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."


Leina - The Place of Leaping

Ka-Lae, also known as South Point in Hawaii, is a special place. Some people travel there to visit the green beach with sand almost entirely composed of the little crystals of semiprecious olivine. Other people go there to visit the southernmost place of the entire United States. Anthropologists arrive to study the oldest human settlement of the Hawaiian archipelago. Locals, just like those ancient people, come to fish. Naturalists search in the flooded brackish caves for the yet undiscovered shrimp
        And young people are irresistibly attracted by the cliff from which they dive down to the aquamarine ocean 40 feet beneath. Little do they know that they reenact an ancient archetype. In the oldest traditions this was one of the places from which departing souls jumped beyond this world. Clearly departing souls share something together with daring and raucous youngsters - at least the thrill of jumping. The first group dives into the ocean beneath and the other into the dramatic sunset beyond. 
     This Sunday is called Ascension Sunday. The Biblical text for this holiday is from the book of Acts. It tells a similarly strange and captivating story about Jesus departing heavenwards. Come to dive from everydayness into the thrills and challenges of this rich religious metaphor.
       And if you want to share your summer spiritual experiences, join our Summer Log.


More than clockwork, more than prejudice!

Suppose you walk across a heath and there, on the path, you find a pocket watch. What would be your first thought? “Poor fellow!” You might think and, “Is there a way it might be returned?” These thoughts clearly do not come naturally to some religious types. An Anglican clergyman William Paley wanted us to believe that the first thoughts would turn to the identity of a watchmaker. In 1802 he wrote an entire book about it.
    Paley argued, and after him many fundamentalists up until today, that just as a found pocked watch presupposes a watchmaker, so thus the order in nature proves the existence of God. Firstly, this whole argument, as we have seen, is built upon an unnatural, stilted story. But beyond this funny premise, the whole analogy is false and seriously flawed because it compares living nature to a nonliving machine. Such an analogy is not only logically flawed, it is also arrogant and seriously dangerous. Thinking along these lines (nature is just like some man-made machine) has brought our civilization to the brink of ecological disaster.
    But Paley’s argument betrays also his pitiably insecure faith. Arguing the existence of God from the miracles of nature is unfair to nature and unfair to God. Living faith does not need any proof of divine existence and even less arguments from our ignorance. The beauty and complexity of nature are far more than just crutches for insecure religion.
    When you find a lost pocket watch on a heath, please, forget about watchmakers and bring it to the lost and found. And when you are awestruck by the intricate beauty of nature, please, forget dim-witted arguments about divine existence and instead pause for a moment and allow your heart to be filled with divine songs of insight and joy.


Alien theology

“Would we baptise Martians?” asked Pope Francis this Tuesday in his homily, instantly grabbing the attention of the media. "If - for example - tomorrow an expedition of Martians came, and some of them came to us, here... Martians, right? Green, with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them... And one says, 'But I want to be baptised!' What would happen?" But this was certainly more than a publicity stunt! It was a radical prophetic gesture of inclusion. 
When my family and I came to America, we were officially labeled “Resident Aliens” (that is really official terminology!) and we are not even green! Frankly it was and still is quite unsettling when you consider how aliens are often portrayed and treated in American films. 
Every true, spiritual, prophetic religion asks questions, opens our minds and the circles of our inclusion. This Sunday our youth are preparing and leading our worship. For the homily they picked the marvelously challenging parable of The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Structural and rhetorical analysis of this parable makes it quite clear - while the main focus is on the younger “prodigal” son, the open end of this narrative parable forces the audience (us!), to identify with the older, the responsible, and the angry son. That is the only role open for us, the church people and well-pampered New Yorkers. The open end of the story leaves us with a burning and challenging question: How broad a circle of divine grace are we willing to draw? How alien could our aliens be? Resident aliens? Nonresident aliens? Undocumented aliens? Aren’t we alienating ourselves from divine grace, if we attempt to limit and curtail the divine grace? 
Yours sincerely, Resident Alien