Phoenix and Shou, Symbol of goodness, beauty and long life, from CHINESE FOLK DESIGNS compiled by W. M. Hawley

conversatio morum

Cosmic Christ/Adam Kadmon/Metaman/Logos/No-god/Messiah -- each is a name, which one or the other of us, speaks to that presence which is ever present, now just the wisp of slightly, now full faced.

My first awareness of dow [Tao] was as a pre-pubescent lad living in Peking in a home with 17 servants, the least of whom was Wang, a 16ish year old, illiterate coolie-class servant attached to the cook. He spoke no English and had no formal education, but we became fast friends, within the framework given. This was before the Chinese revolution and through the following years, home tutors, college, university, Trappist community, solitary period, professional years, married and more or less settled in -- nothing else has stayed with me as profoundly as the awareness of dow.

Were I to speak of it, dow becomes a concept, a named being, which you can understand from your perspective. Were I just to live my life, day by moment: dow just is, carries me and I carry it, too close for me to grab ahold of and at arm's length look it in the eye and say, "You are such-&-such."

Seems to me that some Westerners do funny things with Eastern words, and so I, dipping into my 15 years as a Christian monk, tend to speak Christian talk. I walked with these good men between the ages of 21 and 36, they gave me a vocabulary and an overview which still serves me well.

When or if, the time ever arrives wherein I am required to declare my self, my beliefs, my loyalties -- allegiances: on that day I will have little I can do but say, "Here I am, I have no idea what I believe, or to whom my troth is plight, but to that which is with me, has never shown itself clearly, has been profoundly hid from me for two periods of seven years each time. But always here, however hid. And it is enough. I would convert no one to this, would wish it on no one, yet stark and severe that it is, I know delight, obscure content."

Frank John Culley

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