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ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Zero Point: Am Here

Am here where nothing is everything,
where the stillpoint of our exploration
is exploring beginnings
turned into navel gazing.

Where am I?

Am here where mornings crack
into a shiver of twilights breaking
into days and nights, songs and echoes –
whimpers of regret and frenzied halloing
achieved after couplings of living and dying,
of starting and ending, of suns and shadows.

Am in a circle at last
where the hole defines life’s next of kin.

I have come.

Am here where I am going.

Is anybody home?

--- A. B. Casuga

In his "Life and Death: The Burden of Proof", Deepak Chopra defines zero point: "At the moment of death the ingredients of your old body and old identity disappear... You do not acquire a new soul, because the soul doesn't have content. It's not "you" but the center around which "you" coalesces, time after time. It's your zero point."

What happens if the "center" does not hold? Will life and death still come from the same fibre? Will dying still be needed to extend the energy of living? Nothing is everything here.

"...The zero point provides the starting point from which everything in the universe springs. Since matter and energy are constantly emerging and then vanishing back into the void, the zero point serves as the switching station between existence and nothingness." Chopra invokes the principles of physics to locate this point as he postulates that life and death are from the same stream. He quotes Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita: "Folding back in on myself, I create again and again."

One does not die, therefore. One continues the journey. The homo viator cannot come home again.

If he must come home, is there anybody there to come home to?

It is questions like this that authors like Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) exploit. Some of his fellow atheists have purchased ads in trams and transits to coyly admonish: "There probably is no God; go out an enjoy yourself tonight!" The critical word is "probably". They sound unsure about their certainty.

Because we have yet no certain way of knowing, we will maintain silence in our beds.

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