Today’s line from Rilke is the last of the series. On this spiritual journey, it can so often feel like I should have known this thing before, should be wiser already, should be more enlightened. I keep needing to remind myself that it’s ALL a journey. We never get to the holy mountain in this life. I want to be seeking it always, but we don’t reach it until we die, so there’s no hurry to finish the job of enlightenment.
Every moment is a learning moment. And yes, we’ve learned so much already, and sometimes today’s lessons seem an awful lot like last year’s lessons, or last decade’s lessons. But we’re at a higher level, learning the finesse of the broad lessons we experienced in our youth. And sometimes we need refreshers, too.
1. This weather. I don’t care if it makes me sneeze thirteen times in a row. I love this.
2. Poetry and image and dream, fairy tale and folk tale and wisdom tale–the side doors to spiritual inquiry. I’m not a fan of the theological doors that so many people seem to enter by. And there are so many people wandering through these side doors. There’s great company!
3. Making knots in yarn and ending up with a heart or an eye or a star.
4. One of my students who has been struggling with motivation got to work on a poem today, and then walked it around to several of his teachers to show it off. He was so proud, and I was so proud of him!
5. Have I mentioned the weather? Glorious!
“I love to write to you – it gives my heart a holiday and sets the bells to ringing.”
“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” —Rumi
I called through your door,
“The mystics are gathering in the street. Come out!”
“Leave me alone. I’m sick.”
“I don’t care if you’re dead!
Jesus is here, and he wants to resurrect somebody!” —Rumi
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” ―Rumi
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ―Buddha
Some words on my River, from Robert Louis Stevenson:
“I have been changed from what I was before;
and drunk too deep perchance the lotus of the air,
Beside the Susquehanna and along the Delaware.”
―Robert Louis Stevenson
“. . .and as I saw, one after another, pleasant villages, carts upon the highway and fishers by the stream, and heard cockcrows and cheery voices in the distance, and beheld the sun, no longer shining blankly on the plains of ocean, but striking among shapely hills and his light dispersed and coloured by a thousand accidents of form and surface, I began to exult with myself upon this rise in life like a man who had come into a rich estate. And when I had asked the name of a river from the brakesman, and heard that it was called the Susquehanna, the beauty of the name seemed to be part and parcel of the beauty of the land. As when Adam with divine fitness named the creatures, so this word Susquehanna was at once accepted by the fancy. That was the name, as no other could be, for that shining river and desirable valley.” ―Robert Louis Stevenson
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ―Elie Wiesel
Plato said God was a geometer who created an ordered universe imbued with mathematical principles. Through the ages, scientists who’ve dared to speak of a Supreme Being have sounded the same theme. Galileo wrote, “To understand the universe, you must know the language in which it is written. And that language is mathematics.”
Modern physicist Stephen Hawking says that by using mathematical theories to comprehend the nature of the cosmos, we’re trying to know “the mind of God.”
But philosopher Richard Tarnas proposes a different model. In his book “Cosmos and Psyche,” he suggests that God is an artist—more in the mold of Shakespeare than Einstein.
For myself―as I converse with God every day―I find Her equally at home as a mathematician and artist.