575: We all are praising, praying to The light we are, but cannot know.
Day 575: Monday, October 11th, 2021
We all are praising, praying to The light we are, but cannot know.
These are notes from yesterday's lovely celebration by Dan Vrooman. I thought it appropriate to meditate on Dan's homily and questions he shared with us and the poem by Wendell Berry. (at the end of the reflection - Announcements: Please put these on your calendars)
Awaked from the persistent dream Of human chaos come again,
I walk in the lamed woods, the light Brought down by felling of great trees,
And in the rising thicket where The shadow of old grace returns.
Leaf shadows tremble on light leaves, A lighter foliage of song Among them, the wind’s thousand tongues, And songs of birds.
Beams reaching down Into the shadow swirl and swarm With gleaming traffic of the air, Bright grains of generative dust And winged intelligences.
Among High maple leaves a spider’s wheel shines,
work of finest making made Touchingly in the dark.
The dark Again has prayed the light to come Down into it, to animate And move it in its heaviness. So what was still and dark wakes up, Becomes intelligent, moves, names Itself by hunger and by kind, Walks, swims, flies, cries, calls, speaks, or sings. We all are praising, praying to The light we are, but cannot know.
- Wendell Berry
Presence is an altered state of consciousness. It involves what Eckhart Tolle describes as a “still and alert attention,” which involves a curious combination of absorption and openness that allows us to be in the here and now much more than is usually true for most of us.
Awakening instantly lifts us out of our preoccupations and well-worn ruts of inner dialogue and brings us into the now. Entering presence is walking through a doorway as we leave a small room and suddenly find ourselves in the vastness of a vibrant, endlessly expansive universe.
What things help you meet others as a “Thou” rather than an “It”?
To the extent to which you have been successful in making this shift, how does it affect your knowing of their presence?
What do you know about engaging inanimate objects or nonhuman living things as a “Thou”?
What potential might this hold for meeting other humans as a “Thou”?
Think of your own experiences of presence—being present yourself and being in the presence of someone who was luminously present to you—and consider the alteration of your normal state of consciousness that this experience seemed to involve. What words would you use to describe the alteration?
When has presence served for you as an awakening?
What happened and what, if any, continuing effect on you did this awakening have?
If presence and encounter are to be understood as always existing in relationship to a Transcendent horizon, consider the possibility that presence may be a response to Ultimate Presence, and that encounter with another might always in some mysterious way involve an encounter, even if beyond awareness, with the Wholly Other.
If this is true, what implications would it have for you?
- Celebration by Dan Vrooman and Ed FitzGerald