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Who has not found the Heaven--below

by Emily Dickinson

Who has not found the Heaven--below--
Will fail it above--
For Angels rent the House next ours,
Wherever we remove--

-- from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology), Edited by Ivan M. Granger
Poetry Chaikhana | Emily Dickinson - Who has not found the Heaven--below

I know i must have read this poem sometime before now.  Yes, i know she wrote over 2000 known poems of which i've read far less than than 100.  I have a small book in which this poem appears and i have read everything in it.  Maybe i ignored this poem because the word "Heaven" appears in it, and i've never been a pie in the sky guy.  Or the word "Angels" might have discouraged me even more (even though one of my favorite Rumi couplets has that word in it.)  When i think i have walked away from a faith community without resentments or other hard feelings, perhaps i am decieving myself.

Ivan Gramger points out that this poem by the 19th century Protestant recluse has a universal message and mystics of all times and faiths have gotten in trouble for proclaiming it.  And i really needed, this morning, to hear that message presented briefly and simply.
If i am not experiencing joy (and the other appendages of divine connection -- compassion, humity, loss of ego, etc.,etc.) now, perhaps i never will.

I know "angels" live next door.  I've seen them "in full flight."


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 2nd, 2018 10:55 pm (UTC)
I also get emails from this website and this poem really spoke to me too the day I read it; I've been wrestling with the concept of 'non-duality' and just exactly what difficulties we face, being in a corporeal, seemingly solid body with mind and ego while also trying to pinpoint where or what our 'soul' might be and how the soul is not mind, not ego, but is ever-present in some eternal NOW even as we age and die in physical bodies. This poem seems to tell me that till we realize we are ALREADY 'that,' this essence of ALL, we won't realize that 'heaven' is NOW and right where we are as both body, mind and Awareness. Makes one dizzy to contemplate it all!
Aug. 3rd, 2018 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. I had already been thinking abvout the problem of talking about spiritual things in a world thAt takes duality for granted and treats the reality of Oneness as a fantasy. Language is of this delusional world so nothing that is said in language can be true.

About a thousand years before Emily Dickinson wrote her poems, a former slave walked through the streets of Basra holding a hammer in one hand and a bucket of water in the other. If anyone asked her what she was doing she would say that she intended to knock down the gates of Heaven so that everyone could enter and to douse the flames of hell so that no one would have to endure eternal suffering. Rabia and Emily were both mystics and both knew truth, but what one said seems contradicted by the other.

Perhaps it is those who go through hell here are most in need of joy hereafter. :) Namaste
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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