Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Sacred Spiral

too proud to submit we commit to complicity
in our existential angst until free to rant
upon a new attitude of voluntary simplicity
when it be a gift to bow and bend we shan't
be ashamed to turn turn will be our delight
'til by turning turning we come round right
to see the shaker song at center and recant

A couple of weeks ago this video on Sacred Spiral crossed my path. It is narrated by Kiesha Crowther the Little Grandmother, who seems too young to be a grandmother, but very ancient in wisdom. Last week she gave this talk in Zurich where she talks about the changes that are to be coming upon us in the next few months and how important it is to navigate these changes by thinking through the heart rather than the head. Spirals are back in the news again with this piece posted on Nov 11th, 2010 on spiral Aurora Borealis which have never been seen before, and we know these have nothing to do with Russian rockets, but since we have no clue what they are about it is mystery.

I have some really interesting things to say about spirals and their relationship to the transcendental numbers of pi, phi and the golden mean. It was a couple of decades ago that I had a short affair with these numbers (more so with the pythagorean theorem BTABP). Pi was rather simple, being a ratio of minimum and maximum between adjacent dimensions; for the circle the minimum length (a first dimension) for the maximum area (a second dimension), or the minimum area (a second dimension) for the maximum volume (a third dimension). Plus the fact that these numbers never ended and never repeated. and you could never define exactly what they were, but that's what makes them transcendental numbers. To me the big question was whether these numbers existed before matter, and thereby defined the spatial component of our universe, or if they only came after and the universe defined what they were.

Phi was a lot more interesting. Phi has a value of 1.6180339..., another transcendental number without end and it creates a number series similar to the Fibonacci series. In both of these the last two numbers add together to create the next number in the series. The phi series works like this but it also has the property that multiplying the last last number by phi gives the next number in the series. So it is the only number that is both additive and multiplicative, which also gives subtraction and division, and hence defines the basic elements of mathematics.

The phi ratio is know as the Golden Mean and is most esthetically pleasing proportions in architecture since first noticed by the Greeks way back when, and prehistoric carvings before that. It is also a pleasing proportion in other aspects as can be seen here.

Fibonacci and the Phi sequences also map out into spirals and here is slide show that shows how this is done. This basic shape is found throughout nature. Another area where this shape occurs is in relation to a math graphing problem. The four color map problem says that you only need four colors to color a map such that no two adjacent countries have the same color; there is an exception to this law which is if the map is drawn on a torus (i.e. doughnut) there is one configuration that would require seven colors, and if you were to lay the map out flat it turns out to have the shape of a series of phi spirals. There are no doubt more curiosities about this fascinating number. Why just today at coffee I was introduced to a phiona though I suspect she spells her name with an F.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Revere Rather Than Fear

residing in the divine kindom here on earth
would be like if we dared to love this life
blessed with an affirmation of sacred worth
which precludes a power over causing strife
so that we worship with gratitude that dear
relation where fear is replaced with revere
and God the groom conjoins with we the wife

magnify your goodness o holy one through us
as through virgin mary simple peasant woman
at conception but then evolved to theotokos
the world worshipped womb of the son of man
the holy whirl descends and plants the seed
in your people conceived to believe in need
of god born in us as we should cause we can

from the face of the deep in time and space
come undulations of the first primal scream
out of holy ground of being source of grace
unfolds in a scheme of the demiurge to deem
a divine hubris of delusions of omniscience
revealed thru consequences of concupiscence
infinitely more than god could ask or dream

That isn't a typo in the first line of the first stanza; the kindom is the official term that we use over at Canadian Memorial United Church. It sounds more like one big happy family rather than a herd of suffering serfs. The first stanza was inspired by the "womb of creation" section of my contemplative wisdom circle theme of the week, which to me is about appreciating nature, the feminine, the here on earth rather than waiting for all rewards in the after life. The other part is from an essay by Thomas Merton on the Power of Love, which I discovered this week. (There are times when I get the urge to go check out the "new arrivals" section of Pulp Fiction, the second hand book store because there is something waiting for me. I never know what it is until I get there. This time it was "Disputed Questions" by Thomas Merton. )

The whole asceticism and corrupted love that permeates the Christian Mysticism is what I want to address. However, that will have to wait for another blog post. I'm stalled at reviewing the number of times fear the lord is used in the Psalms, which is the oldest section of the Hebrew bible, and if this fear and revere difference was in the original or if it entered during translation from the oral to the written. The issue of literacy and left brain dominance is worth a few blog posts. The old testament seems to be centered around fear and obedience, whereas Jesus talked a lot of fearing not, and it wasn't until the later church fathers that Christianity picked up the obedience meme BTABP. As is the issue of the function of religion being a tool by the ruling class to control the masses; I think Marx got this one right, but only in its dysfunctional form and not how it has to be. BTABP.

