Sunday, December 17, 2017

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day: A Lovely Illustrated Ode to the Nourishment of Nature and the Art of Solitude in the Age of Screens

On A Magical Do Nothing Day

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day: A Lovely Illustrated Ode to the Nourishment of Nature and the Art of Solitude in the Age of Screens

Generations of great thinkers have extolled the creative purpose of boredom. Long before psychologists came to understand why “fertile solitude” is the seedbed of a full life, Bertrand Russell pointed to what he called “fruitful monotony” as central to the conquest of happiness. “There is no place more intimate than the spirit alone,” wrote the poet May Sarton in her stunning 1938 ode to solitude. But today the fertile sanctuary of solitude is a place more endangered than any other locus of the spirit, attesting more acutely than ever to Blaise Pascal’s seventeenth-century assertion that “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Now comes a warm and wondrous invitation to remastering the art of fertile solitude in On a Magical Do-Nothing Day (public library) by Italian artist and author Béatrice Alemagna, translated by Jill Davis.

The lyrical, tenderly illustrated story is told in the voice of an androgynous young protagonist who grudgingly accompanies Mom to a writing cabin in the lush, rainy woods — a place oozing boredom only alleviated by a videogame. 

I hope you enjoy this lovely story as much as I do.

 On a Magical Do Nothing Day

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jim Carrey: I Needed Color

Jim Carrey: I Needed Color

For additional information regarding Jim's art please visit:
For all other inquiries email

Director/Producer David Bushell
Associate Producer - Linda Fields Hill
Editor - Nicole C. Conrad
Music - Dave Palmer
Vocals - Jane Carrey
Camera - Bobby Davidson (NY)
Sound - Sean Massey
Asst. Editor - Kelsey Ann McClure
Art Assistants - Roland Allmeyer, Lino Meoli, Brogan Dunphy
Thanks to FotoKem
Edited w/ Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Copyright 2017 Jim Carrey
Unauthorized downloads and usage of this video without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Stunning, beautiful and incredible. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lao Tzu's Four Rules for Living

Lao Tzu's Four Rules for Living - Uplift

How to Live an Inspired and Peaceful Life

Many centuries ago, Lao Tzu, spoke of the four cardinal virtues, teaching that when we practice them as a way of life, we come to know the truth of the universe. The ancient Chinese master said that living and practicing these teachings can open you to higher wisdom and greater happiness, as they realign you to the source and enable you to access all the powers that source energy has to offer.

Learning to accept who you are and learn true wisdom does bring happiness into your life. It is joyful and meaningful.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wishing a Happy Thanksgiving to all

Joy continues to sing to me and wishing this for all..................

Enabling our future with kindness and love

Don't lose hope.

These Free Resources on Science Could Be The Answer to The 'Fake News' Epidemic 

Indeed, as Zack Sims, Co-Founder and CEO at Codecademy, noted in an interview with Futurism, we are quickly entering an era in which all knowledge is free and readily available.

"In the next ten years, we will find ourselves in a world where everyone around the globe will have access to the internet. Institutions will make, will continue to make, their content available, and MOOCs will be commonplace."

And this gift of joy came in my email this morning - a little wonder

Thankful for the Joy

Enabling the future that we all can dream of

“If two people on opposite sides of the planet,
from their garages,
can use this technology as a vehicle
to create and share an idea
which then blossoms into a small community
who is working to find ways to create a large positive impact,
imagine the possibilities
as more and more people become involved
and begin exploring what this technology can do.
It can serve as a new tool
with which we can reach out and help our neighbor.
And our neighbor can now be someone
who lives thousands of miles away.”
  • Ivan Owen 
Wishing a wonderful Thanksgiving of joy and love with all. And sharing the love that still surrounds us - our wonderful husband who we still thank the world for his love and light. We will forever miss and love him. But we still have his memories to be grateful that we can share his love.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations

I am the child of two wars fought by my Dad, the horror of WWII and the South Pacific as a Marine who suffered unbelievable trauma that wounded his body and his mind. And then for him to volunteer to go to North Korea and suffer again, and be wounded again. I was his first child (the one that lived), and knew him to be moody and unpredictable. Learning all that he went through now helps me to understand that my genes are also part of his. And part of my Mother who also suffered trauma. She became pregnant by my Dad. He shipped out to the South Pacific and she was left pregnant and rejected by her family. She was placed in a laundry for pregnant girls. My Grandmother from Arkansas found out and went to Virginia and brought her home to live in her new family, the Elrod's. 

