Tag: eternity

Inspiring Poems: “Wisdom and Spirit of the universe”

” WISDOM and Spirit of the universe!
Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!
And giv’st to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion! not in vain,
By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,–until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart. “

by William Wordsworth (from “The Prelude”)

Spirit and Wisdom of the Universe

.

Spirit and wisdom

Of the universe

.

Come

Rest with me

.

I have sought you

Throughout time

.

And in

Eternity.

.

Now stay

And bless me

.

With

Tranquility.

.

Inspired by Wordsworth: “Wisdom and Spirit of the universe…”, The Prelude 1.401

Spiritual Reflection: The Stairway to Heaven

You may or may not know this beautiful painting by William Blake

jacob-s-ladder.jpg!Large

…or this older icon…

ladderofdivineascenticon

The both take up a very ancient idea that goes back thousands of years: “he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it” is another version (Jacob’s dream, from The Book of Genesis).

My interest in this rekindled when I re-read this:

“the material universe is a ladder by which we may ascend to God”.

St. Bonaventure goes on to describe three ways we can seek God – remarkable in their clarity and accessibility:

  1. “First…we must pass through vestiges which are corporeal and temporal and outside us” (he means “nature”!)
  2. “Next we must enter our mind, ,which is the image of God, an image which is everlasting, and spiritual and within us”
  3. “Finally we must go beyond to what is eternal, most spiritual and beyond us.”

I find that so amazing:

  1. Find God through appreciating the beauty, awesomeness, otherness, power, peacefulness (and more) of nature
  2. Find God through understanding the power of the human mind to think beyond time, to reason, to understand, to empathise (and more)
  3. Find God through what transcends this world: heaven and eternity

I hope you also find this image of the ladder, and St. Bonaventure’s “three ways” inspiring.

Do all three ring true with you, or perhaps one especially?

I wrote this poem, inspired by St. Bonaventure’s ideas:

The three

Ways of seeing

Firstly the world about us

our senses perceive

Secondly the soul within

which only the spirit knows

Thirdly the mind

venturing beyond itself

Into new worlds

unseen and unknown.

outsidewithinbeyond JTG2

Inspirers: St. Bonaventure

You may or may not know this beautiful painting by William Blake:

jacob-s-ladder.jpg!Large

…or this older icon…

ladderofdivineascenticon

They both take up a very ancient idea that goes back over thousands of years.

He saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it

Jacob’s dream, from The Book of Genesis

St. Bonaventure seized my interest with his own account of life as an upward journey in one of my favourite books – Journey of the Mind to God – in which he refer to

the material universe is a ladder by which we may ascend to God”.

St. Bonaventure goes on to describe three ways we can seek God – remarkable in their clarity and accessibility.

1. “First…we must pass through vestiges which are corporeal and temporal and outside us” (he means “nature”!)

2. “Next we must enter our mind, which is the image of God, an image which is everlasting, and spiritual and within us”

3. “Finally we must go beyond to what is eternal, most spiritual and beyond us.”

I find that so amazing:

  1. Find God through appreciating the beauty, awesomeness, otherness, power, peacefulness (and more) of nature
  2. Find God through understanding the power of the human mind to think beyond time, to reason, to understand, to empathise (and more)
  3. Find God through what transcends this world: heaven and eternity

Do all three ring true with you, or one especially, or none at all?

What follows is one of a number of poems I have written, inspired by St. Bonaventure:

.

The three

Ways of seeing

.

Firstly the world about us

our senses perceive

.

Secondly the soul within

which only the spirit knows

.

Thirdly the mind

venturing beyond itself

.

Into new worlds

unseen and unknown.

outsidewithinbeyond JTG2