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.

Horace Traubel

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62 – On Life …

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

Life – even if we live it, 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, even if we reproduce it – is inscrutable to us.

There are many takes on trying to define Life, and they vary, oftentimes immensely, depending on the field from which it is perceived, but they generally tend to explain it as a Process (metabolic, self-regulating, self-organizing, adaptable, creative, resourceful, 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, to be such an amazing Force, to feel so free and yet so dependent, to be so ugly and yet so beautiful, to be so cruel and yet so nurturing, to be so violent and yet so tender, to be so destructive and yet so creative? And although it is obvious that the evolution of Life flows toward Complexity and Order, we cannot fathom the Purpose. All we know is that Life has learned to re-generate, to self-organize, to self-perpetuate, to reflect upon itself.

Throughout Humanity’s recorded History, organized religions have shown an unshakable ability to create ‘gods’ when faced with phenomena we cannot comprehend or explain, for instance, 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, we persist on hanging on to the fallacy of a god’s intervention for its explanation.

And even though we have reached an advanced evolutionary stage, most of us fail to recognize the strong evidence of Purpose in Nature – how, for instance, a molecule, a planet, the Universe itself, follow a plan of development, a blueprint, that guides them to generate their own components, and bond them into cohesive yet adaptable structural organizations geared for self-perpetuation into higher orders of complexity.

Primeval Forces run in our blood (our yearning to bond, our urge to re-generate, our drive to survive), but there is nothing more ancient and compelling in us than the Force that regulates our constant transformation, while at the same time keeping us in continuous states of equilibrium. This ancient Force, this universal drive for self-regulation, is one of Life’s most essential pre-requisites. Life cannot live without self-regulation, nor self-regulation without equilibrium, nor equilibrium without Self-reflection, nor self-reflection without Life.

Self-regulation, equilibrium, self-reflection, arise because the Universe is alive and provides the blueprint, the ingredients, and the environment for Life to unfold into complexity.

And whether we accept it today or tomorrow, the undeniable Truth is that we have come to a stage in our evolution where we are becoming more and more aware of how Nature transforms us and how we transform Nature, because we are embedded in a living Universe intent on searching for the highest degree of self-reflection: Conscious Self-reflection.

So what is it about us? Why do we continue to hide behind implausible myths? Why do we continue to judge the self-reflective process towards Complexity and Order of an entire Universe by what our limited Minds can comprehend?

Life cannot exist without self-regulation, nor self-regulation without equilibrium, nor equilibrium without self-reflection, nor self-reflection without purpose, nor purpose without Life.

Re-written December 2018

Note: New posts are usually published on the 1st and 15th of the month. To subscribe to the Blog, click on the RSS feeder (orange icon) on the left column of the Home page, down below the Archives.