Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Holy Longing
Johann Wolfgang 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.
(image from Wikipedia)
This is one of my all time favorite poems. It describes beautifully the process of spiritual transformation, where the old self dies and the new being is born. Kundalini is in fact one of the most prevalent forms of "love making" with the higher elements. When it occurs, we often turn away from our old obsessions--our depressions (our "obsessions with darkness") and now are "insane for the light." The former identity is lost--"you are gone." We must indeed "die to grow." And not once, but many times over.
And we must die,
but many times over,
again and again,
how we disappeared
into that deep well
of darkness, shuddering beneath that load of silence,
clinging to our narrow ledge.
Yet the darkness, sometimes,
unfolded as light.
Our atoms dissolved in it,
each separate molecule opening
into a radiant disk of feeling.
How still we became,
witness and thing seen,
spectacle and observer,
each point admitting an untrammeled flood.
from "Marrow of Flame, Poems of the Spiritual Journey"