Archive for September, 2012

63 – “The Nights, the Days, Hold me in Thrall” by Horace Traubel

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

The nights, the days, hold me in thrall,
Toils of men and women drag my faith to the earth –
Furrowed with pain, the casual cares
I long – I look – I reach forth to life.

Release! Escape!
Shall I speak of the door swung wide, of the unbarred gates?

After the vigil I step across the border-line,
I take my place with the pioneers.

Have I met the hour patiently, without fear, at the portal?
Now is my name called, now the lip of my love has spoken:
Do I mistake you O divine Signaler? Is it after all some other soul that is hailed?
My self is my answer:
There’s that in my heart responds, meeting the call with equal voice, establishing forever the unspeakable bond!

Bond that does not bind – bond that frees – bond that discovers and bestows.

Look! I am flushed with inexhaustible possessions!
The old measures vanish, I am expanded to infinite sweep.

O world! Not dead to you – only seeing you, knowing you, at last,
Mixed with countless worlds, knowing with you your companions also:

O year! – Not dead to you – only seeing you, knowing you, at last,
Mixed with all time, untangling the knotted thread:

O world! O Year! –
Before birth seeing birth, after life seeing life!

The infinite blue, heaven’s fond eye, opens upon me.

O voice, mastering me, making me too master –
My ear is close, I hear the syllables fall,
Waves on shores of the farther worlds, waves on shores of the day.

The clouds part: O face – O face – O face!
Face smiling upon me – smiling me wings, buoyant beyond the discarded cheapened present.

(You too, O present, still remaining,
Duly visiting my heart, not forbidden,
Yet yielding the place supreme.)

I am all eye – O god! You are all speech:
Melody celestial – sight and voice, color and tone, warring no more,
In the boundless blue uplifted.

Whose hand touches me? – my brow – my breast – my own unasking hand –
Leading me out of self to self?

Divine form – mother, father – sex only now standing revealed, the union irreversible:
Divine form, I made whole in you,
The elements diverse here blended.

This minute grown infinite, the far worlds spread before me,
The endless drift of soul, the long stretch of faces, all lit by the divine sun –
Or swift or slow or early or late the line not anywhere broken,
All – all – equally sustained, swept in the same destiny, on sea and land of life,
The peak lit for all, the triumph inevitable.

O my soul! Look yet again:
There too are you, a figure in the panorama,
On your brow the dawn has set its beauteous beam,
Here with me – there not with me.

Death fills me with its abundance.
What is this food, overcoming body and sense?
I feel the walls of my skull crack, the barriers part, the sun-flood enter –
Love, lore, not lost, only magnified, floating eternal seas of essence –
Before and behind births and deaths, spiritual gravitation, the emergence ever-more expanding.

O soul, have I lost you or found you?
Found! The faultless circle born at last to you,
After the waiting years.

Far eras behind, far eras ahead, the simple few years I finger,
Shafts from the central sun,
Speeding for fuller fruition the orbs of space.

Back to the first word of speech,
On to the last utterance of seers,
My soul, knowing its own, wrapt in its protean habit, catches the perfect song.

God! I am circled – I am drunk with the influx of life –
Wheeled in your orbit – given the word I would speak yet must withhold –
Leaving you, O my brother, each one, to say it for yourself.

Brothers, worlds, I greet you!
The wheel turns, the boundless prospect opens:
All, all complicate – the light bearing limitlessly the burdens of all.
Do you think that you are missed, that the large heart beats not for you?
That somewhere on the road you must faint and die?

Strength will be given for all you need,
And the weakest, when the night comes which is the day,
Will greet the king, a giant in stature and grace.

Now the immortal years, the ceaseless round realized –
The doubts shorn of wing and foot,
The farthest league nearest, and the multiplied infinities choking here in my breast.

O my questioner! You do not suspect me – you suspect yourself;
Tomorrow, seeing yourself, you will see me,
And the illumined spirit, passing the portal,
Godgrown, will hail me proudly.

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month.

62 – On Life …

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Life … even if we are alive, even if we are one of its manifestations, even if we are experiencing the most intimate relationship with it, even if we are able to reflect on it and populate it and have the innate capacity to reproduce it … is inscrutable to us.

