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."


Glassblowing God

Do you remember your first, or some other powerful childhood wonder? I was born and grew up in the glass-making part of the Czech Republic. My maternal grandfather worked in a glass factory making hardwood molds for glassmakers. I remember watching master craftsmen draw red-glowing blobs of molten glass from infernal ovens and blow them into the most sublime shapes. People call it hand-made glass, but from my youngest age I have known that the finest glass is in fact breath-made.
    It reminds me of a beautiful saying from the Gospel of Philip: “Glass carafe and earthenware jug are both made by means of fire. But if glass carafes break they are done over, for they came into being through a breath. If earthenware jugs break, however, they are destroyed, for they came into being without breath.” I know it is very unlikely to be Jesus’ own saying as blown glass was just appearing at this time and familiarity with glass belonged to a different social class. I also know that this saying from the Gospel of Philip is loaded with self-centered and self promoting sentiments. It was to illustrate the superiority of a glass blowing Christian(Gnostic) God over the Jewish God of the Hebrew Bible who was churning up just pottery... (Jeremiah 18)
    But this lovely metaphor does not need to be an antagonistic replacement, it can also be a genius update of the potter’s parable. The spiritual egotism of this gnostic saying can be eliminated as soon as we recognize The Master Glass-Maker at work not only in the elite group of the elect few, but in the forming and reshaping of the wide open world. After all, don’t volcanoes, with their infrared radiance and subsonic deep rumbling, look like some gigantic ovens? Doesn’t flowing lava look, move and behave much like molten glass? And just like a grain of gold melted in glass makes it ruby-red, or cobalt makes it unmistakably blue, or uranium teal green, so do different gasses, minerals and circumstances change colours and shapes of lava rocks. I guess my fascination with volcanos must have grown from my early childhood wonder.
    Different people have different early encounters with wonder. But the wonder itself is the same. And if we allow this wide-eyed child-like wonder enchantment to stay with us to adulthood, it has spectacular powers to keep our minds nimble, to inspire us, to ground us, and to keep us in harmony inside and outside. Come this Sunday to celebrate this mysterious power of our early wonders.

Glassblowing in Corning, NY and lava flowing near Kalapana, HI

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