questions about angels

Painting by Autumn Skye Morrison

 

Of all the questions you might want to ask

about angels, the only one you ever hear

is how many can dance on the head of a pin.

 

No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time

besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin

or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth

or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.

 

Do they fly through God’s body and come out singing?

Do they swing like children from the hinges

of the spirit world saying their names backwards and forwards?

Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors?

 

What about their sleeping habits, the fabric of their robes,

their diet of unfiltered divine light?

What goes on inside their luminous heads? Is there a wall

these tall presences can look over and see hell?

 

If an angel fell off a cloud, would he leave a hole

in a river and would the hole float along endlessly

filled with the silent letters of every angelic word?

 

If an angel delivered the mail, would he arrive

in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume

the appearance of the regular mailman and

whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?

 

No, the medieval theologians control the court.

The only question you ever hear is about

the little dance floor on the head of a pin

where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.

 

It is designed to make us think in millions,

billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse

into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:

one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,

a small jazz combo working in the background.

 

She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful

eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over

to glance at his watch because she has been dancing

forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians.

 

– Billy Collins,  Questions About Angels: Poems
 Copyright © 1991


Sourced from the deliciously uplifting blog of Krayna Castelblaum – gratitude!


Painting by Autumn Skye Morrison


 

you are the sun in drag

It’s April Fools’ Day – a good day to awaken from a huge hoax. Hafiz spells it out.

The Great Sun, by William Blake

– – –

You are the sun in drag.

You are God hiding from yourself.

 

Remove all the “mine”— that is the veil.

 

Why ever worry about

anything?

 

Listen to what your friend Hafiz

knows for certain:

the appearance of this world

is a Magi’s brilliant trick, though its affairs are

nothing into nothing.

 

You are a divine elephant with amnesia

trying to live in an ant

hole.

 

Sweetheart, O sweetheart

you are God in

drag!

 


The Sun in Drag, by Hafiz, from The Gift: Poems of Hafiz, the Great Sufi Master
Purported to be translated from the original Persian (Farsi) by Daniel Ladinsky.


Image: The Great Sun, by William Blake


 

the sight of Thy light

January Swoon

 

Showering Light

 

As I muse on Thee
a thrilling fountain spray lightninglike
spreads from my heart to all cells of my body,
saturating them with divine devotion.
I seek to enter the inmost heaven of Thy presence.

The soul’s secret door suddenly opens;
and, oh, what bliss I feel at the sight of Thy light!

– Paramahansa Yogananda

 


Whispers from Eternity by Paramahansa Yogananda


Source of poetry and image: Poetry Chaikhana on Facebook – thank you Ivan.


 

the one outshining light

Sufi dancer; Light Outshining

 

‘I’ and ‘you’ are but the lattices,
in the niches of a lamp,
through which the One Light shines.

‘I’ and ‘you’ are the veil
between heaven and earth;
lift this veil and you will see
no longer the bonds of sects and creeds.

When ‘I’ and ‘you’ do not exist,
what is mosque, what is synagogue?
What is the Temple of Fire?

– Mahmud Shabistari

 


Mahmud Shabistari was one of Sufi’s greatest poets of the 14th Century. Stressing the One Light that exists at the heart of all religious traditions, his work is one of the clearest and most concise guides to the inner meaning of Sufism, and offers a stunningly direct exposition of Sufi mystical thought in poetic form.
–  Poet Seers


In this new video Rupert Spira explains with precision and clarity how this unlit light is not external to ourselves, but the self-luminous Knowingness of everything we perceive. Never lit because never not-lit; never to be found because never-lost; never to be escaped because it is the very essence of our Being.


The video is from Rupert Spira’s Facebook page; you can also find it at his website.
The poem by Mahmud Shabistari, and the stunning image, are from Dean Keller at one of my favourite blogs:
The Beauty we Love


this shines on regardless

Bill Viola - Catherine's Room, Scene 1

 

This shines on

whether I’m in bitch mode or radiating benevolence

whether I’m depressed or enjoying equanimity

whether I’m achingly weary or frolicking tirelessly.

