Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Author: Tisha Anderson

Food for Thought: Twenty Questions (four or five of them at least), May 15, 2019

Food for Thought: Twenty Questions (four or five of them at least), May 15, 2019

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

Twenty Questions (four or five of them at least)

  1. What does it mean to live in the present moment? (mindfulness)

Jesus:                           Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Thich Nhat Hanh:        Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.

Buddha:                       As you walk, eat, and travel, be where you are.

Woody Allen:              What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

 

  1. How does one obtain true peace?

Lao Tzu:                    When there is no desire, all things are at peace. (very Buddhist)

                                    Let it be still, and it will gradually become clear.

The Bible:                 Be still and know that I am God. (Is God known better in the stillness rather than the activity of the mind?)

Jesus:                         My peace I give you.

                                    Do not think that I came to bring peace, but a sword.

Douglas Adams:     He was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher… or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.

 

3.  What is our greatest distraction?

Jesus:                           And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Ramana Maharshi:       Think of God; attachments will gradually drop away. If you wait till all desires disappear before starting your devotion and prayer, you will have to wait for a very long time indeed.

Ray Bradbury:             The Internet is a big distraction.

 

4.   What is the greatest quality humans possess?

Socrates:                      There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

St. Paul                        There are three things that endure: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.

Jesus                            No greater love has anyone than this: that he should lay down his life for his friends.

Lao Tzu:                      Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. 

Blaise Pascal:             The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched.

Also: The greatness of man lies in his power of thought.

 Douglas Adams:          A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Honorable Mentions: It Is Good, May 12, 2019

Honorable Mentions: It Is Good, May 12, 2019

What are Honorable Mentions?  They are the quotes, book references, videos, etc that may have been brought up during Sunday’s sermon and are posted here in case somebody would like to check them out.  Please remember that all references occurred within the context of the sermon.  Sermon delivered by Pastor Bryan Hackett. 

Bible References:  Genesis 1:1-31; Revelation 21:1-15; Psalm 92:1-4

Concepts: 

Lectio Divina:  This is just a Latin term for an old monastic way of reading sacred literature.  Richard Rohr describes it this way:  With the first reading, listen with your heart’s ear for a phrase or word that stands out for you. During the second reading, reflect on what touches you, perhaps speaking that response aloud or writing in a journal. Third, respond with a prayer or expression of what you have experienced and what it calls you to. Fourth, rest in silence after the reading. 

Enuma Elish:  The Babylonian creation myth.

Imago Dei:  People in the image of god. Reflecting the beauty of creation back to him.

 

Food for Thought: For Goodness’ Sake

Food for Thought: For Goodness’ Sake

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

For Goodness’ Sake

I woke up thinking about “the good”, and something George has said a few times—that he looks for “the good, the true, and the beautiful”.  What is good? In particular, what is moral goodness? What is virtue? Why is real justice so elusive?

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

The Ten Commandments:

You shall have no other Gods but me.

You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.

Respect your father and mother.

You must not commit murder.

You must not commit adultery.

You must not steal.

You must not give false evidence against your neighbor.

You must not be envious of your neighbor’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.

 

Other codes were developed like The Code of Hammurabi, in pursuit of “the good” or “the just”

Hammurabi ruled from 1792 to 1750 BC according to the Middle chronology. In the preface to the law, he states, “Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.” On the stone slab are 44 columns and 28 paragraphs that contained 282 laws. Some of these laws follow along the rules of “an eye for an eye”.

 Women could also receive punishments that their male counterparts would not, as men were permitted to have affairs with their servants and slaves, whereas married women would be harshly punished for committing adultery. (Wikipedia)

Two lessons of the law in the Bible

-If you have broken one, you are guilty of the whole thing

-The law fails to bring about justice (goodness), and only acts as a restraint

Jesus and the woman caught in adultery: Why this story is central to my vision of wE. (no stones to throw)

  • It represents, for me, the heart of Jesus
  • He must subvert the law to achieve genuine goodness (like many of his followers since)

Then each of them went home, while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.  When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Stoning:          Social ostracization taken to its limit

Nobody was guilty of the actual murder: “I only threw a stone”

With social ostracization, no one person is guilty of the dehumanizing, murderous rejection or hate—each has their reason for the personal choice to exclude.

