Tuesday, January 08, 2013
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.
-- Margaret Atwood
(picture found on internet)
This poem points out--in a beautiful way--a truth that many forget. Certainly in our world today, many continue to pile up "treasures on earth" and display their wealth through huge houses (more than one, often), fancy cars, private jets and carefully buffed bodies. But all of this accumulation is never "owned" by anyone, including our own bodies. The theme of change and "mutability" has been sounded for many centuries--even the Bible warns us not to pile up "treasures on earth" where "moth doth corrupt and rust doth spoil." Human beauty, like material "possessions", also passes, all too quickly. People today often spend huge sums of money and hours in the gym trying to cling to youth. Indeed, one of the saddest among us are former "beauties" (both male and female) who through the aging process, have lost whatever physical allure they once possessed.
A good example of this "clinging" is Margaret Yourcenour's great novel, "Hadrian's
Memoirs," in which the young lover of Hadrian commits suicide rather than face the horrifying truth that one day he will lose both his youth and beauty, and thus risk losing Hadrian's love.
Kundalini offers a very different path. It does not care how much you imagine you "own", nor how you look. It visits even the elderly and infirm. The Beloved Within has no body to decay and presents no possessions to fade. It leads us to the eternal union of self and spirit, mortal and immortal, and will, I believe, continue to unite us with this most precious of bonds even after the material body expires.