My Mom lost the baby. He was born stillborn. She believed the baby died because she had sinned. She carried this sin, this pain with her for her entire life. She never felt that she was worthy. Our life was chaotic to say the least, Mom ended up with me, and then four boys came along. All of us parented by wounded people who felt immense pain.

I have delved into all of who we are and me, of course, and now my children who have been raised by me with my wounds. I married a lovely man who never felt loved by his parents. So we both ended up with painful wounds inside of us and then had our own children. I now see why we all need to understand who we are and find the opportunity to grow from this and use it to our benefit. And learn to share this with our new generation of children and use all this trauma to make us strong, kind and loving.

The new Grandfather that we recently just lost. He also was a wounded child but overcame it and it made him a much loved human being. I am sure that his new children and grandchildren will be strong, kind and loving.

How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations

 Rachel Yehuda
How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations
The new field of epigenetics sees that genes can be turned on and off and expressed differently through changes in environment and behavior. Rachel Yehuda is a pioneer in understanding how the effects of stress and trauma can transmit biologically, beyond cataclysmic events, to the next generation. She has studied the children of Holocaust survivors and of pregnant women who survived the 9/11 attacks. But her science is a form of power for flourishing beyond the traumas large and small that mark each of our lives and those of our families and communities.

How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations

Saturday, November 04, 2017


Sharing this post from Threads of Spider Woman

Why indeed are we so determined to create an artificial being. This is shocking I had no idea it had progressed so rapidly. And it disturbs me totally.

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Wonder of All of Us

This is who we are and the wonder of all of us. We are all miracles. Think on that for a moment.

Where Your Elements Came From  

Explanation: The hydrogen in your body, present in every molecule of water, came from the Big Bang. There are no other appreciable sources of hydrogen in the universe. The carbon in your body was made by nuclear fusion in the interior of stars, as was the oxygen. Much of the iron in your body was made during supernovas of stars that occurred long ago and far away. The gold in your jewelry was likely made from neutron stars during collisions that may have been visible as short-duration gamma-ray bursts or gravitational wave events. Elements like phosphorus and copper are present in our bodies in only small amounts but are essential to the functioning of all known life. The featured periodic table is color coded to indicate humanity's best guess as to the nuclear origin of all known elements. The sites of nuclear creation of some elements, such as copper, are not really well known and are continuing topics of observational and computational research.

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Happy Birthday in Heaven

Happy Birthday in Heaven. Missing you so much. Thank you for all the wonders of love throughout our lives. You touched so many lives and yes, saved so many lives. You are the best. Love you always.

I continue to miss my lovely Bob, and speak to him each morning and every night. I pray for a message that all is well with him.

I breathlessly read this recent message from Anne's Diary on Unknown Country with Whitley Streiber's wonderful blog (adding it to my links) Unknown Country. This link is from Anne's Diary who has passed away and leaves messages for us all - the comments are wonderful too.

Anne's Diary: Being Outside of Time


Monday, October 16, 2017

The Goblin King

 My friend told me a story he hadn’t told anyone for years. When he used to tell it years ago people would laugh and say, ‘Who’d believe that? How can that be true? That’s daft.’ So he didn’t tell it again for ages. But for some reason, last night, he knew it would be just the kind of story I would love.

When he was a kid, he said, they didn’t use the word autism, they just said ‘shy’, or ‘isn’t very good at being around strangers or lots of people.’ But that’s what he was, and is, and he doesn’t mind telling anyone. It’s just a matter of fact with him, and sometimes it makes him sound a little and act different, but that’s okay.

Anyway, when he was a kid it was the middle of the 1980s and they were still saying ‘shy’ or ‘withdrawn’ rather than ‘autistic’. He went to London with his mother to see a special screening of a new film he really loved. He must have won a competition or something, I think. Some of the details he can’t quite remember, but he thinks it must have been London they went to, and the film…! Well, the film is one of my all-time favourites, too. It’s a dark, mysterious fantasy movie. Every single frame is crammed with puppets and goblins. There are silly songs and a goblin king who wears clingy silver tights and who kidnaps a baby and this is what kickstarts the whole adventure.

