This is the online home for the writing of J. Pierre Reville. My debut novel, Birding in the Face of Terror, was released in March 2015 (read the latest review here). I also have an e-novelette , The Continuing Story of Ananias and Sapphira, now available to read for FREE at this site.
In addition to updates on these and future projects, HA! includes poetry and essays that focus on the same spiritual themes found in the larger works. They chronicle several stages of my writing life –spanning many years of low-tech word processors and composition notebooks; ideas scribbled on the backs of invoices in warehouses, napkins in truck stop restaurants and whatnot– as well as new material to be updated frequently.
My work is deeply influenced by more than twenty years of independent study and experiential learning in the world’s mythic and religious traditions. In a way, the whole journey has been a search for the proper context to describe a single experience: I looked up from my copy of Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and saw God board a Greyhound bus in Somerset, Pennsylvania.Continue reading at “About the Author”
“an epic tale that will carry the reader aloft for a long time” –Edie Weinstein, The Bliss Mistress“Some stories have a way of moving us to laughter and tears, and provoking thought. This is one of those stories. I believe there is something in here to which everyone can relate deeply. It truly is a small, enormous, wonderful world we live in.” –anonymous Amazon customer
A little play on words, and voila –the Avant-God: those whose ventures into the eccentricity of original thought on the ageless questions cause our answers to pivot forward, giving our faiths new territory in which to explore and expand. Some of them changed the course of an entire swath of humanity. Most bloomed like flowers in the desert, forgotten by time but cherished by eternity. But they are all pioneers, leaders of untelevised revolutions, gardeners who plant seeds in the fall so that others may have fresh food in the spring.
In the words of J.D. Salinger, a superlative poem may take us within an inch of our lives. We may be forever changed by the words, but we will live to tell the tale. The avant-God are aiming for another class of poetry that attempts to do the same, and then go the final inch. The aim is to snap the reader’s mind out of its finite, temporal confines and into awareness of the Infinite and Eternal. It aims for a sweet spot on the lever by which it can permanently dismantle any notion that we are separate from anyone or anything in the universe.
The non-duality behind pantheism is the logical extension of something we have all known at times in varying degrees. Just the simple experience of being One with that which you love, recognized for what it really means: you are not “you” alone.
Essentially, pan-Perennialism is an intellectual sifting tool for finding the wheat of wisdom among the chaff of cultural history, behavior modification prescriptions, and –let’s face it– supernatural gobbledygook in most of the faiths handed down to us. The result is not a panoply of separate religions chopped down to size by superior sciences or neutered like humanism –it is the direct understanding of a single, simple, complex nugget of mystic wisdom at the heart of every one of them.
If mind and matter are inseparable aspects of the same universal entity, and “you are a function of what the whole universe is doing,” it stands to reason that all of your un/conscious mental activity is a function of universal mind. We should start to wonder, now, whether the human nervous system produces consciousness, or receives and broadcasts it like a radio antenna.
An Open Letter to Donald Trump — 8.9.16 (Random Fun Stuff)
You’ve done an amazing job, Donald. You’ve essentially neutered Paul Ryan and his Reaganomics stooges, and destroyed the Republicans’ “family values” claim for at least a generation. Now if you’d just do this one last foolish thing and put your money where some poor runaway girl’s mouth is, we could have this “Hillary 2016” thing locked up for good.
Why Ricky Gervais is a Dangerous Fundamentalist — 1.11.16 (Essays)
Every one of those 3,000 deities is a metaphor, either for Nature itself or an aspect thereof. A metaphor is an acknowledgment that Reality cannot be contained by our labels, but that it can be pointed toward, in a way that draws attention to it but preserves the ability for direct experience of Reality itself. You cannot grasp the moon and hold it and share it with others as your possession. But you can point to it, drawing the attention of others, letting them experience it on their own terms or simply gaze and lose themselves in the union of seer and Seen.
A dear mutual friend connected me with Edie Weinstein, host of a weekly internet radio program called “It’s All About Relationships.” Edie was gracious enough to not only write the first professional review for “Birding” on her blog at Beliefnet, but then to also welcome my very unpolished and nervous radio voice to her show to talk about the novel and wax pantheistic
There are millions of reasons to be an atheist -–go back twenty-five years in linear time and I’ll tell you most of them–- but they don’t add up to the one reason not to be: the love of God.
The Forever All, by Guyus Seralius — 11.28.15 (Pantheism)
This is an introductory video expressing some of the core ideas of my philosophical views. I believe the universe has always been here and always will be and that all things in the universe are ultimately connected.
Before trying to determine what happens to us in the afterlife, I suspect, we need to be very clear about what we are in the beforedeath….The linear timeline of Joe Self’s existence had a beginning, so it will also have an end, forming a tiny segment of the circular flow of time that we call Nature, or Life.
Rethinking the Omnis: How Monism Saves God From Being Smooshed By His Own Rock — 10.26.15 (Pantheism)
Pantheism offers a monist concept of God, and it answers all the expectations of a dualist, supernatural, creator-sustainer deity without the need to retreat into supernatural explanations attempting to cover its invisibility. A monist God is as invisible as the retinae in your eyes –you won’t see it anywhere until you realize it is the ground of EVERYTHING you see, then you will literally see it in/as everything.
Pantheism for Dummies (I Mean “Dittoheads”) — 7.5.15 (Pantheism)
Largely because of its roots in cultures preceding and generally foreign to our own, pantheism suffers a bit from a perceived exoticism, or a notion of some “out there” philosophy dug up by New Agers from the crypts of history, automatically irrational and inferior to the dominant paradigm of our era. In reality, pantheism is as simple as learning to simultaneously see the forest and all the trees.
Birding: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack — 2.26.15 (Birding in the Face of Terror)
Yes, I know. Typically a book is written first, then the movie is made based on the book (and the book is inevitably better), and in the process of making the movie, someone throws together a soundtrack from any music included in it. But in the case of Birding in the Face of Terror, the soundtrack was finished before anything else.
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Considerations on the Process of Recognition and Liberation
A Philosophical and Spiritual Guide
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Seeking Life Knowledge