Sunday, May 22, 2011

Here You Are...Wondering...About Wisdom And Foolishness...May 21, 2011, End of the World

Doomsday May 21, 2011 has come and gone and the mocking of the gullible, trusting souls is in full swing. I am not sure, though, what is worse - the prophets or the arrogant?

NASA's warning of guaranteed solar flares of worrisome magnitude and consequence are enough to keep me humble as far as dooms days in general are concerned. I have more faith in scientific than in religious guesswork - but look what that is getting me. A more certain doomsday scenario? A better reason to prepare? Do we trust in God but tether our camel? Or do we just trust?

Trust - is both foolish and wise - and so is "preparedness".

Monday, May 9, 2011

Here You Are...Wondering...About Fearing and Wishing...Death Be Not Proud

When we fear things I think that we wish for them ... every fear hides a wish.

Since our greatest fear is our fear of death it must also be our greatest wish. Here are two poems to shed some light on the nature of death, and a Sufi's explanation of the teaching "to die before you die", which sheds light on why our greatest fear would also our greatest wish.

The Holy Longing
Poem by Johann W. Von Goethe

Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
because the mass man will mock it right away.
I praise what is truly alive,
what longs to be burned to death.

In the calm water of the love-nights,
where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
a strange feeling comes over you,
when you see the silent candle burning.

Now you are no longer caught in the obsession with darkness,
and a desire for higher love-making sweeps you upward.

Distance does not make you falter.
Now, arriving in magic, flying,
and finally, insane for the light,
you are the butterfly and you are gone.
And so long as you haven't experienced this: to die and so to grow,
you are only a troubled guest on the dark earth.

Death Be Not Proud
By John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.