


what if this is the thing ... that none of us is an I but each of us is a we and that's why the cardinal virtues are hinges ... because in trying to ensure justice for others we rely on prudence a supervisory virtue to first set our own divided house in order ... which takes courage/fortitude and temperance to deal with the two fundamental disruptions of pain and pleasure that unsettle us ... tear our integrity apart to test and play us false ... for each of these virtues but prudence and justice overall is a reflection a conformity towards truth ... and prudence foremost ... for it's how we treat ourselves our selves at war with our selves that determines how we approach others ... prudence the political art ... and the prudential man the man in balance the one most likely to choose well ... and this is what's wrong with the gnostic the progressive the modern-day liberal ... that in his fear for social justice his panic in the face of inequality and atrocity his irrational always hurried rush to utopia his ambition to make all things right by laying down the law he imprudently makes them worse

josef pieper, the four cardinal virtues

Sunday, October 17, 2010


gnosticism without christ is just class against institution ... like hippies against the establishment ... or the untouchables against all the other hindus ... I don't know but this might be right ... I think of kerouac and cassady or kesey and leary and the term gnostic seems to apply ... but then I think of hindus and buddhists and again and just as well it seems to apply ... and I start to worry ... is everything without christ gnostic ... just nascent or decreprit ... approved by many or just a few ... but especially by the many thinking they are the few ... we sages politicians doctors and professors artists dancers accountants matadors and martyrs we know what's best and whether on mars or venus or another star galaxy or dimension what we know here will be verified there ... and if the soul can migrate wouldn't the devil rule if nowhere could this be true ... that knowledge saves and will save us again ... and yet I worry ... that this truth will just float away and cannot be nailed down

tom wolfe, the electric kool-aid acid test


say there was a small roulette wheel at the nexus of six or seven people and the possibility that one or none of them would be the first to say or decide a certain sentence ... say ... good now I have a right not to respond ... or ... this will be better for them than it will be for me ... and as a result of that sentence spoken or decision taken the sum total of evil realized rises ... now say that wilde was right and that we have something like a soul that the eyes in the head cannot see or the reason in the mind understand ... and that it suffers deformity whenever it's near evil being realized ... and that this deformation crumbles it inside or out near or far in gravity as our intimacy with the evil intensifies or lets go ... it doesn't hurt the body directly or distress the mind immediately but both are diminished in health because the framework of the universe both spiritual and moral is weakened compromised degraded ... what's the right response to the sound of that wheel spinning

the picture of dorian gray

Saturday, October 16, 2010


the difference between a book and the things it represents ... the distance between a historical simulation and the battle or war of which after all it's just a configuration ... this distinction between thought and its reality is nothing less than what it means being homo sapien ... god and the angels have surely a higher and more immediate communication ... we have books ... the angels and we have a passion for getting at the thing itself ... they fall we fail trying but not all always for we both have a delight in the artifact as god has in creation ... it's one of those layers where we meet ... between god and the man who loves him is the idea that lets him try ... no wonder we love them too these films plays pictures and songs buildings and bridges medicines and highways ... these thoughts that come before the healing the invention the judgment the sentence ... these words ... stumbling to god we spend all our lives trying to find them ... and we do ... our own and others ... we find in the word the face of god

Friday, October 15, 2010


it's easy to pray to god ... the lord has layers ... beauty surprise books insults gratitude humility meekness silence a peaceful obedient joyful spirit work to do and skill to do it lessons to learn and years enough to learn them sorrow when you should feel it care when you should take when you should give it wisdom to know how often life is a poor conversation with at least one false adviser mental excitement seeing an idea as if it were your fingers sweeping across a map ... when the answer has been waiting all the decades of your life ... when unlike any other the answer is alive ... a live wisdom ... the living word ... layers of profundity implication and device but a living breathing thinking action leading you up the steps ... a present problem a future solution but a presence throughout ... here in the throes of your calculation at the height of your isolation a companion a philosopher a friend ... and when you have no last breath to take a new breath to breathe a new life


meek ... I don't know that I can do that ... say I can be quiet ... speak only when spoken to ... and here's the catch ... only in good spirit ... the bet is that not speaking otherwise will make the good spirit more willing to stay ... meek but not unprincipled ... she'd never stand for that ... to have no principles is to have no origin ... there are parts we can play even in our own head that step onto the stage of consideration with a sign hanging from their neck saying don't play me ... I'm a bad premise and I'll lead you to a bad conclusion ... being meek is being discerning ... you don't take those parts ... being soft and seldom speaking you will have less later to defend ... and more time now to be observant ... a skill which should grow with practice ... this is the exercise of the application of your principles ... what would it be like not to have them ... to hang always on the tip of the point that you have no point ... I know what it's like ... you talk and you don't stop ... lord let me be silent

