Meetingbrook Dogen & Francis Hermitage Update
Theme: The Poetry and Grace of Just Being Alive
Now the world begins!
The origin of language is in essence mysterious. And this means that language can only have arisen from the overpowering, the strange, and the terrible, through man’s departure into being. In this departure, language was being, embodied in the word: poetry. Language is the primordial poetry in which a people speaks being. (Martin Heidegger, in An Introduction to Metaphysics)
.When news comes that shocks us, when our minds say, "Uh oh, this is bad," or when we first awaken of a given morning -- these words apply. Now the world begins.
The real sunrise is in
Surprise might be the sign of an awakening mind.
It is always curious to hear someone say, "That doesn't surprise me." There's an element of either ennui or feigned control whenever we demure we already know and are not surprised by something, anything that happens.
With each occurrence, the world begins. With each encounter, the world begins. With each appearance, the world begins. With each invitation to respond, the world begins.
This is being present at the creation. At that instant, we have to say something, do something -- or not. To speak is to honor word by stepping out into being, poetically. To remain silent is to honor being in stillness. We might simply be eye and ear, body and soul in the presence of what is unfolding. All time and space originate in this augenblick, this glance of the eye, this seeing now.
The anniversary of the devastation in New York City is upon us. That day, amid many other deaths, 200 people fell or jumped from the top floors of the World Trade Towers. One year ago, eleven seconds remained until they hit their death. A longtime. A lifetime. A time, curiously, of grace.
Grace is within you;
The Bangor Maine paper reported the other day the death by hanging of a 37 year old man in jail. He was serving a 60-day sentence. It was “only minutes after a guard checked his cell,” according to the acting County Sheriff, that they found him dead. What does his death have in common with the WTC deaths? On the surface it seems an odd question.
He too had mere seconds to see what he could see.
I'm coming to suspect that just being alive is the grace of God.
No hoops to jump through. No groveling penance. No judgment and evaluation of deeds to endure.
What do we need in a fractured time? Is what we need God, grace, and
Camus was right. Suicide -- or the consideration of how to enter and pass through life, through death -- is the only serious philosophical problem.
It is our gift to consider this problem as our question: How enter
and pass through life?
It is our gift to know the existence of grace within us.
Even a few seconds.
It is enough.
I’shanah tova ti-ka-tey-vu! May you be inscribed [in the Book of Life] for a good year!
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August 2002 Update
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