Friday, April 06, 2007

Crown of Thorns -- The Quality of Faith...

We are getting close to the end of this poem cycle, "Crown of Thorns" and, for once, there is a bit of poetry in this instalment which compares and blends the quality of faith with the senses of taste and touch.

As a matter of fact it blends the senses -- the fancy, five dollar word for the blending of two or more senses is "synth├Žsthia". As a spontaneous experience, it is not common, yet by no means rare. I myself, have always enjoyed/suffered this condition.

In my personal experience, I find that tactile and taste sensations are evoked by strong visual experience -- a sunset, for example. I've noted that, by concentrating on it, the experience becomes more palpable, which leads me to suspect that it is to some degree an acquired skill.

I also suspect that some of the grosser aspects of various forms of mystic experience are related in some way to this phenomena.

Can anyone measure the quality of faith?
If you could, what sort of measurement to use?

Perhaps faith can best be known by its taste?

Perhaps you're thinking now that I'm confused
& there's little use in denying that I am!
But if so, what would the taste of Christian be?
Wine of course! The taste of Islam? Coffee!
The Buddha's Dharma is, of course, green tea!

Could we say that the only real tool
for measuring faith is with images sensual?

The feel of silk, of cotton, parchment and wool...

[They immediately spring to mind for our perusal]

The smell of olive oil and of fresh earth;
The sweetness of love's embrace and the pains of birth...

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