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November/December, 2000


Look Out For Miracles

Father Zosimo, in Dostoevsky's THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, says to his flock, "Children, do not seek miracles, for miracles kill faith."  What on earth might that mean?  Perhaps this -- faith in an outward, anomalous fact is not faith at all, but naive clinging to private, illusory visions that we deeply wish to be real.  Faith is letting go of the need for literal verification.

Until my years at Duke Divinity School ('63), I pretty much believed that the Bible had to be more or less literally true, but I was never really comfortable with the logic of that position.  One of my assignments at Duke was to study the thought of Rudolph Bultmann, who suggested that a person of true faith would not be shaken in his belief, if on Easter morn there had been a film of the resurrection & nobody appeared.  Why? Because miracles and mythologies are linguistic methods of expressing faith, not the essence thereof.  Remember what THE LITTLE PRINCE in Euxpery's book said: "What's essential is invisible to the eyes."

-- Bill Joyner call God transcendent... does not mean that one must establish a "superworld" of divine objects.  It does mean that within itself, the finite world points beyond itself.  In other words, it is self-transcendent.

--Paul Tillich

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
and a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.

Gilbert K. Chesterson

"So much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

William Carlos Williams

"Oh, I'd better hurry. I've got to get some seeds. I've got to get some seeds, right away. Nothing's planted. I don't have a thing in the ground."

--Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's play, Death of a Salesman


Education and Ecstasy
by George B. Leonard

For us of the West, there is no better example of the mystic as rogue than Jesus.  He followed his vision all the way, though the changes he preached would have unglued the entire reinforcement structure of Civilization, replacing law with love.  He formulated perhaps the most revolutionary educational prescription ever known:  "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter in the kingdom of heaven." Any respectable citizen would have to be far removed, in time and place, from Calvary to think Jesus anything other than a rogue.  It may be an indictment of our time that we no longer consider Him so.


Break the dance, and scatter the song;
Let some depart, and some remain;
Wherever we fly we lead along
In leashes, like star-beams, soft and strong
The clouds that are heavy with love's sweet rain.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Love is the most universal, formidable and mysterious of all cosmic energies."

--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Only speak of hope.

--Corita Kent

I have nothing to say, and that is poetry.

--John Cage

A rule of warfare: it's better to be stronger at the point where the fortune of the day is to be decided, even at the cost of being deplorably weaker, if necessary, everywhere else.


I wish there were some wonderful place,
Called the Land of Beginning Again,
Where all our mistakes and all our heartaches,
And all our selfish grief,
Could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door
And never put on again.

Author Unknown

An error is simply a failure to adjust immediately from a preconception to an actuality.

--John Cage


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Beware of Dogma

Today, I continue to have this inner "lover's quarrel with the church" that began so long ago.  It was around 1963 that I first saw the film Zorba The Greek, the pure realistic simplicity of which astounded me.  I fixated upon the scene where the local yokels of somewhere like Crete, drunk on their pious, jealous superstitions, block the young woman (Irene Pappas), who has so grievously wounded their pride by rejecting one of them, from entering the church -- as if to say, "no one so unworthy of you can enter this sanctuary!"  Then, just outside the sacred precincts, they surround her and slit her throat as if she were no more than a sacrificial goat!  That, and other works by the author, Nikos Kazantzakis, helped me become more & more wary of officially sanction, popular forms of dogmatic religion, also; it made me aware of the arrogance that religion can breed, as in the case of those who claim some kind of an ultra-intimate relationship with the Unknowable and brag about "knowing" that they're going to heaven, etc.  Whatever true faith may be, I think it has very little to do with absolute certainty.

--Bill Joyner


Imagine This!

A continuous mobius strip of verba-licious images, a multi-ringed, rainbow-circus of refracted colors, a plethora of epiphanies!  Graphic reminders of buried treasures, brought to life again before our very eyes!  Seeds of affirmation and awareness to enrich the imagination.  A whirlwind of fecundity in seminal patterns of undifferentiated continuity! WOW! It must be THE 2001 SEED CATALOG CALENDAR!


2001 Seed Catalog Calendar Cover

William T. Joyner

Printed and spiral bound 11" x 14" calendar available for a donation of $4.00 per copy plus $1.50 mailing cost -  for more information contact Bill Joyner 
via U.S. Mail:  P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230 
or email Bill at


The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
-- or any expression of interest. I try to do at least 6 issues a year. Thanks for tuning in!
--Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230

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