Thursday, September 19, 2013

opening the heart through ecstatic poetry

~ Rumi
with Coleman Barks and David Darling

Friday, September 6, 2013


At the root of all war is fear, not so much the fear men have of one another
as the fear they have of everything. It is not merely that they do not trust one another.
They do not even trust themselves.... They cannot trust anything because
they have ceased to know God.

It is not only our hatred of others that is dangerous but also and above all our hatred of ourselves: particularly that hatred of ourselves which is too deep and too powerful to be consciously faced. For it is this that makes us see our own evil in others

and unable to see it in ourselves....

As if this were not enough, we make the situation much worse
by artificially intensifying our sense of evil, and by increasing our propensity
to feel guilt even for things that are not in themselves wrong. In all these ways,
we build up such an obsession with evil, both in ourselves and in others,
that we waste all our mental energy trying to account for this evil, to punish it,
to exorcise it, or to get rid of it in any way we can.

~ Thomas Merton
excerpt from his 1962 essay: The Root of War is Fear

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

one sand grain among the others in winter wind

I wake with my hand held over the place of grief in my body.
"Depend on nothing," the voice advises, but even that is useless.
My ears are useless, my familiar and intimate tongue.
My protecting hand is useless, that wants to hold the single leaf to the tree
and say, Not this one, this one will be saved.

~ Jane Hirshfield
from After