October 16: we Phantom Figures.

A good friend read me a passage from a book on the philosophy of religion when I was about to work up this next section of the blog. You, and I hope my friend, will be pleased to learn that Sister Johanna Caton will be reflecting on ‘Realities that are Unseen’, very much a concern of the philosophy of religion.

That starts tomorrow, today a few verses from Omar Khayyám as translated by Edward Fitzgerald, who takes to the obvious (well, obvious to some people) conclusion the Psalmist’s reflection: ‘A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.’ Psalm 90.4. Will Sister Johanna share something to challenge the ‘nothing-but-ness’ of the poet?

For in and out, above, about, below, 
’Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show, 
Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun, 

Round which we Phantom Figures come and go. 

And if the Wine you drink, the Lip you press, 
End in the Nothing all Things end in—Yes— 
Then fancy while Thou art, Thou art but what

Thou shalt be—Nothing—Thou shalt not be less. 

While the Rose blows along the River Brink, 
With old Khayyám the Ruby Vintage drink; 
And when the Angel with his darker Draught 

Draws up to Thee—take that, and do not shrink.

From The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, by Edward FitzGerald.

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Filed under Daily Reflections, Laudato si', Mission, poetry

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