Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tur til Brokefjell

Dette er Heivatn, sett ein ettermiddag, frå Brokefjell.

Dette er utsikt frå toppen, dvs. ein av dei. Det er veldig langt ned til vatnet her. 1000 meter. Det er Bukkøy. Så kan ein skimte Spjotsodd-brua der nede også. Roholtsfjlel rett fram. Bandak til høgre, innover mot Dalen. Det er ikkje så langt opp til skyene heller. No fylgjer nesten same biletet, men eg zooma inn. De kan der skimte gamlekyrkja, rett over høgre sida av Bukkøy. De kan også sjå Vrådal i bakleksa der, med skisenteret etc.

Her ser ein dimensjonane litt betre.

Kva kan eg seie? Eg er tankefull.

Meir gull frå K Armstrong, no om Denys og apofatisk teologi

Religious people are always talking about God, and it is important that they do so. But they also need to know when to fall silent. Denys's [Denys Areopagitten, på 500-talet] theological method was a deliberate attempt to bring all the Christians he taught-lay folk, monks, and clergy alike-to that point by making them conscious of the limits of language. We can do that only by talking about God and listening carefully to what we say.


As Denys pointed out, in the Bible God is given fifty-two names.70 God is called a rock and is likened to the sky, the sea, and a warrior. All that is fine, as far as it goes. Because God is always pouring itself into creatures, any one of them-even a rock-can tell us something about the divine. A rock is a very good symbol of God's permanence and stability. But because a rock is not alive, it is obviously worlds apart from the God that is life itself, so we will never be tempted to say that God is a rock. But the more sophisticated attributes of God - Ineffability, Unity, Goodness, and the like-are more dangerous, because they give us the false impression that we know exactly what God is like. "He" is Good, Wise, and Intelligent; "He" is One; "He" is Trinity.


...we consider the physical and obviously inadequate images of God in the Bible. These texts cannot, of course, [according to Denys] be read literally, because they are full of "so many incredible or fictitious fairy tales." From the very first chapter of Genesis, the Bible calls God a creator "as if he was a mere artisan" but goes on to say even more ludicrous things. Scripture supplies God "with horses and chariots and thrones and provides delicately prepared banquets and depicts Him drinking and drunk, and drowsy and suffering from a hangover. And what about God's fits of anger, His griefs, His various oaths, His moments of repentance, His curses, His wraths, the manifold and crooked reasons given for His failure to fulfil promises?"72 But crass as this seems, it is valuable, because this gross theologia shocks us into an appreciation of the limitations of all theological language.

We have to remember this when we speak about God, listen critically to ourselves, realize that we are babbling incoherently, and fall into an embarrassed silence.


When we listen to the sacred text read aloud during Mass and apply this method to the readings, we start to understand that even though God has revealed these names to us, we have no idea what they can mean. So we have to deny them, one after the other, and in the process make a symbolic ascent from earthly modes of perception to the divine. It is easy to deny the physical names: God is plainly not a rock, a gentle breeze, a warrior, or a creator. But when we come to the more conceptual descriptions of God, we find that we have to deny these too. God is not Mind in any sense that we can understand; God is not Greatness, Power, Light, Life, Truth, Imagination, Conviction, Understanding, Goodness-or even Divinity.74 We cannot even say that God "exists" because our experience of existence is based solely on individual, finite beings whose mode of being bears no relation to being itself:

"Therefore ... God is known by knowledge and by unknowing; of him there is understanding, reason, knowledge, touch, perception, opinion, imagination, name and many other things, but he is not understood, nothing can be said of him, he cannot be named. He is not one of the things that are, nor is he known in any of the things that are; he is all things in everything and nothing in anything."


