December 20th, 2015

Malcolm Guite, O Sapientia...

O Sapientia *

I cannot think unless I have been thought,
Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.
I cannot teach except as I am taught,
Or break the bread except as I am broken.
O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,
O Light within the light by which I see,
O Word beneath the words with which I speak,
O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,
O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,
O Memory of time, reminding me,
My Ground of Being, always grounding me,
My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,
Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,
Come to me now, disguised as everything.

--Malcolm Guite, poet-priest and Chaplain of Girton College Cambridge.

*The Latin for Wisdom

Thank you bardcat...

Dirty Jokes And Sacred Poems

When i was a kid, my friends liked to tell "dirty Jokes."   If you missed that ritual of  childhood, i can't help you.  I have forgetten them all.  I do remember that some were so nasty, pornographic, sexist, disgiustint, etc. that i was offended by them and  it hurt my ears to hear them.  Others were, i thought at the time, so funny that i  did not even notice that they were also "dirty,"  I enjoyed hearing them and repeating them.

Now, in  my dotage, i have long lost my fondness for jokes and instead have acquiired an  interest in poetry.  I like sacred poetry best, and short poems  -- haikus, a couple  of couplets, one,  two, or  three stanza poems.  I also seem to have another criteria similar to my childhood judgments about jokes.

Some poems and prayers are so full of the author's theology, prejudices, cultural assumptions, etc., that i  miss the universal wisdom, truth and beauty that is in them.  Others seem so filled with wisdom  and beauty that i pay no attention to their origins in  particulary  communities or times or religions.  I like to have to guess about the origin of a poem, and i am especially happy  when i have  guessed wrong.

Sufism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Muslims and mainstream scholars of Islam define Sufism as simply the name for the inner or esoteric dimension of Islam which is supported and complemented by outward or exoteric practices of Islam, such as Islamic law. In this view, "it is absolutely necessary to be a Muslim" to be a true Sufi, because Sufism's "methods are inoperative without" Muslim "affiliation". Orthodox views also maintain that Sufism is unique to Islam.  In contrast, author Idries Shah states Sufi philosophy is universal in nature, its roots predating the rise of Islam and Christianity.  Some neo-Sufis in Western countries allow non-Muslims to receive "instructions on following the Sufi path".  Some Muslim opponents of Sufism also consider it outside the sphere of Islam."
Sufism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It seems to me that the Abrahamic religions are especially prone to denying their mystical expressions either to others or to themselves or both.  Can't those with a healthy via positiva have pity on those who cannot seek the Divine except through a via negitiva?  All it does is make me wonder about their "via positivas."

If i find more truth in the Sufi poets than in the Koran, it is not necessarily me nor the poets who are to blame for that.