Written 7 November 1987, posted now as follow-up to ‘God is a shout in the street’ discussion with Cymbeline.
What is my idea of God? Necessarily and rightly vague. Life, energy. The generating, underlying. The sum of all fragments. I must continue to follow an independent course of openness.
An inkling in the park today, watching a duck fly over the water, of what I’m not sure. Of everything being in the instant. The energy of that duck. The duck does not have a philosophy. An inking that everything is ‘just’ energy, coagulating in you and me. And that energy should be allowed to flow, should not be wasted in concrete constructions. ‘I don’t know’ is often my philosophy.
Great art, including sport, as a ‘let-flow’ of energy. A release. Opening of a door. When all the doors are open, God’s breath will blow right through. Musicians are good illustrations. You practise and practise to allow the energy to flow better, not to hinder it. You are not the source of the energy, more the channel. But scraping along the sides of the channel, it may acquire a certain character, be enhanced. Energy flows; art is the residue.
A song has worth only in the singing, when energy, life is breathed into it as into a body. Each of us is a song being sung by God. The singer is sung by the song as the song is sung by the singer, a two-way thing. An n-way thing, to infinity, in a complicated interrelated world. When God stops singing us we die, but still exist, to be sung to a different tune.
A quote from Krishnamurti, just stumbled upon: ‘In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, then the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.’
21 responses to “A song being sung by God”
I thought of Hallac-ı Mansur (Mansur Al Hallaj, I think in English pronunciation) who said “I am God”, when I read this one. (You may find his story interesting if you search)
Here is a poem from Mevlana Rumi, giving reference to Hallaj.
The Sunrise Ruby
In the early morning hour,
just before dawn, lover and beloved wake
and take a drink of water.
She ask, “Do you love me or yourself more?
Really, tell the absolute truth.”
He says, “There’s nothing left of me.
I’m like a ruby held up to the sunrise.
Is it still a stone, or a world
made of redness? It has no resistance
This is how Hallaj said, I am God,
and told the truth!
The ruby and the sunrise are one.
Be courageous and discipline yourself.
Completely become hearing and ear,
and wear this sun-ruby as an earring.
Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.
Brilliant, Levent … and a light touch, as always from Rumi. Thanks for that.
A Sofi proverb:
“I searched for God and found only myself. I searched for myself and found only God”
Good one, Levent. The Sufis always seem to say good stuff. 🙂
That makes you first and foremost a poet, in my view. Seeing the beauty and the good in the most random and mundane things is basically poetry, even if you never write it down.
Someone once wrote a blog on MyT – it may have been Jaime, I think , about the original concept of Poesy as the form of expression that is closest to the original, raw experience.
This blog is reminscent of some of the pantheistic ideas embraced by the English Romantic poets like Wordsworth and Coleridge:
‘But what if all of animated nature
Be but organic harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps,
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?’
(Coleridge, from the Aeolian Harp)
Hi again Claire … thanks for this. The Coleridge verse is wonderful … I hadn’t seen it before. That is certainly the kind of thing I had in mind when I was making those jottings in a journal.
I think those of us who insist on rational, logical, ‘scientific’ ways of experiencing the world impoverish ourselves greatly.
I saw your comment on Bearsy’s blog about the need for chaos etc. … I agree.
True, Cymbeline. We try to keep ourselves above the abyss but we are also attracted by oblivion/transcendence, and fear the attraction.
Sometimes I wake partly from a dream in a state where, if I wished to, I could see things not normally seen. I choose not to … too scared.
There are loads of similar ‘musings’ among the Romantic poets; Shelley went one further in his Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, which argued that Beauty itself was a force, a spirit which revealed itself only fleetingly to the human eye.
‘The awful shadow of some unseen Power
Floats unseen among us – visiting
This various world with as inconstant wing
As summer winds that creep from flower to flower-‘
Thanks; I was sort of rambling a bit over on DNMT. But I do think that the chaotic, creative mind – what I called the feminine one – also needs the discipline and the rigours of the masculine as well.
Nice to chat about this on a Friday night.
