John Dunn

John Dunn original writing
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Thought Pieces
Oxford to Cambridge

About encounter

Glance on Dr John Dunn. Salvific glance

All the presuppositions,
all the idolatry,
brought low by a salvific glance.

Chance encounter, unrequited,
rain drop to the seed.



I get it, the danger of idolatry. In order to eliminate the possibility of self-idolisation there must be no presuppositions. Look what happened to Giovanni Gentile; all the logocentrism.

What there must be is an encounter.

Is it an awakening to something that was there all along? No - that would be slipping into idol worship.

Encounter, unrequited, ever-unresolved, brings to life the process of on-going creation. There must be nothing complete or fulfilled in being. Fulfilment is non-being, Chaos.

The Gnostics misread John’s Gospel, imagining the Logos always being there from a beginning. They made of it an idol outside them, never realising that they had access to the ever-present Logos inside them; there in the sense that the present is eternal where love is present.

God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
(1 John 4:16)

There must be encounter and love; and the ever-present encounter is love-unrequited. Not to have loved is to have existed, not lived.

Picture: SARAISHERMAN (1922-2013), AMERICAN I Am The Rose of Sharon and the Lily of The Valley, Plate I from the series The Song of Solomon, 1966
MeyerP. and Vivian O. Potamkin Collection at Dickinson College.

© John Dunn.

Letter to Beatrice

“In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words, ‘Here begins a new life’.”
(Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova)

From your first knowing glance, the shell began to crack and Eros stood erect.

Now I know that all creation mythologies are personal mythologies.

Just as the stories of the gods twisted and turned, I became Psyche to your Eros.

Initiatory lust gone, you consigned me unblinded to Hades.

There I met other lost souls.

The myth has it that Eros returned to rescue Psyche, which in my mythology you did.

Wearing the blue of Mary, you held out your hand and offered salvation, and yet I turned to walk away.

Was not the hell of Francesca and Paolo an eternity of blissful togetherness?

You, Beatrice, ultimately frowned upon me and became a goddess.

Unrequited love is ever-living. I now know the eternal consequences of a chance encounter.

I want to see you again, but need I be like Orpheus? Will you vanish forever if I do look back?

Beatrice, salvific conflation of Eve and Christ, held out the hope of Paradise to Dante.

Will your saving hand reach out to me in Purgatory?

Held to the wheel of passion, you faced Eros well before you ever set eyes on me.

You returned to him once. Did you ever look back again? What happened to you? What on Earth happened to you? Tell me, please tell me.

© John Dunn.

Ananke, Ananke

Terror Antiquus by L.Bakst (1908)

Ananke, Ananke,
Who are you?

I am peace,

Ananke, Ananke,
Who are you?

I am Eve,
Earth Mother,
The stillness of Isis
Under the veil.

Ananke, Ananke,
Who are you?

I am the dark waters,
The deep untroubled waters.

Ananke, Ananke,
Who are you?

I am the glint in the eye
Of the first knowing glance,
The first captivating glance.

Ananke, Ananke,
Who are you?

Destruction fatale, I am she.

Ananke, Ananke,
…You are entropic death.

© John Dunn.

Parietal art