Wisdom from William Blake

Some Wisdom from William Blake

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is, in the eyes of others, only a green thing which stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees.”

Oh man! I don’t know about you but I could pass for a blind man at times. Someone says, “Wow! Did you see that beautiful sunset last night?” “Uh, no. I didn’t notice it.”

My little grand daughter puts a newly picked daisy in my hand. I hardly notice because I’m checking messages on my dam cell phone. Hey, admit it. I’m not the only one. Your kid shows you a drawing she did “all by herself.” You don’t even notice her face cloud over with disappointment when you say abstractedly, “Yea, wait until the after the 49er game, Okay?”

Seeing, really seeing, shouldn’t be the province of poets and artists alone. What did the nuns teach us? Your eyes are the windows of the soul.” Thank you Sister Regina. You were right on. We are immeasurably enriched by what we see around us but only if our eyes are really open to see.

“As a man is, so he sees.” The poet is trying to awaken us to go beyond what we see physically. The eye must be located in the heart as well as the head. It takes soul-work and effort to rise above our self-absorption. If we are so concentrated on our own narrow concerns, we won’t see much outside of ourselves at all.

Did you ever have the experience of being totally stared at by a baby or small child? The kid is seemingly unconscious of anything else around him. God knows what he is thinking when he fixes you in that gaze but he is focused. Man! Is he focused. I suspect a lot of women would die for that kind of attention from the man in their life. We all would.

The two most influential people in my life right now are an 88-year-old man and a nine-year-old boy. The old man, plays tennis three times a week, goes out dancing and is taking singing lessons. He greets every new day with an attitude of gratefulness. “I’m just so dam lucky to be alive,” he will say and he means it. The nine-year-old kid sees the world with wonder in his eyes. He exclaims, “What if the whole world was made of spaghetti?” He tells me with an insight way beyond his years “Love is the most important thing in the world.” As for making lots of money? “Nah! That’s not that important “because money just comes and goes.”

These two people SEE way better than most of us, not because their vision is 20/20 but because of what is inside of them.

The seed of God

“ The Seed of God”

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I was in a reflective mode during these days of deep summer when I ran across the lines of one of the world’s great mystics, a man by the name of Meister Eckhart. He wrote:

“The seed of God is in us. As the seed of a pear tree grows into a pear tree and a hazel seed grows into a hazel tree; a seed of God grows into God.”

Wow! That kind of mysticism leaves me shaking my head. The seed of God in us? But then I think what if we try to go there with Meister Eckhart. What if we change our perspective about who we are. And, instead of seeing ourselves as solitary beings dong ordinary things we are instead part of something (someone?) of infinite goodness and power. We are no longer Sean or Marie or Mike but one with God (or the universe or however you conceive that transcendent spirit who gives us life.) Then what we do becomes transformed by who we are.

My friends and family will assure you that I am no mystic. Hell, no. Growing up, my family dubbed me “Mr.Average Man.” I’m a Bills and 49er’s fan, for cripes sake. But somehow Meister Eckhart’s reflection rings a bell. Maybe, as the atheist would say, it’s just wishful thinking to think of myself as part of something far greater. And yet, and yet….. something stirs in me when I listen to good music, or read timeless poetry or hear the pure tinkling laughter of children,or smell the salty air of the ocean, something that tells me that maybe, just maybe, I am more than what I eat or the work that I do or the very ordinary life I lead.