Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Morning has broken, like the first morning"

I went to a Rise Up Singing group the other evening and sang, "Morning Has Broken."  This song moves me in a mysterious way -- I'm always tearful by the end, so that I can scarcely get the words out.  According to Wikipedia, the words sprang from Eleanor Farjeon, and the tune was a Scottish ballad.  I cannot believe other than that Farjeon was awakened, perhaps even as she wrote these words:  "Praise for the singing; praise for the morning. Praise for them springing fresh from the word."

This, of course, echoes the gospel of John:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  The New Oxford Annotated Bible (1973) explains that the "Word," a translation of "logos," "is more than speech; it is God in action, creating."  But perhaps this explains too much while really explaining nothing.  The literal meaning takes us further into the mystery, I think:  the world, our world, does spring from language, in the sense of conscious labeling of our experience.  Without that, there really is nothing.  The labeling makes it all seem solid, and obscures the illumined emptiness (another description of God), so that we see only "through a glass darkly." And this, of course, is how Buddhism and Eastern spirituality dovetail with at least the mystical branch of Christianity.  When Farjeon writes, "Born of the one light Eden saw play," she surely knows something about how it all comes to be, how it comes to be every minute.  This Light is not a metaphor but the creative force of the universe, visible to those graced with eyes to see it.

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I love to get comments from readers who want to mutually explore Truth as we at the same time remember that the words are just fingers pointing...