It was ‘Labyrinth’, of course, and the star was David Bowie, and he was there to meet the children who had come to see this special screening.

‘I met David Bowie once,’ was the thing that my friend said, that caught my attention.

‘You did? When was this?’ I was amazed, and surprised, too, at the casual way he brought this revelation out. Almost anyone else I know would have told the tale a million times already.

He seemed surprised I would want to know, and he told me the whole thing, all out of order, and I eked the details out of him.

He told the story as if it was he’d been on an adventure back then, and he wasn’t quite allowed to tell the story. Like there was a pact, or a magic spell surrounding it. As if something profound and peculiar would occur if he broke the confidence.

It was thirty years ago and all us kids who’d loved Labyrinth then, and who still love it now, are all middle-aged. Saddest of all, the Goblin King is dead. Does the magic still exist?

I asked him what happened on his adventure.

‘I was withdrawn, more withdrawn than the other kids. We all got a signed poster. Because I was so shy, they put me in a separate room, to one side, and so I got to meet him alone. He’d heard I was shy and it was his idea. He spent thirty minutes with me.

‘He gave me this mask. This one. Look.

‘He said: ‘This is an invisible mask, you see?

‘He took it off his own face and looked around like he was scared and uncomfortable all of a sudden. He passed me his invisible mask. ‘Put it on,’ he told me. ‘It’s magic.’

‘And so I did.

‘Then he told me, ‘I always feel afraid, just the same as you. But I wear this mask every single day. And it doesn’t take the fear away, but it makes it feel a bit better. I feel brave enough then to face the whole world and all the people. And now you will, too.

‘I sat there in his magic mask, looking through the eyes at David Bowie and it was true, I did feel better.

‘Then I watched as he made another magic mask. He spun it out of thin air, out of nothing at all. He finished it and smiled and then he put it on. And he looked so relieved and pleased. He smiled at me.

‘'Now we’ve both got invisible masks. We can both see through them perfectly well and no one would know we’re even wearing them,’ he said.

‘So, I felt incredibly comfortable. It was the first time I felt safe in my whole life.

‘It was magic. He was a wizard. He was a goblin king, grinning at me.

‘I still keep the mask, of course. This is it, now. Look.’

I kept asking my friend questions, amazed by his story. I loved it and wanted all the details. How many other kids? Did they have puppets from the film there, as well? What was David Bowie wearing? I imagined him in his lilac suit from Live Aid. Or maybe he was dressed as the Goblin King in lacy ruffles and cobwebs and glitter.

What was the last thing he said to you, when you had to say goodbye?

‘David Bowie said, ‘I’m always afraid as well. But this is how you can feel brave in the world.’ And then it was over. I’ve never forgotten it. And years later I cried when I heard he had passed.’

My friend was surprised I was delighted by this tale.

‘The normal reaction is: that’s just a stupid story. Fancy believing in an invisible mask.’

But I do. I really believe in it.

And it’s the best story I’ve heard all year.
— Paul Magrs (via yourfluffiestnightmare)
(via winneganfake)

 My friend told me a story he hadn’t told anyone for years. 

Friday, October 06, 2017

Photobucket Drops Free Image Display, Outside Their Website

In case you like me are wondering what the heck is going on with this giant sign from Photobucket  a company that many of us have had friendly relations with for years. Now one day I noticed many of my photos started to disappear and are replaced by this ugly unfriendly sign -


Here is the story behind these ugly demanding cover ups on the photos that I have been using for many years.

So friends bear with me while I dig back through all of my blog posts and change my photos out of photobucket and I suggest you do also - unless you can afford a $399 membership fee.

I would doubt that any of us who blog will be paying any type of fee such as this.

And not sure but many are saying we can't even unload our own pictures. I would suggest that we all let Photobucket know how very unhappy we all are.

I have personal photos of my family and could they actually take this photos also?

