God calls people to disbelief so that faith can take a new form”
James Joyce called this the “monomyth,” Christians death and resurrection, Adonis, Persephone…what am I missing here? I suppose Jung would call it an archetype.
Picasso said:Every act of creation is preceded by an act of destruction.
This, to me, is the beginning of all wisdom. It is the starting point!
Christian’s friend Meister Eckhart also said:Man’s greatest leave taking is to leave God to find god.
Christian speaks highly of the solace of a group, a community, a church, a practice.
Schopenhauer said:If something is repeated time and again without contradiction, it becomes truth be it true or not.
We become what we practice. Every organized religion knows and implements this axiom.
Christian, I, too, have been close to death twice in my life, once thirty years ago in a car wreck (6 weeks in intensive care). And 4 years ago I survived the “widow maker.” In both incidents I was proclaimed officially dead. That given, I don’t think Wallace Stephens is full of crap. Quite frankly death for me was just “the next thing.” I came out of the experiences loving life more and fearing death less.
John Donne said it well:Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;it tolls for thee.
And so, after seeing life through the “lens of death,” twice, it has changed the way I see the world. And since we share a love of poetry, I will leave you with some verse that has guided me:
The Layers Stanley Kunitz
I have walked through many lives,some of them my own,and I am not who I was,though some principle of beingabides, from which I struggle not to stray.When I look behind,as I am compelled to lookbefore I can gather strengthto proceed on my journey,I see the milestones dwindlingtoward the horizonand the slow fires trailingfrom the abandoned camp-sites,over which scavenger angelswheel on heavy wings.Oh, I have made myself a tribeout of my true affections,and my tribe is scattered!How shall the heart be reconciledto its feast of losses?In a rising windthe manic dust of my friends,those who fell along the way,bitterly stings my face.yet I turn, I turn,exulting somewhat,with my will intact to gowherever I need to go,and every stone on the roadprecious to me.In my darkest night,when the moon was coveredand I roamed through wreckage,a nimbus-clouded voicedirected me:"Live in the layers,not on the litter."Though I lack the artto decipher it,no doubt the next chapterin my book of transformationsis already written,I am not done with my changes.
This next one is by a poet/singer/songwriter named Bill Morrissey:
This ain’t Hollywoodit never really gets that good
Call it love if you think you shouldno need to explain
Tonight it’s just you and mea furnished room, black & white TV
the late movie runs till 3and it’s just you & me again
with no work just a lot of talkI quit drinking now I watch the clock
I count the minutes in the starstill the sun crowns up again
and you won’t leave soon because I knowyou’re just like me with no place to go
and there’s a love still hear & nothings diedit just got hurt and buried deep inside
Now this ain’t Hollywoodit ain’t Venice or Malibu
nothing like I promised youwhen we set off years ago
you’re waiting tables from one till nineI fill out forms and stand in line
no work just a waste of timeand every day’s the same
you’re home later each night I seeI fix dinner while you talk to me
and then we wait for the late movieto take us away again
no place to go it’s just a matter of timeto find somewhere it’s just a matter of time
Now this ain’t Hollywoodit never really gets that good
call it love if you think you shouldno need to explain
Some will surely find this song sad. You seem to like the word reality. This verse to me is about reality and how we deal with it. It is about love…real love.
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