Saturday, September 2, 2017

Gott wirt und Gott entwirt

“Gott wirt und Gott entwirt.” That means, “God becomes and God un-becomes,” or translated, it means that “God” is only our name for it, and the closer we get to it, the more it ceases to be God. So then you are on a real safari with the wildness and danger and otherness of God. And I think when you begin to get a sense of the depth that is there, then your whole heart wakens up. I mean I love Irenaeus’s thing from the second century, which said, “The glory of God is the human being fully alive.”

John O’Donahue, from an interview with Krista Tippett, On Being, “The Inner Landscape of Beauty


  1. Dear Beth,
    your recent postings and the links provide a rewarding experience of reading and reflection. what i started casually, now i read continually!
    top of the mind is the relevance of Thomas Merton to the present day. The other links are good source for contemplative reading.
    I, at the age of 60+, after retirement from service only started to think about subjects coming under spirituality, deliberately. Gary Zukov's remark (in The Dancing Wu Li Masters) that inspite of rich meaning and means to transcend, people do not seem to go beyond symbols. This intrigued me, as a Hindu. then I Picked up to read 'Be As You Are - The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi' by David Godman.
    Earlier to this, at random,with no specific aim, but with an inquisitiveness read a little of Gurdjief,PD Ouspensky.
    Only recently took up to reading the Bible.
    Reza Aslan's "Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth" came my way for reading.
    I just kept going with the flow, reading resources from books and from internet.
    Earlier to it, long ago, I had also read Carl Jung's 'Man and His Symbols' and his advice to us to recognise the value of our sub-consciousness stayed with me. I can't say I studied them, hence a need for reading them again was felt.
    It dawned on me that i myself seem to be a source and all that i must do is separate the seed from the chaff. So it would be with each one of us. That is, instead of trying to follow someone who is outside, rather with their help recognise ourselves as the source. While reading the view of David Ulrich, who has written an article in Parabola and the interviews by Tippet appearing in On Being, i tend to pick up the same notion. And this would be an appropriate response to the urgency we recognise, because it takes time to know from an external agency,comply with what is suggested/recommended and in a way burdensome too.
    I am not able to articulate it fully, but all that i read recently from your postings somehow tells me to treat myself as the teacher to myself, having imbibed the various writings that came my way to read. each one of us may have different combinations of readings, but it is within us.
    It is with inference for the time being i would be continuing to read your postings and sources from other links you provide.
    I sincerely thank you for the kind contribution to my life.

    with regards,
    Anbazhagan SV

    1. I'm a little late getting here! There was a hurricane and all :-) ...

      Thank you so much for commenting, Anbazhagan! It seems that we are on the same wavelength. I, too, dabbled in Gurdjieff and Oespensky back in my early 20s. I've never forgotten them and some time I look back at them and amazed that I grabbed onto them when I was so young.

      Mostly I'm glad to know that there are others who share my own interests and concerns.

      Be well.

  2. LANDSCAPE __________

    winds of silence
    blown all away *

    marker standing
    point direction *

    How then
    such a landscape
    safely crossed *

    foolish question *

    vehicle *

    ______ Blessings

    1. Very good one, bob. Always appreciate your feedback. Like a good koan, you turn me into a better direction. Thanks!

  3. Dear Beth,

    This is a wonderful site. Also, thank you for defending Merton on America: The Jesuit Review. Some of the responses on there were absurd and troubling. It's amazing how many people are still threatened by Merton's undertstandable interest in other religions.

    1. Thanks! I never know how my comments there go over. They seem rather lost in the muddle. I'm rather disheartened by the level of awareness of the Catholics in the pews. Keep remembering how Merton handled it: "I'm off to a new city and I've got to get going." (or something close to that) Thank God for Francis.

    2. Well, again I certainly appreciated your comments and would have commented myself but it was already closed. It's interesting that all of those who had negative comments about Merton resorted to ad hominem attacks on the man, all the dusty old chestnuts-- he had a dalliance with a nurse, he wasn't a real Catholic (a New Age traitor in disguise!), he got a girl pregnant as a young man, yada yada. None of which had anything to do with the article. If they had offered a coherent theological retort to Merton's position then I'd have been all ears, but alas... And one man had the audacity to state that Christ didn't really have a position on war! Well, aside from love thine enemy and pray for those who persecute you... so there's that. So I understand your being disheartened and share the feeling but at the same time I think there are many of us out here who understand where Merton was coming from. Anyway I hope so!

    3. I hope so too. The cyber-world seems to distort the perspective with all the trolls yelling about sin and the like. I hope that they are all dusty old chestnuts too. If I spend too much time wondering about it, I get depressed.


The Stuff of Contemplation (Joan Chittister)

Thomas Merton, Trappist, died December 10, 1968 Thomas Merton entered the Abbey of Gethsemane in Bardstown, Kentucky, at the age of twenty-s...