Dead decree;
Let it be:
Govern me!

©2017, Amaya Engleking



  1. danielpaulmarshall · July 8

    In my opinion, Sophistry is the only philosophy to survive history: it is very much alive these days.

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 8

      Unfortunately. But in the name of true freedom, I have the ability to declare it dead, rise from the ashes…

      I’m glad to see you’ve stopped by. I’m a fan of your poetry and stories of Korean livelihood.

  2. Harry Miller · July 8

    I too would rather be ruled by mystery than by sophistry, for the latter government implies a class of philosophers or intellectuals to rule us. There is a book Inventing the Individual, by Larry Siedentop, that you might like. It is the book that led me to St. Augustine, and your poem reminded me of it.

    Also, is your profile picture in imitation of St. Teresa?

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 8

      St. Teresa de Avila? No, just a picture of a self-portrait I painted of me singing. As you say Siedentop’s book led you to St. Augustine, I’m inclined to believe his book did acknowledge God. I just have not the patience or curiosity anymore to read non-fiction/philosophy that attempts to remove God from the equation all while extracting God’s best “ideas.” I will look into it. And as far as St. Augustine goes, his ‘Confessions’ seem to have had great influence on your own way. Personally I found his writings dry, and though I was hoping they would lead me into Lectio Divina alchemy (the power of written prayer and meditation to transform one’s self) they just put me to sleep. The spiritually inspired writings of Thomas á Kempis, Maria Valtorta, Thomas Merton, and yes, Teresa de Avila, have affected me deeply. But I will not give up on old Augustine; I’ll just attempt to read him again once I’m not mothering babies and sleep is too precious. 😴

  3. Charley · July 8

    Interesting conversation above. Pardon me for eavesdropping. Philosophy and God-talk always interests me.

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 11

      Welcome, Charley! Do you think the individual has the power to rebuke faulty impositions set in place to deceive and control, and if so, is this freedom because of God’s love?

      • Charley · July 11

        My reply won’t be terribly original, I’m afraid. I don’t think the individual has power (at all) until freed from that which (pre)determines choices and attitudes. Just because a person doesn’t perceive a control from without doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. As I said, hardly original… but then, what is and what has been since the beginning?

  4. Harry Miller · July 8

    Now I’m beginning to feel a bit like a poseur. I’ve not completed Augustine’s Confessions myself but can only get through a few little chapters at a time before picking up something else. That said, it has had an influence on me. Specifically, it seemed to pose an answer to the argument, used by atheists and by myself, too (although i never quite considered myself an atheist), that “I don’t need religion, or God, to be a moral person.” Augustine’s answer was, “How do you know it isn’t God that has made you a moral person?” Of course, I don’t, and although I still don’t believe that there’s a man in the sky who controls everything, I am quite ready to admit that I myself don’t control much of anything and that, therefore, all the good things in my life might as well be God-sent miracles, for which I should give thanks — and so I do.

    I paused, during my reading of your other piece, on your trip to DC, when you (I think it was you) made the statement linking God to perfection. I’m not sure I’m able to see God that way yet. So far, I regard God only (or at least) as the inverse of my own imperfection. I will continue to ponder the point, though.

    Given your remarks above, maybe you won’t like the Siedentop book. It’s an intellectual history book, and God is a concept in it though not an agent.

    Now I am going to sit under my favorite wisteria trellis (maybe I’ll post a picture of it) and think and pray after my own fashion. I’m enjoying your blog very much.

    Hi, Charley.

    • Gospel Isosceles · July 9

      The journey is long, with frequent, brief rests. Think Chinese mountain paintings with pavilions. We’d be wise to give thanks for each artist and voice who points us in the right direction. Thank you for reading the blog, I’ve seen you have gone back to some of the earlier (sloppier) pieces. I realize I never answered your question on my China writings. I have a few. You might be amused by ‘Suckling Stars’ and ‘Comrades’; since you read Chinese, I’d be curious to hear what you think of the short poem, ‘Forgiven’; and then ‘Theravada Travels’ is a travel story through mostly Laos, but there is a, um, run-in with some Chinese business people. ‘Homesick Angel’ is a prose poem written in China, but I have several writings dated in 2011 that are from there but not necessarily about China. There is also ‘Tibetan Farmhouse’ from when I lived on a Tibetan farm for three months. And, if you are up to it, the pivotal day in my life when I died and met Jesus, in Hunan, called, ‘A Conversion.’

  5. LuAnne Holder · July 9

    You taught me a new word – Sophistry. I was not familiar with that word before. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary. 🙂

  6. Harry Miller · July 9

    Wow, I’m intensely looking forward to reading the pieces you suggested. I am, however, preparing for my return from Hakodate to Mobile, which I will undertake sans computer. I’ll catch up in a few days.

    Your blog has meant a lot to me. I hope you liked my last posting from “my” wisteria trellis, which I will miss.

  7. Frank Hubeny · July 27

    Short, nice sounding poem and the comments show there is more going on here than I might expect.

  8. Sanaa Rizvi · July 28

    I learned a new word – Sophistry. Powerfully written, Amaya 🙂

  9. paul scribbles · July 29

    I wonder….can mystery govern that which is a part of it?

  10. Beverly Crawford · July 29

    Seems, in my world, we’re being governed by sophistry at the moment. It begets turmoil!

  11. Bodhirose · July 29

    Maybe it’s the mysteries of life that propel our investigation and gives us insight and ultimately sheds light on that mystery. Interesting, yes?

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