There are many, many definitions of Life; and they vary sometimes immensely depending on the field from which Life is perceived, yet they only explain Life as a Process … metabolic, self-regulating, self-organizing, adaptable, creative, resourceful, infinitely imaginative, self-generating, responsive to stimuli, and, my favorite, “… a dynamic equilibrium in a polyphasic system” (Biochemist Frederick Gowland Hopkins), but Life, itself, we cannot define: Why does it exist, how did it begin, how did it come to be Alive, how did it grow to be such an amazing Force, how can it be so ugly and yet so beautiful, how can it be so cruel and yet so nurturing, how can it be so violent and yet so tender, how can it be so destructive and yet so creative, how can it feel so free and yet be so dependent? And although it is obvious that Life’ evolution flows toward Complexity and Order, we cannot fathom the Purpose. All we know is that Life has learned to re-generate and self-reflect on itself.

Throughout Humanity’s recorded History, we have shown an unshakable ability to create ‘gods’ when faced with phenomena we cannot comprehend or explain: Thunder, the Sun, Life. We have been able to explain the phenomena of Thunder and Sun, and those ‘gods’ have been replaced by empirical Knowledge. But since the phenomenon of Life is still incomprehensible to us, we persist on hanging on to the fallacy of a ‘god’.

And although Life has shown to be one of the most creative and pervasive elements in Nature … just in our own environment we find myriad life-forms in the most unlikely places and in the most unlikely forms (living creatures in the boiling fissures of tectonic plates, in glacial waters, inside our bodies) … we somehow manage to contain Life to fit the arrogance and ignorance of those who want to control it.

And even though we have reached an advanced evolutionary stage where we can recognize the strong evidence of Purpose in Nature … the organization of the chemical elements of our Universe in neatly atomic numbers, or how the earth has sustained a relatively balanced environment for eons of time so a highly self-reflective intelligence like ours can come into existence … most of us are still unable to consider the Earth and the Universe as living systems, disregarding the Fact that they both clearly fit our own definitions of what we consider to be Alive: metabolic, self-regulating, self-organizing, adaptable, creative, resourceful, infinitely imaginative, responsive to stimuli, self-generating, and polyphasic systems in dynamic equilibrium.

Like in a Hologram, every cell in our Body is imprinted with our own unique blueprint … the color of our eyes, the pigment of our skin, the density of our bones … thus the unfolding yet cohesive process of our existence is sustained; likewise, everything in our Universe (every atom, every cell, every human being, every galaxy) is imprinted with a universal blueprint … self-organizing, self-generating, self-regulating … so an unfolding yet cohesive process towards Complexity and Order can be perpetuated.

Primeval Forces run in our blood … our yearning to bond, our urge to re-generate, our drive to survive … but there is nothing in us more ancient and compelling than the intent Force that constantly incites us to transform energy into mass, and mass into energy so we can create Complexity and Order. This ancient Force, this universal drive for Transformation, is one of Life’s essential pre-requisites. But this Force cannot live without Equilibrium. And equilibrium between the intake and release of energy sources cannot be sustained without a degree of Self-reflection.

Self-reflective Life is a property of Nature. It arises because our Universe provides the blueprint, and the ingredients, and the advantageous environment. And so it is how we have come to be, as far as know, the recipients of the highest manifestation of Self-reflective Life.

And whether we accept it today or tomorrow, the undeniable Truth is that we have come to this stage in our evolution … to be aware of how Nature transforms us, and how we can transform Nature … because we exist in a Universe intent on searching for the highest degree of self-awareness.

So what is it about us? Why are we so hardheaded in accepting evidence that we won’t be able to continue to hide for long behind myths and implausible ‘gods’? Why do we keep on insisting to judge the self-reflective process towards Complexity and Order of an entire Universe by what our limited Minds can comprehend?

“ … in the soul there lives a longing for light and an indispensable urge to emerge from the initial darkness.” C.G. Jung

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the blog scroll down to the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page or on the same icon on the barcode.