Denys's spiritual exercise took the form of a dialectical process, consisting of three phases. First we must affirm what God is: God is a rock; God is One; God is good; God exists. But when we listen carefully to ourselves, we fall silent, felled by the weight of absurdity in such God talk. In the second phase, we deny each one of these attributes. But the "way of denial" is just as inaccurate as the "way of affirmation." Because we do not know what God is, we cannot know what God is not, so we must then deny the denials: God is therefore not placeless, mindless, lifeless, or nonexistent. In the course of this exercise, we learn that God transcends the capability of human speech and "is beyond every assertion" and "beyond every denial."76 It is as inaccurate to say that God is "darkness" as to say that God is "light;" to say that God "exists" as to say that God does "not exist," because what we call God falls "neither within the predicate of existence or non-existence."77


But what can this mean? The exercise leads us to apophasis, the breakdown of speech, which cracks and disintegrates before the absolute unknowability of what we call God. As our language fails, we experience an intellectual ekstasis. We no longer pay mere lip service to God's ineffability; the fact that "there is no kind of thing that God is"78 has become an insight that we have made our own, a kenosis that "drives us out of ourselves."79 Like the mystai of Eleusis, we have become strangers to our former ways of thinking and speaking.

This new understanding is not an emotional experience. If we cannot know God, we certainly can neither feel nor have any sensation of unity with God. Denys's dialectical method leads to an intellectual rapture that takes us beyond everyday perceptions and introduces us to another mode of seeing. Like Moses at the top of the mountain, we embrace the darkness and experience no clarity, but know that, once we have rinsed our minds of inadequate ideas that block our understanding, we are somehow in the place where God is. Renouncing all that the mind may conceive, wrapped entirely in the intangible and the invisible, [Moses] belongs completely to him who is beyond everything. Here, being neither oneself nor someone else, one is supremely united to the completely unknown by an inactivity of all knowledge, and knows beyond the mind by knowing nothing.80

 Once we have left the idols of thought behind, we are no longer worshipping a simulacrum, a projection of our own ideas and desires. There are no longer any false ideas obstructing our access to the inexpressible truth, and, like Moses, forgetful of self, we can remain silently in the presence of the unknown God.

But this would, of course, be incomprehensible unless you had personally put yourself through this spiritual exercise again and again. Denys did not regard this ekstasis as an exotic "peak" experience. Everybody, priests and lay folk alike, should apply this threefold dialectical method to the scriptures as they listened to them read aloud during the liturgy. When they heard God called "Rock," "Creator," "Wise," or "Good," they must affirm, deny, and then deny the denial, becoming in the process ever more conscious of the inadequacy of all theological language-even the inspired words of scripture. At key moments they would be able to "hear" the silence of the ineffable other that lay beyond the limits of speech.

In his Mystical Theology, Denys applied his method to the ceremonies of the liturgy, to bring to light the deeper meaning of these ritualized symbolic gestures.81 This was a communal rather than a solitary ekstasis. Priests and congregants should plunge together "into that darkness which is beyond intellect." Eventually, Denys concluded, "We shall find ourselves not simply running short of words but actually speechless and unknowing."82 Denys's theology was based on the liturgy of Alexandria, which instead of simply regarding the Eucharist as a reenactment of Jesus's last supper also saw it as an allegory of the soul's ascent to God.83 His method was not for an elite group of contemplatives but seems to have been part of the public instruction of all the baptized faithful, who would have found it easy to follow his imagery of descent and ascent because it was familiar to them in the liturgy.

When the celebrant left the sanctuary and walked among the congregation, sprinkling them with holy water, the people should see this as a symbolic reenactment of the ekstasis in which God perpetually abandoned its lonely solitude and merged with creation.

When the celebrant turned his back on the congregation, entered the inner sanctum, and disappeared from view to consecrate the bread and wine, Denys compared him to Moses, when he left the people and, "accompanied by certain priests," entered the "mysterious darkness of unknowing" on the summit of Mount Sinai.84

Like all doctrinal instruction in the Greek Orthodox world, Denys's method was practiced in the heightened atmosphere of the liturgy. The evocative music, stylized drama, clouds of fragrant incense, and numinous solemnity all ensured that the dialectical process was not a dry, cerebral exercise but was performed in a context that, like any great aesthetic performance, touched people and stirred them at a deeper level of their being.

