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."


Healing Community

Thirty years ago I was studying Theology at the New College of the Edinburgh University. The 1st of December was Edinburgh’s first AIDS awareness day. There was a big public campaign going on with buses, billboards and flyers with slogans “AIDS Concerns us ALL” and “Take Care”. 
    I arrived to Edinburgh as an international student from behind the Iron Curtain. Back in Prague we lived in semi isolation, there were few AIDS cases but in Scotland the situation was getting serious. There were more and more diagnosed cases and people were dying of AIDS every day.
    Although the world was changing rapidly around us with the fall of the Berlin wall and the Velvet Revolution in Prague, I could not stay immune to this other strife going on. My fellow theology students as well as congregations of the Church of Scotland where I worshiped faced the challenge of AIDS epidemics like true disciples of Jesus. They advocated for the ostracized, against prejudice, for needle exchanges and free condoms for sex workers. They took to hospitals and fought for proper care for those ill and dying.
    I know from the stories of those who lived through that period here in NYC how even more challenging of a time it was on the other side of the big pond (dark prejudice has its home among some American religious people). UWS presbyterians including our Rutgers Church were on the forefront of this struggle and they strived valiantly against prejudice and for dignity and love. This Sunday, the 1st of December is exactly World AIDS Day. On this day we will remember with sadness, gratitude to God and with hope for brighter times what it meant and still means to be a healing community.



Christ the King - Overcoming toxic divinity

A crucifix on the Charles Bridge in Prague with a (controversial) Hagios in Hebrew.
קדוש  קדוש  קדוש  יהוה צבאות --  Ἅγιος, ἅγιος, ἅγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
There is no doubt that Jesus preached the Kingdom of God. The kingdom he preached was unlike any kingdom of his time or any time, different even from any subsequent forms of government. Jesus not only preached the kingdom, he was also embodying it and living it out by touching and healing the untouchables, by eating with the outcasts, and by bringing hope to all the marginalized. His message and his practice were a challenge and even cardinal offense against all the abusive powers at that time and so as this radical agitator/organizer he was eliminated, he was crucified.    
    This Sunday we celebrate Christ the King and the Gospel reading is about Jesus’ crucifixion. In this contraposition of king and crucifixion is the radical reinterpretation of authority and power is present. It is the beginning of the end of the violent power and the beginning of the end of what we can call toxic divinity.
    Humans build their empires on violent abusive power and humans construct their theologies of supra natural divinity - in its center is the philosophical construct of a god as an abusive patriarchal figure who is an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent supra-natural being. The crucified Christ the king is the major challenge to it, a great opportunity and an open invitation to the radically new spiritual and theological realm of divine radical love, compassion and self-giving. Two thousand years later it is still underappreciated and still radical and seldom heard about: God who rules not by the force of abusive power but by the power of attraction.
    Come and join us in celebrating Christ the King, this new divine paradigm for spirituality and the world.


What Would Jesus Eat?

Jesus would not harm a living thing, right?
     We expect Jesus to be gentle, compassionate, caring and loving, a true physician of our souls and the Universe. But that is not a full picture. In the Bible we hear about few occasions when Jesus got really angry and once even cursed an innocent tree which then withered and died (Mark 11:12-14+20). It is a unique example of a truly arbitrary and brutal miracle. People are shocked and theologians are often lost and left without answers.
    Scholars studying ancient agriculture and economy might have an answer. I would like to illustrate it on my own experience. Twenty years ago we lived for a year in Louisville and we were surrounded with beautiful tobacco plantations - fresh green fields on rolling Kentuckian hills sprinkled with dark red tobacco barns. As peaceful and bucolic as it looked I wanted to curse those fields knowing for what they stood and what they meant - horrible addiction, deceptive, fraudulent advertising, serious medical health problems,  endless suffering and often early deaths.
    Or imagine cotton fields in the American South 200 years ago, in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi. Beautiful, well kept by so well-mannered genteel owners. But all of that southern cotton and plantation culture deserved divine curse, regardless how they looked - because they stood for endless misery and suffering of slavery and racism which lingers until now.
    When Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree I am certain it was for what it represented. It represented the disintegration of society and Judean farming communities. It was a symptom of dispossessed little family farmers who were originally growing food but were replaced by expanding plantations of absentee landlords.
Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree because he was angry over the fate of small family farms and in support of communities growing food for people rather than plantations of cash crops grown for profit.
    This weekend we will welcome again our autumn speakers, this year Ben and Lindsey Shute - our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farmers. Come on Saturday at 2 pm for a presentation and discussion and on Sunday at 11 for worship to talk about their farm and to ask What and How Would Jesus Grow and for us How and What Would Jesus Eat.