The second stanza was inspired by a prayer from Bruce's latest book If Darwin Prayed:Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics which was launched today. The prayer is the first one from the section on Advent which starts this week. The first line of the prayer just happened to be forty three characters long, and the second was as well if you add the virgin modifier. The theotokos reference comes from a short discussion at the book autographing and it fits in with the womb of creation theme. The rest of the stanza corresponds to the remainder of the prayer, though a lot is implicitly embedded because you can only fit so much in one box. For example, I originally wanted to have the whole world worshipped but it was too big so I had to suffer the frustration of not having the whole which made the subsequent holy whirl less satisfying than I had originally anticipated. But you have to go with what fits in or you never get anything done. There is a bit of a tempo change making me think there needs to be some more stanzas between the first and second.

The third stanza was written a couple of years ago and I tacked it on the end because it fit with the creative struggle of emergence, back to before there was matter to now when everything matters so much. It was originally supposed to be part of a larger work on the creative spark talked about by Jakob Bohme. My inner muses kept telling me that if I could assimilate the essence of the Aurora and translate it into Ovian stanzas it would be way impressive. it is also quite intimidating and I got overwhelmed into immobility which is a common occurrence with us ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) folks. BTABP. I liked the use of concupiscence as the rhyming end of a line and that at one time it was a highly spiritual term before it was corrupted by the nihilists. I don't think they had high regard for creation, the bringing into existence of something that never was before. Not at all like mere reproduction and manufacture. Creation is a messy process. It requires a dynamic tension and struggle. In the end it is often in the spaces that are between that the final product emerges. Some day the spaces between will get filled in and these three stanzas discarded for something better, or added on to, or perhaps transformed. But this is all I'll say about this now.

[last edited Nov 21]

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My Favourite Saint

Nov 1st is All Saints Day, and it would probably be forgotten by our culture if it didn't follow free candy and dress up like a hooker night. Could the two be any more polarized? All Saints Day is a celebration to honor all saints, known and unknown. The following day, Nov 2nd, is All Souls Day, the day when we commemorate all those that are still in purgatory being purified sufficiently to enter heaven. A fitting day for me to be writing an assignment that is due tomorrow, for a contemplative wisdom school which spirit seems to deem my being in dire need of.

For background information read the Wikipedia on Saints which starts out with the concise definition. "Saints are individuals of exceptional holiness who are important in many religions, particularly Christianity. In some usages, the word saint is used more generally to refer to anyone who is a Christian, or anyone who is in Heaven." The Catholics are the most exclusive when it comes to saints, having only a few thousand, and it is God that makes the saint and the Church merely recognizes and canonizes them. The Eastern Orthodox considers all that make it into heaven as saints. The Anglicans recognize as a saint people that have been elevated by popular opinion as a pious and holy person. The Protestants are even more inclusive where merely being a Christian is sufficient; and this corresponds to how Paul thought with his use of the Greek word hagioi as Bruce mentioned in his latest sermon.

However, to raise the bar on what it actually means to be a Christian/saint the wikipedia lists the following characteristics:
1. exemplary model;
2. extraordinary teacher;
3. wonder worker or source of benevolent power;
4. intercessor;
5. selfless, ascetic behavior; and
6. possessor of a special and revelatory relation to the holy.

The Wisdom Circle assignment was to select a Saint, and it could be one that has had a profound influence on our life, or it could be somebody that we personally know. Since none of the "celebrity" saints have had much impact on me I looked at people I knew that were doing good things and in general put others ahead of themselves. Conrad Schmidt, who gave up a lucrative computer programming career to be a community organizer and founder of the Work Less Party and The World Naked Bike Ride was definitely a contender, but it would be too irreverent. Bruce Sanguin, our minister was another possibility, but that's his job. Same reason I ruled out Cynthia Bourgeault. There were many many others and I didn't want to pick one above the other.

