About

Just a little hideaway built – through WordPress’s generosity —  by an aging recluse, to ramble and rant about diverse religious and spiritual issues,  with side excursions into literature, movies, film scoring, and the paranormal.  I consider myself to be a perpetual lay student of religion, a fan of motion picture music,  and a flawed individual embraced in the Refuge of Amida Buddha’s unobstructed light.  Hence I have placed this blog under the aegis of Rennyo, the great Shin Buddhist reformer.

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3 thoughts on “About

  1. Elliot Easton

    Steve,
    It’s been years since we communicated and hope you are well. I am delighted that you are still maintaining this blog. I lost the bookmark when my old laptop decided to enter the Pure Land sooner than expected! I was just reading the Appendix to Paraskevopoulos’s “The Fragrance of Light” and I thought of you and simply wanted to reach out as another solitary Jodo Shinshu follower albeit on the other side of the country and say hello and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Namu Amida Butsu

    Elliot

  2. rennyo01 Post author

    Elliot, thanks so much, and how nice to hear from you! I hope you are doing very well. I’m doing alright and enjoying the spring weather but just hoping that the oncoming summer will not be a scorcher.
    I am in sporadic contact with John P, which is a real blessing. I received a long, wonderful phone call from him last August when he was lecturing in California. His itinerary then took him to Oregon, but he was staying at such a distance that we couldn’t get together, as I am not a car owner.

    So I’m still researching Shin and am linked to Josho Adrian Cirlea’s Facebook page. … It was sad to hear of Paul Roberts’ and Alfred Bloom’s passing last year… Anyway, for such a “simple” form of spirituality, Shin has a complexity and depth that never ceases to amaze me.

    Yes, I’m still a solitary practitioner, and judging from what John has to say about the modern sangha, and from what some of the online sanghas are saying about themselves, I’m relatively happy that I’m out of the modernist loop. Right now, a lot of my online debating in various religious forums is aimed at reminding folks that Sacred Transcendence is at the core of most religions, including Shin, where Amida is a “real Buddha”, not a bloodless symbol of ego-loss or some such. Also my “mission” is to *try* to explain to materialists why the Ultimate is not just one more chunk of matter that can be publicly quantified, and why their demand, “Show me your God!” is inept precisely for that reason. It’s an uphill battle, but it does afford me the opportunity to communicate with others on these subjects, and, hopefully, to hone my writing skills.

    Do you yourself sometimes find an over-cynical, materialist-reductionist attitude directed at you if-and-when you mention that you are a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist…? Since I’m mostly a recluse, I only run into that kind of thing online, not from “live” persons. My relatives have been supportive, which is very nice.

    I’m happy that you found the site address, and that you contacted me. Let me know how you’re doing and please feel free to write at any time.

    Best,

    Steve

  3. Trans-Evolutionary Fitness

    Paul Roberts? The literal fundamentalist? His grieving took him to his own personal fantasy construction of Shin, an aberration putting it mildly. Joseph Campbell invested time at Hompa Honganji in 1956 with a Hokyo of Nishi Honganji Gakkai getting an authentic understanding including anjin rondai.
    Al Bloom was tops, too! Grace and panetheism go together as basic gnosis.
    Anyone translating shinjin as ‘faith’ perpetuates misunderstanding born of the Western Gnosis Deficiency Disorder. Pity that a Blake scholar didn’t discover Shinran rather than Puritanical American Protestant missionary-scholars. Try reading Shinran in his Chinese original without all the religious language imposed by Protestants. And remember until Meiji period, shin and jodo were counted among movements ‘within’ Japanese vajrayana. Shinran & Esshini’s tantra is a quantum leap beyond shodomon.

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