I would suggest that everyone give a shout out to Photobucket here

There is no mention of any change that I can see? So any info would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Dissolving the ego

In 1969, the British writer Philip Pullman was walking down the Charing Cross Road in London, when his consciousness abruptly shifted. It appeared to him that ‘everything was connected by similarities and correspondences and echoes’. The author of the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials (1995-2000) wasn’t on drugs, although he had been reading a lot of books on Renaissance magic. But he told me he believes that his insight was valid, and that ‘my consciousness was temporarily altered, so that I was able to see things that are normally beyond the range of routine ordinary perception’. He had a deep sense that the Universe is ‘alive, conscious and full of purpose’. He says: ‘Everything I’ve written has been an attempt to bear witness to the truth of that statement.’

What does one call such an experience? Pullman refers to it as ‘transcendent’. The philosopher and psychologist William James called them ‘religious experiences’ – although Pullman, who wrote a fictionalised biography of Jesus, would insist that God was not involved. Other psychologists call such moments spiritual, mystical, anomalous or out-of-the-ordinary. My preferred term is ‘ecstatic’. Today, we think of ecstasy as meaning the drug MDMA or the state of being ‘very happy’, but originally it meant ekstasis – a moment when you stand outside your ordinary self, and feel a connection to something bigger than you. Such moments can be euphoric, but also terrifying.

Over the past five centuries, Western culture has gradually marginalised and pathologised ecstasy. That’s partly a result of our shift from a supernatural or animist worldview to a disenchanted and materialist one. In most cultures, ecstasy is a connection to the spirit world. In our culture, since the 17th century, if you suggest you’re connected to the spirit world, you’re likely to be considered ignorant, eccentric or unwell. Ecstasy has been labelled as various mental disorders: enthusiasm, hysteria, psychosis. It’s been condemned as a threat to secular government. We’ve become a more controlled, regulated and disciplinarian society, in which one’s standing as a good citizen relies on one’s ability to control one’s emotions, be polite, and do one’s job. The autonomous self has become our highest ideal,  and the idea of surrendering the self is seen as dangerous.

Yet ecstatic experiences are surprisingly common, we just don’t talk about them. The polling company Gallup has, since the 1960s, measured the frequency of mystical experiences in the United States. In 1960, only 20 per cent of the population said they’d had one or more. Now, it’s around 50 per cent. In a survey I did in 2016, 84 per cent of respondents said they’d had an experience where they went beyond their ordinary self, and felt connected to something greater than them. But 75 per cent agreed there was a taboo around such experiences.

There’s even a database of more than 6,000 such experiences, amassed by the biologist Sir Alister Hardy in the 1960s and now mouldering in storage in Wales. They make for a strangely beautiful read, a sort of crowdsourced Bible. Here is entry number 208: ‘I was out walking one night in busy streets of Glasgow when, with slow majesty, at a corner where the pedestrians were hurrying by and the city traffic was hurtling on its way, the air was filled with heavenly music, and an all-encompassing light, that moved in waves of luminous colour, outshone the brightness of the lighted streets. I stood still, filled with a strange peace and joy … until I found myself in the everyday world again with a strange access of gladness and of love.

Dissolving the ego You don’t need drugs or a church for an ecstatic experience that helps transcend the self and connect to something bigger

Read More from His Dark Materials

I find it interesting that we are deeply involved with the spiritual world in movies, books and video games. Why does it seem that so much of today's life does want to keep our brains from questioning what used to be our deep connections with our spirits. Reading the above it's is very apparent that human beings are deeply connected to something greater than ourselves.

That discovery is wonderful.


Monday, September 25, 2017

Life Story Changes

A day filled with beauty and happiness. I want to remember this day always.

Every experience you have is part of your story.

Every experience helps shape you into who you are.

You learn, you grow, and you carry that with you. Nobody can take that away.

Sometimes things feel heartbreakingly sad. Weave it into the fabric of who you are. Look for the strength you know is inside you. Lean on those you know will support you.

Sometimes it’s not the end of a story; it’s just time for one of the characters to leave. And that can feel so painful for the characters left behind. But the one that leaves never fully leaves. They are woven into the fabric of who you are.

They have helped you to grow and to form; to know yourself better. They will always be part of your story and part of who you are, with a special place in your heart — whether they’re physically there or not.

Sometimes we have to let people go, even when we don’t want to, even if we never imagined a future without them. Sometimes we have no choice, so we have to make peace with that, as hard as it is.

