December 5 2019 Introduction to writing on the web
Today I’m beginning to write on this website as a precursor to extensive writing here.. I will bring to this site quite a number of texts that I already have in situ to give a sample of my thinking and my thoughts that have become texts. I should advise the readers that I am both a mystic and and independent thinker who is mindful of the immense rational underpinnings of the Christian Fath. My intellectual and spiritual interests are wide and varied. My particular brand is Christian, but I am deeply respectful of other approaches that seek to enhance our humanity at the same time as searching out the mystery of God and the mystery of humanity within that mystery if that is their focus and interest. I have published my autobiography and it is called A Stand-Alone Boy and the Utterly Profound Touch of Heaven. My work in progress at the moment is called The Abiding Genius of Jesus: The Universal Human. Jesus did not teach a new Torah, “divine instruction”, but Halachah, “principles of life drawn from experience”. As one of those who espouse his name, I try to teach in an halachic manner if that is an adjective! I am happy to coin it if it’s not!
I will post samples of The Genius of Jesus…on these pages for comment and critiques. That would be a great help in the process of writing this book.
I’m sitting here thinking what one can do to be in touch with the still small voice every day and to create a space before one responds to the leading of that same still small voice. The apostle Paul knew about the conflict that goes on in every human being between a good and bad spirit. I’m not sure whether he saw this as something supernatural or whether he thought it was a purely human intuition driven by the human spirit. Paul wrote in Greek, but his teaching about a yetser ha raq, “an evil spirit” and a yetser ha tov, “a good spirit” is very Jewish. I do not think that we are condemned to this by some sort of programmatic original sin tied to the profound depths of the Adam and Eve story in Genesis. There is some sort of eruption there, but I think it is tied rather to an original forgetfulness of who we really are, that is, beings who are human who have the image and likeness of God in us. It is when we forget that innate gift that we tend to lose our footing and our identity and get drawn into the prevarications of the ego. Eckhart Tolle wrote a beautiful commentary, incisively drawn, on the “core of the ego” in his book A New Earth. I have never read anything so perceptive about the false presumptions of the ego. This is reinforced by the Toltec shape of human identity depicted by Dom Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements and other books. I particularly like the agreements not to take anything personally and not to make assumptions. I focus into my interior depths and search for an access. I am dropping peace and love and a search for beauty of person beauty of person through the access to what lies beneath the surface of the selem, the ‘floor’ of the Neshama,the deepest of depths. It can then drop into the unconscious and fall through into a recoverable infinity. The depths are worked over by Ruach, “Spirit”, and what happens is the replication of Creation. Creation is always replication. Paul talks about the “mind of God” and Ruach connects with the mind of God in creation. We are always imitating the Creator because we are wired by the Creator. We can do no other than imitate. We are the only ones with the instruments of creation. We replicate ourselves and we are co-creators. This is a true expression of an ontological, “connection of being,” relationship. Being replicates Being. The unconscious records everything. Nothing is wasted. Every prayer we have ever uttered; everything that others have said to us and we have thought and said ‘within’: our internal speeches and ravings and tyrannical episodes. The unconscious is the memory pad not only of ourselves but of God’s memory. No secret is unremembered. No detail is too small to recall. Nothing is lost.
The Lost Princess: Diana of the English Poem broadcast live on the BBC several days after Diana’s death
She came to the Church, flowing train. Prince Charming, Archbishop, vows. Faith hope and love’s sweet refrains. First years pass, children, fame grows. Protocols of another age rolled aside. Determined, reality, red tape slashed. World’s stage invites, repels, divides. Love’s breakdown, excluded, rejected. Spurned in power, received in weakness. Touching lepers, lending fame to causes. Reaching out, loving response anonymous. But seeking love yet personal, other hopes. Desert masters parading wealth, Limo-Benz. Under water enmeshed in steel, heart-feeble. Clinical blaze of light, dying without friends. Streets flower-full at home with her people. Procession bends its way past life-memories. Children gaze in numb grief in a tear-swirl. The lost Princess is found in heart-pictures. Remembered as a voice of care in our world. Another victim of love’s breakdown looks on. Yeshua knows rejection and tears and sorrow. He recalls joy, laughter and grief overcome. He breathes compassion, her other tomorrow.
