At a church this morning, where the pastor was using the analogy of God as a builder:

Pastor: It’s not like you’re a nail. God’s not interested in whacking you like a hammer.

(From the congregation): A screw?

Pastor: No, He doesn’t want to screw you, either!


My teacher (very confidently) tells me that nothing is coincidence. He sees everything as a single great unfolding.

And my reaction is usually to say “Huh?” with quite a bit of skepticism. Sometimes, however, the “coincidences” are just too frimmin’ to be coincidences. For example, Sunday I created the favicon for the site, with an enso as the design. (Enso is the Japanese word for the Zen symbol of emptiness, a hand-brushed circle.

Less than two days after I created the enso favicon for this site, I received an email from a reader in Salt Lake City, who sent me an %enso% of his own, which I’ve included above. Isness works in mysterious ways?it ain’t coincidence.

And tonight in the grocery store parking lot, a great bumper sticker:

That was Zen. This is Tao.

The Blind Men and the Elephant

by John G. Saxe

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a WALL!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho, what have we here,
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a SPEAR!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a SNAKE!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he:
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a TREE!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a FAN!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a ROPE!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Metaphors Be With You!

I saw a bumper sticker this morning that said
>**METAPHORS Be With You.**

I laughed out loud. For years, I’ve been impressed by the Eastern Orthodox idea that we can only know the “energies of God,” and that God’s essence, while everywhere and in everything, is utterly beyond description. Anything we can say about God ultimately is a *metaphor.* There’s the Trinity metaphor, the personal and impersonal metaphors, the panentheistic metaphor, and so on. Here, someone had boiled it down to a bumper sticker!

I don’t know if this was a blessing from a fellow panentheist or not (probably not) but that’s how I chose to take it! May the Reality behind the Metaphors be with you all!

New page

I’ve created a new page for bad music videos I’ve got *five* different versions of “Maya Hee” there now, and a new one by a Japanese group called *Happatai* singing “Yatta!”. Yesterday, I had posted the Yatta clip here, but I think interpersing this high silliness in the middle of this blog might be disorienting to some visitors.

Record-breaking cheese

This one’s from Trev Diesel who’s got a second blog » just for humor. Looks like his commenter Josh first called attention to it:

http://abum.com/files/Movies/970227884.wmv »

Yes, it stretches the definition of a “Maya Hee” webcam video (it’s more a Maya Hee medley), but if you watch it through to the very end (and it **is** worth it), you’ll see just how much *strength* some people get from this crazy song!

BTW, have you tried singing it yourself yet? It’s hard! There’s a seventh and a *ninth* at the beginning!