We can struggle against it, we can resist. Or we can set the other person free, and set ourselves free in the process.

Sometimes things look very different from how we thought they would. We don’t get a say. We feel robbed of the chance to write that part of our story. But we are still artists. We can’t control what happens to us. We can’t control other people.

But we can control how we respond.

We can either choose love or fear. We can either close the gap between us and anyone else by choosing love. Or we can open it by choosing fear.

Trust that you’ll be okay even when things happen that you don’t want or expect. Trust that ultimately it’ll be for your highest good, and for the best, even if you can’t see how at the moment.

Things will happen that take away the story you had planned. You need to grieve for that. For the parts of the story you had so wanted to live, had things been different. You need to grieve hard.

Just as hard for that as for the memories that have passed. You need to grieve for it all.

And then you need to stand where you are right now, amongst the rubble. You realize that you’ll never lose all that has gone before. It’s part of you for life — part of your story and part of who you are.

You can take it forward in whichever ways you choose. You’ll carry it with you — the love, the important bits.

When it comes to the future, you’ll realize these parts of the story were only ever imagination anyway. It’s sad to lose a dream, to not get to play out a story we had so wanted and imagined.

But when things happen that we can’t control, we have to change tack.

We realize that we still get to be exactly who we want to be, playing whatever part we choose. It might just have a different background than what we’d imagined. And that might look and feel very scary for a while.

But that’s okay.

The most important thing is to remember who you are amongst it — all that you are and all that you’ve got.

You’re still standing at the center of the story, and now more than ever you need to be its creator and artist.

It’s okay to be scared. It’s normal to be scared when things change. To feel a whole myriad of emotions:  
grief, anger, sadness, fear. They’ll all come out to play.

But these emotions are there to help you navigate through the new terrain. And they’re there to help pull you through to the other side.

The fabric of your story is woven into who you are. No part of the story is ever wasted. Not a single bit. It’s got you to where you are right now. And where you are right now is perfect — whole, enough.

Remember you will always have you. You’ll always have the people or the parts of any story you want to keep with you. They are in your bones, and in your heart.

So nothing is every truly lost, just transformed.

And if your story looks a little different from what you had planned, it’s okay. You’re an artist, write a new one.

 I have no idea where this story came from. One of those things that I saved from a message that I loved. Who would ever think that I saved this message for me, to keep my heart from despair and working it out so I can stay alive. Some days I truly don't want to, I just want to fade away to nothingness. But I still open my eyes in the mornings and wonder why I am still here, all alone. 

But I need to share a zillion things right now, to find some meaning for me to still be here. And oh I so don't want to be.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth

Ep. 1: Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth — ‘The Hero’s Adventure’

Bill Moyers and mythologist Joseph Campbell begin their groundbreaking and timeless conversation with an exploration of the classic hero cycle, including consistent and enduring hero patterns in literature, real life and even the Star Wars films. Campbell also encourages the audience to view parts of their own lives as heroic journeys. In a clip from the first episode, Campbell encourages the audience to discover what excites them, and make that the basis for their personal journeys.

 Joseph Campbell on the Soul's High Adventure from on Vimeo.

The Hero's Adventure

JOSEPH CAMPBELL: We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. And where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.

The Power of Myth Quotes

The Power of Myth Quotes (showing 1-30 of 109)
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My Dearest Soul Friend

Life has taken me on another painful journey of my life. I have been traveling through so many dark days that I felt I would never live again. And I think I really did not want to. But I have been pushed into living again because I still have some memory to share of my love.

My beloved husband has died of leukemia. It was sudden, and brutal and the hardest thing I can imagine. It came from nowhere and he died within a month of illness. My world was turned upside down and I wanted to die with him. I can't begin to imagine living without him. We were married for 51 years and he was my soul mate.

Darkest covered my being and evil attacked me and my children who stayed to take care of me. I know evil and it is real, and it attacked us in earnest. And I was willing to give up and be done.

