Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Famous Lithuanians

The scholar Maria Gimbutas was from Lithuania.

Vilna Gaon was a famous rabbi of the 18 th century in Vilnius.

The Three Stooges' dad was from Kaunas and their mom was from Vilnius.

Other Americans of Lithuanian Heritage: Charles Bronson, Monica Lewinsky, Al Jolson.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lithuania - Looking Forward to the Journey

Never dreamed I'd have a the opportunity to travel to Lithuania. On Friday I'm scheduled to travel to a NATO workshop in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Lithuanian language is the language which is most like the original Indo-European tongue from which most European languages have descended. This includes the Romance, Germanic, Celtic, Slavic, Indo-Aryan language groups as well as a number of extinct ones like Hittite and Tocharian. Lithuanian along with Latvian and an extinct Prussian belong to the Baltic group. You might be surprized to learn that Lithuanian preserves a complexity similar to its cousin, Sanskrit, you know, the tongue in which so many Indian scriptures are preserved.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Depth of the Universe

From the Book of Thomas the Contender, an uneven, ascetic, definitely gnostic text from the Nag Hammadi library. (note: this is not the Gospel of Thomas)

The Saviour said, "Brother Thomas, while you still have time in the world, listen to me and I shall explain what you have been reflecting upon in your mind. Since it is said that you are my twin and my true friend, examine yourself and understand who you are, how you live, and what will become of you. Since you are called my brother, you should not be ignorant about yoursef. I know you understand some things, for already you understand that I am the knowledge of truth. While you are walking with me, though you are ignorant of other things, already you have obtained knowledge and you will be described as one who knows self. For whoever does not know self does not know anything, but whoever knows self already has acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe."

What strikes me here, and it may even be an accident of words used to translate, is that we must know ourselves in order to understand our universe. We cannot know the physical world alone and truly have knowledge about the depths of the universe.

This was called to mind as I was reading some marvelous posts by Richard Beck over at Experimental Theology.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Spiritual Meaning of our Animal Friends Part 2

"There is a profound, inescapable need for animals that is in all people everywhere, an urge for which no substitute exists."

"... animals are used in the growth and development of the human person."

"...animals have critical role in shaping personal identity and social consciousness."

" basic to the development of speech and thought"

" indispensible to our becoming human in the fullest sense"

"By identifying with a number of animals in turn, the child discovers a common ground with other beings..." .. "By pretending that animals speak to one another, he imposes on them a pseudo-humanity which ... is the glue of real kinship."

From the article by Paul Shepard "The Ark of the Mind" p54 of Parabola VIII #2, 1983.

I thought these quotes were interesting.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tradition - What Good is It?

Hermit Greg made this marvelous quote in a discussion about the issue of using powerpoint in worship.

Not to know tradition is to be trapped in it, to be used by it, never to discover that it holds no knowledge of the ineffable God in itself. Tradition cannot be stepped outside of, but its workings can be learned, its gears and levers pried loose. The goal of becoming grounded in tradition is to learn to drive it so that it doesn’t drive us. To say as much is to show my Protestant colors, I know, and I also know it is to do so at the expense of my Restoration flag. So be it.

(Also see J. Wiser's blog post Laborious Powerpointus)

Blog Archive