Jesus instead subverts the “mob mentality” that the law prescribes and turns the exclusion on to the accusers. (It perplexes me that Paul later prescribes such ostracization, though he does say “bring him back before it kills him” in the next letter.)

I think that Jesus really has to struggle towards the good here—it cannot be simply “yep, that is what the Bible says. Go ahead and stone her!”

The people who come “packing the heat” of Scripture feel very justified in their cause.   But the good has totally eluded them.

While the people who feel the injustice struggle, perhaps writing in the sand and reaching for what they know must be the good, even when scripture seems to say otherwise.

Bartolome de las Casas was a young priest who came with Columbus to conquer Cuba, and became a vehement critic of Spanish cruelty (https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/zinncol1.html)

Endless testimonies . .. prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives…. But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then…. The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians…. 

The equality of women was noted by Las Casas, as was the absence of lust.

Marriage laws are non-existent men and women alike choose their mates and leave them as they please, without offense, jealousy or anger. They multiply in great abundance; pregnant women work to the last minute and give birth almost painlessly; up the next day, they bathe in the river and are as clean and healthy as before giving birth. If they tire of their men, they give themselves abortions with herbs that force stillbirths, covering their shameful parts with leaves or cotton cloth; although on the whole, Indian men and women look upon total nakedness with as much casualness as we look upon a man’s head or at his hands.

Point: Their pagan culture had achieved “the good” in very different, but workable, ways.

Honorable Mentions: Hope Springs Eternal, May 5, 2019

Honorable Mentions: Hope Springs Eternal, May 5, 2019

What are Honorable Mentions?  They are the quotes, book references, videos, etc that may have been brought up during Sunday’s sermon and are posted here in case somebody would like to check them out.  Please remember that all references occurred within the context of the sermon.  Sermon delivered by Pastor Bryan Hackett. 

Books: Searching for Sunday—loving, leaving, and finding the church, by Rachel Held Evans.

Epilogue:  We have come to the final chapter, and I write it, appropriately enough, just before dawn on a Sunday morning. The house is quiet and the windows are dark. Dan snores in the room across the hall while I patter away at the keyboard, one last all-nighter before I finally send this book to the publisher. There’s this mockingbird that’s been singing from about midnight to three in the morning like she’s got the New York Philharmonic behind her, and I can’t for the life of me figure out what’s up with her, if singing loud into the night while the rest of the world roosts means she knows something important about the darkness that the rest of us don’t. I wonder what she sees. 

But even the mockingbird has grown silent at this dark, heavy hour when the night stretches out like an inky ocean and it’s heard to remember the colors of day. I find myself wondering if every generation of Christians has felt itself at the edge of this precipice, waiting for resurrection and worrying it might not come. Perhaps every pilgrim in search of church has wondered if it’s a lifetime of feeling his way through the dark, longing for light.

But if I’ve learned anything in this journey, both in writing this book and clumsily living its content, it’s that Sunday morning sneaks up on us—like dawn, like resurrection, like the sun that rises a ribbon at a time. We expect a trumpet and a triumphant entry, but as always, God surprises us by showing up in ordinary things; in bread, in wine, in water, in words, in sickness, in healing, in death, in a manger of hay, in a mother’s womb, in an empty tomb. Church isn’t some community you join or some place you arrive. Church is what happens when someone taps you on the shoulder and whispers in your ear, Pay attention, this is holy ground; God is here.

Even here, in the dark, God is busy making all things new.

So show up. Open every door. At the risk of looking like a fool buried with his feet facing the East or like a mockingbird singing stubbornly at the night, anticipate resurrection. It’s either just around the bend or a million miles away. Or perhaps it’s somewhere in between. Let’s find out together.

