Showing posts from April, 2014

Holy Week with the Benedictines of Landévennec

While on retreat last week during Holy Week at Landévennec Benedictine monastery, Finistère, I read this beautiful passage from a book I had with me: "The Contagion of Jesus" by the recently departed Benedictine (Downside) theologian Dom Sebastian Moore osb. 

"And he is there for us with death far behind him, alive as he never was before. And then the most extraordinary thing happens. To make contact with my true self, I had to be alone in the desert. Now that the stranger has come to me showing himself to me as the eternal me, I am no longer alone among people. I am directed toward them in love. To be a believer is to have come to myself, so that I can see in others not images for envy and distraction, but members of one body of Christ. For when Jesus rose from the dead, he rose into everybody, and into the whole universe, to be the cosmic Christ...

Here we all are, and there's the stranger, the pioneer, urging us to dive in at the deep end and learn to swim by so do…

An Easter prayer

I' m on retreat at the moment in a Benedictine monastery in Brittany (Landevennec). Whilst reading my personal journal that I have kept for many years I came across something I'd written about 10yrs. ago but which still felt relevant to me today. I've tweaked it slightly. Here it is...

My crutch

Clouds rolling in, they say it's going to rain.
The air weighs heavy on my chest.
Anxiety and fear grip me as before.
What am I going to do?

If only I would let you in, if I would only trust in you
then surely your peace would find me.
But I'm afraid of letting go, as if I'm clinging to the pain like to a crutch,
when all you want is to set me free.

Heal me, set me free, O Lord, that I may let go and fall into your arms.
And give me the courage I need, so that when the clouds roll,
the thunder roars and rains fall,
I may lift my arms in praise,
turn my smiling face to you and sing "ALLELUIA!!"

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"Transcendence" and the transhumanist quest

There is a fascinating (and quietly frightening) article on the Daily Telegraph website at the moment that looks at the quest to

"greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. That means everything from bionic limbs to uploading our entire brains on to memory sticks and carrying them around with us as back-up."

Upon reading the article I was immediately struck by the similarities with the plot of the new Wally Pfister/Johnny Depp movie, "Transcendence". The trailer mentions the idea of what transhumanists call a "singularity", that moment when technology driven by AI (Artificial Intelligence) will start to replicate itself and develop its own evolutionary process taking it beyond the horizon of maximum human intelligence; a moment beyond which the future of humanity becomes totally unpredictable.

This concept is simultaneously fascinating and terrifying, as can be seen in the success of AI-driven sci-fi film, tv and literature…