A Useful Idea

The word Sabi has changes over the years. Originally is was a slightly longer word in Japanese, the word sabishi. In the simplest terms, that old word meant solitary or lonely. In Wabi Sabi for Writers I traced the development of the word over time and it’s enduring association with wabi. In particular I focused on Basho who I believe coined the shortened word sabi to identify more than just an aesthetic quality. I thought then and still think that Basho used sabi to describe a way to appreciate the pathos of life without descending into despair.

Writers and other creative people who are “sensitive to things” seem particularly vulnerable to despair and much of literature, especially in the19th, 20th, and early 21st century, seems to be about the loss of faith and the descent into nihilism. Sabi may be useful for those of us struggling to make sense of our life in this post-modern world.

Like the history of the word itself, I hope that I can develop a “sabi paradigm” that can entice a person to move from loneliness to a oneliness. Or to use more conventional language from a dualistic materialistic mind set to a non-dual anatheistic mind set.

Summary of 38 Conversations from the Advent of Evolutionary Christianity

In the beginning God was a deep current of tightly folded language. God the code – acorn of infinity.

Then God in God’s non-existence retracted; emptied words from a moment of coherence and something other than God filled the opening. Continues filling. Unravels to this day. We sense the syntax; a structure like logic, but clearer. A clarity only math can approximate. It is distance and movement and paradox; a long gush of death spilling fresh elements and levels of complexity. God being born. Suns birthed in water-soaked nursery clouds and gassy nova deaths full of candle flames. Finally, on earth, humans, several steps up from the goo, look around and see. It’s all really there. The universe comprehending itself in 1400 grams of fatty neurons. Within the convoluted folds, 100 trillion connections*.  Brain as mirror for emergence. Understanding in a transient species. Reality awake.

In the dark, on a cold December evening, I study the sky; feel the emptiness within me, the God hole, odd echo of the lingo before existence. Tongues of the God void pierce me.  Seem to pierce all of existence. Divinity is humble, humble unto death. God the post-natural. A stubborn passivity; the release of all intention. El becomes Un. Stepping back and stepping back and stepping back again. No hands, devoid of grasping, all arrows point towards a self-moving existence. The only constant in the universe: everything changes.

God is silent as writing, curls of cipher on a dancers dress. Within the beyond the universe started. Out of absence came presence. Even the great voids between stars crammed with space. Wrapped in that original wave – everything, even the future. From the future God calls, a paradoxical echo from the deep past. Story drawn forward to some unknown attraction. Data points spill onto a curve we call memory.

One species we know of can transcend and include. Made of mystics and scientists and taxi drivers. And sociopaths and pedophiles. Through Jesus and Buddha and Stalin and Hitler. Evolution is the result of millions of fits and misfits. Even sin and evil now our brothers. Tribes and corporations and mountain monasteries – all imperfect leaves on the Larger Self. The next species, perhaps the one we create, will transform theology to biography.

At the end of time The tree of Reality will fruit. That tree now increasing, layer upon layer of pure information, our essence remembered down to growth rings. The universe will eventually only be a memory in the Trunk’s brain stem; and something we can not taste yet, way out there on the tip of God’s tongue.

*100 Trillion Connections: New Efforts Probe and Map the Brain’s Detailed Architecture By Carl Zimmer, Scientific American, December 29, 2010

Evolution In The Stream

In 2004 I started a website called “Still in the Stream.” The idea was to build upon my books about wabi sabi and explore the wider artistic, philosophical, and lifestyle components to the wabi sabi aesthetic. Then I embarked on my 100 Lakes project and have been focused on that for the past 3 years.

Over Christmas I started listening to the podcast series, Evolutionary Christianity, with guarded interest. The experience has proved to be more stimulating that I had hoped and I am re-energized to explore the confluence of Evolution and Spirituality.

Wabi Sabi has proven to be a deep and consistent set of concepts and values that have some evolutionary echos. The function of this blog will be to explore and record my thoughts on the subject. It will be largely a text-based effort, but I’ll try to include relevant images from time to time.