My favourite saint is St. Pelagius, even though I don't know much about him, or haven't known about him for that long. Pelagius isn't even a saint, which to me is one of the most significant factors seeing as how he should have been. In the same way that there are a few that never should have been saints in the first place, namely Augustine of Hippo and Jerome the Misogynist. Most of what is known about Pelagius has to be deduced from the hateful reaction that Augustine and Jerome conducted against Pelagius in an attempt to expunge his existence from the evolution of our spiritual education. They did not succeed and the best they could manage was to have him branded as a heretic. This was an unjust charge since Pelagius was more in line with the thinking of Jesus Christ, the Apostles and the early church fathers, than was Augustine and the dysfunctional novelties that he introduced to corrupt the Christian theology.

This criticism of Augustine arises out of material from a few dozen books I've been reading over the last few years. It is a story of how religion has been created and used by a powerful elite to dominate and exploit the masses primarily through a fear of hell and a hopelessness induced by Manichean predestination. The real tragedy is that this precludes a religion with soul that could be used to achieve heaven on earth. I have material to support this position but I feel like I am taking on fifteen hundred years of apologetics and ideological defense mechanisms and I just don't have the energy for it tonight. So I'll break this down into manageable chunks and save it for future blog posts.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Loving The Earth

Holy days provide an annual opportunity to reflect on themes of our core values. The feast of St. Valentine was first established in Feb 14th 496 by Pope Gelasius I. Not much is known about Valentine except that he was a martyr that about 270 chose to die rather than deny Christ. St Valentine's day is associated with love.

In my concordance of the Old and New Testament love has a longer entry than salvation, sin, forgiveness, law or anything else except God, Lord and Jesus Christ. It has different meanings depending on where it is used. To Yahweh love is loyalty and obedience. To love your neighbor is to consider their interests to be equal to your own and to help out when they are in need, even if you don't like them because some day you may be in need. These were both means of achieving the religious function of creating and maintaining tribal cohesion in order to survive. Jesus used the Good Samaritan parable to show that the neighbor includes everybody that you meet even if they are outside the tribe. Now, after poets and theologians have filled libraries, some, notably our own local Dr. Sally McFague are saying that we need to think of other species and even the environment as "neighbors" and to love the world.

Love is more than rules for social cohesion, feelings, or something that fulfills a desire. There are lots of kinds of love and the term is used so often and in so many aspects of our lives that it is possibly the most complicated subject to describe, and at the same time it can be the easiest to experience. Love is a verb. Love involves an exchange of giving and receiving between yourself and an other, and to experience all the different kinds of love requires a community. Love is not a solitary endeavor, it requires a relationship. The beloved is rarely far from your attention and you will do what you can to keep them from perishing.

Small groups of people, working within larger groups, can not only develop their own social capital, but are also able to reach out and engage with the neighborhood, government and world at large. One example appropriate for today involves global warming and the religious community.

Today in the United States the sermon in hundreds of churches will be about global warming. This event was organized by "Interfaith Power and Light", whose objectives are described by president and founder the Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham in the following quote.

"Interfaith Power and Light is mobilizing a religious response to global warming in congregations through the promotion of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation.

Global warming is one of the biggest threats facing humanity today. The very existence of life — life that religious people are called to protect — is jeopardized by our continued dependency on fossil fuels for energy. Every mainstream religion has a mandate to care for creation. We were given natural resources to sustain us, but we were also given the responsibility to act as good stewards and preserve life for future generations.

We focus on tangible results in congregations–putting our faith into action. This work includes educating congregations and helping them buy energy efficient lights and appliances, providing energy audits and implementing the recommendations, encouraging people to buy more fuel efficient vehicles and to drive less, supporting renewable energy development through “greentags,” working on large-scale renewable energy installation projects such as rooftop solar and advocating for sensible energy and global warming policy."

There is more information and resources at www.interfaithpowerandlight.org. It is encouraging to see the growing numbers of green congregations that are educating themselves and organizing to participate in loving the world through engagement of community. I am looking forward to all of the projects that will be happening here at Christ Church Cathedral during the coming year.

