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Nonduality Highlights: Issue #4172, Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
- Wendell Berry, from Collected Poems, posted to The_Now2
What Did We See Today?
Some days we are passive, listening to the incoming waves.
On other days, we are like a light that sweeps
Out over the husky soybean fields all night.
What did we see today? Horses at the end Of their tethering ropes, the wing of affection going over,
Flying bulls glimpsed passing the moon disc.
Rather than arguing about whether Giordano Bruno
Was right or not, it might be better to fall silent
And lose ourselves in the curved energy.
We know how many men live alone in their twenties,
And how many women are married to the wrong person,
And how many father and sons are strangers to each
It's all right if we keep forgetting the way home.
It's all right if we don't remember when we were born.
It's all right if we write the same poem over and over.
Robert, I don't know why you talk so confidently
About yourself in this way. There are a lot of shady
Characters in this town, and you are one of them.
- Robert Bly, from Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey, posted to The_Now2
I wondered for a long time why God has preferences, why all souls don't receive an equal amount of graces. I was surprised when I saw Him shower His extraordinary favors on saints who had offended Him, for instance, St. Paul and St. Augustine, and whom He forced, so to speak, to accept his graces. I was puzzled at seeing how Our Lord was pleased to caress certain ones from the cradle to the grave, allowing no obstacle in their way when coming to Him.
Jesus deigned to teach me this mystery. He set before me the book of nature; I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away from the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy. I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with little wild flowers.
And so it is in the world of souls, Jesus' garden. He willed to create great souls comparable to Lilies and roses, but He has created smaller ones and these must be content to be daisies or violets destined to give joy to God's glances when He looks down at his feet. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be.
It is with great happiness, then, that I come to sing the mercies of the Lord with you, dear Mother. It is for "you alone" I am writing the story of the "little flower" gathered by Jesus.
St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, posted to allspirit
Don't say, "Mind you, so and so sowed seed,
and then the locusts devoured it;
why should I bother sowing with such a risk?
Why should I let go of this corn-seed in my hand?"
Meanwhile, to your bewilderment,
one who did sow and labor
fills his barn with grain.
Since the lover patiently continued knocking at the door,
at last one day he gained an intimate meeting.
- Rumi, Mathnawi III: 4800-4803, version by Camille and Kabir Helminskim,from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight
God brought the earth and the heavenly spheres into existence
through the deliberation of six days -
even though He was able through "Be, and it is"
to bring forth a hundred earths and heavens.
Little by little until forty years of age
that Sovereign raises the human being to completion,
although in a single moment He was able
to send fifty flying up from nonexistence.
Jesus by means of one prayer could make the dead spring to life:
is the Creator of Jesus unable
to suddenly bring full-grown human beings
fold by fold into existence?
This deliberation is for the purpose of teaching you
that you must seek God slowly, without any break.
A little stream which moves continually
doesn't become tainted or foul.
From this deliberation are born felicity and joy:
this deliberation is the egg;
good fortune is the bird that comes forth.
- Rumi, Mathnawi III: 3500-3508, version by Camille and Kabir Helminski, from Rumi: Jewels of Remembrance, posted to Sunlight
I burst into laughter
whenever I hear
that the fish is thirsty in water.
Without the knowledge of Self
people just wander to Mathura or to Kashi
like the musk-deer unaware
of the scent in his navel,
goes on running forest to forest.
In water is the lotus plant
and the plant bears flowers
and on the flowers are the bees buzzing.
Likewise all yogis and mendicants
and all those who have renounced comforts,
are on here and hereafter and the nether world -
Friend, the Supreme Indestructible Being,
on whom thousands of sages meditate
and even Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh,
really resides within one's self.
Though He is near, He appears far away -
and that is what makes one disturbed;
says Kabir, listen, O wise one,
by Guru alone is the confusion curbed.
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