No.12: Now the wonderful world is born (Mahabharata)
Now the wonderful world is born,
In an instant it dies,
In a breath it is renewed.
From the slowness of our eye,
And the quickness of God‘s hand
We believe in the world.
Mahabharata, retold by William Buck, University of California Press, 1981, p.25
And here are some links.
What a wonderful lotus it is that blooms at the heart of the spinning wheel of the universe. Music is all around it and all space is radiant with light.
This is a lightning fall from heaven, fearfully and wonderfully made. It is glorious, great intent, which passes the flaming bounds of place and time.
So here we go: the curve and dazzle, the clear sound of urgency, the quiet deliverance of truth like Tarot cards being laid out on a table in the jungle. Suddenly, the world opens up and we’re in it. It’s got its own life and it’s giving it to us. It isn’t comfortable – it’s distilled and abundant. It turns, it turns, and it shines forth with all the qualities of light: flickering, blazing; revealing, blinding.
This is the hit as deliverance. It has no concern with the ordinary scale of things: the laws of nature and the processes of time. It starts entirely beyond them and keeps going. It is not of this earth and refuses to be constrained by human limitations. This is why harm and death precipitate themselves in and out of this world – like shadows, like dragons.
These people saw something – and they went after it. They entered a world, and like all worlds, it gave them more than they expected – but it demanded more as well.
Life is born outside reason. I am not your facts. Why not? Because the facts are never the end of the story. It is always possible to reveal what is by means of what is not – something that leaves the world that has been set up for us way behind. So let’s say it again. The hit throws us into the drama – that which puts things (and us) in their place and gives them life. Then we have to be true to it. How to do that? By entering the world that the hit reveals.
Everything gets in – but there are always gaps. The edges between what we do and what happens to us become blurred. Look around you, the world is moving on up. This is the lion’s roar and it began before you were born, before there was birth.
And quick as you like, we find ourselves amidst unlimited theophanies and Great Balls of Fire: I’ll never get out of these blues alive as well as An irreducibly broken heart is the door to permanent illumination.
What is this enthrallment, this ravishment? To receive into ourselves all the embodied presences of creation, and to pass on the glory. Then our life becomes less of a collection of facts and more of a love affair. We all have another world in us, one that is quickened by the motion of a hidden fire. And it’s purifying. Why? Because there’s nothing else.
every world has dubious and dangerous margins, even the worlds that God himself has made
These gods can be called. The bigger they are – and the more they are looking for someone to receive them – the more their gifts take on their own life. And we live inside that.