The Life of Jesus

No Evangelist has the slightest interest in writing a biography of Jesus. The Jesus about whom a biography can be written is dead and gone, and survives only as Antichrist. The Evangelists tell us not how Christ came, but how he comes: they are concerned not with a vanished past but with the imagination’s ‘Eternal Now.’ The timid will protest that we are here in danger of dissolving the reality of Christianity into a vaporous allegory; Blake’s answer is that the core of reality is mental and present, not physical and past. Past events do not necessarily dissolve in time, but their existence in the eternal present depends on imaginative recreation.

— Northrop Frye (1947, 343)

On time

Presence takes time, and time is the continuity of presence.

Remembering is the re-presentation of past forms. Embodiment of forms is actual (present) practice. Imagination is the practice of future forms.

Authentic art expresses the truth of the time, while science aims at a final truth which can never be fully expressed.


Vacation: leaving work, leaving home; holiday, holy day; vacancy, emptiness.

An obsolete meaning given in the Oxford English Dictionary: ‘Leisure for, or devoted to, some special purpose; hence, occupation, business.’ Vocation?

The English word was used in 1450 to translate the Latin phrase Dei vacationem: ‘Put the vacacion of god before all other thinges.’

Reading through

Three symbols: the Word, ourselves, the world. We are here to recognize turning signs as such, to recognize one another, to recognize nature; and for the recreation of all three. To read any one truly is to read it through the other two.

Manifold appearances and myriad forms, and all spoken words, each should be turned and returned to oneself and made to turn freely.

— Pai Chang, cited in Blue Cliff Record Case 39 (Cleary and Cleary 1977, 241)