Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Tide of Unified Infinity

Tides rise and fall through the pull of a force;

though ruled by the power of the mind.

Our fate’s not sealed by decrees from the Source;

what we seek is what we will find.

The wise one knows the sea’s ebbs and flows;

but will not force its hand.

As one transcends its highs and lows,

he’s guided toward what he has planned.

We all reside with the power of the sea;

with freedom to love or despise.

We are steered by our shared immortality;

the soul’s truth concealed in disguise.

The eternal mysteries of time and space

are mirages from our heart.

We grasp the hand of mercy and grace;

while created as one, we drift apart.

The love of the sea will bring us home;

our ships have merely sailed.

We fight to our deaths for the lessons lost;

knowing not if we succeeded or failed.

The answers we seek weren’t hidden from sight;

we were only deaf to its song,

The peace of the sea was blinded by fright.

Our true wisdom was here all along.

This poem encompasses the concepts of fate vs. free will, a unified force that is a part of humankind (which some may call God, Nirvana, Allah, the Divine Presence, the Universal Mind, or the Source of creation), the perceived illusion of time and space, the struggle of good vs. evil, a harmony with the flow of life, the transition from life to death, and our unlimited access to universal truths.

The sea represents our Source or foundation and the tide is a manifestation (or expression) of this Source (the sea is also synonymous with unified infinity and shared immortality). According to Huston Smith, the Taoists have stated that the closest representation of the Tao is water and “they were struck by the way it would support objects and carry them effortlessly on its tide.” In the Tao Te Ching, it is stated, “The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to. It is content with the low places that people disdain. Thus it is like the Tao. Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it.” In dreams, water typically represents spirituality (and emotions) and in the Christian faith, water is used for Baptism. Water was also used for purification by the Essenes (an ancient sect of the Jewish religion that authored the Dead Sea Scrolls and was practiced by Jesus and John the Baptist prior to Christianity) and at the Temple of Solomon in ancient Judea. John F. Kennedy said, “We all come from the sea. All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean and therefore we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. When we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back to whence we came.”

After I wrote the poem, I found a philosophy that summarized some of the poem’s key underlying assumptions. In ancient Greece, a philosopher named Parmenides (born in the sixth century BC) expressed a similar view of a unified and infinite immortality. As stated in A Brief History of Western Philosophy, by Anthony Kenny, Parmenides discussed “Being,” which is all that exists or all that there is. Kenny states, “When a kettle of water boils away, this may be…the death of water and the birth of air; but for Parmenides, it is not the death or birth of Being. Whatever changes may take place, they are not changes from being to non-being; they are all changes within Being, not changes of Being. Being must be everlasting; because it could not have come from Unbeing, and it could never turn into Unbeing because there is no such thing….time is unreal; if it is some kind of being, then it is all part of Being, and past, present, and future are all one Being.”

Basically, the argument is that once something exists, it merely changes form, rather than perishes. Unbeing refers to a state of non-existence, which is only nonsensical because an entity’s existence refutes its non-existence. In other words, that which exists is immortal even though it may appear as different manifestations or expressions -- or in relation to physics, energy cannot be created or destroyed.

The concepts presented in the poem are not new. Early Greek philosophers believed in the immortality of the soul and a continuous connection to universal consciousness. Plato stated, “After much doubt and prolonged reflection, I have become convinced that I am essentially an immortal being, whose true abode is a world of absolute truth, goodness and beauty.”

Joseph Campbell (mythology expert) and The Kabbalah state that in the “beginning,” we were all part of the consciousness of one Source. The creation of humanity was the expression of the Source as individual souls (as a “spark” or hologram of the Source). From one, we became many and in the many resides the one. The Source is still infinite and indivisible but through the expression of the Source into human spirit, its presence may become illuminated through the human soul. Or the “expresser” and the “expression” become unified.

The philosophy of the poem is also consistent with many of the concepts of Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and “new age” thought. Anaxagoras (another Greek philosopher) stated, “As things were in the beginning, so now they are all together; that is, in every single thing there is a portion of everything else.”

The Pythagoreans and the Essenes believed that “gods (divine agencies) and men are akin, that is, that they are emanations from the same universal soul, which is God.”

Harmony with the flow of the universe is consistent with Taoism. As Lao Tzu states in the Tao Te Ching, “The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. He lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle…He understands that the universe is forever out of control, and that trying to dominate events goes against the current of the Tao. Because he believes in himself, he doesn’t try to convince others. Because he is content with himself, he doesn’t need others’ approval. Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him… He who stands on tiptoe doesn’t stand firm. He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far. He who tries to shine dims his own light. He who defines himself can’t know who he really is. He who has power over others can’t empower himself… If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.”

The premise of the poem is that the search for wisdom is a process that not only helps us discover the “truth,” but also helps us to reconnect with the Source of all creation.


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