Last Saturday, a film crew filmed me reading a bit of the Seven Secular Sermons in a formal meditation setting. This is for ARD, Germany’s federal public service broadcaster. They’ll be running the movie at 17:30 on the 10th of November, apparently. Six of my friends kindly came together on short notice to play meditating extras. For the text, I chose the first half of the work-in-progress fourth Sermon.
The movie isn’t actually about the Sermons of course. They only get the publicity because I write them, and I in turn only get the publicity because my dad is famous as a hero of the overthrow of the East German dictatorship. The movie is about what it is like to have that kind of parents. I snuck in the bit about the Sermons and hope it makes the cut.
This was especially interesting because most of the friends who came had never heard the Sermons, and we started with the fourth not the first. I had hoped that the fourth Sermon would be one that could stand alone, rather than follow the previous three as prerequisites. But I can’t find a way to make it work. While leading the meditation, it was very clear there was more confusion, and less absorbtion, in the room than there should be. Someone listening to the text without having heard the previous three Sermons is a very different listener than someone who has heard them. A text that works equally well for both seems impossible. So I’ve given up on making the fourth Sermon standalone.
The text of the fourth Sermon has continued to improve, probably largely because of the shift towards sequential, rather than piecemeal, writing. I could not keep writing half an hour before anyone else is awake, because my son’s sleep cycle shifted the wrong way. The fourth Sermon now feels about 70% done.
It also has a new title, but I’m unsure whether it’ll be the final one.