Saturday, July 31, 2010

Touching the Eternal Spirit of Those who "Die" (Part One)

"...We belong in the most intimate sense wherever our ideals belong."
William James

How might we deal better (realistically yet also spiritually) with small and large groups of people leaving this planet.

Let's talk about those who are gone whom we know and love as well as those we don't know yet care about from afar.

I didn't sleep deeply throughout the night and found myself reading a book which is kind of an introductory encyclopedia of spirituality, philosophy and history as these bear on peace (inner and outer) and how we each help shape the gift of our life here.

Of particular interest to me was this little piece from William James:

"Plunge into an altogether other dimension of existence from the sensible and merely 'understandable' world. Name it the mystical region or the supernatural region, whichever you choose. So far as our ideal impulses originate in this region (and most of them do originate it it, for we find them possessing us in a way for which we cannot articulately account), we belong to it in a more intimate sense than that in which we belong to the visible world, for we belong in the most intimate sense wherever our ideals belong.

'Yet the unseen region in question is not merely ideal, for it produces effects in this world. When we commune with it, work is actually done upon our finite personality, for we are turned into new (people), and consequences in the way of conduct follow in the natural world upon our regenerative change.

'But that which produces effects within another reality must be termed a reality itself, so I feel as if we had no philosophic excuse for calling the unseen or mystical world unreal...

From James "hypothesis" on interaction between the "unseen" and "seen" world and it's effect:

"I have no hypothesis to offer beyond what the phenomenon of 'prayerful communion' ...immediately suggests. (Suppose) that in this phenomenon something ideal, which in one sense is part of ourselves and in another sense is not ourselves, actually exerts an influence, raises our centre of personal energy, and produces regenerative effects unattainable in other ways. If, then, there be a wider world of being than that of our everyday consciousness, if in it there be forces whose effects on us are intermittent...At these places at least, I say, it would seem as though transmundane energies, God, if you will, produced immediate efects within the natural world to which the rest of our experience belongs."

END piece by William James

Auguries of Innocence
William Blake

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

Credit to morning light is from images under that title on internet. the "Infinity of Sand" as I call it goes to blogger of Caravan of Light blogsite who says she found this on the internet...Plz go to the Republic of Rumi blog to see this and other amazing blogs here


Akhtar Wasim Dar said...

I simply love the way William James explains and have always read him with great attention and reverence. His passage on ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’ worlds is extremely worthy of great consideration.
Things are not what they appear, things are what we make them look, ugliness, enemy and fear can be changed into beauty, love and kindness with change of thinking tendency, the ‘unseen’ emerges from ‘seen’ . the mystic in us can change and turn everything into what he wishes.

Connie L. Nash said...

Glad, I am, you found this and felt exactly the way you epressed. I am trying to locate some of the passages in which W. James described prayer. If you know of any do let me know. He seemed a bit of an agnostic in that he didn't know how to describe with any certainty eternity yet he spoke of prayer eventually with great reverence, as I understand his take on the same. He spoke of prayer as actual work we do where actual events happen and are changed...he KNEW that much at some point in his life, for sure. PLZ let me know more about what else you like in James.

Faraz Haider said...

It seems you are in search of a prayer for those for whom you care and death taketh away such produces the effect of peace on your heart!

Being so close to people at death row and having one's heart (their ideals) in it is just heroic. Not many and certainly not me can stand such tremendous weight on themselves.

That's a mature, it's a mighty world you live in! And I am only on the foothill of this gigantic journey - this journey of the heart.

Connie L. Nash said...

You are WELL beyond the "foothill", from what I can see. Your ideals often touch the invisible and have the marks of God's Light.

My intent was to remind myself and others of that which many have known over the years that there is another place to which we can turn and touch at such times of great suffering.

The love and understanding you have expressed helps bring me into this "other" place and builds my own faith.

Faraz Haider said...

thankyou Aunt Connie. This is from you another precious gesture. You have a very kind heart and something that is certainly, truly extraordinary!

It has been a blessing and a guide for me and I am sure for everybody and all of us who encounter you! :)