Thursday, October 14, 2010


the uncreated self as old as god ... if this is the first premise of the gnostic how can he be saved from hell ... if he adds more assumptions as true as this first one and his logic works how can his conclusion save him ... what's damnation to a gnostic after all but being perpetually wrong and given this start how can he ever be right in the end ... what a grab all over the world but for the jews ... the self captures the castle and runs away with the world ... psyche deified with a false set of papers caught at the border made to begin again ... reincarnation justified as the necessary conclusion to a failed argument ... psyche and pneuma after falls like this have no longer their guaranteed connection and they stray ... ah remember when they were right and saw clearly ... before their besotted affair with infinity ... before by their neglect daimon became a demon ... before the devil took charge ... the soul loved the spirit and the spirit gave life ... that was a world with a garden ... that was a time for delight ... a gift from above 1/3

bloom american religion p36


freud had his id ego and superego ... hegel his thesis antithesis and synthesis ... instinct meets reason intuition is born ... demiurge archons and keroma ... chaotic hell on earth ... swirls of trinities each claiming to be holy but each is filled with violence ... order and calm murdered in a corner ... daimonic fury let loose ... wits at their end ... spirit tortured or at best detached ... tell us a story of peace ... there is no peace no peace without war ... there is a trinity a holy trinity communion with which is our goal ... but in this world we are not yet free ... which means war ... now add to this combat further and more reason and good sense ... add courage and prudence ... temper the pleasure and the pain ... now add just one thing more ... victory ... not just more thought but profundity ... and there now here now this is a story to tell ... another trinity by reflection ... daimon psyche and pneuma ... instinct given time enough would kill the soul just to kill time ... and the mind would be overwhelmed ... without the spirit to love and be loved 2/3

bloom american religion pp 37-40


but no one's saying there is no progress ... indeed victory implies it ... but it may come suddenly after a long wait ... or it may come slowly bit by bit only ... or it may come both of these as one ... an uphill road past heroic stations and monuments ... high ways and low ways running together ... war on one ... trade on the other ... destruction and increase ... ruin and creation ... or at least recreation ... who wouldn't pick the one over the other yet who is it that can ... consistently ... well if not consistently let's do it persistently ... honor the general but pay the merchant ... prepare for battle but negotiate a trade agreement ... and one thing only common to them both soldier and capitalist the measured reasoned refinement of technique ... while all the world labors and groans technology improves ... while people live and die the generations learn ... not only how but why peace is better than war ... not just why but how thought and truth open to the right conclusion 3/3

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


american gnostic at play in his mind is better than with people around him ... the critic says it's the abyss to the abyss the gnostic to the world before god made it ... but I find myself that this is too simple ... while I live there's always the devil between us ... because I'm a christian for me that's the meaning of life ... to get rid of the devil the obstacle and danger in front of me by asking jesus to replace him ... this of all plans is the most clever and based upon centuries of research ... for jesus the guide and intermediary turns out to be both direction and destination ... the one for which the many has its being ... that for the sake of which as aristotle called it is an abyss only to pride a pit only to error at the bottom of which at the horizon of the loss of existence is the devil just where you'd expect to find him ... look around at the world behind us filled with instruction about evil ... not gnosis or hidden knowledge but history ... history and common sense ... not abyss to abyss but suffering humility to pleroma

