March 29, 2011

Dread and Bliss

Sorrow, 1882, by Auguste Rodin
Art Institute, Chicago

The person who has not, in a moment of firm resolve, accepted—yes, even rejoiced in—what has struck him with terror—he has never taken possession of the full, ineffable power of our existence. He withdraws to the edge; when things play out, he will be neither alive nor dead.

To discover the unity of dread and bliss, these two faces of the same divinity (indeed, they reveal themselves as a single face that presents itself differently according to the way in which we see it): that is the essential meaning and theme of both my books (The Sonnets to Orpheus and The Duino Elegies).

Letter to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouy
April 12, 1923


  1. It's there, the re, not just the rays of energy we know of and especially not just the visible, felt, heard. But all waves, all The Energy that will always come and go. The LOVE, that energy that does not allow electrons to stop, there is no absolute zero. That movement, this is LOVE.

    Two sounds (faces) fah ce(s) [fah, the middle tone of C] the two harmonies that all vibrations will eventual break down to, that pulsation "wah-wah-wah" the waver. Two harmonies can be heard. They are always there, but the waves (movement) when they travel in synchronicity together as ONE wave "waaaahhhhh"

    they can move as one when they are so tuned.

    but they are both always there

    those do not have to be actions of inflicting suffering into another beings life. There does not have to be "bad" so that "good" can be known. Suffering can travel in the same motion without causing one to suffer, that is LOVE.

    it is when agreeing in the name of peace, is no longer viewed as a sacrifice by the one who compromises for the sake of peace. Because this person desires the dreams of another to be real. That way of life obliterates the pain, suffering and all mistakes they can and will be made when there is a genuine desire to understand and be understood.

    That is the miracle we were given the keys which have the power to unlock the hearing of our hearts. The miracle of transformation from our terrestrial world to be a symphony of our soul synchronized by orchestration to be in time with our physical bodies (that being the hardest to be achieved was given for nothing, for free:it is already happening) to live in a celestial realm, today we could name it Heaven if every last one of us would allow it to happen, by understanding the truth, which is named LOVE.

  2. In other words: Bloom recklessly!

  3. Yes to Who! Yes to Yes and No!

    A month before Rilke "transcribed" the"dictation" of the Sonnets and finished his Elegies in what he called a "hurricane of the spirit," he wrote the following dedicatory verse to an edition of "The Notebooks of Malte Larurids Brigge" which captures the spirit of the above letter:

    Oh tell us, poet, what do you do?
    -- I praise.

    But those dark, devastating, deadly ways,
    how do you bear them, suffer them?
    -- I praise.

    And the Nameless, beyond guess or gaze,
    how can you still call and conjure it?
    -- I praise.

    * * *

    I'm sure you're planning to run this sometime, but the following final lines of the Tenth Elegy -- lines which allowed Rilke to finally climb to the highest aerie of his talent -- puts it even more succinctly the marriage-song of dreadfulness and bliss:

    ... But if the endlessly dead awakened a symbol in us,
    perhaps they would point to the catkins hanging from the bare
    branches of the hazel-trees, or
    wold evoke the raindrops that fall onto the dark earth in springtime.

    And we, who have always thought
    of happiness as rising, would feel
    the emotion that almost overwhelms us
    whenever a happy thing falls.

    Happy indeed -- at least for the Angel ... Brendan

  4. who and brendan - thankyou for carrying the weight of this piece and setting it free! steven

  5. I am not smart/literary enough to analyze this post, but I can say it is all I'm going to be thinking about today.

  6. not to be annoying, but I think it pronounced more like kitsans, and I think that you guys think that I am not aware of how much I am carefully led or prompted/encouraged to respond the jist of it and only the non-meaning changing details com from me.

  7. And many people believe that their is a Holy Spirit that is not exactly the same position or function as Holy Ghost, and I am pretty sure if they could scream insults and expletives at me, they would.

  8. yes, yes, a thousand times yes. (although i'm somewhat quiet around the karmic feet of it, speak like a child with a hushed curve of palm, knowing it, but not wishing to invite the full onslaught of it at once, just in time, ebbing slowly in.)


  9. I have to apologize for my attitude, my mind is not always in good places, and because of that sometimes I read things that (at the time)I honestly didn't believe that they were poems written long before I was born.

    And it has nothing to do with the poetry or what others say or comment, it's me in that some words feel like the words are poking at a wound in me that is still hurts as it was without the poke.

    if that makes any sense, for the times I seem irritated or comment on a subject that has nothing to do with the post.


"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Go ahead, bloom recklessly!