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On riding a rapidly accelerating world.. in slower motion

[ by Charles Cameron — not by revolution but by centering ]
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If I might shift the angle from which the current conversation views the world situation — rather than looking for revolution or evolution, might we not hope for transfiguration, theosis?

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For what it’s worth, I’m under the impression that the translucence of the world can also be found in the Bezels of Wisdom of Ibn Arabi, in the Mountains and Rivers sutra of Dogen, in The Centuries of Thomas Traherne

You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and Kings in sceptres, you never enjoy the world.

Till your spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels; till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all Ages as with your walk and table: till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made: till you love men so as to desire their happiness, with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own: till you delight in God for being good to all: you never enjoy the world.

To many of us it seems as though the world is speeding up. The notion is a hopeless paradox — and yet the acceleration itself is both evident and excessive. Both the acceleration and the paradox are solved only in contemplation..

5 Responses to “On riding a rapidly accelerating world.. in slower motion”

  1. Jim Gant Says:

    Charles,
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    A beautiful and powerful post. I recently became aware of Ibn Arabi through reading “Commander of the Faithful” by John W. Kiser which tells the story of Abd el-Kader who was a great spiritual man as well.
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    I enjoy your work!
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    Jim

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thank you so much!
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    Ha! I’m a big fan of Kiser’s book, The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love, and Terror in Algeria. Do you know it? It’s the starting point for the magnificent film, Of Gods and Men — and at its heart in turn are the extraordinary words of Dom Christian de Chergé, which can be found with a brief intro by James Martin, SJ, here.

  3. Charles Cameron Says:

    … and I just saw your piece A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan wars: We must protect our Muslim allies with a very nice tribute to Abd el-Kader, Abraham Lincoln, and Kiser’s book.
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    Bravo!

  4. Jim Gant Says:

    Charles,
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    Hope all is well. I have several books in the on-deck circle and “The Monks of Tibhirine” is one of those. I have wanted to read it for a long time. I have gotten to know John Kiser very well in the last few months and we will be doing some work together in the near future revolving around improving the relationship between Muslims and Christians both domestically and abroad.
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    “What Sacred Games Will We Have To Invent?” is great! Steven Pressfield sent me two books years ago that helped mold my wartime psychology (not including Gates Of Fire” which he wrote that is the bible in regards to understanding warrior ethos) – one was the Hagakure and the other was the Bhagavad Gita. I read the Gita every morning. It is right alongside my Bible and the Koran.
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    My son gave me a copy of “Siddartha” for my birthday this past year and I loved it. That pointed me towards Herman Hesse and ultimately “The Glass Bead Game.” What can I say about that book? It has to be one of the greatest books ever written. I have mentioned that to a few people and when they ask me what it is about, I can’t really give them an answer. One has to read it to understand it.
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    Anyway, your writing of “What Sacred Games Will We Have To Invent?” is a deep and powerful mixture of war, the Gita and the Glass Bead Game that is profound and moving. I enjoyed it immensely.
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    Much more to say on this in the future. Thank you so much for sending it to me.
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    Please send more things for me to read!
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    More fun soon,
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    Jim

  5. Charles Cameron Says:

    Jim:

    we will be doing some work together in the near future revolving around improving the relationship between Muslims and Christians both domestically and abroad

    That sounds wonderful, I hope you’ll keep me informed..
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    BTW:
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    If anyone is interested in seeing my “What Sacred Games Will We Have To Invent?” to which Jim refers, it can be found on Scribd.

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