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."


Protect Uncontacted Tribes!

In the entire world there are only several dozens of so called uncontacted peoples. Those are tribes or communities who are living their lives in almost complete isolation especially without contact with the outside modern civilization. Recently one of these tribes made it into the world news, when they forcefully defended their independence (unfortunately killing the willfully ignorant intruder).  
    These peoples are survival experts. Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 killed a quarter of a million people all around them yet they survived without any major problems. On the other hand they are vulnerable to the dangers coming to them from the outside human world in the form of prospectors, hunters, pillagers and unfortunately also Christian missionaries.
    Governments and anthropologists have very good reasons for protecting these uncontacted peoples. For instance, in their oral culture all the knowledge is being memorized and passed from generation to generation. If elders, carrying that information, die prematurely, almost an entire treasure of knowledge can be lost. If the chain of oral transmission is compromised, for instance if a concept of writing is introduced carelessly - substantial parts of the accumulated knowledge can be also lost forever.
    This is just one anthropological reason for protecting these peoples. There are other political, medical, linguistic but also biblical and theological reasons why they should be left alone as long as they want. And even after some of them express their desire to establish contacts, they should be further protected from abuse.
    It is well established that it is our obligation and in our own interest to keep and protect the beauty and diversity of nature, the life on our planet. That should certainly include in it the beauty and diversity of human languages, experiences and cultures. 
The Bay of Bengal with the North Sentinel Island indicated by an arrow.
A small speck (roughly of the size of two Manhattans) next to the much larger Andaman Islands.



The Hebrew Bible orders, in a way, the celebration of three thanksgiving feasts each year. Well, these celebrations are not called Thanksgivings but that was their original nature and purpose.
    In the Hebrew Bible there are these three oldest and most important holidays. Pesach (Passover) was in remembrance of the exodus from Egypt and the liberation from slavery. Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks, Pentecost in Greek) was in remembrance of the Gift of Torah on Sinai and the celebration of the divine Law and directions for the religious as well as social life. And Sukkoth (the Feast of Tabernacles) was to remind the people of the journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land and the care and protection of the pilgrims and refugees.
    But among the Biblical scholars and Anthropologists there is an overwhelming consensus and almost no doubt that these theological explanations are only secondary. These three oldest Hebrew holidays had in fact deep agrarian roots. Passover was originally a pastoral celebration of lambing and preparation for a transmigration from winter to summer pastures. Shavuot/Pentecost was a celebration of cereal harvest and Sukkoth/Tabernacles was a celebration of vine/grape and olive harvest.
    Yearly agricultural celebrations were married with pivotal events of faith. In this union they were mutually strengthened, given purpose and a deeper meaning. Thus the Biblical Thanksgivings (Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles) not only give thanks, they want us to remember and be inspired with the message of liberty, justice, and mutual care. Join us this Sunday to celebrate thanksgiving(s) in this spirit.


Samaritan Neighbours

In Monty Python’s Life of Brian, almost at the very end of the film, in the crucifixion scene, is this strange and memorable exchange:

It is not as crazy as it might seem, it is actually quite historically and religiously accurate, like so many other parts of this comedy.
    Samaritans and Jews did hate each other. Their prejudice was mutual and deeply rooted, and just like any other deeply seated prejudice it indeed went beyond the grave.   
    I cannot go into any details of this complicated and convoluted history, but it can be helpful to observe that just like so many other sworn enemies, Samaritans and Jews shared a lot of commonalities. They had almost identical ethic roots, religious roots and they even shared the same, almost identical, holy books. Yet, they considered each other as heretics, apostates, and bastards (impure, mixed, inferior race).
    Their hostility flared up repeatedly into violence. Samaritans sided with mortal enemies of the Jews and Jews payed them back by destroying Samaritan holy temples as soon as they could (just a few generations before Jesus - around 110 BCE).
    Both groups were minuscule players on the world scene, but they kept denouncing each other to the superpowers of their times: to Persians, Alexander the Great, the Seleucid Syrian kings, to the Romans, to Byzantines...
    They are the prime example of ancient sworn intolerance, prejudice, bigotry and racism.
And as such, they can help us to deal with intolerance, prejudice, bigotry and racism in our own times. On Tuesday of this week the FBI published an official 2018 report on hate crime in our American society. There has been a spike in US hate crimes for the third year in a row. No surprise there, all hate crime increased substantially in the last three years, but religious and racial crimes increased by dozens of percent.
    This Sunday we will look for inspiration and support to Jesus, how he dealt with Jewish Samaritan entrenched religious, ethnic and racial bigotry. We need his divine inspiration, encouragement and support.