The notion and phrase of "entering the stream" has long been an image for merger and union. Most often it is meant to sum up the idea of union with the Divine Principle or God. Less often, yet still common, it is used to image the union of ideas, bodies, and movements.
The sense that one thing folds into or flows into another and gets lost is still a major underpinning toward the belief that there is some "ah ha" moment in life where we are able to drift out of simple, commonplace existence and enter the field of ALL knowing. We believe that there can be and is a moment of merger (a born-again instant), an awakening to something outside of what it means to be singularly dual.
It is not by chance that the two sacramental rites within Christianity that have the deepest roots in the gathered community over time--reaching down into the loam of our existence--are Baptism and Eucharist. The first--the initiation rite--is about dissolving into God and His mercy and forgiveness. We enter into Him and the fullness of His Kingdom. We are overwhelmed by the waters and emerge a new creature. The second--the continuation rite--is about God dissolving into us. He enters us bringing the fullness of His Kingdom. We ingest God (depending upon your theology) in either image or fact and we emerge a new creature.
The poems that follow are about this "axis of consumption," this "axis of dissolving" in our lives. We are swallowed up by God. We swallow up God.
Endorsements & Reviews-
"We live our lives, day to day, thinking tens of thousands of thoughts. And as Deepok Chopra, the renown Hindu philosopher, so brilliantly stated, we are not merely a collection of thoughts, we are the thinker of those thoughts. It's the space in between those thoughts where you and I, as individuals, dwell . . . It is my sincere hope for you that, as a searcher for both the meaning in and meaning of life, you will continue to read what you now hold in your hands. It is an exceptional book written by an exceptional person. Tom's gift of writing both insightful prose as well as eloquent poetry will transform you and take you to a place very few in life will ever arrive: face to face with yourself and your God." --Glenn Walsh Adjunct Professor of Humanities and World Religions Temple University
N. Thomas Johnson-Medland
Tom Johnson-Medland is the Food Services Manager for Pocono Plateau Camp and Retreat Center in Cresco, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Turning Within (1998). Tom continues to publish articles on end-of-life issues, spiritual direction and formation, and food service management. He lives at the camp with his wife Glinda and sons Zachary and Josiah.