-Bishop Arthur Jones
Wedding Anthony John Dickson and Elizabeth and Anne Jones
Officiant: The Right Reverend Doctor Arthur Lucas Jones OAM
Assisted by Fr. Tom Peacock
Opening Remarks by the Officiant:
Reading: I Corinthians 13 and Marriage in the Evening Poem
Marriage in the Evening Pittwater Bay Liz and Tony
Couple standing on a wharf arching entrancing panorama
Facing the world side-by-side like the primal duo in Eden
Swirling waters brushing beaches in distant haze houses
Pain and pleasure shared trailing brave decisions.
Creative genius expressed in distinct spheres, achieved.
Mutually vulnerable, still thought deep; hope ingrained.
Memories persisting, haunting peace, yet overcome
Character grounded resilient and daring to dream.
Home shared seeking the best, binding ties stretched
Shade and light, family and friends circle, draw near.
Spiral of connecting thoughts consigned into reality
Movement ahead anchored in tested love: courage.
- Arthur Lucas Jones
- The Abiding Genius of Jesus of Nazareth: the Universal Pilgrim
- “Jesus stepped off the pages of the Gospels into the turbulent winds of history”. I have read and reread the pages of the Gospels more times than I can recall in Greek, the language used by the gospel writers, and translations from it in other languages. Every page is about the same subject. That is, Yeshua ben Yosif, “Jesus, son of Joseph” , as he was called in Nazareth of Galilee. His name is so absorbed in his hometown that he can be referred to as “The prophet from Nazareth in Galilee” . He left his mark on that once obscure village and it has left its mark on his memory trail. Life as we know it came to Jesus in a room at Nazareth where the light of creation hovered over his mother’s womb. and Mary was told via the Divine Messenger of the immediate effect of what was happening to her. The conception and birth stories presented by Luke touch on the response of Mary of Nazareth to this awesome visitation. The cryptic lines of what we call the Magnificat, crafted with the song of Hannah in mind, is our sole source of her response to the Angel of the Lord’s soul-shaking message to her. The word “angel” means a messenger in Greek. We are familiar with those who come at crucial moments of our life with messages that sustain and guide us: we always remember them. With delicate literary artistry Luke describes the conception of Jesus as an “overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.”
- Chapter 1. Dynamically Human
- A young man clad in a closely woven linen robe and wearing stout leather sandals strode through the Galilean countryside in Palestine. His gaze swept the countryside, soaking up the details of rural Galilee. He was a Galilean man and the city of Jerusalem was never home for him. It was a place of pilgrimage at Passover for him with its Temple. it was also the focal point of the worship of his people. It housed the Ark of the Covenant, surrounded by the Holy of Holies located behind a thick curtain. But we know from his use of parables and other teachings that his focus was on the Galilean countryside and its people, its scenery and its way of life. Yeshua was slight and supple in build, with several lines carved into both sides of his face and thick black hair down to his shoulders. He was neither handsome nor plain, this prophet, with glowing eyes of luminous depth and an inner silence that entered the experiences and brushed over the faces of those who met him. He was known in Nazareth as Yeshua ben Yosif, “Jesus, son of Joseph”. The cultural norms of Nazareth would have named him as the son of Joseph, though Mary of Nazareth knew differently, and the Gospels of Luke and Matthew agree: Yeshua was the son of Mary by supernatural conception. The Gospel of Mark begins with a supernatural message, not a supernatural conception. The Gospel of John traces the lines on the paradigm of his being all the way back to the beginning of creation in the Logos, “the reasoned ground of all being” and the inner principle of the Nephesh, “the utter ground, the indelible imprint, of what it means to be human”. Nephesh also means “Life in the body”, what St. Paul calls “the Spiritual body.” It is the place where the image of God engages the human spirit. It is a paradigm of the colours and contours of our identity, with its threads of communication and “sounds of silence” patterns drawn in language utterances. Without Luke’s gospel there would be no descriptions of Christmas such as we know it. We would have the visit of the Magi from Matthew and brief descriptions of his birth in both Luke and Matthew, but without the extended artistry of Luke and his contacts with sources who knew Mary the mother of Jesus, we