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Word Gems 

exploring self-realization, sacred personhood, and full humanity


 

How To Sit Quietly
In A Room Alone

"Safe in my garden, an
ancient flower blooms."

 


 

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Possibly, the most beautiful of all “small quiet rooms” is a flower garden.

 

the scent from its nature, causing me to swoon...

 

Safe In My Garden

 

safe in my garden
an ancient flower blooms
and the scent from its nature
slowly squares my room
and its perfume being such
that it's causing me to swoon

when you go out in the street
so many hassles with the heat
no one there to fill your desire

 

 

Editor’s note: I’d wondered about the other part of this song: “cops out with their megaphones, telling people stay inside their homes, can’t they see the world’s on fire? … with a bottle in each hand, no more time to understand, we don’t look where it lands, we just throw it.”

Why would the songwriter juxtapose the fiery strife and conflict in the world with “safe in my garden, an ancient flower blooms”? It’s all so anomalous. But then I understood that the mystical serenity of the safely sequestered ancient flower becomes all the more precious when set against the jarring chaos just outside the garden’s gate. And not just the bedlam in the world, but that which oppresses us within the psyche, the dysfunctional ego.

"no one there to fill your desire"

These lyrics appear to be singing the praises of true love’s sacred intimacy and exclusivity -- resulting in supreme happiness and joy. Why is this the underlying focus? A major clue is offered:

when you go out in the street
so many hassles with the heat
no one there to fill your desire…

This song is about people going out into the world attempting to “fill” their “desire.” But, like the dismayed Adam after naming the animals, no one is found who might offer a satisfying love. The crowd cannot still and pacify the “crying of the heart.” We are lonely in a crowd. We seek for a particular one

It is only within the protected boundaries of true love’s secret garden that an ancient empyreal flower blooms. It is this delicate flower alone, and none other, no other source, that might fill one’s desire… with the scent of its nature causing each lover to swoon.

 

 

However, allow me to mitigate, for a moment, the impact of authentic romantic love.

Before we are – not just allowed, but – constitutionally equipped to receive or to find the true mate, we must first find ourselves, the “true self.”

the ancient flower, the sweetness of the soul, the joy of living

The “ancient flower” of delight and joy must first perceive its existence as founded upon one’s soul-life, deep within. It is a primal, subsuming, and undergirding of "the joy," supporting all other cause for celebration in one’s spirit. It is a self-perception devoid of any sense of neediness or “I am not enough” but, instead, in its own sufficiency, revels in its own being, the joy and delight of simply being alive.

the great paradox

But then, as discussed in "Prometheus," in what may be the most paradoxical perception of one’s eternal existence, despite the sense of “I am enough,” there will also be the revelation, “I can’t live without you." Even "enlightenment" will not save you from missing her.

The “ancient flower” is the central source of our soul’s capacity to love and to be loved. It lives within core being and speaks to “what we stay alive for.”

 

it’s just like heaven being with you, dear

Rosie Hamlin, "Angel Baby," 1961

it's just like heaven being here with you, you're like an angel, too good to be true, but after all, I love you, I do, angel baby, my angel baby, when you are near me, my heart skips a beat, I can hardly stand on my own two feet, because I love you, I love you, I do, angel baby, my angel baby, oooo I love you, I love you I do, no one could love you like I do, it's just like heaven being with you, dear, I could never stay away without you near...

As prologue to his recording of “Angel Baby,” John Lennon professed great admiration for Rosie, exclaiming that “Angel Baby” was “one of my all-time favorite songs.” I agree. Absolutely.

“It’s just like heaven being with you, dear” – a superlative without substance? Not really. Spirit Guide Margaret, directly from Summerland, pretty much said the exact same thing, that the chief constituent of our joy in the coming world is being with one's true romantic mate. Though "John and Mary" know nothing of this, Rosie's lyric is literally true; more specifically, what this really means is, "without you, dear, there will be no heaven." This is the sense of the Spirit Guides' teaching.

 

Lovers define being 'alone' as being together; is it the same thing?

This kind of clear sightedness, an unraveling of life’s great existential paradox, might occur only in a small quiet room, one that becomes a flower garden. This oasis of extreme delight and joy will sustain us for eternity, even against its terrors.

It is a private refuge of sacred solitude, the domain of the soul, reserved for each person, alone, with none able to trespass; and yet, with extended paradox, not only is this the venue wherein we meet the Sacred Beloved, but it is the only place where this is possible; that is, a meeting of the sort that might “fill your desire,” which is the only one that counts.

Kairissi. I  feel so overwhelmed by this image of “the ancient flower.” Ellus, it’s so beautiful! I just feel breathless!

Elenchus. You know what it makes me think of?

K. Tell me.

E. In Father Benson’s account of Summerland, several times he comments on the flowers there, how people sort of cup their hands over a flower to take in the perfumed essence, and how life-giving the fragrance is.

K. (sighing) “The scent from its nature, causes me to swoon.”

E. Yeah…

K. This image of the ancient flower in the center of a garden, as metaphor of the splendor of the sacred soul, one’s hidden life-force, is just so wonderful.

E. Sweetheart… this is affecting you so deeply. I’m wondering why, as there are many illustrations of the beauty of what God’s given to us.

K. I don’t know, Elenchus. It’s as if I’m learning this for the first time. I just feel so moved.

E. (silence)

K. Maybe it’s the centrality of the ancient flower. It’s right in the middle of the garden. And maybe I’m just realizing, more fully right now, that true love, and even a sacred love for oneself, is right at the center of God’s mind and plan for us. And this means that our enjoyment of life, and each other, is not some optional add-on feature of God’s intentions, but the heart of it all.

E. I think, too, the word “safe” is very meaningful. In our world, we are constantly threatened, in a thousand different ways, by loss of love. But, in the center of that garden, the “made in the image” soul, there is a sacred serenity, and safety, that can never be disturbed.

K. (deeply sighing) (softly) I am so sorry… for the times when I made you feel less, Elenchus… those times when my actions did not reflect the reality of what we have together.

E. (sighing) Dear Kriss... there are times when I have to admit... I worry about us... I worry that I will not be able to forgive you for what happened...

K. I understand... I make no excuses for my conduct... It's just that, "safe in my garden" means that we cannot lose true love. It is as the poet Rilke expressed, true love is stored up for us like an inheritance... even if we've acted like a prodigal.

E. (sighing)

K. (softly) Elenchus... what we have cannot be destroyed... even by me... it continues to live as the ancient flower, safe... deep within the hidden persons of destined sacred love.