Dec 242016
 
Kate Georgall, Bird in Snow

Kate Georgall, Bird in Snow

I said to my soul, be still and wait without hope

For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love

For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith

But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:

So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning.

The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry,

The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy

Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony

Of death and birth.

You say I am repeating something I have said before. I shall say it again.

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,

To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,

You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.

In order to arrive at what you do not know

You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.

In order to possess what you do not possess

You must go by the way of dispossession.

In order to arrive at what you are not

You must go through the way in which you are not.

And what you do not know is the only thing you know

And what you own is what you do not own

And where you are is where you are not.

 

T.S. Eliot, East Coker, Four Quartets

Oct 022014
 

angelI thank Thee, O Lord,

for Thou hast redeemed my soul from the Pit,

and from the hell of Abaddon

Thou hast raised me up to everlasting height.

I walk on limitless level ground,

and I know there is hope for him

whom Thou hast shaped from dust

for the everlasting Council.

Thou hast cleansed a perverse spirit of great sin

that it may stand with the host of the Holy Ones,

and that it may enter into community

with the congregation of the Sons of Heaven.

Thou hast allotted to man an everlasting destiny

amidst the spirits of knowledge,

that he may praise Thy Name in a common rejoicing

and recount Thy marvels before all Thy works.

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls, Hymn 10

Aug 282014
 

341878994_8f7ab4aa31Love is strong as death, ie, death does not destroy it. Death can neither let one forget nor let one cease to hope. Those of us – we human souls of today – who bear within ourselves the flame of the memory of Eden cannot forget it, nor can we cease to hope for it. And if human souls come into the world with the imprint of this memory, and also with the impression of knowing that the meeting with the other will not take place for them in this life here below, they will then live this life as if widowed, in so far as they remember, and as if engaged, in so far as they hope.

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI, The Lover

Jun 142014
 

chirhoaoThe modern world, with its prodigious growth of complexity, weighs incomparably more heavily on the shoulders of our generation than did the ancient world upon the shoulders of our forebears. Have you never felt that this added load needs to be compensated for by an added passion, a new sense of purpose? To my mind, this is what is “providentially” arising to sustain our courage – the hope, the belief, that some immense fulfillment lies ahead of us.

If Mankind were destined to achieve its apotheosis, if Evolution were to reach its highest point, in our small, separate lives, then indeed the enormous travail of terrestrial organisation into which we are born would be nor more than a tragic irrelevance. We should all be dupes. We should do better in that case to stop, or at least to call a halt, destroy the machines, close the laboratories, and seek whatever way of escape we can find in pure pleasure or pure nirvana.

But if on the contrary Man sees a new door opening above him, a new stage for his development; if each of us can believe that he is working so that the Universe may be raised, in him and through him, to a higher level  – then a new spring of energy will well forth in the heart of Earth’s workers. The whole great human organism, overcoming a momentary hesitation, will draw its breath and press on with strength renewed.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Future of Man, Life and the Planets

May 292014
 

holy_spirit_skyRejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Love never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Aug 172013
 

lazarusThe revival of hermeticism in Christianity that, as we said, was foreign to the spirit of the religion of Israel – the latter being based wholly on family and community – was not in any way the result of an ‘Indian influence’ on Christianity. Neither St Anthony of Thebes nor St Paul the Hermit had been influenced at all by India. The same is true for St Jerome and all the other hermits (the Irish Anglo-Saxon hermits included)of whom history has related anything definite.

Christian hermeticism arose out of a profound need of the soul – namely, the need to personally experience the truth of the tradition. And the fact that this need is at the same time the living core of Hindu Buddhist spiritual life, only makes it more plausible that the eternally valid kernel of Hinduism and Buddhism reappeared in transfigured form – that is to say, was resurrected.

Its transfiguration consists in this: the ideal of redemption of the self from the world became the ideal of the redemption of the world: the striving for eternal rest in nirvana became a striving after unity with the living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and the  yearning for deathlessness in the world became the hope for resurrection in this world.

The Christianity of the hermits, as the essential core of Indian spiritual life resurrected within Christianity, was no passing phenomenon limited to a few centuries only. Today it still lives with all the intensity of its youth. Though it may not be deserts and thick forests into which one can retire into an undisturbed solitude nowadays, there are still people who have found or created in the deserts of the great cities and among the thickets of the crowds a solitude and stillness of life for the spirit.

And as before, their striving is devoted toward becoming a witness for the truth of Christianity. The way into the depths has not led them to an individualistic brand of belief, but has given them unshakable security in the truth of the Christian revelation as transmitted and taught by the Church.

They know the truth of the following: Extra Ecciesiam non est salus (‘there is no salvation outside the Church’); the Holy Father is not and cannot be the mouthpiece of an ecumenical council; the Holy See alone can make decisions in questions of faith and of morals – a majority of bishops cannot do so, and even less can a majority of priests or congregations do so; the Church is hierarchic theocratic – not democratic, aristocratic, or monarchic – and will be so in future times; the Church is the Civitas Dei (‘the City of God’) and not a superstructure of the will of people belonging to the Church; as little as the shepherd follow the will of the herd does the Holy Father of the Church merely carry out the collective will of his flock; the Shepherd of the Church is St. Peter, representing  Christ – his pronouncements ex cathedra are infallible, and the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven belongs to him, and him alone.

In other words, those who become solitary in order to seek profundity may reach on their path of spiritual experience to the unshakable insight that the dogmas of the Church are absolutely true. And so it can happen that, as they did at the time of the Arian darkening of the Church, the ‘hermits’ of today may again come to the assistance of the Holy See, leaving their solitude to appear in witness to the truth of Peter’s Throne and its infallible teaching.

In those times it happened that St Anthony of Thebes left the desert and hurried to Alexandria to support St Athanasius with the weight of his moral authority – St Athanasius who became the standard-bearer for the divinity of Christ. The darkening that today is described as ‘the present crisis of the Catholic Church’ can lead to the necessity for the solitary sons of the Church to hurry to the aid of the Holy Father, the most solitary of solitaries, in order to save the Church from the abyss toward which she is moving.

Valentin Tomberg, Lazarus Come Forth!

 

May 202012
 

My dear friend
never lose hope
when the Beloved
sends you away.

If you’re abandoned
if you’re left hopeless
tomorrow for sure
you’ll be called again.

If the door is shut
right in your face
keep waiting with patience
don’t leave right away.

Seeing your patience
your love will soon
summon you with grace
raise you like a champion.

And if all the roads
end up in dead ends
you’ll be shown the secret paths
no one will comprehend.

The beloved I know
will give with no qualms
to a puny ant
the kingdom of Solomon.

My heart has journeyed
many times around the world
but has never found
and will never find
such a Beloved again.

ah I better keep silence
I know this endless love
will surely arrive
for you and you and you.

Rumi

Dec 302011
 

Then Almitra spoke, saying, we would ask now of death. And he said:

You would  know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea  are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your  heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin the climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.