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."


Holy Mountain?

On this video you can see remains after an Ancient Hawaiian industrial operation near the summit of Mauna Kea.
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What has been happening on Mauna Kea has been fascinating for any student of ancient and modern religion. "Protectors of Mauna Kea" can serve as an illustration example of the use of religion for political (nationalistic) ends.
My academic qualification has been in the study of the Ancient Near East bronze age religion (more specifically Ugaritic Mythology). Over the last decade (unable to travel to Syria) I have been studying Hawaiian religion. I visited Hawaii more than a dozen times and even started to learn the Hawaiian language to better understand the cultural and religious mentality. 
I have also visited the summit region of Mauna Kea a number of times and I know that there are geologic features closely associated with the Hawaiian deities and religion. To the best of my knowledge there were never any signs of ancient (pre-contact) religious structures in the summit area.
At the same time I know that the mountain was NOT untouchable and ancient Hawaiians (still living in stone age) used the summit region for a major mining operation - quarrying hard basalt rock for their tools (mostly adzes). Substantial mine dumps (tailings or spoil tips) near the summit can be still observed. On this video is a mine dump the size of about 5.8 acres and the total area with signs of mining covers about 100 acres! By the way - this can serve as a prime example of the environmental impact of even the stone age cultures!
Ancient Hawaiians used the mountain for a major industrial operation (within the context of their technology) and modern Hawaiians are in the process of turning it into an untouchable holy mountain and making it into a substitute issue to voice their political, national and religious grievances.
This is how religions evolve, morph and transform and respond to ideological demands, how holy mountains are born.
#Hawaii #MaunaKea #HawaiianReligion

Close look at refuse chips from pre-production of adzes.
An example of one smaller outlaying workshop with tailings of basalt chips.


Colorful Pearls

This Sunday we will listen to an enigmatic commandment of Jesus not to throw pearls before swine.   
    While researching the subject I learned that the knowledge of pearls came to the Mediterranean and the Western World quite late with the conquest of Alexander the Great from today’s Iran and India.
    The English word for a pearl came from Latin perla. But the more common Latin name for pearl was margarita which came from the Greek ho margarites which itself was a loan word from old Persian marvarit.
    The luster of pearls led to Italian, French and Spanish names for daisies (le margherite, les marguerites, las margaritas) and eventually gave name to a famous Mexican tequila drink the Margarita. 
    From Iran and its old Persian word through the Mediterranean all the way to the popular Mexican alcoholic drink - This is how our world is interconnected. If we ever sent all English words to their original homes, the English language would lose about 3/4 of its vocabulary and a substantial part of its grammar.
    Diversity, borrowing and distant integration is not only a feature of languages and peoples. The entire world is like a beautiful and colorful pearl, diverse and interlaced, immeasurably complex and beautifully simple.
    So, don’t throw pearls before swine! Join us this Sunday as we embrace and celebrate the beautiful diversity of our world and the original and surprising meaning of this often misunderstood Jesus’ commandment.


Precious Light

When Jesus said to his followers, “You are the light of the world” have you ever wondered how it might look? 
      On this picture is an oil lamp, a replica of an old terracotta lamp from the biblical period. It gave very little light. Thus in wealthy households they would use a number of lamps or alternatively they had lamps with several wicks and flames.
      We live in an age of relatively affordable electricity. One flip of a switch floods the space with light. One faint electrical bulb would need to be replaced with tens of oil lamps and cost would be prohibitive! Using an oil lamp will cost you a hundreds time more not to mention the side effects of soot and smell. In ancient times only rich people could afford a decent light. 
      When Jesus said to his disciples you are the light of the world - he also said to them, in God’s eyes you are precious. Join us in worship this Sunday when we look deeper into this beautiful and rich metaphor.


Silly Salt?

Can salt be silly? Jesus certainly thought so! He said to his followers, “You are the salt of the world.” thus lifting up and validating his disciples. But he also gave them a warning - “You are the salt of the world, but don’t be silly salt!” Silly, stupid, moronic salt was the one which lost its purpose.
For a number of years I have been collecting my own salt  and I can relate to it. (H
ere I wrote more about it.)

             Salt certainly has a spiritual and even a metaphysical dimension. It is spiritually transformative to collect one’s own salt and then use it to spice up food and life, and at the same time to be aware of salt as an offering and an apotropaic (evil-repelling) agent.
             In Jesus’ time salt also had a sharp social justice (fair taxation) edge. Many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen and they depended on affordable salt to preserve their catch. They struggled with salt monopolies and unjust taxation. (This may be from a different time and land, but remember for instance Gandhi's Salt March!)
             And these days we can extend the activism of salt into eco-justice. It is widely reported that sea salt is polluted with microplastic and table salt is produced with potentially harmful nanoparticles. From our current experience we can relate to Jesus’
concern for the purity of salt.

“You ARE the salt of this world,” Jesus says to us, “So, don’t be silly!” And thus we join in worship and activism to strive for the spiritual, social and environmental common good.