Posts Tagged ‘the sea’


Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017


Reading Rowan Williams The Wound of Knowledge. It is so difficult to find something spiritual which I can stomach.

The first point he makes is the radical and shocking otherness of the Christ event. At the time no one in their right mind could have imagined such a divine intervention.

But then ‘otherness’ is, more often than not I think, the first striking characteristic of an experience of God.

He is the Wholly Other, beyond anything we could ever have imagined.

Likewise his actions. He reveals himself not in powerful theophanies but in weakness and failure.

Not an attractive notion, not an idea one can comfortably welcome.

We are all too aware 0f our insufficiency, of the three brute facts of existence – powerlessness, contingency and scarcity.

The last idea we would want to welcome is one which counters our instinctive drive for autonomy,

to achieve some measure of power and control over our own lives.

Nietzsche despised what he considered Christian weakness and quite rightly said,

‘God is dead’,

i.e. the kind of god he imagined God to be, a God of power and might.

Such a god never existed, though he continues to exist in the imaginations of such as Richard Dawkins.

The drive for power, autonomy and control must always end in failure because of the contingency of our existence.

What Jesus revealed was a way of being which ultimately leads to transcendence. The God Jesus revealed is utterly transcendent and at the same time immediately present in the act of loving.

God does not exist over and against us, out there, up there.

God is encountered within, within oneself, within Himself.

In  the mornings I sit in darkness,

darkness without, darkness within,


Half remembered lines of R S Thomas come and go.

He too knew this darkness, this absence, this silence.

It is a sacred time,

a time of stillness, of expectancy,

like the withdrawing water, the hush,

before the incoming wave smothers the shore.

No sign of the wave yet,

but it’s out there –



Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Morning – the reality of my dreamworld imposes on my waking mood.

So real – almost tangible – emotion filled – then the dreams evaporate like morning mist.

A false reality… fake… spurious…?

Or a window into something more.

And then, during the day, during the routine activities, thoughts of another reality,

or perhaps a non-reality,

intrude – thoughts of an afterlife.

Whenever I think of the other-life world of dreams, I wonder whether the after-life world of death might not be something similar.

That would make it very like the after-life dimension of the ancient Greeks, Hades, shadowy and unsubstantial.

Not really greatly to be desired but better, perhaps, than total annihilation.

And in my heart I don’t believe the afterlife is anything like that.

The glimpses of a transcendent reality that I have had all through my life must count for something.


Later… walking on a beautiful sunny day.

I am deeply moved by the silence,

silence that is accentuated by the gentle sound of the sea and the wind.

The silence is like the sea – vast, deep.

I just want to stand here by the sea and lose myself in it.

Lose myself… I begin to understand the emptiness beloved of Zen.


What is experienced in this vast emptiness cannot be articulated, cannot be conceived,

but it is felt.