An Apology for Transcendence with Jim Wilson
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth,
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.
Being great, it flows.
It flows far away.
Having gone far, it returns.
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 25
There is an ancient tradition that sees the world as a symbol of a deeper reality that lies beyond our sensory experience. By transcending our sensory experience we can shift our attention to the source, the mysteriously formed, from which all things arise and to which all things return.
In the modern world this view is difficult to access. Contemporary culture places peculiar obstacles to the awareness of the mysteriously formed. Using the ancient traditions of Taoism and Platonism as our guides, we will discuss the way of transcendence and what this ancient way has to offer us today.
Jim Wilson is a former Buddhist Monk and Abbot, a former Prison Chaplain, and a member of a local Quaker Meeting. He spends most of his free time writing poetry.