Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Being Deep Stillness," a poem in blank verse.

While an evening in early fall slowly
descends, I sit here, quietly, falling
into a deep abyss of peace, stillness.
No words. No thoughts. Only the slow motion
descent into the peacefulness of God.

From time to time, I am roused from falling
through timelessness by sounds: the soft roaring
of freeway traffic; three notes from wind chimes;
a Cardinal’s steely tsit, announcing
his nightly visit to the birdfeeder.
Each time a naming thought bringing a sound
into existence. From the unity
of timelessness, a distinct world emerged.

You live by symbols. You have made up names
for everything you see. Each one becomes
a separate entity, identified
by its own name. By this you carve it out
of unity.
Lesson 184.1:1-4

I open my eyes and watch a crisp, brown
leaf break away from a branch, twirling to
the ground, now bejeweled with white splotches
of light from the fading sun at twilight.
It’s like watching a play, staged by my script.
Here’s Prospero from Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

A madman's dreams are frightening, and sin
appears indeed to terrify. And yet
what sin perceives is but a childish game.
The Son of God may play he has become
a body, prey to evil and to guilt,
with but a little life that ends in death.
But all the while his Father shines on him,
and loves him with an everlasting Love
which his pretenses cannot change at all.
What is sin? 4

Closing my eyes, I continue my descent
into the peace of God; for a long time,
nothing registers, no thoughts and no sounds,
and then a Word, as In the beginning
was the Word
, creative action, “Read this:
Into His Presence would I enter now.” Title, Lesson 157

This is a day of silence and of trust.
It is a special time of promise in
your calendar of days. It is a time
Heaven has set apart to shine upon,
and cast a timeless light upon this day,
when echoes of eternity are heard.
This day is holy, for it ushers in
a new experience; a different kind
of feeling and awareness. You have spent
long days and nights in celebrating death.
Today you learn to feel the joy of life.
Lesson 157.1

As I read this passage, I experience
the meaning of metaphor—to carry
beyond. The direct experience of peace
is carried in the words, the joy of life,
a touch of heaven, eternity, truth.

Today it will be given you to feel
the touch of Heaven.

. . . and walk into eternity a while. 3:2

. . .and having joined your will with His this day,
what you are asking must be given you.
Nothing is needed but today's idea
to light your mind, and let it rest in still
anticipation and in quiet joy,
wherein you quickly leave the world behind.

For your experience today
will so transform your mind that it becomes

the touchstone for the holy Thoughts of God. 5:3

. . .the world is quietly forgot,
and Heaven is remembered for a while.

Into Christ's Presence will we enter now,
serenely unaware of everything
except His shining face and perfect Love.
The vision of His face will stay with you,
but there will be an instant which transcends
all vision, even this, the holiest.
This you will never teach, for you attained
it not through learning. Yet the vision speaks
of your rememberance of what you knew
that instant, and will surely know again.

And now will I stride into the world, my
world, a play scripted by my vision, in
deep stillness, gratitude and certainty.