Sunday, September 24, 2006

An Artless Hymn

Sunflower Woman and I fly back to the fields of the Danes tomorrow night. What with flying time, jet lag and having to start work again, I may well miss a day or two here.

I want to leave you with a special little piece which came to me out of nowhere in the computer room of Hoechst Danmark, while alone on the midnight shift doing the monthly closure in 1985. It was three o'clock in the morning and I sang it while dancing across the desktops. I had been reading from D.T. Suzuki's "Essays in Zen Buddhism". The words were so clear in my mind I was able to write them down on a manilla envelope.

That is about all I can tell you -- the artlessness of its creation is why I call this piece "An Artless Hymn".

You are reality, beyond all belief.

You are the living-tree, nourishing my green leaf.

You are the highway, the footstep and the path.

You are the answer, with no questions asked.

You are the beauty, shining in each lover's face.

You are that certain place*, beyond all time and space.

Smaller than an atom,
Bigger than a star,
Able to go slowly fast,
You stay quickly far.

You are, you are, you are, you are:

You are the holy rock, you are the distant shore.

You are every thing and so much, so much more:

You are life itself, and even death

Pales before the majesty of your -- emptiness**!
* "Place" would seem to refer to "Ha Makum", the "Place of No Time and Space", traditionally one of the attributes and therefore a name of the Almighty Eternal
** The use of "emptiness" here disturbed me for a long time until I realized not so long ago that there are two modes of understanding.

In the one, emptiness is a nothing, a confirmation of absolute nihilism. In other words, when all is said and done and all goes down to dust, there is nothing -- nada.

In the other, the nature of reality is such that when all is said and done and all goes down to dust every thing that happened is within the emptiness -- however the emptiness is still empty as its nature is "ayin soph", that is without end.

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