Author Archives: juliania2

Wars are not Won by Waging War!

Many thanks to Wendye and Café Babylon for allowing me to post this small piece.

The maori haka is famous for its use at the beginning of rugby games, and sometimes other places as well, such as ceremonies to welcome important visitors to the marae. This particular version, put up by a Russian site no less, is the classic and maybe original haka, though many other types came to be used as tribes moved about New Zealand and took territory or not, often after terrible conflicts with very gruesome outcomes. (ISIS has nothing on our maori ancestors.) Even in the wars with the British, whose weapons one would think vastly superior, maori fought the invaders to a standstill. The Treaty of Waitangi was born out of this, a time when the chiefs met as equals with British officialdom to parlay.

Have a good look at this haka. The words that stand out are: It is death! It is life! The story that goes with this chant is that the original composer, Te Rauparaha, much like the composer of the American anthem, Francis Scott Key, was in prison when he wrote the song, quite literally down in a pit, filling himself with the volition to get out of there, (which I imagine he did.)

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On the Tenth Sunday After Pentecost (A brief soul/spirit study)

This is the day that the Lord has made;
Let us rejoice in it, and be glad.

Today Paul is telling the Christians in Corinth that he serves Christ, and the following struck me, after recently watching ‘The Ciderhouse Rules’ with its intertwined messages about abortion and possible suicide, as well as redemptive selfsacrifice :-

Paul says to the Christian Corinthians:

You are kings…

which the doctor in The Ciderhouse Rules echoes with his

“Goodnight, you kings of New England, you princes of Maine!”

I may have that messed up, apologies for a faulty memory. But I love that message in general; we do love that message to the children, as they chuckle in their beds.

Paul contrasts the apostolic role to that of the ordinary person, saying about the former:

…we have become, and are now, as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all things.

Such is the deeply felt position of all true leaders, all prophets, all saints, all true heroes even of our latter times. It is the burden they carry, as does the doctor in the movie, and in the end, the father who has sinned greatly as well – a burden some souls in our time find too impossibly great and to our sorrow they are taken from us long before we are ready to say goodbye.

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Peter Matthiessen’s “In Paradise”

I have just finished my first reading of this last novel by Peter Matthiessen, and I came online to see what others found and experienced in reading this powerful book.  Most of what I found tells well the subject matter and impact – best described in the various summaries of the work.

What I did not find, and missed not finding it, was a discussion of the questions raised and answers given.  Most reviews seemed to feel the novel gives no answers, and certainly it has that effect upon one in the last pages where one would expect an answer to be found.  But it is a truly beautiful work, and I think it a great shame that the internet seems not to contain, at least so far, meaningful discussion of what it might mean – most reviews found it a stark though compelling compilation of the frailties of the human character and the inadequacy of religion to address such frailties in any meaningful way.  While these are indeed subjects within the text, I find so much more therein that none of the reviews I have found so far have adequately addressed.

I am beginning my second reading.  It is not a long novel – can be read in one night really.  On this forum we’ve discussed many of the issues raised, and they are harsh issues indeed.  To begin with, have a look at ‘Lady with an Ermine’.


The novel begins and ends with this Leonardo Da Vinci painting.

As I explore it for the second time, I would so love to have company on this journey.  It takes us into the mind and heart by means of a mindless, heartless place – Auschwitz.  If that was not hell, then we do not know what hell is.

Come with me and see where we end up.


Into Light: Part Three – From Script Into Lyre

(Part One is here.;  Part Two is here)


(‘david playing his lyre’ by juliania)

Now from ‘a little Plato’ to ‘a little Bible’.  I take a very short cut.  I shall proceed directly to the second writing in the sand by the one often addressed publicly as Teacher by his contemporaries, whose name is Jesus, the name still often heard from our lips, when we feel strongly about something and at the same time feel free with our language.

I find this a remarkable phenomenon, namely, that we occasionally feel free to express what’s in our hearts with his name.  It seems to reveal, in spite of our intentions, that at heart we are not indifferent to him, but rather touched by him — one way or another.  And that I find as something to wonder at after all these centuries.

The writing in the sand takes place in Jerusalem, in the Temple that traces its origin to King Solomon.  Matthew, the writer of the first gospel, also traces the genealogy of Jesus, his bloodline, to exactly the same source, King Solomon.  He does not hesitate to spell it out as follows:  “David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah.”  That is to say, by another man’s wife, whose name is Bathsheba.  I find this an astonishing prelude to Jesus being in this Temple in Jerusalem, as he faces one particular woman caught in adultery.

Now I am ready to consider the writing in the earth that he does with his finger in the Temple in Jerusalem, (John, Chapter VIII.)

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Into Light: Part Two: From Lyre to Script

pythagorean_theoremFrom Lyre to Script

(Part One is here...)

It is here in the Pythagorean Script that something written takes precedence over something voiced, down to the letters of the alphabet that are visible to us on the pages of Euclidean geometry,  next to points, lines, figures, solids.  It’s their position on the page to our eye that counts, not the sound that goes with them in the spoken word.

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Into Light

[This three-part essay is an address given by tutor Michael Ossorgin to the graduating class of St. John’s College in Santa Fe in 1974. He titled it Two Writings in the Sand.  I have only changed the address by giving a new title, and headings for each of the three parts.  Otherwise it is as he gave it nearly forty years ago.   I have thought it good to present it here, with many thanks to wendyedavis for her help, in hope that the lookouts and observations unfolding within may point, in these most difficult times, to our newly arriving dawn.]

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In Darkness

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On Justice



 “Silence is the mother of prayer.”
[ – The Way of a Pilgrim; The Pilgrim Follows His Way]

Bon's - flowers

(by permission of Yvonne Campbell)

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