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."


Can rocks teach wisdom?

The rock in this picture is quite unique. I picked it up last weekend, when my wife Martina and I visited an old zinc mine in northern New Jersey.
    A jovial retired miner led us underground. “All this gray rock around you,” he informed us, “is Franklin Marble which formed at the bottom of the sea about one billion years ago.” He said it with casual nonchalance but it took my breath away. That piece of rock alone is thousands upon thousands times older than so many of our fundamentalist compatriots reckon for the entire universe! If we visualized the age of this rock (one billion years) as one mile (distance From Rutgers church to Madison Avenue), the entire history of human civilization (about eleven thousand years) will fit into a little more than the last half-inch! The age of the rock alone inspires respectful reverence and reminds us of our human dimensions.
    But as you can see, this rock has also some special properties. It fluoresces and shines! While this marble rock was formed at the bottom of a sea, volcanoes erupted nearby and deposited a treasure trove of minerals. Over long aeons of time these minerals formed rich seams and veins of ores. Under a UV lamp those mineral come alive. Ordinary gray rock is suddenly intersected and crisscrossed with neon colors. It is not only a bright visualization of rock formation and ore geology, but also a surprising, beautiful and awe inspiring show. Down underground, in the New Jersey mine, we experienced first hand why the book of Job perceives the rocks under our feet as capable and bright teachers of divine wisdom.
    As we continue celebrating powerful mysteries of nature, come this Sunday to search and celebrate divine Wisdom (reverence, curiosity and beauty) hidden in rocks and ores.

Layers of minerals and ores shine under UV light in Sterling Mine Museum, NJ.

And here is my (paraphrase) translation of first verses of Job 28:

Surely, silver has its deposits,
    and there are places where people pan for gold.
Iron is produced from iron-ore,
    and rocks are smelted into copper.

People overcome the darkness,
    they search the furthest corners,
        obscure rocks, in the shadows of death.
They dig shafts away from human paths,
    alone they descend underground,
        on ropes swinging back and forth.

The same earth, which gives us bread,
    below is turned upside-down as if by fire.
In its rocks are deposits of precious stones,
    and in its dust are flakes of gold.

It is a path unknown to birds of prey,
    eyes of falcons have never seen it.
Lion cubs have never trod that path,
    nor adult lions have ever hunted there.

People reach deep into the hardest rock,
    upturn the very roots of mountains.
They cut tunnels into the cliffs,
    in their search for precious things.
They even stop the water seeping in,
    hidden treasures they bring to light.


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