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Oscar V. de L Milosz

excerpted from Amorous Initiation

at The Spirit and Flesh World Religion and Spirituality Online Library: uniting seemingly opposed ideologies and vibrations into the true, pristine harmony of cosmic oneness.

 

 

"See, she is beautiful, and she is life! Do not scorn her, do not ask too much of her, for she does not know what she gives. Hold her tenderly, look at her lovingly, speak to her gently, examine nothing. For she is life, and she knows not who she is. True love is unique, and will soon find itself alone face to face with itself. She, she is only life: cherish her, for its moments are counted. Rush to love her, for it is growing late in the world's day. Forget who she is: she has eyes, a mouth, a voice, a sex; she is love's creature, the creature of your love. If you judge her, you shall be judged. If you love her, you shall be loved. If you abandon her, love will hide its face and you will return to the impossible void. Nothing in her is impure, for her master is the master of this night, this instant, and of your tenderness. ...Love has come, love has healed, love has saved. ...

Too noble to be a courtesan, to graceful to be a mother, Venice the Bewitching is a lover and only a lover; so beautiful that she makes one cry, she knows also the power of old pagan charms, and it pleases her to reign over our hearts by mystery as much as by grace. Powerful as Venus, like Venus she was born from the sea, thus proving once and for all time that every symbol has flesh, every dream its reality. And as she feels, our supreme creation, that nothing can be more precious to the God of love than this mirror of beauty and tenderness that man humbly holds out to him in his weary hands torn by stone and metal, as she feels this, she, breathing product of our hands, contemplates with confidence the splendor of eternal things and tenderly sighs: O heavens, o seas! And you, days, and you nights! Indestructible flesh of universal love! I, mortal, fearful and gasping, I the created one, I am your equal in saintliness! ...

...O beauty! O potent silken rose, offered by Love to Love! O beauty, God adoring himself! Could you be anything other than a mystical sign in your slightest manifestations? My heart filled with a delicious anguish; I walked toward the palace, great delicate flower of a thousand doubled stems, and as I embraced passionately one of the lower columns, the pulsing of human blood merged with the heartbeat of the stone inflamed with love. For love, chevalier, love resides in the heart of stones, and it is with a poor pebble, infused with tenderness and picked up on a solitary shore, that the teeth of Falsehood and of Arrogance will be smashed on the day of days. ...p53

O woman! what creature are you? ...Whence do you come? Who are you? Where are you going? Azure atom in space, tiny drop of dark water in the luminous ocean of Love! How terrible it is, and how sweet, to be a stranger to that which one loves! Let others suffer torments because of their ignorance of the superterrestrial sense of their love; I am pleased to know nothing of mine, nothing, not even its effective existence. No, not the present nor the past nor the future! O sure shape of my life, O bread and wine of my passion, how I rejoice not to hear your true name! Love brought you one evening, death will carry you away one day; such was and such will also be the fate of my own flesh. The body is alien to life, the coffin is alien to the corpse. I know nothing of myself; should I seek to understand your secret? Let us stay as we are; all goes splendidly; let us become drunk with the mystery of the moment! Let it suffice to know that love is in us and around us and in all things, that there is not a pebble which is not completely suffused with it, and no sun which does not receive its light, because whosoever seems to shine with his own light shines with the light of love. Let us remain in peace. Its reign will come to pass. Its name will be sanctified! ...

...There is a great mystery at the bottom of every affection, an impenetrable secret in the heart of every passion; a dream that one forgets upon waking, a silence that one dares not trouble, a word one is afraid to say.