HEllo Cymbers, btw! Good to see you. Shame about dark side, no?
Brendano: funny you should say that. I used to see weird things all the time as teenager in the middle of the night.
Have you read Sophie’s World? There’s an analogy there with a flea at the end of a rabbit’s hair. The narrator states that when we’re children, or in a child like state, we are like the flea at the end of the hair and we can perceive the world and all its wonder/chaos/mess, but as we get older, our perceptions are dulled because we burrow down, like the flea which goes further into the rabbit’s hair.
I’m rambling again! And can you tell I’ve now had a glass of wine?! Hic.
Cymbers: hi – as well you should be. It points to all kinds of awful stereotypical notions, a la Men are from Mars claptrap which contain some truths, but not all, in my view.
I was talking about something different; a kind of mindset, a perception, if you like.
EM Forster went on about the masculine ones a bit in HOward’s End, he said ; ‘Once past the rocks of emotion, they knew so well what to do…their hands were on all the ropes, they had grit a well as grittiness…they kept the soul from becoming sloppy.’
So the feminine ones, or those who are largely feminine, are more intuitive, more creative – or perhaps sloppy, superstitious, as Bravo might say.
That said, I don’t hold that one is superior to the other; nor that either is necessarily gender based.
Claire, you’re very good at coming up with verses, analogies, etc. … I like the Shelley one.
I think what’s in question is, say, the masculine principle and the feminine principle as two poles of the psyche, with people ranged at various points between them.
Cymbeline was talking earlier about Victorian English ideas … one such idea, as it happens, was that the Irish were a ‘feminine’, i.e. irrational, race whereas the English were ‘masculine’.
Masculine was better, of course.
Brendano yes that’s exactly what I was trying to say, about masculine and feminine being at opposing ends of the pysche.
Bravo’s post today was very masculine and logical, to my mind. As I said there, that’s not necessarily a bad thing; the creativity and mysticism of the feminine psyche can be too sloppy and irrational. Certainly in my case…
Interesting point about the Irish/English question. I was reading something today in school -s houdn’t have been, as was at work – but it was about the massacres in Ireland by the English during the English civil war. It sounded horrendous, if the accounts were to be believed; or as the author put it, it’s comparable in modern day warfare to Rwanda or Cambodia.
Is that true, do you think?
Sorry late for such a heavy topic, I know!
Claire, the trouble with Bravo’s worldview is that it depends on logic but is not logical, in my opinion … and logic is just a tool in any case; it doesn’t exist outside our minds.
Yes, that was a very bloody time in Ireland … someone said that it was impossible to travel any distance on any road without seeing a man hanging from a gibbet. There were massacres by Cromwell’s soldiers; there had also been massacres of the Ulster planters by the native Irish in the 1641 rebellion.
These were certainly exaggerated in London, and led to a kind of lust for vengeance on Cromwell’s part, I think.
Yes, I read that the English were horrified to hear the tales of the massacres and so were scared of any Irish soldiers.
It made me quite sick to read some of the accounts; it makes you realise how lucky you are to live in modern times
I was reading some Seamus Heaney the other day. He’s another one for the dark days, along with Emily Dickinson.
I’m rambling a bit now – well it is Friday – but I wondered if you would do a post on the civil war, from the Irish perspective?
Not that I’m demanding or anything; tell me to shut up if you like! 😉
OK, Claire. As I think I mentioned before, I had a lot of material gathered on a website at one point, but lost it. I’ll certainly do something when I have a chance … remind me if I don’t.
Now my daughter wants to take over this computer … she’s just back from babysitting.
You have my respect for what you say: “And that energy should be allowed to flow should not be wasted in concrete constructions. ‘I don’t know’ is often my philosophy.” There are many things I don’t know and may never know, and if I don’t know it is even more important to live and let live.
Each person must be respected for working out what he must try to find because he probably doesn’t know either.
Thank you for that, Ike.
Thanks Brendano; will look forward to it hon
Morning, Claire. I hope your weather is as good as ours … beautiful here.
YEs, absolutely gorgeous! Will be taking the kids out to park later. Have good day!