“WE SHALL NOT CEASE FROM EXPLORATION
AND AT THE END OF ALL OUR EXPLORING
WE ARRIVE AT THE PLACE WHERE WE STARTED
AND KNOW THE PLACE FOR THE FIRST TIME.” T.S Eliot
The great poets have always touched upon this
subject, have written about it and have been
obsessed by – not just death, but what happens
beyond death – what goes on before we are born
and after we die.
The question is what transcends death
and what few proofs do we have about such things
“OUR BIRTH IS A WAKING AND A FORGETTING.”
Wordsworth said this, and being a profound nature
poet, he knew what he was talking about…
“TRAILING CLOUDS OF GLORY DO WE COME.”
Is the glory ours? Not necessarily. But glory is
something we have bathed in before we were
born. We partake of glory, and then our lives
tend to be a long forgetting… of:
“THAT PRIMAL SYMPATHY, WHICH HAVING BEEN
SHALL ALWAYS BE.”
The poem I’m remembering is called:
‘INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY”
which is a pretty terrific title for any poem.
I tend to confuse the words and works of
Blake and Wordsworth. Back at the University
this would be considered a great sin. But in the
mind of a mystic, it doesn’t matter so much
who said what.
When Hildegard of Bingen said:
“I AM THAT LIVING AND FIERY ESSENCE THAT SHINES
IN THE GLORY OF THE FIELDS”
she wasn’t worried so much about quoting
chapter and verse.
“We shall not cease from exploration
and at the end of all our exploring
we arrive at where we started
and know the place for the first time.”
We start out as a child. As a child
we are imbued with that primal
sympathy. We see one shining world
and we are part of it.
Then adolescence comes, the mad
obsession with romance and sexual
completion – a wonderful and desperate
time, but a confusing time
in our lives.
Puberty is not a time known
for clarity of mind. No, we are too
busy procreating or at least attempting
I think of that whole period of
my life almost as if I was underwater.
A passionate time of pursuing and
defending, of plunging deep into
the wonders of the underworld.
And pursuing again, and being
(I certainly did enjoy the swim)
Yes, a confusing time – a time of
love, passion and procreation – and
after the babies are born, well
it is a noisy time, and we are busy,
busy, busy – buying and spending
and trying to impress the neighbours?
Well maybe we don’t go that far,
but the time when we’re raising
children, that’s not always a quiet time…
Not always a time for silent contemplation.
But we can grab a few moments.
The burning desire to be one with the
universe never quite goes away. We seek
the glory from whence we came,
we need spiritual completion. The mystic
may go through all kinds of arcane
practices in order to achieve this unity…
but we all have a similar need.
To get back to that place which is called
“the dream time”, that place called
Eden, which we were apparently cast
We seek the place where we can learn:
“THE EXPANDING OF LOVE BEYOND DESIRE”
To a poet, mythology and the use of
metaphor and symbol, this is the highest
form of human thought. I use the word
“thought” loosely, for the myths take us
to a place that is deeper than thought.
The place that is deeper than thought.
This is where the quest
for unification actually begins. The place
that is beyond the intellect but which is
remembered in dreams, the place
of spiritual completion, the feeling
we used to have when we were
We seek it and we may find it –
the divinity of our source. We
are on a quest to return home,
and when we find home once again,
we remember it, we recognize it;
it is the answer to all our yearning…
“AND WE KNOW THE PLACE
FOR THE FIRST TIME.”
(C)2016 by W.G. Milne
NOTE: I use this * between paragraphs so that
all the paragraphs don’t merge.