Last reminder - tomorrow night at The Bush - God's secret garden will be on the timely theme of lent. Never been a big fan of lent but thought we'd give it a blast. Everyone welcome, there'll be drinks and stuff downstairs but the godspace will be upstairs. Hang round for a chat.
Here's some DeMello Jonny picked out to probe your thinking:
'The holy person is like a rose.' Have you ever heard a rose say, 'I am going to give my fragrance only to good people who smell me, and I am going to deny my perfume to evil people'? No, it is of the very nature of the rose to spread fragrance.
'The holy person is a lamp lit in a dark room'. Can a lamp say that it is going to shed light only on good people and keep from shining on bad people?
'The holy person is like a tree giving shade to both good and bad people. The tree gives it shade even to the person cutting it down. And if it is aromatic, it will leave it's smell after being cut.'
**** // 4:33 pm
thanks to Jonny Baker for giving us and Ikon a mention. Last night's God's secret garden was pretty cool. One guy even said 'This is even better than church...I dont need to go to church anymore, apart from when I have to play bass!' I dont think his Senior Pastor is going to be very happy...
Anyhows, we're probably gonna have a change of venue very soon. God's secret garden hits the road, true vagabond style. Will keep you updated. Anyone who was there last night, we'd value your comments, a few folk already did it on the post below.
Here's a little bite from last night for those who couldn't make it...
'Maybe now you are ready to say, “I’d rather have my freedom than your love.” If you could either have company in prison or walk the earth in freedom all alone, which would you choose? Now say to this person, “I leave you free to be yourself, to think your thoughts, to indulge your taste, follow your inclinations, behave in any way that you decide is to your liking.” The moment you say that you will observe one of two things: either your heart will resist those words and you will be exposed for the clinger and exploiter that you are; so now is the time to examine your false belief that without this person you cannot live or cannot be happy. Or your heart will pronounce the words sincerely and in that very instant all control, manipulation, exploitation, possessiveness, jealousy will drop. “I leave you free to be yourself: to think your thoughts, indulge your tastes, follow your inclinations, behave in ways that you decide are to your liking.”
And you will notice something else; the person automatically ceases to be special and important to you. And he/she becomes important the way a sunset or a symphony is lovely in itself, the way a tree is special in itself and not for the fruit or the shade it offers you. Your beloved will then belong not to you but to everyone or no-one like the sunrise and the tree. Test it by saying those words again: “I leave you free to be yourself…” In saying those words you have set yourself free. You are now ready to love.' - De Mello
**** // 12:22 pm
Wednesday, February 12, 2003:
Tomorrow night, God's secret garden @ aka from 9 to 11ish. Feel free to drop in and explore godspace.
Here's a bit more about godspace to get you thinking:
godspace is space dedicated to God. it is when the secular confronts the sacred, sin confronts holiness, and humanity confronts the divine. when emotions have run dry and we can try no more. when all our best efforts have fallen short and our many illusions have been shattered. when we travelled to far off places like spiritual perfection and theological enlightenment, and we came back empty handed. when our piety and religiosity delivered nothing and still our yearnings for a new and more excellent and noble way of living didn't go away. when our dreams and lofty ideals were shipwrecked on the island of social acceptability. when you cant even get the wrapper off your manufactured plastic wrapped spirituality, nevermind taste the bloody thing. when real life feels more like cyberlife. when you're tired of worrying who's watching you, and you just want to dance.
it is then we hear a voice that's still saying, 'Lo, I am with you always'
godspace is about stepping aside, being silent, and listening. It is where the place of disorientation becomes as valuable as the place of orientation. It is where truth is the ultimate goal, no matter how complicated it is to work out or how long it takes you. our prejudices, perceptions and attachments become secondary. It is for those who are not afraid of wrestling with god and bear the scars to prove it. it is for those who know that grace must be drunk straight and refuse to water it down. it is for those who are living echoes of athenian idols, who know they dont have it all worked out but want to have a go anyway. It is for the malnourished and the deformed, who went out to play and came home dirty and ashamed.
Remember Charles Boyer? Suave, dapper, handsome, graceful. Lover of the most famous and beautiful ladies of the silver screen. That was on camera and in fan magazines. In real life it was different.
There was only one woman. For forty-four years. His wife, Patricia. Friends said it was a lifelong love affair. They were no less lovers and friends and companions after forty-four years than after the first year.
Then Patricia developed cancer of the liver. And though the doctors told Charles, he could not bear to tell her. And so he sat by her bedside to provide hope and cheer. Day and night for six months. He could not change the inevitable. Nobody could. And Patricia died in his arms. Two days later Charles Boyer was also dead. By his own hand. He said he did not want to live without her. He said “Her love was life to me.”
It’s not for me to pass judgement on how he handled his grief. But it is for me to say that I am touched and comforted in a strange way. Touched by the depth of love behind the apparent sham of Hollywood love life. Comforted to know that a man and woman can love each other that much that long. I don’t know how I would handle my grief in similar circumstances. I pray I shall never have to stand in his shoes. But there are moments when I look across the room – amid the daily ordinariness of life – and see the person I call my wife and friend and companion. And I understand why Charles Boyer did what he did. It really is possible to love someone that much. I know. I’m certain of it.' - Robert Fulgrum
**** // 12:00 pm
At the mighty Shine this week are Peace Division, Psycatron, Alan Simms and Simon McDermott. Anyone who's interested in hooking up with us maybe in the bar about 10.30 or somefink drop us an email and we can arrange it. All welcome.
'Tell me what you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' - Mary Oliver
**** // 4:08 pm
Tuesday, February 04, 2003:
One of the things we do is run 'God’s secret garden' every other Thursday night (9pm) at aka. At God's secret garden we try to create godspace. It is the place of reflection, meditation and contemplation.
Explanation: When the mystic came down from the mountain he was accosted by the atheist, who said sarcastically, “What did you bring us from that garden of delights you were in?” the mystic replied, “I had every intention of filling my skirt with flowers and giving them to my friends on my return. But while I was there I became so intoxicated with the fragrance of the garden that I let go of my skirt.” (De Mello) Hope that's clear then...
Here's some dates for your diary...13th, 27th Feb, 13th, 27th March, 17th April, 1st, 15th, 29th May, 12th, 26th June
This is the echo weblog. An echo is somewhere between a voice and no voice, somewhere between hearing and not hearing, and somewhere between knowing and not knowing. It's a place of faith and doubt. It's for all those trying to shed their snake skins of tradition, pride, ignorance, prejudice, and trying to work things out for themselves. It's for those caught dancing in the dichotomy of clubbing and christianity, and still trying to follow Christ.