But then out of nowhere a message was left in my hands from my dear husband, and left in the most unlikely spot, in his work desk. This message came into me from the strangest place - this blessing for me and family to read once a day and believe in -

The following protection prayer is based on the book Remarkable Healings, A Psychiatrist Discovers Unsuspected Roots of Mental and Physical Illness, by Shakuntala Modi, M.D., Hampton Roads Publishing Company, ISBN 1-57174-079-1. Her findings are remarkably similar to the traditional shamans point of view that that man's spiritual and physical health is often influenced by negative entities and energies, and that the Divine and the light beings are always there to help us. The protection prayer is to be done twice a day, once when you go to bed in the evening and once when you wake up in the morning.

I began to recite this prayer twice a day - and it wasn't a rapid healing of my heart. But yes, it still weeps but I feel loved and protected and safe, and my children too.

Many bad things happened to all of us - I suffered a stroke and was rushed to the hospital and it seemed that I would be lost. I could not speak but I could remember my protection prayer. Daily my health improved and my speech came back. It still has work to do, but I have been healed that is amazing to the doctors but still some strange illness in my heart has yet to be monitored.

Most of my heartbreak is still inside of me, but I know that I am being watched over and guarded with safety.

I felt that it is time to speak of my life and love and the joy of being. The divine has entered my being and surrounds me with love and blessing.

I miss our lovely forum and so wish it to be sharing with each other again in a truthful real ways.

This message came to me today as I listened quietly with tears of love and it's time to be there for love.

“A friend … awakens your life in order to free the wild possibilities within you.”

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A Homily for Palm Sunday

It has taken me years and years to understand that we are all here on a quest to find ourselves. All the myriad things to distract you from finding out who you really are. And believing who you are. And fanning that little flame inside of you into a bonfire of possibility. Of course this world doesn't help at all, but if you are lucky enough to pay attention, that little message inside you can turn into a wonderful concert and you are born again, "with eyes that can finally see".

A Homily for Palm Sunday
by Rev. Steven Marshall

The Temporary Triumph of the Light before its Obscuration

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. Holy Week recounts a complex and meaningful series of mythic events which lead to the Resurrection on Easter Day. Palm Sunday represents a preparation, a setting up, for the Resurrection to occur. As Gnostics we may differ from the mainstream in our interpretation of these events, as to whether they are literal history or strictly symbolic, or something in between. What is important for us to focus on is that these events recount an interior experience of archetypal dimensions. It does not matter if the events of Holy Week are historical or purely mythical; they have a deep and archetypal meaning to the Gnostic soul. The series of events in Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, describe a process of our own apotheosis and psychological transformation. Blind belief in historical events is not going to transform us; we must cultivate an experience of this archetypal reality. For this reason we celebrate Palm Sunday not as a commemoration of an historical event but as an archetypal mystery and another step in the process of psychological and spiritual transformation.
 A Homily for Palm Sunday

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Reading the Gnostics

Reading the Gnostics


Pistis Sophia


By Andrew Phillip Smith


Reading the Gnostics was a piece I wrote to accompany A Dictionary of Gnosticism. In a modified form it will be one of the introductory essays in Gnostic Tendencies, intended to whet your appetite for reading the Nag Hammadi Library.
Reading the Gnostics

And he [Jesus] said, “The kingdom is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea; then he drew it up from the sea, full of little fish from below. Among them he found one good large fish. So he threw all of the little fish back down into the sea without regret. Whoever has ears to listen, let him listen.”

This parable, distinctively in the voice of Jesus, is found nowhere in the New Testament. It comes from the Gospel of Thomas, the best known of the ancient writings found at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945. The Gospel of Thomas is overwhelmingly the most famous and most read of the texts found in this cache for two reasons:- it has a good claim to contain sayings of Jesus that are as old and as authentic as those in the canonical gospels, and it is, at least superficially, easy to understand. It is one of nearly fifty different texts or tractates in the Nag Hammadi library, the bulk of which are Gnostic.