bloom american religion pp 14-15

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


a spiritually mad culture because we are distracted ... on the trail of the great beyond we are tempted to linger and stray ... here take the first lash or the pounding of the first nail no straying or wish to linger there but revelation ... round one and the devil wins ... round two and entropy reigns ... things by nature fall apart ... concentration falters ... logic is ruined ... our thoughts fly away ... we are distracted ... and now for a moment but the last one lost ... even at the first creation we have no reason why ... here at the second we have no least conception how but everything starts anew ... it wasn't just the dying of the light it was the loss of mind ... not just the decomposition ... that we thought we could survive ... but the soul's decay ... just let that thought enter and like a worm through the ear it eats away the brain ... nothing more to prosper ... that's why it has to start again ... the absolute offence penalty and punishment is absolutely complete ... and now once again from nothing you get nothing ... so to have something then is to have it all all of it gratis

harold bloom the american religion p4

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


the divided self is the divided will ... it comes from knowing there's something below us that's beneath us and something above us that's on high ... salvation paradise is the author the self and dean moriarty holmes's nemesis the rival of reason the id is down below ... wild anarchic ... the women condemn him ... but chaotically fecund ... and the women willingly bear his seed ... because his passion is possession by a spirit ... how true or unholy that spirit is you must finish the book to find but that dean is inspired no one will doubt ... he's of one mind ... one thing only he searches for and finds all around him ... in music he calls it by its name it ... the musicians when they blow that's it ... hitherto ineffable ... but mostly it's in the pretty girls dean and paradise find all around them ... inescapable ... if it weren't for the girls dean would be a gnostic mystic explosion to a point you'd already have to know to understand ... but the girls swarm him contain him bring him back down try to domesticate him ... and dean dean how will it all end

jack kerouac on the road read by frank muller recorded books up to disc 9

Monday, October 04, 2010


I know that and I know how ... I know who when and why ... but they're only dry runs to just plain knowing ... I read a thousand books it took me twelve years but they're all only books ... I played five hundred games it took me thirty years but win or lose each was only a game ... the milk runs out you have to buy more ... the toenails grow they have to be clipped ... we criss-cross the country loving life but we're headed for a fall for everything falls ... falls apart gets rebuilt and rises stands for a while and then it falls ... when I was twenty I was the fashionable pessimist ... at forty objective idealism was all my rage ... now I'm old and a christian and have come to the fulfillment of objective pessimistic idealism ... and it's nothing like being a skeptic ... I know what I know ... it took me a long time and I know why ... but the why doesn't count and neither does the how ... the floor beams crack it's been such a dry decade ... and words words all the live-long day ... we played at being god to take his place ... now we're utterly ruined ... he has to come down and take ours

john stott quoted in lee strobel's the real jesus p256

Sunday, October 03, 2010


cafeteria jesus by faith and definition subordinates divinity to custom ... custom of culture and individual habit ... I'll have one of those and one of these and one of that ... but the selection changes with the season and each season lasts but one generation ... to the next the old flavors are all wrong ... now if you're a perpetual patron the variety might seem appealing ... still you could be wrong about your perpetuity ... the star you're hitched to may go out and one day the cafeteria close for one eternal night ... variety alone won't keep the sun in the sky ... besides there is a wrong kind of variety that meddles with digestion ... some items on any such menu just don't go together ... like resurrection and reincarnation ... the repetition kills the idea of incarnation and makes of resurrection a what did you expect ... you're next ... or smorgasbord salad and pipe dreams after dinner versus plain bread and wine ... we fly out on the back of the cosmic pulsation or we go to sleep and we wake to judgment ... hell or heaven on earth in the morning

strobel the real jesus ch 6

Saturday, October 02, 2010


if with analysis and honesty you can reduce the tenor of your daydreams to and then I you can give up daydreaming as a waste of time ... but isn't that what daydreams are ... an amateur autobiographical novel we keep writing in our spare time to remember the day we just went through and the one coming up tomorrow ... and that if that's all it did might pay its fare from beginning to end ... but it's more than that ... every good novel is ... and all these novels are good for they mesmerize their audience as the best of all drugs and only solitude to unlock the cabinet ... and yet still a waste of time ... when just around the corner you might come to market ... when just through the lobby a hundred yards away you might walk into the wisdom gallery and hear the collected thoughts of the ages seen from the side and coming round to face you ... finally felt inside here's the thing to talk about ... what did the church do when the last apostle died ... what should a jew do with isaiah 53 ... where do you go to save your soul

raymond brown the churches the apostles left behind; strobel the real jesus ch 5