Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on May 5, 2021

Remember Algebra class and "solving for x"? A puzzle. An Unknown. A math mystery. Turns out, math and the spiritual life are not so far apart. In fact, in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy, x is a symbol for "The Mystery" — the spiritual home for the great mystics and a vital part of every spiritual journey. Mystery, or the "Great Unknown," invites us to make room in our souls for mystery, intrigue, and the ineffable "more-ness" of the spiritual adventure. But like math class, could part of that lavish landscape of spiritual unknowns include not only sacred mysteries, but very worldly ones as well?

To be honest, if I were given a word association test with the word, "Mystery," . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on March 9, 2021

Dark Shadows

When I was thirteen, my friend Debra and I would walk to her house after school, plop down on the floor in front of the TV and glue our eyes on the spooky soap opera Dark Shadows.

We were so engrossed by the evil vampire . . .

Posted by Jay McDaniel on January 14, 2021

Charles Takes Care of Himself

"But one day I really watched him. He was chewing on a piece of grass. He gave his full attention to that single blade. His body was still, his fur soft in the sun. And then I started noticing other things about Charles. He goes out in the rain and doesn't get wet. He takes care of himself. He is a survivor. In recent months I've learned to meditate. I open a window, even in winter, and sit in a black metal chair. Charles sometimes joins me. We listen and hold tight to every one of our nine lives."
— from the YouTube video "Nine Lives" by Anne Aronson

Three Cheers for the Ego . . . Sometimes

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on January 5, 2021

Recently, a friend of mine, the Australian composer and theologian Robert Burrell, e-mailed me a piece of music, a little song he composed for students and teachers to encourage them during the pandemic. Written for a children's choir, it begins with the words of an old proverb:

Water wears away the stone, not because it is stronger. But because it persists . . .

Posted by Jay McDaniel on December 2, 2020

My mother, Virginia McDaniel, loved Perry Como. I grew up watching her listen to him sing and listening along with her. ​I loved and love his voice, and I love the image of my mom loving his voice.

This image is, for me, a pocketful of starlight . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on November 23, 2020

“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones. Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers. They know it is time to be still.” ― Cynthia Rylant

For many of us, the end of November is littered with tall yard bags bulging with dry, brittle leaves. . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on October 7, 2020

"We are more alive when we are actively involved with questing and questions. Keep moving. Keep crossing inner and outer borders. Keep asking."
— Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spiritual Literacy

Over the years, Q, that once innocent letter of the alphabet, has been cruelly besmirched. Back in the 1980s, Star Trek began featuring a dastardly extra-dimensional being, Q, who could manipulate reality on a whim. Recently, Q has been co-opted by an unsavory conspiracy-theory group, QAnon, whose greatest accomplishment is illustrating the downfall of rational thinking in the U.S. To see Q continually fall to the dark side is disturbing beyond words, and so I feel the urgent need to restore Q's good name.

In the Alphabet for Spiritual Literacy . . .

Posted by Jay McDaniel on September 20, 2020

"Rosh Ha-Shanah is a time for us to contemplate our highest ideals and our actual behavior. We make amends to ourselves, to one another, and to God for the gap." So writes Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson in Open Horizons.

This Rosh Ha-Shanah has a special meaning for me, becomes it brings with it the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020). For many of us she symbolizes what it is like to live up to high ideals. We are also challenged to ask ourselves two questions: What are my ideals? And how well do I live up to them?

Six High Ideas . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on July 31, 2020

"And who do you
think you are sauntering along
five feet up in the air, the ocean a blue fire
around your ankles, the sun
on your face on your shoulders its golden mouth whispering
(so it seems) you! you! you!"
— Mary Oliver, "On Thy Wondrous Works I Will Meditate (Psalm 145)"

You Are Amazing
You are a world of amazement — a universe of jaw-dropping, eye-popping, breathless awe. It doesn't matter what you look like or what you accomplish in this world or who you know or how much you have. You are an original work of art. You are loved. You are accepted. You were created for joy.

I think parents should say this every single day . . .

Posted by Patricia Adams Farmer on July 7, 2020

"As we move around this world and as we act with kindness . . . or with indifference or with hostility toward the people we meet, we are setting the great spider web atremble. "
— Frederick Buechner

The world is like a great spider web — minus the spider. Or rather, including the spider, as even the tiniest of creatures are card-carrying members of our silky, web-like world. This lacy, cosmic extravagance in which we all find ourselves can be explained with elaborate cosmological or scientific models, but the spider web is all we really need to stir our imagination.

As a theologian, I believe the spider web is the perfect image . . .


About This Blog

Welcome to Process Musings for the spiritually curious, the creative, and the open-hearted. We, Jay McDaniel and Patricia Adams Farmer, are two bloggers from the world of process thought, inspired by the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. This multi-faith blog features articles, essays, stories, videos, and poetry which invite you to discover fresh possibilities for wholeness, creativity, and joy. Read more.