Have a happy Valentine's day and remember to send some love to Mother Earth.

Another "Caring for Creation" page in the Christ Church Cathedral's weekly chronicle for Feb 14th.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Community Kitchens

"[The Lord] cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the human heart." Psalms 104:14-15

It doesn't get much greener than food. Almost every other aspect of our life can be plastic and artificial but to keep our body alive we need food grown from the earth.  Taking care of Earth, caring for creation, and securing our continuing food supply should have a higher priority than the myriad activities that occupy our time, but it often seems to be a maintenance chore that gets in the way of life. Ironic. Time to reflect on where our priorities lie.

Since this is the first Sunday of a new year I'm going to take my theological angle from some creation mythology commented on by Claus Westermann. Judea-Christian attention is focused on the first three chapters of Genesis, with God's creation of the world and our fall through the sin of disobedience, but less focused on the chapter four through eleven side of the story where man is expected to learn how to live in community, and which contains the primeval themes common to all preliterate cultures. The Babylonian creation myth was recited at a New Year's feast to commemorate the renewal of the world, and had the function of preserving the world and giving security to life. It's an existential theme that is still with us.

There is an ancient tradition of moving into the future by reconnecting with our origins. Which brings me to Jesus Christ and how one of the main components of his ministry was the shared meal as a means of finding common ground and building community. The Eucharist in the first few centuries after Christ was a full meal deal with lots of food, wine and conversation. It's how they organized and got things done.

At the end of November I attended a community kitchen workshop put on by the Food Bank. It's a simple concept where a small group of people (6-18) locate a public kitchen in their neighborhood and then get together about once a month to share in the cooking, eating and cleaning up after of a communal meal. There is usually enough made for everybody to take home a meal or two. The total cost is less than ten dollars per person.  My original intention was to gather information for a course on how to "cook frugally" for poor people, but it soon became clear that this would be reinventing the wheel  since there are already so many good resources for this as can be seen at the www.communitykitchens.ca website.  As the day progressed and I heard more and more stories about the social relation building, and how from this political action emerged, I started thinking of how community kitchens could be used to build communities within our congregation, and that we could also have a lot of fun in the process. So let's talk about this over coffee and cookies.


This was my submission to the church Chronicle for Jan 3rd. It was for the Green Group's page called "Caring For Creation." I was trying for a green message, with a theological slant that would inspire a call for action. Unfortunately nobody wanted to talk about it let alone try and get anything started. I still think that having a food center is one of the best ways of building community groups. Perhaps I will be able to get together a group sometime in the upcoming year.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Distributive Justice

The politics of distributive justice is the theme of this week's column for your theological reflection. It was the subject of a talk that Marcus Borg gave recently at St Mary in Kerrisdale titled "The Dream of God: A Politics of Compassion". I later discovered it was a chapter from his book "The God We Never Knew" which allowed me to study the concept in more detail, along with his 2006 book "Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary." Provocative titles but I have the impression that Borg is a credible theologian to Anglicans, or at least for the liberal variety.

Distributive justice is concerned with the equitable distribution of the necessities of life, the giving of the daily bread, for the benefit of all. It also challenges domination systems, prototyped by the Pharaoh, which are ruled by elites and marked by an economics of exploitation, a politics of oppression, and a religion of legitimation. After the exodus Israel created a domination-free society, and maintained it for a couple of centuries, prior to reverting back to the pharaonic system railed at by the prophets. In sermons and visioning meetings in this church, within the last year, we have heard the condemnations of Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Micah.

Marcus gives a concrete example of the injustice of the social world of the old testament times: half of the society's annual production was acquired by the top 1 to 2 percent, and the rural peasants making up 90% of the population had to make do with one-third. If current conditions continue the majority of our aging congregation will live to experience these statistics.

A more common version of justice is retributive or punitive, of crime and punishment according to ethical  law. This assumes that injustice is a result of individual sinfulness and doesn't question the inherent evil of the dominance system itself; the oppressed will still be oppressed even if they and the elites are fully moral. Focusing exclusively on the morality of individuals preserves the status quo.

