Thursday, July 1, 2010

In Search of Innisfree


In Innisfree upon the lake

Frosted in morning haze

There hides a shrine on magic isle

That misses the gaze of day.

In temple forgotten by time

An ancient secret abides

While slowly it sits

In calm and stately decay

Beneath faded gilt tiles of clay.

No lock bars the doors

Ready to open wide

No person but self

Can look inside to see

A secret true here reside

And touch a formless majesty.

Wherein doth lie

A sacred orb of light.

A center set firm and right.

By creator's quest

in search for inner sight.

Amid the threads

Of mortal tapestry.


(At a certain angle and with certain light and low lying clouds, I saw magic one day as I viewed the tops of three buildings in downtown Manhattan from a sixteenth story window. The Golden Boy on top of the old ATT building mixed with the wedding cake and gilt statues of the Municipal Services Building along with the temple looking top of the old Federal Court Building. They all seemed to be floating on an island cloud and I was reminded of some lines by Yeats. - 1978)

Sacred Orb of Light

Yeats in one of his famous poems, The Second Coming, states that “things fall apart; the center cannot hold”. I was taught in English class that those lines are allegorical regarding the Irish Revolution. Words can seem to mean many things.

In terms of present Christianity, things are falling apart, the center cannot hold.

Whatever the faith was or has been over the centuries, the faith cannot keep up with the modern age. In our own way, we are at odds with our modern culture on this side of the fence the same that Islam, on the other side of the fence, cannot deal with that same modern culture as well.

It might take some visualization with an oriental sense of energy to go beyond words. Picture a center, a ball of energy in front of us, and try to visualize where we are or could be in faith.

The atheists of late are deconstructionists. They deflate ancient myth and walk away triumphant without replacing ancient with new myth.

Is myth necessary in a modern age? Yes.

Myth offsets reality. Our nuclear age, our technological age, our computer age is as strange as nature was to our ancient ancestors. Without myths, civilization may have withered on the vine tens of centuries ago. Without myth, the randomness of possibilities decrease. How much myth though is too much myth? (Vatican City as an example.)

Myth can be a social glue. Social glue is necessary to a point. My own fear of Islam is looking at group-think and group-fast and wondering where is the individuality that has evolved in the west in conjunction with and in opposition to the church over these recent centuries? Individuality is a relatively new thing in the human culture’s scheme of things.

In terms of a deconstructed, reconstructed Christ to come out of many theology studies, what is the look of the new Jesus to meet the modern age? Jesus with a facelift is still Jesus?

I think we in every culture and individual corner of the globe have to decide what works in terms of the Jesus product, go with it as an instrument of salvation and live the kingdom of God here on earth in our time with or without the cooperation of the rest of the human race.

Back to Yeats, in my poem inspired by his, I reconfigured his “center” as a “sacred orb of light”. The sacred orb of light for all Christians, minimalists and maximalists is to visualize the crux of Jesus’s teachings as the means to touch the spark of God with out and with in ourselves.

More importantly than dogma, the energy of the divine spark, center, orb at work is the need to have the energy feel right to one’s self first and then in it’s relationship to others.

Love thy neighbor is no joke. It is the energy and glue of the universe – the All.