would be bereft of much that enriches the stories of what happened at the time that Jesus was born. The Roman pagan festival of the sun was instituted long after Jesus was born, and the calculation of the appearance of the star came from Christian sources. The Angel of the Lord, the great messenger of God, brings “glad tidings”, related to the word for “gospel” in the New Testament and in the Christian tradition. The birth stories of a famous people are not told until after they have become famous. The first Christians recorded the events of the last week of Jesus life, his trial, death and resurrection, crucial information for the Christian Mission, and then they told the stories of his teaching and ministry and of his birth. Luke uses his birth story to tell us a great deal of his vision of who Jesus really was and what his mission was in the world. Luke was a creative writer and an artist of the words of life, but he was also the greatest missionary writer of the early church after Paul had spelled out our connection with God in his great teaching about how we relate now to the risen one who had walked in Galilee.That is, by being justified before God by our faith in the Lord our Saviour. This is obviously a Christian statement, and it expresses faith in the uniqueness of Christ and his mission in the world. But that does not mean that the Christian religion is unique and therefore all knowing, any more than other religions are unique in themselves. I do not think that the Christian Church has ever fully grasped the mysterious nature attached to the humanity of Jesus of Nazareth. It is beyond our imagination and comprehension in my view. The brilliant Islamist writer Reza Aslan, respected in the Australian media, wrote a very perceptive book about Jesus and his revolutionary ideas, but in one of his books he stated that Christianity had committed the ultimate arrogance in assuming that a man could become God. This of course is a travesty of the Christian position: it is rather held that the divine Father/ Creator bowed to the ground at Nazareth and Bethlehem to become one of us. This stupendous statement should have encouraged us to be ever careful about knowing everything about him and making extravagant claims in his name. My brand is of course Christian, but it is offered with huge respect for other approaches to expressing the heart and mind of the Creator, the one who loves all his children and provides many ways of walking to his heart. I’m also respectfully mindful of those who are either agnostic, “insufficiently informed in order to agree”, or contra any spiritual spiral from creation. It is interesting that Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudate Si, has commended two entwined spirals of creation, the imaginative description in Genesis 1-3 described by Jordan Peterson as “utterly profound”. and the scientific spiral through evolution dating from first beginnings of the creation itself. This is a far cry from the persecution of Spinoza and Galileo. It was a huge moment some years ago when Cardinal Poupard stood in his cardinal’s gown in the Vatican and pronounced that the Church had been wrong in trying to stem the recognition of a scientific picture of evolution. I’m also entranced by the Buddhist use of intense mental processes to eliminate those things which are contrary to the development of a meditative approach to ascertaining the truth of our actions and their outcomes. The Jews have their mystics at Safed, and the Sufis bring a softening dimension to the stark transcendentalism of Allah in Islam. “There is no God but God” is commendable, but extremists with their deadly intent are no good in any of our religions, as we have witnessed in the past through the perversion of Christ’s teachings in the Crusades, with terrible violence being exercised in his name, a person of dynamic humanity dedicated to peace! Yeshua was on one hand immersed in the ways of his people, and on the other hand he was creating something new that would outrage his own people and lead to his death. Some New Testament scholars think that he was executed because of his predictions about the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and that may well have played a part in the violent reaction to him. But his portrayal of what it meant to be truly human was also very threatening for those who thought that their way into God via the enclosed lines of the current religious architecture of belief in Israel was the only way. It may well have been the prime reason for the ultimately violent reaction to his teaching and his public manner of being a prophet in Israel.
- Jan 1st, 6:02 pm Diana of the English: The Lost Princess