‘Shoreham Bay, Evening Sunset’ – John Constable, 1828 – WikiArt
There is a hidden ecstasy in your being;
Only you have — to access it — to ignore
The clamour of your endless thoughts,
Wildly thinking themselves to death;
To leave them behind, so far behind,
A thing of secondary importance,
Not that first, foolish, imaginary role.
Ecstasy has its own special requirements:
One is postponing all future goals and attainments
And envisaging yourself only in the now
Where peace can be seen to thrive,
Far and away from imagination,
Settled within the hard ground of being
Where is built a temple for yourself.
And stay there, don’t mingle with the body,
Don’t make it an essential — not more
Than necessary — it’s a fake friend;
Then, when you have built a home
Secure from the turmoil of feelings
Free from all that come to lure you into their net;
When you are — as to say —
Outside your usual self,
As the etymology concedes;
When you have recognised the world
As your own inseparable body;
When you have opened wide all windows,
Extricated yourself from the grip of time;
When you have habituated yourself
To the pure light of just being;
Then — and only then —
And only perhaps
Then might a brush of ecstasy
Come upon you — gently but noticeably;
Only beware of too much of it
Lest it will send you back to some
Old, stale beliefs about yourself — stay humble.
Then might a brush of ecstasy
Come upon you — that will make you
Leave your own dated sense of self,
And adopt that quiet remoteness of being
As your new, unmistakable home.
Text by Alain Joly
Painting by John Constable (1776-1837)
– John Constable (Wikipedia)
– Voices from Silence (other poems from the blog)
5 thoughts on “The Brush of Ecstasy”
T I also agree that the body is both an instrument and an impediment.
Alain I enjoyed reading your lovely post .But I will not call body” a fake friend”The body and mind so interconnected – healthy mind in a healthy body. These days most of diseases are psychosomatic ones.
Thank you for your comment Prema! 🙏 Yes, the body is a precious tool no doubt. But the recognition of who we are goes beyond it…
I like your words “Far and Away from Imagination” which are very similar to something I read Meher Baba say many years ago. I initially thought he was saying imagination is “bad”, and it took me a long time to come to understand. Essentially, what I came to is that imagination is typically associated only with the intellectual mind, uninformed by the intuitive heart, and when this is the case, the outcome generally falls flat and leaves us alienated and wanting, which is in a sense, “bad”. My experience is that a mind informed by Heart can perform beautifully sensitive, imaginative and helpful deeds that promote Love. (poetry, for example). But it of course raises the question “who is the doer” whenever the Heart is involved. Another time. Thank you for your post.
Thank you for your comment! 🙏 Yes, imagination is here used for belief and identification, anything that the mind does in order to see itself as an existing, separate self. A mind informed by the heart is more likely to not be influenced by its ‘imagination’, and have the ability to see directly into its true nature as pure, shared being.