Showing posts from 2014

Birthday Thoughts

Story: The Waters of Madness Hindu/Sufi M any years ago in a land far away,  there lived a king who liked nothing better than sitting down with his subjects and talking about important matters of life. He liked to discuss politics, religion, poetry, the books he had read and the plays he had seen at the theatre. Every day would find him in conversation with the wise and the not so wise in his kingdom, asking them questions such as, ‘Do you believe in God?’ ‘Where did the world come from?’ What is the best way for a human being to behave?’ ‘Is fighting wrong?’ ‘What happens when we die?’ His subjects had many different points of view to offer the king and he grew in wisdom as he conversed with them year after year. Each night he would tell the queen what he had been discussing during the day and she would offer her own opinions on the many subjects that had been covered. The kingdom was filled with happy and fulfilled people, who worked hard, brought up thei

Easter Sunday: 'So, you think you're alive, then?'

Easter Sunday, 2001 As long as you do not know How to die and come to life again, You are but a sorry traveller On this dark earth . (Goethe) Those of you who have travelled on the DART ( Dublin Area Rapid Transit ) in the last few weeks will no doubt have seen a poster sponsored by some Christian group or other advertising a number of screenings of a video with the title ‘The Evidence for the Resurrection’. The poster appears at Easter time every year, and I have been tempted to attend, but I’ve always resisted the temptation because I am familiar enough with the arguments they are likely to bring forward and, since I’ve never found them convincing when I’ve encountered them in print, I’m hardly likely to be impressed by them in a slick and simplified video version. How anyone thinks it possible to provide, in the total absence of any physical evidence, proof of any event in the past, let alone one as inherently implausible as the resurrection of a person from physical

Two Thieves

A Buddhist Story: Two Tigers and a Strawberry A man was walking through the forest one day when he spotted a tiger in the distance. What was worse, the tiger had spotted him, and because it hadn’t eaten for a day or two, it bounded at great speed after the poor man. Now a human being is no match for a tiger in the speed department, and very soon the hungry beast was so close that the man could almost feel its hot breath on his neck. Ahead of him was a cliff, and he had no option but to throw himself down in order to escape the tiger’s salivating jaws. Fortunately, he was able to grab hold of a thick vine which was trailing down the cliff side, and he clung on to it for dear life, congratulating himself on his good fortune.           It was a long drop to the ground below, but a sprained ankle was a small price to pay for his life, so he determined to let go of the vine and fall to the ground, but before he could do so, he heard a growl, and, glancing down, he saw another

Pisces (2): Resurrection

Mark: Chapter 16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices with which to anoint him. Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. The sun had risen. They were saying to each other, ‘Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?’ But when they looked up they saw that the stone had already been rolled away, even though it was very large. Going inside the tomb they saw a young man dressed in white sitting on the right hand side. They were astonished. He said to them, ‘Don’t be so shocked! You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the one who was crucified; but he has been raised up. He’s not here. See the place where they laid him. Go and tell his disciples and Peter that he is going on ahead to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.       When they came out they ran away from the tomb because they were trembling with astonishment. And they said nothing to anyone b

Pisces (1): The King must Die

Pisces, by Dan Hodgkin The Two Fish. Pisces is Mutable Water and is the sign in which the sun ‘dies’ before being ‘born anew’ at the spring equinox when it enters Aries once again. Ruled by Jupiter, it is a sign of extreme sensitivity and benevolence, but it was also associated in the ancient world with secret enemies, betrayal, cowardice, diffidence, sleep, dreams, all of which appear in this final, lengthy section of the Gospel. The three decans are The Band, Cepheus (the King), and Andromeda (the Chained Woman). Both Cepheus and Andromeda are clearly referred to in the story of the crucifixion. Mark 15:1-39 In the evening he came with the twelve, and as they were sitting eating at the table, Jesus said, ‘I’ll be honest with you. One of you who is eating with me, will betray me.’ They were greatly saddened by this, and said to him, one after another, ‘It’s not me, is it?’ Jesus said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping into the same dish with me. The son o