The Orthodox Heretic, by Peter Rollins:

Parables subvert this desire to make faith simple and understandable. They do not offer the reader clarity, for they refuse to be captured in the net of a single interpretation and instead demand our eternal return to their words, our wrestling with them, and our puzzling over them. (page 19, “Turning the Other Cheek”).

Quotes:

Holding to the Great Form, from Tao Te Ching

Holding to the Great Form

 All pass away.

They pass away unharmed, resting in Great Peace,

It is for food and music that the passing traveler stops.

When the Tao appears from its opening

It is so subtle, it has no taste.

Look at it, you cannot see it.

Listen, you cannot hear it.

Use it

You cannot exhaust it.

 

Food for Thought: Socratic Humility and Jesus, May 1, 2019

Food for Thought: Socratic Humility and Jesus, May 1, 2019

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

Socratic Humility—Is it Christian too?

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.” (Socrates, as reported by Plato)

 Plato wrote about him. Socrates “went around talking to people”

“When told that the Oracle of Delphi had revealed to one of his friends that Socrates was the wisest man in Athens, he responded not by boasting or celebrating, but by trying to prove the Oracle wrong.”

By asking questions to expose ignorance in a quest for true wisdom.

Socrates seemed to think that the people around him could help him acquire the knowledge he so desperately wanted—even though they were handicapped by the illusion that they already knew it.  Indeed, I believe that their ill-grounded confidence was precisely what drew Socrates to them.  If you think you know something, you will be ready to speak on the topic in question.  You will hold forth, spout theories, make claims.  And that, combined with Socrates’ relentless questioning, is a recipe for actually acquiring the knowledge you had previously deluded yourself into thinking you already had.  Socratic Humility, Agnes Collard, July 3, 2018

“…handicapped by the illusion that they already knew it” This is probably my core answer to the questions, “Why mystery? Why unknowing?” I have seen that handicap, lived it, spouted it out. Ignorance is bliss. Unknowing is terrifying.

Relentless questioning: “a recipe for actually acquiring the knowledge you had previously deluded yourself into thinking you already had.”

Jesus is the Question—I wish I had thought of the book title!

Contrary to some common assumptions, Jesus is not the ultimate Answer Man, but more like the Great Questioner. In the Gospels Jesus asks many more questions than he answers. To be precise, Jesus asks 307 questions. He is asked 183 of which he only answers 3. Asking questions was central to Jesus’ life and teachings. In fact, for every question he answers directly he asks—literally—a hundred.

Confronting the Pharisees (well-regarded religious leaders of the day) “illusion that they already knew”

Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”  Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?”  Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

Helping us confront the illusion that we already know…

“This is why I speak to [people] in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”

Parables have the power to overturn religious (and other) certainties, to disrupt and disturb a comfortable and confident worldview.

At one point, just before his death, the disciples expressed a relief of great frustration that he was finally “speaking plainly” and not in figures of speech (parables, metaphors, etc.)

Even then he indicated that they did not know what they thought they knew!

Honorable Mentions: Ascension, April 28, 2019

Honorable Mentions: Ascension, April 28, 2019

What are Honorable Mentions?  They are the quotes, book references, videos, etc that may have been brought up during Sunday’s sermon and are posted here in case somebody would like to check them out.  Please remember that all references occurred within the context of the sermon.  Sermon delivered by Pastor Bryan Hackett. 

Bible References:  John 16:7; John 16:12; John 20:17; Acts 1: Ephesians 4:8

Quotes:  Labeling a mystery may give the illusion of understanding it. Naming a problem does help us focus our attention, but labeling a problem only identifies the problem and does not increase our understanding in any way.”–Unable to verify origin of this quote.

Definitions:  Tao, This term, which was variously used by other Chinese philosophers, has special meaning within the context of Taoism, where it implies the essential, unnamable process of the universe.

Honorable Mentions, Easter 2019

Honorable Mentions, Easter 2019

What are Honorable Mentions?  They are the quotes, book references, videos, etc that may have been brought up during Sunday’s sermon and are posted here in case somebody would like to check them out.  Please remember that all references occurred within the context of the sermon.  Sermon delivered by Pastor Bryan Hackett. 