I have loved intensely; I have a right to speak. But woe to him who takes the name of the Eternal in vain! Nothing is more foreign to our pitiful comprehension than this terrible sweet love which is the principle of human beings, and which causes our heart to commingle with a pebble in the road, for we have trouble enduring life and our love is intoxicated with eternity. ...p91

...I barely understand it and I acknowledge it; the most pathetic thing is beyond my comprehension: a grain of sand in the road, a tear from the sea, the motion of a gull's wings. But what does it matter if my mind will never completely understand this loving eternity delivered to my love? Does not drawing closer to things, dissolving in them, result only in knowing oneself a stranger to one's own understanding? I do not know the reasons of life but I sense them, and I sense that love and beauty can do anything, anything except 'not to be.' Tender, tender things! Tender and profound! How much you need my pity in order to survive! How your infiniteness would frighten you if the idea of the infinite was not my love itself! What harmony reigns between us! And I not in you, are you not in me? Such sweetness in us and outside of us, such wisdom both necessary and irrational! And how well made is this great moving orb for understanding the movement of my intense heart! Love, beginning and end, Love and love. Here you are, I cried wildly, here you are at last, O Love! How sweet is your presence! and how terrible is your shadow alongside mine! Before we met you were only a God to me, a poor person God; a God in heaven and a fear in the heart of man; and here you are yourself finally, and you are love, love and pain! Yes, pain, O, certainly! pain; for you have stripped yourself of your mystery. You passed all understanding in the old days of your divinity; you were unimaginable; your name was Infinite; the date of your arrival was Future. ...

...O Love, the infinite divested of mystery, God in his sublime nakedness, overwhelming necessity, ruler of Reason, Christ in the world of bread and wine and birth. You, perfect language after the infantile stammering of sages; you, the eternal idea or the undiscoverable thing for one, the obvious will for the other; you who can be neither idea nor thing nor mystery! what poetry, what music, what painting, what dance will ever express the eternity of your own astonishment before the splendor of being yourself! Come! Embrace me! Let us go toward the gardens that are on the seas! Let us go towards the springs that are in the forests! Let us trample with our human step the sand which caresses, and the stone which rends, and the dust of the moon which makes everything old! And let us proclaim, so that our children will hear, the gods of all ages and of all races! And may I be no longer man and may you be no longer woman; for you are love in me, and we are the supreme unity formed of two earthly unities! ...Come, Love, embrace me! You whose feet are lower than any abjectness and whose head is more radiant than any light! Song of the constellations, small harmonious curve on the Phrygian shell, harp of the rising sun, refuge of the winds, foaming rapture of the seas! You who have made eternity known to me! Son of the living God! 'Your face shines like the sun, your clothes are white as light!'

Like a sleepless man, I draw near to you, O window filled with sunlight and humming with flies, O Love, window open to life! And here I see the moment of the wave, and the wink of an eye gleaming with foam, and the flash of a white wing in the midst of the waters! Space, space that separates the waters; my joyous friend, how I breathe you in with love! Here I am like a nettle flowering in the gentle sunlight of ruins, and like a pebble on the rim of the spring, and like a snake in the heat of the grass! What, is the moment truly eternity? Is eternity truly the moment? Vanity of human dreams, blacknesses of pride and dishonesty, I mock you in the soft laugh of drunken flies! Shivering little palm tree offered to the steel wind, little stone shining in the laughing foam, and you, unhappy man in rags, chewing your miserable bread in the presence of the fearsome splendors of the Son of Man! What wisdom there is in you! How I love you! How sweet it is to me to be the most secret heartbeat of immortal flesh! O eternity! What a gentle master, what an amorous brother you have found in me! With what generosity I exalt you with all the haste of my human moments! With what certainty I predict your future, great sentimentalist who still does not yet know itself! For fierce love will come back, awful truth is very near. And I know under which wave the stone shines, the stone which must shatter the mouth of falsehood, ugliness, and madness! For soon they will tear themselves apart, the old smothering horizons, finally revealing the distances of music and the honey of consolation! Who would deny it, when all of my flesh burns with prophecies! Who would mock it, when all of the final revelation already is passionately kissing my blood with its blazing lips? Secret lust of being, throbbing in the belly of life, swelling of tenderness in the heart of hearts, I feel you, you penetrate me with all your fury, your humid hotness is on my mouth, your tears lacerate my face. ...

