Monday, July 8, 2024

to make living itself the highest art

    A recent offering from Erik Rittenberry’s Substack caught my fancy.

To Make Living Itself the Highest Art 
JUL 6 
The capacities by which we can gain insights into higher worlds lie dormant within each one of us. 
—Rudolf Steiner
The creative act… is a self-discovery within the fullness of Divine life. 
—Nicholas Berdyaev 
Rising out the world, you and I,
a finite flame among the infinite darkness
of two nebulous chasms… 
Born into a disenchanted world
of Cartesian rationalism, our minds
and spirits isolated from the universal,
a race of convulsionaries trudging
though the wastelands of a technocratic
nightmare, afraid of what we might become
if we rid ourselves of the empty shell of appearances and live out the soul's yearning--that luminous source that whispers from the depths. 
To become a nobody, in the highest sense
of the word, a BEING whose nature
transcends the lower realms of
the synthetic self, and to coalesce with the
timeless flame -- the "divine creative
energy resounding through all things." 
Those who know are calm and steadfast
and have no need to disguise their
ignorance with grandstanding and
lavish exhibitionism. Their identities
extend over and above the limits of
the garnished flesh, the wildfires of
intuition still ablaze, their transparent
eyes gaze upon a sublime truth
that lies beyond the paraphernalia
of the measurable, "a lover" they are,
"of uncontained and immortal beauty." 
Our cosmic task, my friends,
is to not piss away our
passing days on the
idiotic distractions cooked up
by this cosmetic culture, clutching
like desperate fools on to
possessions and prestige, shackling
ourselves to fixed formulas and
stifling belief systems. 
We're here to honor our brief existence
by elevating our minds
above the sterile protocols of this
menacing matrix. To break free
from the cultural constraints
and unleash our own life-energies
toward a universal way
of being.   
We are here to evade the muck
that’s continually heaved at us,
and revel beneath the empty skies
like Dionysian gypsies,
opening ourselves
to the cosmic mysteries
that are playing out
beneath the surface of
conceptual reality.   
We are here to strip ourselves of
the myriad of fashionable falsities
and to actively participate in
the poetry of life. 
Our task is not to lose ourselves to
the mundane necessities,
but to courageously overcome
all that keeps us from hearkening
the eternal throb of the spirit. 
We are here to doff our civilized masks
and reconnect with our higher nature.
To reacquaint ourselves once again
with the wisdom of the ancients,
to explore the majestic beauty
of the natural world,
to pursue the unknown in
spite of our fears,
to read,
to create,
to love,
to feed our divine curiosities,
and to make living itself
the highest art.  
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan’s Newsletter

Jul 6
Liked by Poetic Outlaws  
the sacred prism
through which souls are refracted
into their elemental parts,
purified in Holy Fire,
then one-forged
and sent on their way
to not even God knows where,
simply because they are all
unique emanations of God,
A year before that poem leaped out of me into my writing journal, this poem crawled one letter and a time out of me into my writing journal, as rivers of tears and snot fled my eyes and nose. 

He is the paper,
the ink his blood,
the pen his soul,
and the poet is God. 
Not long after, this arrived in similar fashion. 
He feels deep beauty in the dark pool from which his writings flow, she clings to him like fine silk precious oil, she feels compressed, solid- like a black pearl growing very larger from inside out with each stroke of his pen, pushing her precious waters over her banks into his dreams and life.

     What kicked off my being all I can be arrived in 1991:

"Living Poets" 
Dead poets are poets who never write
Who obey shoulds and oughts
Who live to please others
Who value money over God
Who die without ever having lived
Death is their mark 
Dead poets are remembered by the living.
Living poets are remembered by time
Dead poets never sing their song
Living poets never stop singing it 
The difference between the two is this:
One worships fear, the other life 
To be a dead poet is hard
It requires being someone else
To be a living poet is easy
It only means being myself  
One choice is hell, the other heaven
That is what is meant by free will  

    Egged on by this in 1992:
"The Mockingbird" 
I happened upon a mockingbird
singing its fool head off –
I asked it how and why it sang?
But all it did was look ahead,
all it did was sing.
It never turned to see if I was watching,
or listened for money jingling in my pockets,
or asked if I liked its music,
or expected a recording contract –
It was too busy singing
to pay any attention to me.
Thus did I learn
the greatest sin of all
is to kill a mockingbird. 
    And this in 1993:
Who invented the rule that poetry must rhyme, have pentameter, be cast into verse? Yes, who invented that really silly rule? Surely it wasn’t the maker of the first stone — otherwise there’d be no stone to break all those slaving rules! 

     And by this in 2003:

 “I AM A MAN” 

I am a man. 
I said,
I am a man! 
What means it, 
being a man?   
A man is a warrior:
he lives by a code of honor,
his word is reliable,
his actions confirm his words,
his commitment is holiness,
his enemies are welcome at his hearth,
he fears but moves forward,
he cries and gets up again,
he hates but forgives,
he loves and let’s go,
he doubts but trusts God,
he’s a good friend,
he seeks resolutions,
he demands nothing,
he risks everything,
he regrets his mistakes,
he seeks to make amends,
he puts others’ welfare first,
he accepts apologies truly made,
he expects nothing back,
he lives ready to die,
he laughs when he “should” scream,
he screams when he “should” laugh,
he sings just because,
he shrugs off insults,
he learns from misfortune,
he cusses God for making him,
he wishes he was done,
he loves children and animals,
he relishes a woman’s scent,
he smiles when he’s content,
he knows God’s his master,
he walks in rainbows,
his garden is the world,
his way is nature,
he loves fishing,
his wife is his soul,
his food is life,
his pay is whatever he receives.
Yep, he’s crazy.

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