A Request and Previews

Our intrepid Managing editor for the Patheos Pagan Channel, Dr. Christine Hoff Kraemer, has suggested to me that, in order to avoid burnout, it might be wise not to try to make a major contribution to world literature, theology, and philosophy with every blog. I can see that. It's okay just to chat once in a while.Now, I do have a request. If those among my readers who are college teachers or who otherwise hold a prestigious position that might impress our Dean might be so kind as to post a … [Read more...]

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On the Nature of the Gods

[These are thoughts based on my own Awakening experiences and on Alan Watts’ explication of  The Cloud of Unknowing. These are not “Gospel truth,” but instead are insights from what I myself have experienced, leaving out all the footnotes, qualifications, and conditionals, for the sake of clarity. I’ll be happy to discuss details and fine tuning later. By the way, I think it relevant that the Greek anastasis means both “resurrection” and “Awakening,” and that the Hebrew death means both “knowledg … [Read more...]

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Rodin and Claudel

                        And God will pardon Paul Claudel                         Although he sent Camille to hell.   Artists sleep with their models and paint Their lovers, fall in love and fall again. Women are always in their lives. Art needs love, as life needs rain.   When he ascends to that white-hot space Where the Gods control his hands, Prudence (that rich, ugly old maid) Does not exist in his universe. Painting after painting flows through his fingers When he turns from his … [Read more...]

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Another Song of Innocence: The Kitten

My loyal readers may have noticed that I like William Blake a lot. In his first major collection, the Songs of Innocence and Experience, each poem about Innocence is paired with one about Experience. His best-known poem, The Tyger, is paired with one about a lamb. I've never thought it was a good pairing; not symmetric aenough. So I thought I'd try to improve on it. Please note that I am here playing with Blake's concepts and vocabulary. This was dedicated to Terry Seamons, on Buddha’s birthday, … [Read more...]

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A Dialogue of Angels

What existed before the beginning? “Before” and “beginning” are irrelevant.Time is not primordial, nor is space or matter or energy.Then why is there something rather than nothing? If nothing existed, we would not exist to know that nothing.Yet nothing exists if it is unknown. Therefore nothing, being unknown, cannot exist; therefore something exists.You’re playing with words. That is how it all began, by playing with words. In the beginning, there is … [Read more...]

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On Being Outside All the Boxes

Having been working (for a long time) on a novel about the same alternative universe as in my Goddess Murder, I have been looking for books on Mary Magdalene, the Gnostics, and suchlike. Recently I found Secrets of Mary Magdalene. Don’t be put off by the title. It is a well-balanced anthology of interviews with and essays by the leading scholars, largely women, of Gnosticism, early Christianity, and related fields, and by women novelists, not the hack writers whose forgettable novels clutter l … [Read more...]

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“History” — Part III

Canon   15. Innocence: The Sorceress Blake told you and told you: you never heard.There's only the single speechless word.It verberates your wordy skies,It multiplies your bawdy ground.As sound is unified with word,The Lord is unified with sound. I am She who dances on the faceOf the waters, ignorant of light.Over, ever, harrowing your rock,I dance the clothless customs of the air.I swing my heels in demption's tree,I toss you d … [Read more...]

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“History” — Part II

[For an overview of this poem and its complete title, please see the previous blog.]Second Theme 7. Sunlight When the whirled is all inhuman Flower, what can I say To the angel flaming Flower-spectrumed in Eden? Shall I ask this angel Who's got my mind in hock, Who burns my eyeballs green, Who strips the gears of my soul Naked, for wisdom? No, It's the always instant Of knowing nakedness That makes us men. When self Begins to speak again, the leaf Will mean again, and … [Read more...]

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“History” — Part I

In December 1963 I had a spontaneous series of altered states that lasted for about three weeks. In the center of it was an ecstatic conversion experience much like what had happened to me at age 14. Most people have no idea that such an experience is even possible. Those who do know about it think that it is always a conversion from one set of beliefs or faith community to another. In my case, and I think in many historical cases, it was a conversion from ignorance to knowledge. Belief became … [Read more...]

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A History of the Craft in America: The Council of Earth Religions and the Green Egg Yellow Pages

[I apologize to my dedicated readers. It has been rough. I plan to resume posting something almost every day.]Tim Zell’s discussions with the groups he had visited in California in August 1972 established the basis for dividing the Council of Themis into two separate organizations; hence various groups formed the new Council of Earth Religions on August 31, 1972. COER represented a continuation of the effort to find a way to create a national networking organization for Pagan religions. The C … [Read more...]

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