Oh, Sophia Shekinah,
Maternal dwelling of the Logos.
From the crown of creation without end,
Wisdom, Understanding: Knowledge.
Understanding wisdom is knowing
That you know nothing.
Shekinah (Hebrew:שכינה ) – Pronounced Sha-kee-nah. Literally “dwelling.” A Rabbinic term for the presence of God, held by some to be the feminine attribute of God. See more here.
Sefirah (Hebrew: סְפִירָה ) – Pronounced Se-fir-ah. Literally “emanation.” A term from Kabbalah. See more here.
Logos (ancient Greek λόγος) – Pronounced “low-gose,” which has been used as a term in Philosophy and Theology since the time of Heraclitus. See more here. I’ve written about the Logos previously.
When going to battle monsters,
Surely the noblest of deeds,
Don’t lose sight of your purpose,
Abandoning your noble creeds.
Don’t be so desperate to win
That noble ends justify any means,
Stained in blood and life of men,
Just like all the other fiends.
No one does evil on purpose,
We all always think we’re right,
‘Til our deeds come back to haunt us
In the dismal darkness of the night.
Standing on the Rubicon shore,
You think you know what to do,
But as you gaze into the Abyss
Know that its gazing into you.
Please note, word “Logos” in the poem below is not the plural of the English word “logo,” rather it is a transliteration of the ancient Greek word λόγος, pronounced “low-gose,” which has been used as a term in Philosophy and Theology since the time of Heraclitus. In some ways, and in some usages, it is similar to the Chinese 道 (Tao) of Taosim.
The logos that can be defined
is not the one eternal Logos,
The word that can be spoken
is not the one true Word,
The tao that can be explained
is not the one everlasting Tao,
The force that can be described
is not the one indivisible Force,
The path that can be walked
is not the one true Path.
Known without learning,
Understood without knowing,
Arrived at without traveling.
One unified whole,
No sides to join,
No inside to be on the outside of,
All is one, one is all,
Binding itself to itself.
Source of everything,
Bookend of eternity,
Rational structure of existence,
That has already been reached.
You can read more about the Tao, the λόγος, and Yin & Yang by following the links.
the same river,
flowing around you changing as you step.
Each moment changing, evolving; growing.
When you step out
you are not
Poem #26 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)
A while back I wrote a tanka about Heraclitus’ River. Its a theme that has always struck a chord with me, as has Heraclitus’ philosophy in general.
The image is a detail from Raphael’s School of Athens featuring Heraclitus, whose features are based on those of Michelangelo.
And, for those keeping track, this is my 200th post on this blog.
Allen was in Asgard reciting America and
Singing the Buddhist Bible Blues for All-Father Odin
While Bobby and Baldr compared notes concerning
Daily dreams of darkness, depression, and death.
Byron rode up and down Bifröst bridge
Writing a poem about Don Juan
(No, not that one, the new one!)
Marcus Aurelius read the mythologies of Midgard,
Studied philosophy with Plato,
Admiring the stoicism of Socrates,
As Rimbaud wrote rhyming prose about Ragnarök,
Containing nothing but the truth,
Delivering it to Valhalla for the consideration of
Siddhartha, Thor and Wōđanaz.
Poem #3 for National Poetry Writing Month (aka #NaPoWriMo)
Rhymed or un-rhymed
Formal or informal
Metered or free.
Long or short
Macro or micro
Its all still poetry to me
Personal and Confessional
Made up and Mythological
Literal or metaphorically.
Verse or Prose
Sung or spoken
Its all still poetry to me
Haiku or sonnet
Tanka or villanelle
Romance or philosophy.
Epic or mundane
Serious or not
Its all still poetry to me.
Like Diogenes the Cynic, I maintain
That I am not insane.
My brain is just wired differently than yours,
I see and experience things
In a somewhat different way.
Not better, not worse: different.
Perhaps I see things you cannot,
Notice what you’ve overlooked,
But you see things I overlook.
Imagine what we’d see if we looked together.
Image: “Diogenes” by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904)
It is impossible to learn
What you think you already know.
You must unlearn what you have learned,
Realize that you don’t know anything:
You know nothing.
Only then can you remove the blinders,
Be free of the shackles,
And stand in the pure light of the day.
I saw that dog Diogenes
Walking daylight, lamp in hand.
Wandering the streets of Athens,
Looking for one good man.
Living virtue naturally,
In a simple cloak he’d be dressed,
Indifferent to wealth or power,
By which the ignorant are so impressed.
Men, they complicate everything
With their customs and their laws.
Only wisdom and rationality can
Avoid the suffering these things cause.
Live your life in simplicity,
Want only what you truly need.
Your true self will start to flourish
Once unquenchable desire you cease to feed.
I saw Diogenes last Sunday,
Masturbating in the street,
“If only twas so easy,” he said,
“To cure hunger without having to eat.”
Humble lentils fill a belly,
Wine barrels provide a dry bed,
Collect all the gold your heart desires,
You’ll still end your life dead.
Alexander saw Diogenes
Sunbathing by himself in Crete.
The great king saw within him
Not one ounce of evil or deceit.
Standing in awe of true wisdom,
Wanting to do what was right,
The king asked what wish he could grant him,
Diogenes said, “Get out of my fucking light!”
Image #1: “Diogenes” by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904) Found on WikiMedia Commons.
Image #2:”Alexander the Great and Diogenes” by Hendrick Heerschop (1626-1690) Found on WikiMedia Commons.
The curtain begins to fall,
Darkness is all you see,
“But I haven’t completed five acts,”
You protest, “I’ve only completed three!”
The stage manager stands in the wings,
Shaking his head, looking so serene,
“You stop when I say you stop,
Even if its in the middle of a scene!”
Don’t fret about the time you get,
Every actor gets their due,
It isn’t the amount of time on stage,
But what with it you do.
Three acts is no different than five,
Five thousand would no difference make.
Be content with what you are given,
For no more or less will you take.
12 October 2008
Inspired by Marcus Aurelius‘ Meditations, Book 12, Section 36.