As they heard the words of scripture read aloud in a special chant that separated it from normal discourse, and attended critically, as Denys had taught them, to the words of the prayers and hymns, clergy and congregants would in effect be saying to themselves, "Neti... neti": the reality we call God was not this, not that, but immeasurably other. The liturgy had always been a musterion, a ritual that initiated all the participants into a different mode of seeing.

When Denys spoke of his mentor Bishop Hierotheus, he used terms associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries that Emperor Justinian had just abolished. Hierotheus did not "learn" (mathein) these truths simply by studying the doctrines of the church, but by allowing the beauty and symbolism of the liturgy to act upon him, he "experienced" or "suffered (pathein) divine things."

Denys implies that Hierotheus imparted the knowledge he had intuited to the people not by speaking about it but in the way he performed the liturgy, which made it obvious that he had achieved an empathetic sympatheia with the rites.85


 Western theologians tended not to apply his method liturgically, since their Mass was different from the Alexandrian ritual. But the apophatic method was central to the way leading European theologians understood religious truth and to the way they instructed the laity to think about God. By the medieval period, the apophatic habit had become ingrained in Western Christian consciousness.

K Armstrong briljerer om Gud og religion

The Trinity has been very puzzling to Western Christians, but it has been central to Eastern Orthodox spirituality.38 In the early modern period, when the West was developing a wholly rational way of thinking about God and the world, philosophers and scientists were appalled by the irrationality of the Trinity. But for the Cappadocian fathers-Basil, Gregory, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus (329-90)-the whole point of the doctrine was to stop Christians from thinking about God in rational terms. If you did that, you could only think about God as a being, because that was all our minds were capable of.

The Trinity was not a "mystery" that had to be believed but an image that Christians were supposed to contemplate in a particular way. It was a mythos, because it spoke of a truth that was not accessible to logos, and, like any myth, it made sense only when you translated it into practical action. When they meditated on the God that they had known as Three and One, Christians would become aware that God bore no relation at all to any being in their experience.39 The Trinity reminded Christians not to think about God as a simple personality and that what we call "God" was inaccessible to rational analysis.40 It was a meditative device to counter the idolatrous tendency of people like Arius, who had seen God as a mere being.


But nobody was required to "believe" this as a divine fact. The Trinity was a "mystery" not because it was an incomprehensible conundrum that had to be taken "on faith." It was a musterion because it was an "initiation" that inducted Christians into a wholly different way of thinking about the divine. Basil always distinguished between the kerygma of the Church (its public message) and its dogma, the inner meaning of the kerygma, which could be grasped only after long immersion in liturgical prayer.41 The Trinity was a prime example of dogma, a truth that brought us up against the limits of language but could be suggested by the symbolic gestures of the liturgy and the silent practice of hesychia. The initiation consisted of a spiritual exercise that was explained to new mystai after their baptism in a liturgical context. They were instructed to keep their minds in continuous motion, swinging back and forth between the One and the Three. This mental discipline would enable them gradually to experience within themselves the inner balance of the threefold mind.42

Veldig interessant, dette her. Og K Armstrong overraskar verkeleg, i det ho skriv. Ho er ingen super-ekspert på desse tinga, men kjeldene ho nyttar, er upåklagelege. Det er Prestiges "God in patristic thought," Pelikans dogmehistorie, Losskys "Mystical theology of the Eastern Church", Louths "Discerning the Mystery," Coakleys "Rethinking Gregory of Nyssa" og mange fleire. Boka hennar er kjempegod og full av interessante refleksjonar. Så kan ein spørje om ein bør fylgje hennar hovudteser i boka. Men det er ikkje så vesentleg, eigentleg, boka er så full av interessante innsiktar.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Eg driv og les om Gud for tida. Men ikkje berre sånn religionsfilosofisk, Br. Davies, Feser etc. Det er spennande. Eg kjem litt vidare.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Nok av Maher.
...struggling Christians carry spiritual failure in addition to the emotional shame and feelings of being unlovable that already exist. In despair, the Christian falls into the same trap that people with other addictions do. They fall back on the only mechanism they know to relieve the pain of their spiritual failure. Just as the drug addict looks for another fix, the bulimic finds another donut shop, and the sex addict tries to make a connection, the Christian tries harder to be perfect and intensifies splitting in order to be pleasing to God and others.

