About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."



Last year my family spent Thanksgiving in Hawaii. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving we went to a local mainline protestant church. It was an eye-opening experience, but in a totally new way. Let me explain:
    The Thanksgiving sermon opened with a long introduction about the foliage season in New England. This introduction was necessary, we were told, because Hawaii did not have seasons. The body of the sermon was a re-shaking of all those made-up patriotic tales about Puritans and Indians and the culinary symbolism of their shared foods. This sermonizing was necessary, we were told, because thanksgiving was not a local Hawaiian custom and thus the local people needed yearly reminders. And finally a connection was made between New England Puritans, Indians, Missionaries and Hawaiians, ending on a happy note of a benign coexistence of peoples around the carved turkey, spooned stuffing and poured gravy.
    The church service was happy, cozy, conflict-free, predictable... but completely wrong, because untrue! I knew that much because we visit Hawaii not only for its beaches but primarily to learn more about this unique land and its people. Of course Hawaii does have well pronounced seasons - But those seasons do not look like those in New England! Of course native Hawaiians knew thanksgiving long before the first missionaries came introducing turkeys and pumpkins, they knew thanksgiving even before the first Puritans ever landed in New England - But they celebrated it with different produce, different dishes, different rituals, and on different, season-appropriate, dates! Of course churches should vigorously strive for peaceful coexistence between cultures and peoples - But this cannot be accomplished by repetition of made-up tales in a phony attempt to mask painful historic wounds.
    The utter absurdity of that Sunday service opened my eyes to the true nature of thanksgiving. I realized what thanksgiving was not. Thanksgiving is not about any particular date or climatic season, it is not about made up tales, it is not about what is on the table, it is not about any particular produce or dish, it is not about any specific cultural customs. The essence of thanksgiving transcends cultures, peoples, religions. Come this Sunday to search together for this universal essence of thanksgiving: the result is surprising, challenging and deeply true.

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