be thou my vision

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W4TVQ
Posts: 183
Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

be thou my vision

Postby W4TVQ » April 17th, 2010, 8:14 pm

Been thinking lately (oh-oh, can you hear the gears grinding) ... lots of discussion on my other message board about Law, about "obeying God's rules," about what pleases God, etc. ... and I am personally of the opinion that the very idea of trying or wanting to "please God" is a defective idea from the start. It presumes a God Who is suspiciously human and variable.

I think the "usual" human approach (i.e., the religious approach" is something like this:
(1) We decide what we think God's rules are, and then
(2) We obey God's rules so God will be pleased with us, so that
(3) God agrees to be nice to us and save us.

Maybe reality is more like...
(1) God is.
(2) We come to our senses and recognize Who He is and who we are (Him being us), so
(3) We let his Being permeate ours and the result is what we could call "obedience."

I think early Celtic Christianity got a good grasp of this approach. There's a beautiful 8th century hymn that I keep nearby and read often:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.


Augustine wrote, "Love God, and do what you will." Even the weird/bizarre Aleister Crowley saw it when he wrote, "Love is the law, love under will." I think the Taoists are right when they suggest that there is really nothing to do except BE. Just be the "uncarved block." That way, all of one's time, effort and thought can be channeled into the single objective of knowing and loving the One. And theerby, of knowing and being the One.

Or so it seems to me.

Jai Ram
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley

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Speculum
Posts: 151
Joined: March 28th, 2005, 3:28 am

Re: be thou my vision

Postby Speculum » April 17th, 2010, 9:37 pm

Here is one of my favorite passages from the Tao Te Ching (this translation is by Witter Bynner):

Existence having born them
And fitness bred them,
While matter varied their forms
And breath empowered them,
All created things render, to the existence
and fitness they depend on,
An obedience
Not commanded but of course.
And since this is the way existence bears issue
And fitness raises, attends,
Shelters, feeds and protects,
Do you likewise:
Be parent, not possessor,
Attendant, not master,
Be concerned not with obedience but with benefit,
And you are at the core of living.


... and in that passage, my favorite lines are

An obedience
Not commanded but of course.


There, "of course" means to me, as a matter of course, simply the natural order of events.
What is.

Early on as seekers we need rules.
Fish on Fridays, asleep by nine, up at four to meditate, yoga asanas twice a day.
Without those commandments, we would continue wandering aimlessly, thoughtlessly, ruthlessly,
"and turn to weeping what was meant for joy" (in Dante's wondrous phrase).

We need to be told "thou shalt not kill" when otherwise we might.

In time, by the Grace of God, we see what is, and the bindings fall away,
not demanded, but of course.

How Extraordinary!
"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

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W4TVQ
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Joined: January 6th, 2005, 4:02 pm
Location: Naples, FL

Re: be thou my vision

Postby W4TVQ » April 18th, 2010, 10:47 pm

Early on as seekers we need rules.


Of course we do. God is I Am, the Ultimate Ground of being, infinite, eternal and thus incomprehensible by us ...but relative to us He is father.

The entire bible, as well as the collective Scriptures of all the "Ways' that have been since things were written down, all testify that they are a progressive revelation. Father started with a humanity in its early childhood, and children must be controlled with rules. That's Why we have the Torah, and the Hindu dietary laws, and the intricate Confucian system of rules and regulations.

And I still find the rules useful, not because i think that obeying them will "make God happy" or win me brownie points with Father, but because they remind me to stay centered on Him.
"Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light."

So hurray for rules. And hurray for tomorrow when we will have outgrown them.

Jai Ram
Art
"I can at best report only from my own wilderness. The important thing is that each man possess such a wilderness and that he consider what marvels are to be observed there." -- Loren Eiseley

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anvil46
Posts: 26
Joined: November 19th, 2008, 2:28 am

Re: be thou my vision

Postby anvil46 » April 26th, 2010, 4:02 am

Thanks Brothers!


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