Friday, July 31, 2009

Access to the Divine

"To be a mystic is to have direct access to the divine, an access that requires no middleman or woman. Mysticism is to have direct knowledge through insight and intuition of God or ultimate truth. In this state of overwhelming awe and connection to all things, meaning and purpose are a given. And here's what is truly surprising: the whole 'mystic' thing is actually not as mysterious as it's been cracked up to be.

The Buddha, the 'Awakened One,' said that Buddha nature is in each one of us and that nothing special is required to have it. It's just a matter of allowing it. It is the same for the mystic in each one of us. Though the part of each of us that is capable of a higher consciousness and therefore connection to all things may be dormant, it is always accessible. Search your mind and heart for it, and it is there. And once awakened, the ultimate clarity and meaning result."

from The Little Book on Meaning by Laura Berman Fortgang (pp. 183-4).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thomas Hart Benton

It was an exciting day last Saturday. I met Thomas Hart Benton, which was quite a feat since he passed away in 1975. No, I wasn't channeling Tom. Local historian Bill Worley portrayed the artist in the studio (a converted garage) at Benton's home which is only a few blocks from our neighborhood. The event was co-sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Humanities Council.

Worley gave a wonderful Benton performance, and the experience was enriched by the tremendous sense of place and being surrounded by the artist's tools, supplies, and other personal effects.

More pictures from the event can be seen in my Benton Picasa album.

As if meeting Thomas Hart Benton was not enough excitement for one day, Saturday evening I had the honor to meet Galileo Galilei. But that is a story for another post...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Outstanding in Its Field

Yes it has been a heck of a long time since my last blog post, but rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated. I thought it would be a good idea to write a post and head off any Jeff Goldblum style Google hoaxes! :-)

I decided to upgrade the OS on my computer, with predictably disastrous results. When I finally got that fixed, everything had to be reloaded, of course, and I couldn't find my Adobe Elements DVD for the longest time. All is well, now. Or at least functional.

This is my 22-inch Dob. Technically not in its own field, but in Ron Abbott's field at his Land of Oz observatory. We had a great night of observing last Saturday. Dave Hudgins and Bently Ousley joined in on the fun. Rumor has it Dave will be appearing in full Galileo regalia at the July ASKC meeting tomorrow night, telescope in hand. Watch this blog for pictures of the action.

Here is a picture of Ron himself on the morning after our observing session.