Manuscript P45  from Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.  Wikipedia.

A creative writing assignment arrived today in my t-mail (thought mail):  pick a favorite story, and juice it, bringing your own experience and insight into the account.  My pick :  the parable of the grower and the vine — feeling playful, SEE END NOTE*  (Blue words are clickable to koine Greek references, etc.)

John 15:1 (KJV)   I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

I am (consciousness) is our family nature, if you will. We’re known as the VINE family, sort of a neural network.  (¿We are all connected, no?  Queue music: Sister Sledge)   The Grower, our divine Parent (plural),  is dedicated to our family enterprise – our purpose, our assignment – which is known as the Bearing Fruit Company.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

All branches of the family get pruned.  Oww!  But (relax) Pa’ knows what they doin’.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Now, this pruning cleans us up by snipping off what’s no longer essential.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.  5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me,and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing*.

We are all One, inseparable, interconnected, nearer than hands and feet, closer than breathing, energized and made fully alive by our togetherness.  Take a bite!  Do you feel it? Can you taste it?

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Lonely?  Come in out of the heat.  Reconnect.  Just ask for your assignment, with all your heart (but without wishing blessings onto your own plans).

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Success is a group effort.  While there’s no i in TEAM, the i in FAMILY is bound with AM.  The point: working together is a fruit of self-discipline which is requisite for success.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

Our eldest brother, the firstborn, is our example, a model for success.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

The core of his teaching reflects The Growers’ instructions, which house so much love of family.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Catch my vision and delight.  It will fill our surroundings.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

My teaching is basic: Love gets reflected by love. (I’ve staked my life on this principle, and will show it to you – when you’re ready.)

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

We’re friends and companions when you heed my instructions, which is why I think of you so fondly, rather than merely regarding you as employees; as I’ve invested in, and trusted, your spiritual aptitude.  Yes, I have faith in you!  Catch my vision.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. 17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Doesn’t it feel great to be chosen?  You’ve got access!  And access affords welcome, one of another.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Even if you detect hatred, our circle of love triumphs over that rawness; and our love is noticed, and it’s effectual.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Yeah, persecution is ignorant, and it will threaten; but Love never fails.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. 23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

When hatred is confessed aloud, it embarrasses itself, and blushes; it then has no place to hide.  Give it no room! Let it slink away into oblivion.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.  25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

DEDUCTION :  hatred has neither agent nor address. Defeated!

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

CONCLUSION :  Our Comforter is at our side, ever reminding us, emboldening us, of Our family’s Nature, excluding nobody, but dismissing the lie and the liar, with authority.  So be it.  AMEN.


*END NOTE :  Some literalists might be offended that I’ve dealt with scripture casually, even blasphemously.  If this is you, please forgive me.  Child-mind is to be prized. (Try it!)  I’m dedicated to reading between the lines of scripture, in quest of the spirit, rather than the letter.  Blessings are ours today, if we will have them.










BOOK  : :  UNDER A WHITE SKY, by Elizabeth Kolbert

Greenland’s ice is melting, fast!  (Noah built an ark.)  Foto: Caspar Haarløv/AP  [fair use]

Did you know that, early within our civil history, there have been dramatic events (“D–O events”) when sea levels rose a foot per decade, and average temperatures swung wildly; and that history is now about to repeat these?   (In 2019 there was enough meltwater coming off Greenland to fill a pool the size of California to a depth of four feet?)  Elizabeth Kolbert, a prominent science journalist, tells this story so well . . . but we, oh well, we continue to row, row, row our boat . . . merrily : “What, me worry”?

Her book, UNDER A WHITE SKY: The Nature of the Future, is mostly about the inevitable need for geoengineering as remediation for our abuse of nature. I found the first half to be mostly appetizers for the main course, which is served steaming, based on irrefutable historical records locked into ice cores, and confirmed by other natural records (pollen, ash, tree rings, etc). She introduces us to colorful expert characters who are realists, and  are candid in sharing their evidence.

If you don’t like horror stories or thrillers (or pandemics) maybe it’s time to book a vacation on another planet, as there is no vaccine for climate change.

NOTE:  I am donating my copy of this book to Merida English Library.  MEL also has my donated copy of her earlier book, Sixth Extinction, which won a Pultizer.




What’s in a name? Ha Shem and the Shama

Wikipedia: A diagram of the many names of God, by Athanasius Kircher

Wikipedia has a fascinating article on various world religions’ Names of God.  (While my headline words are Jewish; I’m not Jewish – nor of any denomination, beyond being a frequent student of the old and new testaments of the Bible, nominally terming myself Judeo-Christian; I rarely sit in pews, except to pay personal respect.)  A name is often thought to indicate a nature.  Thus, God derives from “the ultimate good”.

In recent years I’ve been pondering what has been called the central thesis of Judaism, found in Deuteronomy 6:4  (All of chapter six is about living in the Promised Land.)  Here’s that central thesis I mentioned :

Interlinear (the “power words” below are individually clickable)sorry, ignore the ads, or use a private window :

v 4:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

(A Torah translation, KEYED  BY “me”) :
Listen up, you who call yourselves God’s-in-charge*: I AM,~º  and WE^ the Divine, are all ONE Being, [ONE Consciousness; ONE Organism].  CLICKABLE LINKS:

* First Bible appearance of the name, Israel.

~ First appearance of I AM  (merger of Elohim + I AM = LORD God)

º Most famous appearance of the name I AM

^ First appearance of name, Elohim  (plural in Hebrew)

 Ha Shem means literally “the name”.  It is a way of expressing deep reverence, referring to what is too holy to be mentioned aloud — as in, Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain. (Ex20:7). The name I AM is not said aloud for this reason — so much so that the pronunciation of the four letters Y H W H comprising this name has been forgotten by the culture.  Note: biblical Hebrew does not include vowels; so the pronunciation Jehovah, or Yehovah, is purely speculative.  (Imagine an English word written without vowels, thusly:  B R N D.  ¿Would it be pronounced brand or brained or brined or burned?)  The word Lord typically denotes “owner”.

It seems evident to me that there is more than a hint of nonduality (or monism) in this verse which I’ve extrapolated in my rendering, above. (Think monothesim in its purist form.) Note, for example, that one bunch of grapes features many berries. But there are several approaches to these ideas.

Somewhere CS Lewis observes that God’s name is I AM, and we steal it and use it with impunity, often selfishly, multiple times each day.

Also, don’t miss the relevant observation from a highly competent scholar, linked by me in the comment section, below.