Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Life with Augustine (15 August 2010)



This blog could have been called “Wisdom from the Ancients,” and be a first installment in a series of reflections on the topic, ‘how do we – from an earthen, naturalistic and poetic perspective – glean the glimmers and seeds of wisdom from ancient and mediaeval writers?’  Here, though, I want to start with a more focused, personal reflection, one that might illumine the wider subject.  I don’t usually write personal process blogs, and I promise not to get too profusively subjective; I will try and address issues of interest to any reader who is on the way to wisdom—yet my experience with Augustine over the last 30 years is indicative of the kind of ‘reclaiming’ I would like to do in future blogs.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lughnassadh Dancing (2 August 2010)

“All sounds, all colours, all forms, either because of their pre-ordained energies or because of long association, evoke indefinable and yet precise emotions, or, as I prefer to think, call down among us certain disembodied powers, whose footsteps over our hearts we call emotions; and when sound, and color, and form are in a musical relation, a beautiful relation to one another, they become as it were one sound, one color, one form, and evoke an emotion that is made out of their distinct evocations and yet is one emotion.”
-          William Butler Yeats  The Symbolism of Poetry (1900)

          There is ‘music’ in the seasons of Earth & Cosmos, and there is a ‘music’ in us that animates and – if we heed it – keeps us awakened to possibilities.  There are the rhythms of circulation and the melodies of thought, the harmonies that exist between different parts of our bodies, as well as the harmonies – or perhaps dissonances – that characterize the interface between our inner and outer lives.  From a naturalistic or earthen perspective, one of the primary aims of spirituality is to ‘tune’ our lives; to bring ourselves into ‘harmony,’ which involves coming into harmony with Nature and our human surroundings in such a way as to encourage and promote flourishment.  When we are well-tuned, we ‘dance.’