 

This shines on

whether my bookshelves are stacked with scriptures, chick-lit, crime or porn

whether my shoes are microfiber or leather, my coat cotton or mink

whether my fridge is piously vegan or robustly carnivore.

 

This shines on

whether my philosophical tendencies veer towards the scientific and secular

or the mystical and metaphysical

whether I’m a closet optimist disguised as a cynic

or a knee-jerk nay-sayer, jus sayin

 

Don’t be fooled. This shines on

– pristine, incorruptible –

regardless.

 

This shines on

whether you agree with me as you scan these words

or jump to defend your own view

whether you accept me as a flicker of the vast Light we are

or turn your back on our inextricable intimacy.

 

This shines on

and in, and from, and through, every perception,

every experience of every face and fact of World

known by human and non-human Knowingness

(and I exclude nothing, no thing in creation

from that capacity for Knowingness).

 

This shines on.

The sages call it Reality, but beware: it’s not a thing, an object

or even a state. To name it is to turn from it, but it could care less.

It shines on regardless.

 

– miriam louisa


To be continued: The implications…


Image: Bill Viola – Catherine’s Room, Scene 1


the realisation of radiance

A luminous piece today written and illustrated by Chameli Ardagh


This Unlit Light: Painting by Chameli Ardagh - The Queen of Trust

You are the light of awareness
embodied in time and space.

Embodied awareness brings forth
embodied consciousness,
which is radiant light.

Bring your attention to the field of luminous awareness
that illuminates your experience right now.
Without this clear light of awareness
you would be without experience.

You cannot think or imagine your way
to this natural luminosity, although it
illuminates your thoughts and memories
and everything else in your experience,
as it is also illuminating itself.

Light illuminates light.

The primordial Shakti,
the Light of Manifestation,
is this self arising luminosity which permeates:

1~ the object of your awareness
2~ the one who is aware,
3~ and awareness itself.

Becoming aware of awareness
within yourself and others is
Sri Vidya, the realization of radiance.

In your embodiment practice you unclench
the fixation onto the appearances in the mind.

By recognizing and relaxing the automatic
mental and physical and emotional
reactivity towards your experiences,
the energetic knots in your body softens
and more Prana Shakti (breath and life force)
is allowed to flow through.
You open as a translucent and continuously unfolding
embodiment of luminous awareness

Lead me from opacity to clarity.
Lead me from the complicated to the simple.
Lead me from the obscure to the obvious.

Lead me from confrontation to wide openness.
Lead me to the place I never left,
Where there is peace, and peace.

– Upanishads


Practice – the Realization of Radiance

Rest in an open focus of the radiant field of awareness,
hold that which you are experiencing
within the awareness field of light.

Experience the object that the
light of your awareness is illuminating,
and the field of illumination both at the same time.

Thinking and feeling, sensation and memory,
fantasy and desire are all of luminous nature
as is your own awareness.


Art (The Queen of Trust) and words by Chameli Ardagh at Awakening Women


 Also from Chameli Ardagh:

who moves you?


this lucid light of livingness

Photo: Andrew Cottam

 

sitting.
my cells singing their delight
in the pre-dawn hush.

awareing my breath’s ebb and flow
on shores that cool by the day
with winter’s arrival.

still velvety dark.
Venus is huge
and wearing a faint pearly corona.

I marvel that the light
which makes her visible to these eyes
began its journey so inconceivably long ago.*

yet I marvel even more
at this bright unknowable knowing we call awareness
which allows her luminous appearance
to be perceivable, along with all her cosmic neighbours
– this lucid light of livingness
which, unlike the intrepid photon,
has never endured a journey through matter, time and space
to arrive here

contentedly

gazing

at itself

 

– miriam louisa


* Although rays from our sun’s surface take around eight minutes to reach Earth’s surface, the actual photons can take a million years to make it out of the Sun owing to the density of the material and hence being scattered internally so many times. See The Naked Scientists


Photo by Andrew Cottam