Spring Grazing... in Northern Maine
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Today's Saying: When we shift from seeing with the eyes of the mind to seeing with the eyes of the heart, we see the real world, and it has always been here. Where do we need to go to see it? Nowhere.
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When a Christian clergyperson, the congregations and I celebrated what in Christianity is called Epiphany. Epiphany was a day, Epiphany Sunday, for celebrating the manifestation of Jesus (a Jew) to the Gentiles (all non-Jews). This manifestation implied the unity connoted in the child, Jesus. The coming of the Maji, likely Persian astrologers, to visit the boy - not the babe as oft mistakenly portrayed - indicated a dissolving of the boundary between Jew and Gentile. Additionally, we celebrated Epiphany as a season beginning yearly on January 6 and ending Ash Wednesday, the latter introducing another season, Lent.
Such days and seasons are a formalization of what is already in our daily lives and Nature. Such rites and rituals are helpful to many, yet we need to look at how they suggest the potential in everyday experience. Ritualized means of Truth are potential means for disconnection from Truth, and yet they can equally be reminders. As humans, we need some reminders of the Sacred that always is, for easily we forget, getting lost in distractions.
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Epiphany means, from Greek, "to reveal, manifest." All Nature reveals the Sacred; you and I are revelations of that Sacredness. When I say "you and I...," this does not mean how we usually see ourselves - as a body. Part of revelation is seeing we are more than a body.
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Some persons say things, such as, "He had an epiphany," which means a sudden insight. This idea is not what we mean by an epiphany. An epiphany is not something we have or get. Epiphany is Spirit revealing Itself, the Holy appearing.
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I drove to the Kennebec River my first winter in Maine; looking down on the icy waters from the bridge leading into Georgetown Island, I took a photograph of the river and titled it "Epiphany in winter attire." The scene spoke to me of the ritual of Life - how Life is revealed in diverse garb. Another day, another moment, the river would be another river. Epiphany is in flux. No one could ever again take a photograph of that river, as no one before had taken a photograph of it.
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Your body is not what it was or will be. Bodies, as our breaths and thoughts, are Life manifesting. An aged body is no less an epiphany than an infant's body; both are Sacredness happening, are living, fleshly revelations. While we may mourn beside a corpse and celebrate beside a new infant, both are equal epiphanies of Life. Both glorious equally, in different ways.
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After the river photo, I wrote the following poem.
a witness to something More
no one can say
Who or What
that Something is
in the myriad forms
reveal and conceal
like our being born
in a cosmic game of hide-and-seek
ever right here, and out-of-reach
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Any answer leads deeper into the bright darkness of not-knowing. Yet, the not-knowing is a knowing - now not with the mind. We learn to reverence and enjoy, and wonder, not wanting to trap this More, this Something, in a cage of words. We relish the questions and relaxing in the Silence. Here, we bask; without words, we worship. If someone were to ask, "What is worship?," there is no answer.
If someone were to say, "Brian, okay, but what does all this mean?" My reply, "I don't know, but I know." I smile, sitting here in a chair musing on this amusing conundrum - "I don't know, but I know." I see I have always known, even before I knew I knew. This knowledge has led me since long ago, since a child, possibly before. The smiling and now laughter... another epiphany.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.