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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

309 A new vision is emerging. It’s time once more to hope and to work for a new, refreshed America.

Day 309: Tuesday January 19th 2021

A new vision is emerging. It’s time once more to hope and to work for a new, refreshed America.

Has there ever been a time when women and men have not looked to the stars for answers. From the beginning we have watched the patterns of stars and planets parade across the sky and our consciousness. We are by nature always seeking to understand the cosmos and we’ve invented stories about creation – stories that come from a deep place of contemplation and mystery.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Spirit, and the Word was Spirit. All things were made by Spirit: and without Spirit nothing was made. In Spirit was life, and the life was the light to us. And the light shines in darkness.

For thousands of years, artists have created representations of our universe. It is with wonder that I came upon an article about this object called the Nebra Sky Disk discovered in Germany.

The disk is small — just 12 inches in diameter — but it has loomed large in the minds of people across millenniums. Made of bronze, the artifact was inlaid in gold with an ancient vision of the cosmos by its crafters.

Nothing else like it has been found in European archaeology. Many archaeologists have declared it the oldest known representation of the heavens, and to Germans it is a beloved emblem of heritage that connects them with ancient sky watchers.

“The sky disk is a window to look into the minds of these people,” said Ernst Pernicka, a senior professor at Tübingen University. Rupert Gebhard, the director of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection in Munich, said, “It’s a very emotional object.” It focused the ancients on the heavens, our home.

For the past four years our focus has been everywhere but on the heavens. We’ve been subjected to scenes of chaos and mayhem and death. We have been bombarded with nasty tweets, demeaning slogans and general awfulness that has shaken our minds and resolve. We’ve focused all too frequently on placing one step in front of the other – and Covid has made it worse. Being inside we rarely look at the heavens.

But the last few days of Twitter silence (blessed be) have allowed us to focus on the larger issues of our country and our world: To look outward with compassion and a desire to understand our fellows who are so filled with rage (where did they learn that?). To care for each other.

Yesterday Joe Biden and Kamala Harris handed volunteered at food banks in Philadelphia and Washington DC. How refreshing! Two leaders and their spouses (don't you love Dr. Jill?) working for the people they serve.

A new vision is emerging. It’s time once more to hope and to work for a new refreshed America. It’s time to relearn how to breathe and to wonder once more. To walk out and enjoy the nightime sky – like the ancients did when they created their Sky Disk.

“And I will pour forth of my Spirit upon all flesh: And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams”

We are ready for a new day. We are ready to to become part of the solution once more and we have a lot of work to do. We need to stay engaged:

"For Christians, the answer cannot be to simply bow out of political engagement. Instead, we must act at a local level to build relationships of trust and assistance and support politicians and political platforms that promote the common good.

"Whereas individuals can help others in need, when they join together in initiating social processes of fraternity and justice for all, they enter the 'field of charity at its most vast, namely political charity,'"

- Pope Francis

Announcement from Mary FitzGerald

The Mystics Summit

A Free Online Event: February 1-5, 2021

Here's the link to more information and to sign up: ONLINE EVENT Fbruary 1-5, 202

What does it mean to be a mystic in our time?

In this modern era brimming with technology, complexity, and noise, have we lost our connection to mystery and mysticism?

With the chaos of our contemporary world, can we still access poetic states of bliss and the experience of the sublime?

After a year that’s left many feeling bereft, exhausted, and depleted, there’s a strong desire to reconnect with perennial wisdom and replenish the capacity for universal and timeless ecstatic union with the sacred.

Mystics across time have written some of the world’s greatest poetry and scripture during episodes of war, plague, and social upheaval… and they call to us now to reclaim our soul’s longing and commune with the sacred heart of existence — even in the midst of turmoil.

As we enter a new year and a new era, it’s a perfect time to listen and receive inspiration from the “holy troublemakers” across history — who were both ordinary, flawed people and great mystics — revelling in the sublime while delivering provocative messages of truth and awakening.

We’re bringing together a unique cohort of seasoned scholars, sacred rebels, and mystical seekers who will support you in restoring your sense of meaning and remembrance of what’s true and lasting... and help you reconnect to love as the harbor amidst life’s crashing storms.

The Mystics Summit will guide you into the ecstatic wisdom of celebrated figures like Hildegard of Bingen, the Black Madonna, Teilhard de Chardin, Rabia of Basra, Bede Griffiths, and Sri Aurobindo… as well as contemporaries like Thomas Merton, Ram Dass, Sri Siddhi Ma, Friar Greg Boyle, Dorothy Day, George Sand, and others.


When I heard the learn’d astronomer,

When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,

When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,

When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,

How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,

Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,

In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,

Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

- When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer


The Starlight Night

Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies!

O look at all the fire-folk sitting in the air!

The bright boroughs, the circle-citadels there!

Down in dim woods the diamond delves! the elves’-eyes!

The grey lawns cold where gold, where quickgold lies!

Wind-beat whitebeam! airy abeles set on a flare!

Flake-doves sent floating forth at a farmyard scare!

Ah well! it is all a purchase, all is a prize.

Buy then! bid then! — What? — Prayer, patience, alms, vows.

Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!

Look! March-bloom, like on mealed-with-yellow sallows!

These are indeed the barn; withindoors house

The shocks. This piece-bright paling shuts the spouse

Christ home, Christ and his mother and all his hallows.

- Gerard Manley Hopkins

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