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The Seed Catalog

November/December/2004

 


Editor & Distributor, Bill Joyner
P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230

joynerbill28@gmail.com

 

 

A Brief Word about the Election (Before and After)

Keep in mind throughout that “we are not each other’s enemy.”

We will be the same people that we are now when the election is

over and done. Let’s decide in advance to maintain our civility,

our equanimity and our companionship with one another.                                                                                                                                                                           -- Bill Joyner

 

 

If Only in Our Dreams

Green holly branches, loaded with red berries, stand amid leafless elms, upon whose heights

clumps of mistletoe cling. Icy streams meander through light patches of snow back in the

woodlands. The chickadees chirp with delight.
-- BJ

The Gospel does not call man to return to a previous stage of his development. It does not

summon man back to dependence, awe, and religiousness. Rather, it is a call to imaginative

urbanity and creative secularity. – Harvey Cox

Good old down to earth human love, what could be more holy than that! -- BJ

We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough. – Helen Keller
 

 

The life-long search for a reliable faith can be a long, twisting trail through thickets of doubt and vistas of great wonder. At times, I have felt absolutely sure of the way, as if directed by an unerring Guide, saturated with a sense of God’s presence, comforting myself with tuneful assurances that “Jesus is Mine,” “leaning on the everlasting arms.” In those days, it seemed to me as if God and I were best buddies, facing life’s uncertainties in unison and with complete confidence.

Somewhere along the way, I gave up that easy familiarity with God and, in fact, came to regard it as something of an outrageous human presumption. Nowadays, I don’t trust the idea of talking to God as if he were a bosom buddy. There are too many examples of people assuming that whatever they feel, however vile or misguided, is a divine revelation of some kind. Maybe that’s why the biblical Hebrews avoided speaking the name of God directly by using code words like “Elohim” to designate the all holy one. It might also be why some in the Orient advise those who speak the name of Buddha to wash out their mouths. In any case, I am at home with the ambiguity of divinity.

-- Bill Joyner


The Seed Catalog / November & December 2004

Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota. FL 34230


“Love your neighbor as yourself,” suggests the necessity for certain prerequisites: self-respect, self-trust, self-love and self-realization. Such qualities are the basis of our ability to effectively connect with each other and with the world. Love is the key!

 

We’re never going to get anywhere watching TV. At best, it’s just warmed over news, from somewhere else. Infotainment will not save us from that inward rendezvous we have with ourselves, an appointment most likely to occur within sacred sanctuaries of solitude and silence. FDR said during WWII, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” It could also be accurately asserted that we have nothing to fear but nothingness itself – the fear of emptiness. But I say, awaken to emptiness, rejoice in the natural normalcy of pure nothingness. Only in emptiness is there hope of fulfillment. Emptiness is not only an antidote for the fear of nothingness, it is a necessary prerequisite for transformation. “… in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15) -- BJ
 

 

"Easy Certainty" and "The Wisdom of Insecurity"

Bill Joyner

The never-ending quest for absolute temporal and eternal security is not only a vain,

useless pursuit; it is a contradiction of reality and of true faith, as well as the seedbed of

poisonous fanaticism. In his fascinating little book, "The Wisdom of Insecurity",  Alan

Watts makes the case for an alternate orientation. As Philip Wheelwright says of the book

and its contents. "The wisdom of insecurity is not a way of evasion, but of carrying on

wherever we happened to be stationed.  . . . It is a philosophy not of nihilism but of the

reality of the present.

 

"Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush" is the title of a very revealing

article by Ron Suskind in the New York Times of October 17, 2004. He concludes his

piece with this statement by Jim Wallis: "Faith can cut so many ways. if you are penitent

and not triumphal, it can move us to repentance and accountability and help us reach for

something higher than ourselves, That can be a powerful thing, a thing that moves us

beyond politics as usual, like Martin Luther King did. But when it's designed to certify

our righteousness - that can be a dangerous thing. Then it pushes self-criticism aside.

There is no reflection.  . . . Real faith leads us to deeper reflection and not - not ever - to

the thing we humans so very much want. Easy certainty."

 

I absorb the New York Times almost daily, as you might suspect, and here is a related 

item from an Op-Ed appreciation of the philosophical deconstructionist, Jacques Derrida,

by his friend Mark C. Taylor, in the 10-14-04 edition: " . . . we live in an age when major

conflicts are shaped by people who claim to know, for certain, that God is on their side.

Mr. Derrida reminded us that religion does not always give clear meaning, purpose and

certainty by providing secure foundations. To the contrary, the great religious traditions

are profoundly disturbing because they call certainty and security into question. Belief

not tempered by doubt poses a mortal danger.

 
   

Phone (323) 466-2157 / Fax (323) 466-2150 /

email ihmla@pacbell.net 
5515 Franklin Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028

 
   
 
THE CELESTIAL CIRCUS         Spiritual Explorations                              Bill Joyner c 2004

 

 

This is an approximately 50-page volume of my current and retrospective writings, embellished with pertinent quotations and the evocative, surrealistic cartoon art of Chris Browne. The exact amount for which the book will be offered has not yet been calculated, but if you wish to send a donation of $15 per advance copy to me at THE SEED CATALOG and specify your request on the following form, I’ll do my best to get it out to you before Christmas!

 Introduction
I have always envisioned this wild collection of flowering conceptions as some kind of a book, although it morphed, almost immediately upon birth, into a newsletter to friends, known as THE SEED CATALOG. The book that now is to be unveiled is largely a distillation of that thirty-year-long adventure in self-publishing.

The style and design of THE CELESTIAL CIRCUS is inspired by Marshall McLuhan’s celebration of simultaneous happenings and non-linear communication. Structural cohesion is, nevertheless, a requisite component of beauty and reality; and so I have tried to weave together the diverse elements of this “circus” of spiritual discovery with narrative threads from my own experience. The finished work may be enjoyed at random or in entirety as the composite record of one person’s quest for a viable faith.

-- Bill Joyner

 

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The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
-- or any expression of interest. I try to do at least 6 issues a year. Thanks for tuning in!
--Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230

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joynerbill28@gmail.com

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