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Luke Storms
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In chrysalis.
In chrysalis.

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“What I'm coming to lately is an end-of-life conviction that there is more to consciousness than what is produced in my little head, or yours. Both of us have the capacity, at times, mysteriously, to get beyond whatever this small consciousness is doing and telling us. When we are able, when we are sufficiently still and relaxed—letting it happen, not doing it—we can receive a resonance from a greater consciousness." —James George, diplomat, author, and seeker in conversation with David Ulrich. From our Winter 2014-2015 Issue 39:4 "Goodness."

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The Spring 2015 issue of Parabola, explores the ancient root meaning of “sin”—“missing the mark.” And, as Jesus says in The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, “Sin as such does not exist. You only bring it into manifestation when you act in ways that are adulterous in nature.” We’ve come to see that it is our “tendency,” to act in those errant ways, to deviate from our spiritual aims and to succumb to passing thoughts, feelings, and desires, thus missing the mark time and again.

In these pages, through encounters with the “mad monk” Rasputin and the pacifist saint Martin of Tours, through three new poems by Mary Oliver and comments, new to print, from spiritual sage John G. Bennett, through an array of art and essays and reviews, we explore the mystery of sin and expiation and forgiveness, of the journey from darkness into light.

May this issue of Parabola serve you well.

–Jeff Zaleski, Editor & Publisher

Cover Description: Detail, "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Last Four Things," Hieronymous Bosch, ca. 1500–1525. The sins are, clockwise from the 12:00 position: Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Anger, Envy, Avarice.

For a preview or to order a copy, click here: http://www.parabola.org/
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"By embarking on the spiritual path, an aspirant is attempting to encounter silence firsthand. This is the quintessential journey in life–the inner sojourn. It is returning to a source long ago forgotten but often glimpsed at moment unawares. Recapturing that which flitters on the periphery of awareness is the goal of the mystic. ...The mystic consciously dives into silence, at first unfelt. With repeated practice it becomes a living, palpable Presence filled with immeasurable vitality and boundless, nondual continuity. But what causes this gradual revelation?

First we need to discover why we do not experience silence. The simplest answer is that we are habituated to noise. We are addicted to novelty, sensation, to ourselves. Fuss and commotion, mental chattering, and outer stimulation occupy our minds from dawn to dusk. The twentieth-century Japanese Zen master Nan-in rightly noted that we are overflowing with our own ideas and opinions; to learn Zen we must first empty our minds. But there is no room for such emptiness. When one is clattering away on a keyboard sixteen hours every day, the capacious pockets of silence are kept well at bay. We thereby deafen ourselves to the underlying silence we would otherwise clearly hear. 

By intentionally quieting our restless minds and calling a temporary halt to the random noise–inner and outer–to which we are subject, we create an environment conducive to the manifestations of silence. Welling up from within, this silence subtly engulfs us, drowning out all the noise of existence. The Jewish mystics refer to God as “ayin,” nothingness. When we quell the somethingness of our lives, this nothingness emerges. But as long as we dwell in the realm of substance, it remains elusive.”

–John Roger Barrie on the mystical heart of silence from our Spring 2008 issue: “Silence.” 

Order this issue here: http://bit.ly/1vWlvy4
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Art Credit: Odilon Redon "Silence," 1895-1900.
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“Astonishing. Getting older and older, I still stand here at this window, watching as if never having watched anything like it before – the wrens, juncos, and purple finches picking the seeds strewn on the pile of frozen snow. Through my breath condensing into fog on the cold window pane, I still see bare branches chasing their shadows in the icy wind, black threads of water crinkling through fissures in the frozen river. I am aware that what I am seeing is no more, no less than the great Mystery, that of being here at all, that of seeing it – as from the other side of a mirror – snow, birds, my breath still condensing, that breath that started so long ago as my first cry.”

—Frederick Franck, painter, sculptor, author of more than 30 books on Buddhism and other subjects, as well as a consulting editor for Parabola, from “Behind the Mask,” The Stranger, 1995. 

Order this issue here: http://bit.ly/1zcLuG8

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Photography Credit: Ansel Adams, Pine Branch in Snow, Yosemite National Park, California, ca. 1932; gelatin silver print | http://bit.ly/12T42iK
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"Fear is constricting. In fact, so are all those self-concerns for one’s reputation, for one’s ideas, even for what the next association is telling me. For example, am I just thinking of what I should say to you now? Or am I open to something that could be quite new, that is not really coming so much from me as from this source consciousness that many traditions have called “I”? I’m referring to the consciousness that manages to see what things are, what I am, and to not get caught in the next reaction or judgment or association—because all of these are functions; and consciousness is not a function." 

–James George, diplomat, author, and seeker in conversation with David Ulrich. Read “To Let the Light In" from our new Winter Issue: http://bit.ly/1yPCO7N

Photo: Harriet Hoctor (September 25, 1905 — June 9, 1977) as human question mark, 1920’s.

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A little review for an extraordinary new volume of poetry published by Saint Julian Press by Ron Starbuck.

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