Tuesday, October 04, 2005
One of the great constants in human experience is the longing for transcendence. We yearn for the moment which lifts us out of the ordinary,humdrum routine of our lives. Through the centuries, we have perpetually sought such heightened experience in a multitude of ways: ritual, drugs, song, chant, art, poetry, nature (the "natural high"), sex, and many other avenues. Yeats put it this way:
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot.
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast,
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.
(from "A Dialogue of Self and Soul"
Lisel Mueller, one of the most gifted poets of our time, describes her awed reaction as she listens to a concert of Shubert by the great pianest Alfred Brendel: she feels that she has been in "the nowhere where the enchanted live."
Allen Ginsberg, in his ground breaking poem "Howl," describes a different kind of "high."
...angelheaded hipsters burning
for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry
dynamo in the machinery of night
Mirabai and other great ecstatic poets describe again and again the intense rapture which arises when they are infused with divine love. Here is a poem which I wrote some time ago which was inspired by Mirabai and her tradition:
The Besotted Follower
To dance in this field
what will I give?
My good name, long since
taken from me.
My tattered robe,
with mud for its hem--
o, no, haven't seen it for days.
Family, friends--all have vanished,
have turned their faces away.
Still, I dance,
moving this way or that,
following the inner currents,
celebrating the hidden bliss,
my lone partner
Krishna and his silver flute,
that music which plays only for those
willing to be shattered
again and again,
ravished by sweetness,
torn by that joy.
The sweet energies of kundalini, flowing in their purest form, beget a kind of ultimate rapture. This is a transcendence which carries the practitioner beyond any thought of separate self, or isolated identity. It confirms what we know in our minds but seldom experience in our bodies, that we and "IT," the god/goddess, ultimate essence and final reality, are of the same thread and cloth. This is our true nature, our destination and our destiny, the revelation at journey's end.