Gnosticism was a Christian-related religion that thrived in the second to fourth centuries CE, though its origins may have been a little earlier and it persisted in various forms much later. It emphasised the importance of gnosis—experiential knowledge of the divine—within a framework of myth and ritual. No two texts or Gnostic groups agreed on the details of the Gnostic myth, but it typically involves the following: the supreme, unique God emanates divine beings known as aeons. These form the Pleroma, the fullness of God. However, the youngest of these aeons, Sophia, falls from grace and in doing so creates the material world, which is ruled by her bastard offspring the demiurge, the craftsman of our world, often called Yaldabaoth. The demiurge and his minions create the soul and body of mankind but are tricked into incorporating an element of spirit in the human makeup. Thus humans contain a divine spark which may be nurtured and fanned into a flame. The subsequent history of mankind involves a struggle for the human soul, on the one side the demiurge and his archons, on the other a series of saviours or revealers who teach mankind how to attain gnosis and develop the spiritual seed within them. Abbreviated and simplified in this way, the Gnostic myth is understandable and appealing . However, the original Gnostic texts are more concerned with their individual elaborations of the myths than with clarity, and can be quite obscure.

Not all of the Nag Hammadi texts are difficult to penetrate. The Exegesis on the Soul (despite its awkward title) is a beautiful and straightforward account of the fall of the soul, personified as a young woman who drifts into prostitution and is abused by thieves and adulterers but who eventually repents and returns to her father and, in a daring use of sexual imagery, may couple with the bridegroom in the bridal chamber.

Thunder: Perfect Mind is a striking proclamation by a female voice, which includes fascinating, contrary statements —“I am the whore and the holy, I am the wife and the virgin.” Thunder has been adapted as a musical piece by David Tibet’s Current 93 band, and even into an advertisement for Prada perfume directed by Ridley and Jordan Scott.



The Devil Problem

Elaine Pagels won popular and scholarly acclaim for her revolutionary interpretation of the early Christian Church in “The Gnostic Gospels.” Then unthinkable personal tragedy led her to the subject of a new book: What is Satan?


Friday, March 10, 2017

Traveling the unlikely roads that lead us back to ourselves

Luke Storms, Elliot and the Winter Window,” 2017

It seems like forever since I have taken the time to sit and write on my blog and the more I tried to find something to write about the more excuses I found to just keep silent. What can I possibly talk about now that my life has gotten so very quiet and plain. And yet I felt this quiet seed inside of me that was almost like a child growing. I guess it has ripened because here I am. 

To say that life is full of sadness for all the pain that still perpetuates in the world. Sometimes it seems truthfully that this is all the world is about is chaos. 

“Writing is hard for every last one of us… Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”

"... we are challenged every day to say yes to the movements of life, to see it all through, without pause, staying in relationship to the music of life and each other, adjusting as we go, not knowing what will happen next. Yet even out of tune, this messy and magnificent practice, so essentially human, will let us hear—briefly—the music of the Universe being the Universe. To hear this larger music while grinding out the small music of our lives is what sages of all traditions have called glimpsing eternity."

 Pathways, by Mark Nepo

I don’t know why I was born
with this belief in something
deeper and larger than we can
see. But it’s always called. Even as
a boy, I knew that trees and light
and sky all point to some timeless
center out of view. I have spent my
life listening to that center and filtering
it through my heart. This listening
and filtering is the music of my soul,
of all souls. After sixty years, I’ve run
out of ways to name this. Even now,
my heart won’t stand still. In a moment
of seeing, it takes the shape of
my eye. In a moment of speaking, the
shape of my tongue. In a moment of
silence, it slips back into the lake of
center. When you kiss me, it takes
the shape of your lip. When our dog
sleeps with us, it takes the shape of
her curl. When the hummingbird
feeds her baby, it takes the shape
of her beak carefully dropping
food into our throats.
From Parabola Volume 36, No. 4 “Many Paths, One Truth” Winter 2011-2012. This issue is available to purchase here. If you have enjoyed this piece, consider subscribing.

–Mark Nepo "Without Pause," poet, philosopher, and author on the lessons of life offered by Oscar Wilde and Beethoven.

Advice from a Tree

By Ilan Shamir
Dear Friend,
Stand Tall and Proud
Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
Reflect the light of a greater source
Think long term
Go out on a limb
Remember your place among all living beings
Embrace with joy the changing seasons
For each yields its own abundance
The Energy and Birth of Spring
The Growth and Contentment of Summer
The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
Feel the wind and the sun
And delight in their presence
Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
And the mystery of the stars at night.
Seek nourishment from the good things in life
Simple pleasures
Earth, fresh air, light
Be content with your natural beauty
Drink plenty of water
Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
Be flexible
Remember your roots
Enjoy the view!