Bible References:  John 20:15-18

Quotes:  “fall through fear into love”–Cynthia Borgeault

“It is ultimately love that believes the resurrection.”–N.T.Wright

N.T. Wright recounts this story:  You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin. Many years ago, he was one of the most powerful men on earth. A Russian Communist leader, he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. He was the editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today.

“The communist lecturer paused before summing up. His large audience listened fearfully. ‘Therefore,’ he said, ‘there is no God; Jesus Christ never existed; there is no such thing as a Holy Spirit. The Church is an oppressive institution, and anyway it’s out of date. The future belongs to the State; and the State is in the hands of the [Communist] Party’.

“He was about to sit down when an old priest near the front stood up. ‘May I say two words?’ he asked. (It’s three in English, but he was of course speaking Russian). The lecturer, disdainfully, gave him permission. He turned, looked over the crowd, and shouted: ‘Christ is risen!’ Back came the roar of the people: ‘He is risen indeed!’ They had been saying it every Easter for a thousand years; why should they stop now?

“They weren’t just whistling in the dark. The gospel message of Easter is the complete answer to tyranny”

Food for Thought: Descent, April 17, 2019

Food for Thought: Descent, April 17, 2019

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

Descent

Become like children:

At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.  Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.” 

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

I would suggest that the ego, the false self, is incapable, for he is hell-bent on ascent. However, this is completely natural for the true self. She knows how, for she learned it as a child before anything else took place.

Shadow work: Descent into grief; honesty with sadness, fear, and anger. (“liminal space”)

Because we have avoided liminal space, we have created a very smug and middle-class kind of Christianity that has little wisdom or compassion to offer the world today.

In liminal space we sometimes need to not-do and not-perform according to our usual successful patterns. We actually need to fail, fast, and deliberately falter to understand other dimensions of life. We need to be silent instead of talking, experience emptiness instead of fullness, anonymity instead of persona, and pennilessness instead of plenty. In liminal space, we descend and intentionally do not come back out or up immediately.

From Sunday: “You must fall through fear into love.”

 Notre Dame: Cross still stands. Tragedy unites a city, even the world for a moment. A very real “descent” for Holy week.

Liturgy: It can’t be carried alone

  • Bell is rung for a moment of silence
  • Reading: Lamentations 3:1-20 with reflection
  • Grief ritual
    • “I am sad that…” Response: “We hear you”
    • “I fear that…” Response: “We hear you”
    • “I am angry that…” Response: “We hear you”
    • Call and response:

Call (Bryan):                           Take pity on me, God, I am in trouble.

Response (everyone):              My life is worn out with sorrow.

  • Reading: Luke 23:27-33 with reflection
  • Bell is rung three times for a closing prayer sit
  • Prayer for healing and forgiveness

 

Honorable Mentions: Ebenezer and Mary, April 14, 2019

Honorable Mentions: Ebenezer and Mary, April 14, 2019

What are Honorable Mentions?  They are the quotes, book references, videos, etc that may have been brought up during Sunday’s sermon and are posted here in case somebody would like to check them out.  Please remember that all references occurred within the context of the sermon.  Sermon delivered by Pastor Bryan Hackett. 

Bible References:  Moses and the Burning Bush, Exodus 3; Samuel and Ebenezer, 1 Samuel 7:12; Mary Magdelene Luke 8:2-3; Mark 16:9-12; Mark 15:10; Matthew 27:56; John 19:25; Luke 23:49

Quotes:  

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. –Isaac Newton

In this universe, there is one great energy, and we have no name for it.–Alan Watts, Zen Buddhist

The Tao which can be defined is not the real Tao–The Tao Te Ching

Beauty is truth, truth beauty, —that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know – Keats, from the poem “Ode to a Grecian Urn”

The original signification of the sacred stone is well illustrated by the account of the one at Beth-el (Gen. xxviii.). Jacob slept with a stone for a pillow and dreamed that the Lord addressed him. When he awoke he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not”; then he anointed the stone, or, in other words, rendered an offering to it. This belief in a maẓẓebah, or in a stone, as the habitation of a deity is spread throughout the world, and even the designation “Beth-el.” was adopted among the Greeks and Romans, under the forms βαιτύλιον and “bætulus,” to denote a stone of this character. –From The Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906, which goes on to say that even the worship of sacred stones was widespread among Semitic people.