One may pray for twenty minutes a day instead of ten and read the Bible for thirty minutes instead of fifteen. Another works harder at trusting God and pushes anger deeper down and out of sight. One can deny herself and let people take advantage of her as she turns the other cheek; try harder to be selfless in relationships with her family, co-workers, and friends; and volunteer for more responsibility at church and organize the children's Sunday school.


The futility of trying to solve one's loneliness, guilt, shame, feelings of abandonment, or low self-esteem by trying harder to follow the dysfunctional rules [i. e. don't talk, don't trust, don't feel, don't want] often leads to depression. Many Christians live with a constant low-level depression that produces a serious, sober lifestyle. Though they are conscientious and reliable, people often do not enjoy being around them. Others live tense lives, and become so seriously depressed and suicidal because they see no hope for improvement that they need professional help.

Sloat, Growing up holy and wholly

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nokre bilete opp mot Heivatn

I dag gjekk eg ein liten tur opp mot Heivatn. Der er det kjempefint. Vil gå meir i området der etter kvart. Gler meg til å gå til Brokefjell. Men då går eg nok ein annan veg, via Tarrestean. Då eg var på tur i dag, fekk eg sjå sauer. Dvs. eg høyrde dei, langt unna. Og så lokka eg dei til meg! Ganske festleg. Dei kom heilt nær.

Utsikten er utruleg fin der oppe, altså. Måtte klatre litt for å kome meg opp hit, men det er ikkje så vanskeleg.

Og så ein video der eg lokkar til meg nokre sauer. Ganske festleg.

Denne er hilarious. Denne også:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mastering the dysfunctional rules often lead to an internal split that provides a false sense of 'holiness' but precludes wholeness as an integrated person. How can people be whole when they are

- denying feelings

- keeping all honest thought to themselves

- acting as though they have no wants

- forcing feelings of forgiveness when they are actually hurt and angry

- afraid to admit that they are wrong

- suppressing doubts and anger toward God or their parents?

Emotionally split people are not dealing with all of themselves.

They are neither integrated emotionally nor whole,

because parts of themselves are locked inside hidden closets that do not see daylight.

No wonder life becomes a burden and joyless duty.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Vi var i dyreparken. Her i Kardemommeby. Eg tok bilete. Eit artig bilete vart det. 

Edmund har godt humør og likar å tulle. 

Ein stor og stolt elg i Nordens villmark. Elgen hadde blitt ganske tam, men. 

Ein sjimpanse. Sjimpansar er ikkje til å spøke med. Her var det nokre uoppdragne tenåringar som mista ei flaske ned til sjimpansen. Han beit av korken, drakk opp brusen, fylte flaska med vatn, og sat og såg på oss. Han kunne lett kasta den 100 m, så det vart for risikabelt å vere der, kanskje.

Geparden var kjempefin. Grasiøs, rask. 

Det var gøy å ta tømmerrenna. Eg vart ganske våt.

Susanne som sat fremst, vart ganske skremt, og byrja å grine. Så kom vi rundt svingen, og så byrja ho å le. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I dag var eg på Raudbergnuten. Der har dei ei finn topp-bok, med klistremerke frå 1990. 
Legg merke til logoen til høgre også. 

Utsikten er veldig fin på Raudbergnuten. Det var ikkje så enkelt å finne vegen opp. Eg fann han ikkje. Men kom meg opp likevel. 

Eg hadde med stormkjøken og pastamat. Etterpå gjekk eg opp bakken og høyrde bjellesau. Eg breka så godt eg kunne, og klarte å lokke til meg fem sauer. Dei kom heilt inntil, men då eg tok opp kameraet, vart dei redde og sprang unna. Her er dei.