human spirituality

“Soria Moria Castle” by Theodor Kittelsen
“Soria Moria Castle” by Theodor Kittelsen

I am not interested in a spirituality that cannot encompass my humanness. I find little comfort or guidance in traditional dogma or unqualified New Age optimism. Because beneath the small daily trials are harder paradoxes, things the mind cannot reconcile but the heart must hold if we are to live fully: profound tiredness and radical hope; shattered beliefs and relentless faith; the seemingly contradictory longings for personal freedom and a deep commitment to others, for solitude and intimacy, for the ability to simply be with the world and the need to change what we know is not right about how we are living.
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
(The Invitation)

16 thoughts on “human spirituality”

    1. I’ve been milling the paragraph over, too, Jeff, for a year or so… When I first read it I had one of those startling moments of clarity – the balance we humans keep trying to find and hold on to as we struggle to live with each other and our selves as fully as possible.

    1. Hi OM, the paragraph I quoted above is from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s book, having the same title as her poem, “The Invitation.” In the book she expands on the poem with her added thoughts. Her prose is as profound as her poetry!

  1. This makes me think of the sad story of a US Iraq vet told in a recent post on the Conservative Lie blog. The guy was wounded in action and then devoted himself to helping others in various ways, but… Well you’ll have to read it yourself. (can’t supply a direct link just at the moment cos away from computer, but google Conservative Lie and blog and you should get it)

    1. A very sad story and poem, Paul. Some of our soldiers are so young and when I think about their tender years it always makes me think of one of Ben Harper’s songs:

      ♫ Gather ‘Round the Stone ♫

      you’re too young to know
      that you’re too young to go
      there’s no freedom to be found
      lying face up in the ground

      ashes from an unfinished life
      are all that’s left
      in a tear-drop-shaped locket
      hanging from his mother’s chest

      you whip the back of freedom
      ‘till it bleeds an oil stream
      then you sail down upon it
      in your killing machine

      old men who send children
      off to die in vain
      they will hear death’s constant whisper
      call remember my name

      ~ Ben Harper

  2. Hi Barbara,
    Very deep, and very profound, it’s very well written. I love:-
    “Because beneath the small daily trials are harder paradoxes, things the mind cannot reconcile but the heart must hold if we are to live fully”

    1. I love that line, too. It’s somehow comforting to me to know that so many of us are facing the same struggles, trying to resolve the same baffling questions in our hearts and minds…

  3. I love the quote, but most particularly love that painting. It’s the type of painting that seems more real and ‘present’ than a photo would.

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