April 13-A, 2023

Washed Ashore, A Merger of Photographs into Abstract Truth
Death and Dying is Forever New Birth, New Life
and The Beat Goes On and On…
If you want to keep up with my other probing of reality, I'm also to be found at:
04/13/2023 – A
and: https://www.clickasnap.com/jim-dollar


The path to transcendence
is called the Tao.

It is that simple
and that complex.

Transcendence is the heart of the matter.
"The Tao that can be said 
is not the eternal Tao"
(Lao Tzu).

"The path that can be discerned as a path
is not a reliable path"
(Martin Palmer).

Which means that the path to transcendence/Tao
can only be discerned in hindsight
(Jim Dollar).

We cannot know beforehand
what we are doing,
we can only reflect 
on what we have done,
come to new realizations,
make adjustments and accommodations,
and press on
with our Sisyphean task
of making sense out of 
the entire experience of life,
in a "When I do this,
that happens," kind of way.

We do best, I think,
when we consciously take up
the path to transcendence/Tao
and live with our eyes open 
in each situation as it arises.

This living with our eyes open
is what the Buddha was talking about
with "Enlightenment."

waking up,
turning the light around,
are all metaphors for the same experience.

And what we know when we know
what all who have known have known
is that we are walking the path
of transcendence/Tao.

It is an age-old path.
It has been around from the very first.
The Shamans of lore lead the way,
and their way was replaced by,
of course, the organized religion
of the day--
which was, of course, produced
by the organized priesthood 
of the day--
the same exact sequence of events
that were enacted between the death of Jesus
and the arising of the Holy Catholic Church,
with orthodoxy killing/burning at the stake/
torturing/hunting down/stamping out
the Gnostics with their gnosis  
which translates simply as
"the knowledge of spiritual mysteries" (Google),
not by way of theology,
but by way of the direct experience
of transcendence/Tao/The Holy/etc. in our life.

Orthodoxy cannot bear the competition
of Gnostics/gnosis/gnosticism 
because orthodoxy would have no basis
for existence
if everybody had the same access 
to direct transcendental experience,
and then what would the priests
do for a living?

The Gnostics/gnosis/gnosticism 
were driven underground,
where truth always goes
when the times are not safe for truth,
and here we are.

The times are calling for a resurrection
of gnosis/gnosticism
because of the failure of organized religion
(Orthodoxy) to provide anything substantive
to ground and direct us 
in our confrontation with the madness and insanity
of the day-to-day.

The path of transcendence/Tao
has been dealing in balance and harmony
from the first Shaman to right here, right now.
That's where life is to be found,
"New life, abundant life," as has been said,
"spilling over, pouring out, as living water
for all who are dying of thirst
for the grounding substance
for facing what is to be faced
and doing what needs to be done
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.


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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