This is difficult to practice (for one, I don’t like fruit!)

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During the Vietnam war, the Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh was travelling around the United States of America in company with James Douglas to explain the Vietnamese viewpoint to American audiences. One day they chose to sit under a tree to eat their lunch.

After lunch Thich Nhat Hanh said to his companion, “James, I must teach you how to eat an orange”.

“But I have just eaten one”, replied Douglas.

“I don’t think you did eat it,” said Thich Nhat Hanh, “I noticed that after you had peeled the orange you placed one segment of it into your mouth and immediately took another segment into your hand before swallowing the first one. And when you placed the second segment in your mouth you immediately seized a third one. All the time your mind was upon the next segment. You were in such a hurry to eat the whole of the orange that you never actually ate a single segment of it”.

Donald Nicholl, Holiness p. 72, quoted as a story in the Week of Prayer for World Peace leaflet, October 1988.

Dumbledore was gay, JK tells amazed fans


It goes without saying: CONTAINS SPOILERS.

I’m surprised and amused by the admission.

An Open Letter to the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

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I have always found Wayne Te Kaawa to be a lovely man.

Terrorism and Ruatoki

The Last Post


Fascinating essay on the death of the letter, also known as ‘snail-mail’, as an art-form. It makes me want to rush out there and write a letter. As I plan to go to bed early I’m sure that this will pass.

Two observances came to mind as I read it.

  • No mention of the consequences for stamp collectors. The survival of the stamp could become independent of the letter as it is a tradeable artifact in its own right — just ask any number of developing countries.
  • No mention of the weblog as a demotic alternative to what people used to do as letter writers. The problem of archiving technology still remains an issue, I know that there is an unquantifiable number of techie packrats out there.
  • I think it was about five to ten years ago that I heard that sending a letter to a public institution carries the weight ten times that in proportion to an email — a letter represents the feelings of a hundred others who didn’t write; an email ten people. I don’t know if they still carry the same weight.

    106 Unread Books

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    Stolen from ; coming soon, the banned books:

    These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users (as of today-ish). As usual, bold what you have read, italicize what you started but couldn’t finish, underline what you want to read, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. The numbers after each one are the number of LT users who used the tag of that book.

    The List

    Then a miracle occurs

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    I think you need to be more explicit here in Step Two

    The Disappearance of God: a divine mystery


    I meant to mention a book that might be of interest to a couple of readers. The book is The Disappearance of God: a divine mystery by Richard Elliott Friedman, ISBN 0316294349. The book is the most recent that I have read on the literary theory that god becomes silent in the compilation of the bible. I read it at the start of the year. God begins as creator, physically present with humanity. After humanity’s scattering god still speaks directly to them and manifests godself in fiery theophany. In history god becomes silent, speaking indirectly to humanity through the prophets, manifest in silence, no longer in fire. God has become hidden, awaiting attentively to see what humanity’s final end-goal will be. The final vision is the Ancient of Days. The encounter with the Authority in Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass is clearly influenced by this literary theory.

    In the Christian revelation god visits humanity one last time, gets a bum deal and goes back to heaven. In the Talmud the signs of god are literally outvoted, the Torah is fenced.

    In the second third of this book a study of nineteenth century writers Dostoyevsky and Nietsche is entered into. It is a fascinating study that encourages me to discover more about these two writers.

    The final third I found the weakest. As it is a study of Kabbala to create a new model of god. I don’t know enough about Kabbala is display an interest in it and I found this part of the book did not encourage me to investigate it further.

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