30684"Is not Prayer also a study of truth"?
- Feb 14 8:21 AM"And what greater calamity can fall upon a nation, than the loss of
worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple, to
haunt the senate, or the market. Literature becomes frivolous. Science
is cold. The eye of youth is not lighted by the hope of other worlds,
and age is without honor. Society lives to trifles, and when men die,
we do not mention them."
Often times on this here e-list I've taken to a one sided extreme the
idea that "If you bring forth what is within you, then what is within
you will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, then
what you do not bring forth, will destroy you", and used it as an
excuse to blather my own dark side out into cyber-space: Partly in
fear of being destroyed by it (evil often dies in the light of
exposure) and partly out of self righteous contempt for not having had
a cushy fun all expence payed life. And also, partly out of self
righteous evangelical type moralism: in that I think I'm gonna hold up
a mirror that will reflect everyone elses double, in hope of saving
The above gives broader meaning to the line in an Indigo Girls song:
"...darkness has a hunger thats insatiable, and lightness has a call
thats hard to hear..."
So recently, out of goofy curiosity, I decided that I might try on
this "Prayer" idea again. Tried it in many different ways over the
years: from the "I'll never drink again, I promise" prayer to the
porcilen God, to all out emotional episodes native American style, and
everything in between.
I've always liked the idea that Prayer was about asking questions, and
that meditation was about listening for the answers, without having
any connections to any dogma - relates to the idea of a lemniscate in
motion, I think. And also the ideas of "Living Thinking" residing in
the question, and "open hearted listening".
Anyway, I noticed that something was a little blaa... in my life. So
while I was away on business, I decided to pop out a little formal
prayer before hitting the hey. Which consisted of me on one knee
saying "well, I don't know what I'm praying to, and I might be crazy
for doing it... but ahhh.... thanks! ok ...goodnight!"
I wont go into detail, but I will say that I'm a bit stunned at what a
little gratitude can bring into my life.
I've always been intriuged by the style of some of RS's verses: "I
look into the world, in which the sun is shining, in which the stars
are sparkling, in which the stones repose...." and the give and take
that can take place, from a thinking perspective. And my little
experience of actually practicing eurythmy, brings the physicial
aspects of movement and sound into a completely new realm of
thinking...for me anyways.
In one way I could simply say that prayer is about action, and that
meditation is about receiving. That would be great for my newagey self
that likes to float around on fantacy and pink clouds and the like.
But life is indeed complicated. My wife is studying Biology and OMG
the process that takes place in the tiny mitacondria (sp?) to create
ATP's that give us energy is absolutely mind boggling! and leaves
alot of questions for the mind to ponder, if were not addicted to the
religion of scientism.
And the POF? ...now there's a prayer man! A very complicated one
though, like the mitacondria process. Takes the intellect to its
boundries, while leaving the idea of thinking as boundless...
I do value the idea of a workout for the intellect. But I believe also
that I am slightly gifted in the realm of understanding metaphorical
meaning. I need both, I think... paints a picture in my mind of
Michaels battle with the dragon.
But then again, it's not all about me...is it? I mean, there's
you...and the "I" of the other....
I've always loved this quote from Emerson. Which puts into words
romantically what Rudolf Steiner articulates with so much pain staking
logic in the POF:
"The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps,
is, because man is disunited with himself. He cannot be a naturalist,
until he satisfies all the demands of the spirit. Love is as much its
demand, as perception. Indeed, neither can be perfect without the
other. In the uttermost meaning of the words, thought is devout, and
devotion is thought. Deep calls unto deep. But in actual life, the
marriage is not celebrated. There are innocent men who worship God
after the tradition of their fathers, but their sense of duty has not
yet extended to the use of all their faculties. And there are patient
naturalists, but they freeze their subject under the wintry light of
the understanding. Is not prayer also a study of truth, a sally of
the soul into the unfound infinite? No man ever prayed heartily,
without learning something. But when a faithful thinker, resolute to
detach every object from personal relations, and see it in the light
of thought, shall, at the same time, kindle science with the fire of
the holiest affections, then will God go forth anew into the creation."
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature.