We revive the too-long-dormant Tuesday evening melody with these haunting lyrics of The Long Wives, the solo project of Brandy St. John. The song is rather dark, the religious imagery visceral, and somehow I find some sustenance in its beauty:
They’re fighting in the streets They’re fighting on the TV Did you learn to make a fist Before you learned to speak? And did you cut your teeth a little too soon? The answer lies in your eyes It lies in our wounds
The violence of man The violence of the beast The violence in your heart Your violence for me And the blood it runs And the blood it runs And the blood it runs by
The master comes to eat The blood and the body Now he’s full of Christ And the life of the party He has a gun for you, he has a gun for me He just asks that we all send him some money All he really needs is a little more money…
The response to this week’s show with Seth Godin has been overwhelming. And, we’re finding that a lot of folks are listening to the unedited interview right after they finish listening to the produced podcast. So why wouldn’t I offer it up to our Tumblr friends to reblog/download/share!
There’s no doubt Wired wunderkind (my turn of phrase) and marketing guru Seth Godin have an impassioned following through his blogs and books and speaking engagements and you name it… But, he doesn’t do a lot of one-on-one interviews that canvas the sweep of his personal triumphs and failures. Krista sat down with him (via ISDN) for 90 minutes of a highly engaging conversation.
I think my favorite phrase Seth uses to describe navigating this new world of vocation/avocation is a “landscape without maps.” It’s this ambiguity that’s worth embracing rather than fleeing from. Rather than merely tolerate change, he says, we are now called to rise to it — and, we’re invited and stretched in whatever we do to be artists — to create in ways that matter to other people.
We do make available all of our unedited interviews, including Krista’s conversation with Mr. Godin, in the On Being podcast (iTunes link).
FDR’s fourth address was only 559 words. (Still not shorter than Washington whose second address was less than 200 words). The end of World War II was three months away and FDR was trying to just remind people that things would get better. The message was essentially: me again, peace. I had…
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”—Albert Camus (via hellanne)
“Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else’s suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.”—
— Mary Karr from her 2010 interview with Judy Valente on PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.
"Be very mindful of what is appropriate for you because, I tell you, to stop in this world is to create the conditions where a lot of unusual experiences can rise up. So be very respectful of your situation and proceed with love and with care as well as courage."
It can be a stretch to summon buoyancy rather than burnout in how we work, live, and care. Roshi Joan Halifax is a Zen teacher and medical anthropologist who’s been formed by cultures from the Sahara Desert to the hallways of American prisons. She founded the Project on Being with Dying. Now she’s taking on the problem of compassion fatigue, though she doesn’t like to use that phrase. For all of us overwhelmed by bad news — and by the attention we want to pay to suffering in the world — Joan Halifax has bracing, nourishing wisdom on finding this buoyancy in our daily lives.
“People working outside of the networks and stations hear the world differently. They break rules and formats, and I want that element of surprise on The Story. I am writing to ask you, the independent community, to pitch to me.”
“All this journalistic analysis around the ‘Nones’ as the demise of religion. But so many of them are ethically and spiritually passionate. The new non-religious represent the evolution of faith, not its demise. They will restore the great traditions to their own deepest truths.”—Krista Tippett, who offered these tweets this morning in response to the many reports resulting from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s study, "Nones" on the Rise.
“There is something very comforting about ritual. I have friends who go to church or sit at the Zen center. I respect that. The ritual of writing fills that need for me. Writing has been a kind of spiritual devotion for me. Listening to language, feeling stories unfold and poems arrive, being present to the page – I do not think of it as a career, I think of it as a devotion. That is a big difference to me.”—
“What makes me a believer is that from time to time, there have been glimpses I’ve had which have made me suspect the presence of something extraordinary and beyond the realm of the immediate. You encounter the holy in various forms, which, unless you have your eyes open, you might not even notice.”—
“O Allâh, place light in my heart, light in my tongue, light in my hearing, light in my sight, light behind me, light in front of me, light on my right, light on my left, light above me and light below me; place light in my sinew, in my flesh, in my blood, in my hair and in my skin; place light in my soul and make light abundant for me; make me light and grant me light.”—Hussein Rashid has posted several lovely prayers for the new year: two from the Prophet Muhammad and one by the author himself. The one above is especially lovely during the depths of winter here in North America. (via trentgilliss)
Prakash Utsav: Sikhs Celebrate the Birthday of their 10th Guru
by Susan Leem, associate producer
Prakash Utsav birthday celebrations in Sikh temple for Guru Gobind Singh. (photo: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images)
The number of Sikhs in the world is approaching 20 million adherents. Most live in India, and many are settling in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Italy (where they were recently credited with saving Italy’s struggling dairy industry). Sikhism was founded in the 16th century in the Punjab district of India and Pakistan. It is based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and his nine gurus, and is distinct from Hinduism or Islam though comparisons are often made. The tenth and last Sikh guru in a sacred lineage is Guru Gobind Singh. He made a distinctive contribution to the identity of Sikhs with particular teachings about ethical behavior, hair, and headdress. And Sikhs celebrate his birthday, Prakash Utsav, annually. Based on the Nanakshahi calendar, the annual celebration of the Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birthday takes place on the twenty-third day of Poh (ਪੋਹ), which coincides with January 5th.
The Sikh scripture is a book called the Guru Granth Sahib, and a building that houses the book is called a Gurdwara (Gateway to the Guru), and functions as a place of worship primarily on Sundays. According to the BBC, “The most important thing in Sikhism is the internal religious state of the individual.”
Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that stresses the importance of doing good actions rather than merely carrying out rituals. Sikhs believe that the way to lead a good life is to keep God in heart and mind at all times, live honestly and work hard, treat everyone equally, be generous to the less fortunate, and serve others.
The turban is an important symbol of Sikh tradition and identity to represent commitment to God, their values, and promote equality. It also places a very publicly visual responsibility on them to represent Sikhism. The U.S. Army even made a special exemption last year for their first Sikh enlistee to be permitted to wear his turban and facial hair during active duty.
Capt. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi is an Army Emergency Room Physician and the first Sikh in the U.S. Army. Photo by: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
This book is a good introduction to Teilhard’s spiritual thinking and biographical notes. Ms. King writes a beautiful summary at the beginning that gets at the heart of Teilhard de Chardin’s spirituality, which “creatively welds together science, religion, and mysticism in one unifying synthesis.”
Ms. King doesn’t just write about him and selectively quote from his writings. This is a good thing. She pulls healthy sections from some of his most notable works — including Writings in a Time of War, The Divine Milieu, Heart of Matter, and The Phenomenon of Man — which allow you to imbibe the sensibility of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in his own words. The translations are passionate and very readable, thank goodness, because we’ve come across other translations will make you feel like you’re eating week-old bread with nothing to wash it down.
I’d also recommend reading Amir Aczel’s The Jesuit and the Skull. Mr. Aczel is a superb storyteller and popularizer of great scientific minds and finds. For devotees of Teilhard, Mr. Aczel may not do enough, but his focus on the French Jesuit’s role in the discovery of Peking Man in 1929 gives the reader a sense of Teilhard as scientist who is trying to reconcile his religious beliefs with those of the Catholic Church.
Teilhard de Chardin’s struggle is at the heart of Aczel’s book. It’s an adventure story too, trotting the reader all over the globe, introducing us to countries and cultures of the day that speak to our own ongoing wrestling match about evolution.
Whereas, Ms. King’s compilation will force you to read slowly, think deeply, and savor Teilhard’s passionate langue and ideas, The Jesuit and the Skull lets you buzz through with a liveliness and vitality of a good summer vacation exploration.