Monday, November 30, 2015

Golgotha


Maybe 
we are all children
of a forsaken God

Was it him, who forgot us,
or us, who forgot him?
Or, does it matter, after all?

We climb our cross
and offer our spirit
only to find 
he has long 
left us behind

in your eyes
in your mind
in your heart

https://youtu.be/CSvFpBOe8eY




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Touch and Body Synchrony

I am gaining a deeper understanding of how to work with my fears. I am not yet able to articulate this understanding so instead I discuss another important topic: Proximity. Bryan Stevenson, in his book ``Just Mercy'' as well as many of his interviews, emphasizes the importance of proximity as the main and only way of getting a deep understanding of something:

“Proximity has taught me some basic and humbling truths, including this vital lesson: Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I’ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the privileged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.” ― Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

And yet, the ``proximity'' may seem like an abstract idea. So, I want to discuss it in a completely different setup: Courting behaviors of animals and human beings. In her book, ``Anatomy of Love,'' Helen Fisher describes David Givens (an anthropologist) and Timothy Perper (a biologist) systematic observations of Americans' courting process in social environments (such as cocktail lounges). They describe a general pattern involving five distinct stages of ``attention getting'' (entering the scene and attracting attention), ``recognition'' (which starts when eyes meet), ``grooming talk'' (a conversation in which hidden signals are more important than what is said), ``touching'' (physical proximity, which begins with ``intention cues'' and reaches the climax in an actual touch), and finally ``body synchrony'':

``Body synchrony is the final and most intriguing component of the pickup. As potential lovers become comfortable , they pivot or swivel until their shoulders become aligned, their bodies face-to-face.  ... after a while the man and woman begin to move in tandem. Only briefly at first. ... Then they desynchronize. In time, however, they mirror each other more and more. ...'' p. 29, Anatomy of Love, Helen Fisher
This tendency to synchrony is captured by ``dance'' rituals in different human cultures. The significance of synchrony goes beyond courting:

... body synchrony is basic to many social interactions ... Called interactional synchrony, this human mirroring begins in infancy. By the second day of life, a newborn has begun to synchronize its body movements with the rhythmic patterns of the human voice. ... people in many different cultures get into rhythm when they feel comfortable together. ... even brain waves get ``in sync'' when two people have a harmonious conversation. --- pp. 30-31, Anatomy of LoveHelen Fisher

I find it important that physical closeness is necessary, or at least an important facilitating factor, for the synchronous movement. This synchronicity is a metaphor for deeper understanding, or in fact, it is a bodily form of deep understanding. As sex appears to be the climax of body synchrony, we can imagine that it symbolizes a stage of union or integration that follow deep understanding.

Of course, here I am thinking about symbolism of consensual sex. The more non-consensual and violent sex becomes, it would correspond less to union/integration and more to dominance and exclusion. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Holy Trinity

The Passenger
The Purpose
and The Path

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PS. Another interpretation, less poetic but equally important:

Self soothing
Calming others
Offering self to be consoled


No one gets to play Jesus. But we do get to experience Jesus in that holy place where we meet others' needs and have our own needs met. ... The fact is, we are all, at once, bearer of the gospel and receivers of it. We meet the needs of others and have our needs met. And ... we never know when we experience Jesus in all of this. All we have is a promise, a promise that our needs are holy to God. ---p. 48, Accidental Saints, Nadia Bolz-Weber



Sunday, November 01, 2015

Christ and God


Corrigan told me once that Christ was quite easy to understand. He went where He was supposed to go. He stayed where He was needed. He took little or nothing along, a pair of sandals, a bit of a shirt, a few odds and ends to stave off the loneliness. He never rejected the world. if He had rejected it, He would have been rejecting mystery. And if He rejected mystery, He would have been rejecting faith.

What Corrigan wanted was a fully believable God, one you could find in the grime of the everyday. The comfort he got from the hard, cold truth---the filth, the was, the poverty---was that life could be capable of small beauties. He was't interested in the glorious tales of the afterlife or the notions of a honey-soaked heaven. To him that was a dressing room for hell. Rather he consoled himself with the fact that, in the real world, when he looked closely into the darkness he might find the presence of a light, bruised and damaged, but a little light all the same. He wanted, quite simply, for the world to be a better place, and he was in habit of hoping for it. Out of that came some sort of triumph that went beyond theological proof, a cause for optimism against all the evidence. ---p. 20, Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann

I wanted to add my new revelations about God, but this quote says it all, and says it well. 

Clear Shallow Water

I started reading this novel, `` The Driver ,'' by Hart Hanson , and I did not like it much and decided to stop. But then I came ba...