Some of the oldest portions of the Hebrew Bible were about means of keeping a dominance-free society. The year of Jubilee when all debts were cleared and land reverted back to the original owners was intended to preclude an economically dominated class (and restoring this law was one of the objectives proclaimed by Jesus when he read the Isaiah scroll). The laws against usury were for similar purposes. Not harvesting all of the crops but leaving some for the poor, and giving charity, were means of loving our neighbors as ourselves. The laws that stressed purity and separation were written much later, after the prophets and after the fall of the first temple system. The purpose of these laws was to strengthen tribal loyalty and guard against being assimilated into the "other". We need to reclaim the laws that promote equity and retire the laws that endorse elitism.

Distributive justice is incompatible with dominance systems, so it is necessary to either abandon any pretense to justice or to work towards dismantling the dominance systems and replacing them with more equitable alternatives. We either maintain empire or we establish the "Kingdom of God" here on Earth. This is where collective action is required by communities, with the guidance of the body of the church, to engage in politics.

The three main dominance structures today are: Ongoing war that profits weapons manufactures to the tune of $700 billion a year; a private international reserve banking system based on fiat currency; a mass media and culture machine that promotes individualism and self interest. 

I'm suggesting we take the radical approach of going back to our roots, back to the prophets that preceded the priestly codes, and speak truth to power on these issues. To love life more than we fear death, to seek justice and to live.


This article was published on Oct 25th 2009 in the Chronicle, a weekly service bulletin for the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral.  It took great effort on my part to get it to fit onto a single page. I was also under a lot of pressure since this was the first submission by the Justice Group. The Green Group had been publishing articles for some time and I had talked the powers that be in to allowing one week a month for the Justice Group. I received quite a few positive comments.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Divine Design

In the beginning there was a darkness, deep and void,
where there was nothing but the word.
The word was Be
No more no less
Just Be cast adrift
on a sea of total nothingness.

Now was this a noun named Be
Or a verb and quest and destiny
Either way it matters not
For whichever way you choose
Be was all alone and in the dark
without a single clue.

But with the faith to believe
That there was a methodology
To find the ideal strategy
And that somewhere down along the line
Through permutations and transformation
Achieves self creation
And applies it back to the start of time
Be declared this to be law
Law by design.

As events started to unfold
Be saw there was more to it than that
For Nothing turned out to be
The ultimate primordial vat
From which nothing could escape
And before all would be done
All the parts in their diversity
would have to act as one
And communicate and cooperate
And see the whole plan through
Be declared this to be Design Law number two.

Now it had to general
Because you couldn't know all that was involved
The plot would be oral so that it could evolve
And it had to be dynamic so it could engage in exchange
So this order of General Oral and Dynamic
Became the trinity
That Be declared to be Design Law number three.

The focus is on knowledge and what it all means
Philosophers would later write
Of how its more than what it seems
Of what is it made that gives it physical form
And from what is it begot that caused it to be born
What is its function and how does it perform
And what is its purpose and its future hold in store
To all things these questions
Combine with deductive lore
Be declared this to be Design Law number four.

The future is the possibility
Of what we want and what we need
So imagine the seduction of induction
Where options multiply rather than divide
And for those choices that affect the future

honor the child while mother father elder the evolution
of the persistence to survive
Be declared this to be Design Law number five.

Through synthesis all things combine
The past and future intertwine
In common cause that transcends time.
As for effect there is free will
And it all depends on what you pick
There lie the cunning in the cosmic trick
That Be declared to be Design Law number six.

In this chaos of complexity
And you think you're in too deep
Enjoy the easy parts while you're awake
And do the hard parts in your sleep
It shall be on Earth as in this subconscious heaven
Be declared this to be Design Law number seven.

With this Be realized
And came alive as concept materialized
Be became I Am
Then cycled the essence of its being
Through the process once again

I love going back to the start of time
With Be revealing the divine design
And watching it unwind and branch and flow
Until it feels the pulse
And is prompted to trace back to the core
And each and every time
It's more beautiful than it was before

In the end there was darkness
It was black and it was void
There was nothing but words
But two were I Am
And another one was Be
It's all you'll ever want
And all you'll ever need
This meaning passed through verse
Is to be and become one with the entire universe

Just be.

Such is the Logos within its limitations.


