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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 being
abides, from which I struggle not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the 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 go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
"Live in the layers,
not on the litter."
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written,
I am not done with my changes.

This next one is by a poet/singer/songwriter named Bill Morrissey:


This ain’t Hollywood
it never really gets that good

Call it love if you think you should
no need to explain

Tonight it’s just you and me
a furnished room, black & white TV

the late movie runs till 3
and it’s just you & me again

with no work just a lot of talk
I quit drinking now I watch the clock

I count the minutes in the stars
till the sun crowns up again

and you won’t leave soon because I know
you’re just like me with no place to go

and there’s a love still hear & nothings died
it just got hurt and buried deep inside

Now this ain’t Hollywood
it ain’t Venice or Malibu

nothing like I promised you
when we set off years ago

you’re waiting tables from one till nine
I fill out forms and stand in line

no work just a waste of time
and every day’s the same

you’re home later each night I see
I fix dinner while you talk to me

and then we wait for the late movie
to take us away again

and you won’t leave soon because I know
you’re just like me with no place to go

no place to go it’s just a matter of time
to find somewhere it’s just a matter of time

Now this ain’t Hollywood
it never really gets that good

call it love if you think you should
no need to explain

~Bill Morrissey

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.