April 29, 2022


The Tree, A Collaboration, Oil Paint Rendered — A friend took the picture of the tree on their way home from work, and I added the composition with Photoshop’s help
It is perspective all the way down,
and Mystery at the bottom.
Or, as Lao Tzu liked to say,
"Darkness within darkness,
the gateway to mystery."

We will never make sense of it.
All the explanations and theories
get in the way of enjoying 
the experience of Mystery.

Once we get that it is all Mystery,
we can't quit going, "Wow!"
and laughing out loud for no apparent reason.

And that reminds me of the story of the guy
going into a cafe in the deep south
and ordering "Coffee, cut the cream."
And the waitress replies, "That'll have to be milk,
Honey, 'cause we don't have any cream."

Don't try to make sense of it,
just laugh a lot.
And look forward to more. 



Beulah Land 61 Oil Paint Rendered — Moraine Lake Banff National Park, Alberta
The only difference between a bad day
and a good day
is a shift in perspective.

Flipping perspectives is the role
of the Gateless Gate.

The essential act of turning the light around
is the back-and-forth,
optical illusion transition
from rational/logical/left-brain seeing
to metaphorical/symbolic/instinctive/intuitive/right-brain seeing.

If you can master that vantage point,
you will be straddling the Gateless Gate,
looking right and left,
or left and right,
and seeing different worlds
"without leaving home."

That puts you "at the still point
of the turning world" (T.S. Eliot),
at the fulcrum between worlds,
able to shift one world into the other
just by changing the way you think about
what you are seeing.

Nothing is only what it appears to be.
Everything can appear to be something else
just by the way we look at it.

Practice it on your parents,
and on your children,
on everyone you meet.

Become proficient in seeing everything
"from all sides."
And don't let anyone get by with 
particularly yourself!


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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