Other References:  Link to the blog post by Cynthia Borgeault of April 12, 2019 https://cac.org/dying-and-rising-2019-04-12/

Christ means Anointed, by Cynthia Borgeault

[Mary Magdalene’s anointing of Jesus] provides a powerful ritual access point to Christianity’s own deepest transformative wisdom. To begin with, it makes it virtually impossible to experience the Paschal Mystery in any other way than as an act of redemptive love. When Mary Magdalene is returned to her traditional role as the anointer of Jesus, a very important symmetry is also restored. We see that Jesus’s passage through death is framed on either side by her parallel acts of anointing. At Bethany she sends him forth to the cross wearing the unction of her love. And on Easter morning he awakens to that same fragrance of love as she arrives at the tomb with her spices and perfumes, expecting to anoint his body for death. He has been held in love throughout his entire passage.

As Bruce Chilton succinctly summarizes: “She connects his death and Resurrection.” [1] And she accomplishes this precisely by bracketing the entire experience in the parallel rituals of anointing. In so doing, Chilton adds, “Mary Magdalene established the place of anointing as the central ritual in Christianity, recollecting Jesus’s death and pointing forward to his resurrection.”

But what is it that she is actually pointing forward to? What is this Paschal journey from a wisdom standpoint? In the common understanding, Christianity has tended to view the resurrection as Jesus’s triumph over physical death. But for Christians in the wisdom tradition (who include among their ranks the very earliest witnesses to the resurrection) its meaning lies in something far deeper than merely the resuscitation of a corpse. Jesus’s real purpose in this sacrifice was to wager his own life against his core conviction that love is stronger than death, and that the laying down of self which is the essence of this love leads not to death, but to life…Thus, the real domain of the Paschal Mystery is not dying but dying-to-self. It serves as the archetype for all of our personal experiences of dying and rising to new life along the pathway of kenotic transformation, reminding us that it is not only possible but imperative to fall through fear into love because that is the only way we will ever truly know what it means to be alive.

Within the context of the resurrection, then, anointing becomes the ritual most closely associated with the passage from death of self to fullness of life, from egoic alienation to “union on a higher plane.” As such, it conveys the very essence of Christianity’s transformative wisdom.

Food For Thought: One Suchness, April 10, 2019

Food For Thought: One Suchness, April 10, 2019

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

One “Suchness”

And perhaps a little about death.

 VIDEO: Alan Watts, You’re It. (Link to the video is at the bottom of the post)

Some of the same idea I think is being conveyed with the Universal Christ, from a Buddhist perspective.   Alan Watts grew up Christian (“Muscular Christian”—yes, sadly, a very real thing), became an Episcopal Priest, and then left to study in Eastern schools of philosophy and theology.  

“In this universe, there is one great energy, and we have no name for it.”  If you are willing and able, resist the initial urge to say, “YES WE DO!” (Or, perhaps, “what a bunch of crap!”)  

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”  Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.

From this came the deeply Hebrew tradition of not speaking the name of God.  Some of the mystics have said that the “YHWH” spelling is the sound of breathing—something we all “speak” continually. A nameless, inherent energy of life.  SO, even when we give a name to it or a part of it, we are supposed to remember the nameless-ness.

The Tao which can be defined is not the real Tao  

“When people say ‘God the Father Almighty’, most people feel funny inside”. Do you think the entity in the burning bush is aware of the pitfalls that come with the name that Moses asks for?  

One “suchness”: Ten thousand functions, ten thousand things, one suchness.  I will leave the rest of the video for our community discussion. I hesitate to direct further.

Preview YouTube video You’re It – Alan Watts