If we cherish temporal existence, it is not at all because we come from it, but for the reason that in finding in it what is necessary to realize the beauty that is epitomized by our soul, we glorify both the creature among creatures whom we are and that original love whose need to adore itself more and more presents itself to us in our conception of the infinite. For the thing without end never could be that in itself, but only as an attribute of love; and it is in its nature, like desire in the finite being, to be a movement unlimited by that even though it can have no purpose outside of itself. As for our idea of nothingness, I perceive its origin in the imagination distorted by Mendacity, that arrogant and sterile contradictor, that impotent enemy of amorous evidence. In the eyes of the mystic, the world is all affirmation; could it be otherwise in the perceptible manifestation of a God whose power has no other limit than the impossibility of not being love, that is to say, of not being? True life is an initiation by feeling. If we have called love by the supreme name of Creator from the earliest times it is because neither the mind nor the senses sufficed to make our temporal sojourn a reality. For true life is not that which comes to us, but rather that which comes from us. To be is to create, not to receive, one's life; and love is the unique instrument of an infinity of possible creations. That which we call reality is not something which offers itself to us, but a fruit of initiation, and initiation commences with love. Thus it is not only ingenious, logical, or sublime, but absolutely necessary to identify, in the terrestrial sense, the science of the Divine with a Beatrice born from one flesh and one soul. Heaven is not a feverish dream: the roads that lead to it are made of sand and rock permeated with love, so gorged with love as to make one weep; thus, before undertaking the conquest of so formidable a reality, let us try to fill ourselves with real love during our preparatory life in time. ...

It is too early in the day of time for the betrothal of love and pity. More sun is required, a great noontime of love, to make of the bitter little root of our pity something illuminated with flowers and intoxicated with bees. Man, Man is approaching! He walks on the sea, followed by a holy procession of mountains smitten with love. He is handsome, powerful, and terrible: the first stone of Jerusalem gleams in his hand; he kisses the blood-soaked face of the defeated, dying monster. All human flesh is aflame with immense, joyful pity! For it is immense and joyful, the pity which runs to meet strength and beauty! ...

What are we waiting for that is not already there in our awestruck eyes, in our intoxicated hearts? Is not today composed of all our yesterdays, all our tomorrows? Is not eternity instantaneous? On your feet, on your feet! Abandon yourself to your love! Call upon the blind, the deaf, the paralyzed to rise, to rise and walk upon the sea! For if that is your love of a living creature, how impoverished must be the heart of those how bury their dead! ...

The 'object' of a love, particularly of a very deep love, can never be its 'end'. In the case of a great adoration, the creature is never more than a medium. Authentic love hungers for reality, and the only reality is in God. If grand passion usually founders in disenchantment and despair, it is never only in the earthly sense of those words, because in ascending to the adoration of the Impersonal, of the gentle, all-powerful Love our father, its loss is repaid a hundred times over. Profound love is a painful uplifting to the delightful dwelling place of chastity, simplicity, and childhood. Disillusionment causes us to lose the world and gain Him whose realm is not of this world. ...

            What could be fairer, however, than that the one who assures the propagation of the being flows directly from the principle of the being? If the creature radiant with beauty, truth, and guilelessness is the perceptible manifestation of God's love for Himself, is it not in the sublime attachment to some creature that we would have to look first, in a simpler and purer life, for an expression of our love of the terrible and gentle Father of things? And what does it matter that this attachment, even when it is deep and sincere, does not last as long as life, if it causes the mortal heart to beat with the rhythm of the Love without end! Every affection is composed of a dream and a reality; the dream is on earth, whose days are numbered; reality is in the Eternal. Life according to the world is the shadow of a mist, a feeling of doubt in the nocturnal dream of a madman; but the feeblest desire of true love already contains all the reality of Heaven, and all will be pardoned to the creature who loved with a supreme love after having long burned with the worst."

 

 

by Oscar V. de L Milosz, excerpted from Amorous Initiation

 

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