Enter the Quiet Heart

Susan's picture

by Susan Shore….

“Pond at Dellfield” art photography by Meredith Shore’ .

This poem is equally about prayer, contemplation and mindfulness.

Some form of ‘prayer’ is practised at the majority of stages of cultural evolution of consciousness. There is a longer exploration of these stages, prayer, meditation and invocation to be found below the poem.

 

ENTER THE QUIET HEART

Turn your back for a time on the chatter and the chaos,

The rumble of approaching guns

Come to prayer~

~~~

Tread softly

It is the still pool that reflects the clear light

Its shadow is the shade of contemplation

lacing the downpouring sun~

~~~

Shade of

canopied palms,

trailing ferns, and

dipping swallows’ wings~

~~~

Hear the voice of your heart

Come then, to prayer.

 

PRAYER AND THE EVOLUTION OF SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS

Prayer takes different forms and different names, not only in different languages and spiritual traditions, but also according to stages of development, of both the culture and of the individual within it. Our practice of ‘prayer’ has evolved. In animism, in the pre-egocentric stage for example, we would pour a libation of wine, and chant-pray to propitiate the nature spirits and the hovering souls of our newly dead. In the early Traditional stage, with its (wonderful!) newly evolved respect for law, order and authority over brute seized power, we are likely to pray to an often distant God according to a formula, a text prescribed by our spiritual authorities (e.g. Bible, Church/Pope; Koran, Prophet/Imams).

In the Modern stage ~ that of our current culture’s worldview, the gift of the European Enlightenment/Age of Reason and its scientific method of getting to knowledge, we tend to reject the idea of the spiritual and God, as there is only a cosmos made by chance collision of material atoms. Religion is (to misquote Marx yet again!) ‘the opiate of the masses’.

In the Postmodern mind which arrived in the 1960’s and ’70’s, we see that the ‘material universe’ is itself a construct among a number of possible constructs. All traditions become equally valid, as arising from different socio-cultural perspectives merely. The idea of hierarchy (and God) may be anathema to us. Here, the rights and gifts of all minority groups are seen for the first time, and we will fight to defend them. We may have a spiritual practice though, from nature mysticism, or a version of Buddhism, to a Mindfulness practice.

In the Post-postmodern mind stage, We have crossed an invisible border, into Witness or Watcher consciousness, which is that of the soul. It is called Second Tier consciousness.(This soul or watcher is acknowledged in much of integral theory and Adult Development). We’re no longer “prisoners of the planet” ~imprisoned within the idea and forces of the material universe. It becomes evident that consciousness is primary, and prior to material manifestation.

We’ve become aware of the nested hierarchy that is the nature of evolution. Thus there must be a whole cosmos beyond us, of minds or consciousnesses more evolved than ours, desiring to help, lift and save, as we wish to do~ and we become aware is our duty to humanity and all life. This nested, spiralling, totally interdependent holarchy must end in the Unity of which, we see, we are a minuscule part and also the whole, given Its hologram nature. It comes to seem natural and necessary to have a spiritual practice~meditation of some form. Ideally, we see that all practices and religions have some vital truth; they are ‘true but imperfect’ versions of a Kosmos, perfect knowledge of which, or Whom, we can only approach without ever fully realising. We are likely to be involved in some aspect of the interfaith movement or its evolution into the World Religion, and/or joining in world group meditation and invocation to centres of higher consciousness for the betterment of the whole. This World Goodwill site~Victoria Goodwill~ is dedicated to this work.

 

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