I wrote this about 18 years ago.  This came out of the summer of '89 experience and I knew what it was about but it took a few years to come up with the words, and I'm still making little changes in it here and there. Tonight I changed an opening line from "it was black and it was void" to "a darkness deep and void" because I preferred the Genesis reference. A few years back I changed design law five to include honoring the child, and the role of elders, because I thought it set the fifth commandment straight. A couple of years ago I added the engage in exchange, rather than withstand change, as an inspiration picked up in a retreat by Cynthia Borgeault. I still haven't decided if I should add punctuation, it is an oral piece after all where that isn't a direct consideration, though it does come through in the power of the presentation.

At one time I was really proud of this piece. Now not as much. That happened when I added the last line about the Logos having limitations. A friend remarked that though it was a powerful work there was no mention of Love.  It took me awhile to realize that this was all left brain, and Love has no place within the left brain domain. I have a few essays to write on this topic but they are for another post. 

Maybe I'll unpack the theology in here, and maybe I should just let it be.

Friday, September 24, 2010

First Introductory Post

This site is intended as an introduction of myself to the people that I meet face to face out in the real world. A lot of the articles that I write are based on where I am in my spiritual journey.  This is different than the standard what kind of job and how long have I been married type story that most people are able to use to introduce themselves. I don't know where to start or how much to say. I do know that the other articles that I have to post are waiting for this one.

Career and employment are pretty straightforward, or at least to start. I got a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Calgary in 1981.  Financed by a few student loans but mainly from working on the drilling rigs in the summer. My family was in the "oil patch" and these connections got me my first job, and I wouldn't have been able to keep it if it wasn't for these connections since I was woefully inadequate in the physical department to start but perseverance  eventually made me strong enough. After I had my degree I got a job as a Drilling Engineer for BP. I was working in the heavy oil section and later transferred to conventional drilling. There are some details here that I will save for a separate post. After six years I was called into the office and given the "technically you're the best engineer I've ever had work for me, but, you have an attitude problem and we can't trust you to always do what is in the best interests of BP." They didn't cheat me out of severance pay so I was happy.

I didn't even look for another job but immediately signed up at university in the computer science department. Experiences with the system service department on the last job were so frustrating that I never wanted to have to depend on them again. I was also taking a minor in communications, as in speeches, rhetoric, etc. Between second and third year I took the summer off to learn C and wrote a prototype for a distributed hypertext system. I saw the potential and I was going to use it to bankroll the counter-culture. This was in the summer of 1989, the same time that Tim Berners-Lee was laying down the foundation for HTML, which I didn't find out about until months later. One thing led to another, add some psychic inflation with rupture into the collective unconscious as Jung would say, three weeks without sleep and I was pretty much screwed for the rest of my life -- (but if I could go back and do things different I wouldn't change a thing.) With great difficulty I managed to finish my degree over the next two years, but I had timetable conflicts that prevented the communication minor.

Worked for TransCanada Pipelines for a couple of years. Very frustrating. They had contempt for software design, that was overcompensated for by a lot, an awful lot, of time spent on screen appearance and cosmetics. I was told it didn't matter much what was on the inside since they would be rewriting the programs next year anyway. We had the largest in-house computer department in town. I found out that they were a regulated company, being a monopoly and all, and the price they could charge was set as a percentage above expenses. The higher the expenses, the higher the profit. It all made sense.

I thought I had enough money to last until the global economic meltdown, the one which still hasn't happened, though it looms ever closer. Plus I had this book to write, and a mission, etc.  So I took a vow that I would starve to death in the freezing rain besides some dumpster before I would ever let a corporation benefit from my talents again. You would think this would motivate me to get the book written. You'd think. The crash and burn was a long drawn out affair.

Father gave me enough money to move to Vancouver in 1996 so I could crash and burn again out of sight. Which I did, until I was rescued by social services. Turns out that one of the reasons I had no energy was that my thyroid had quit working somewhere along the line. Got that fixed up with daily pills, and now I'm on mental disability with a part time job at Windsor Meats making sausages. It supplies my daily bread and I live a monastic lifestyle. I'm a contemplative, a monk without an order. I do lots of charity work. I have an active religious life. I still haven't written the book.

That is a pretty quick and dirty summary of the outer life. The inner life of O.V. is more complicated and I'll get back to it in posts here and there over the next few months/years.