Merle Molofsky

Poet and psychoanalyst: read and resonate

Interactive Musings


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Two Question Marks, Face to Face, Create a Heart

Posted on June 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Two question marks, face to face, create a heart

06/27/2012

 

Two question marks on their way down a road

 

encounter each other, decipher the code:

 

two question marks, face to face, create a heart.

 

                 -- Merle Molofsky, from “Before the Aftermath, After Genesis”

 

Follow the visual of the poem’s image: if you draw two question marks facing each other, the one on the left has to be drawn backwards – they actually form a heart.

 

The Self encounters an Other.  And the Other is a Self that encounters an Other.

 

We encounter each other.  In such an encounter, what do we expect, consciously and unconsciously?

 

Do I expect You? 

 

Martin Buber’s I and Thou offers a vision of a direct encounter, of standing in relation to….  Offers possibility….  Standing in relation to, without limits, without boundaries.  A standing in relation in which You are not an It, you are in relation to me.  The sensory reality, the sensory perception, the sensory experience, is irrelevant.  The relationality itself, the is-ness of the I – Thou  encounter, exists in and of itself.

 

Is this possible?

 

The essence of I – Thou is the recognition of the Divine.  If we stand in relation to the Divine, to God, then all relationality is sacred.

 

I – Thou encounters are not necessarily the everyday reality of meaningful encounter, the quotidian of sensory reality.  Because we live in ordinary sensory reality, and want our everyday lives to be meaningful, what does discovery of self and other encompass?

 

Can we bear to encounter the Otherness of the Other?  Are You truly not-Me, and, if You indeed truly are not-Me, and I indeed truly am not -You, where do we intersect?  How do we actually Know each other? 

 

To be able to recognize similarities between the other and one’s self, to recognize and acknowledge those similar qualities, allows us to cherish the other, and thus to value those qualities in ourselves.

 

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”   To love thy neighbor as thyself is a form of empathy, and if we truly know and value ourselves, we can recognize and value the other,

 

Resonance.

 

In music, resonating or sympathetic strings are strings strung so close to eachother that when one is plucked the other one sounds, so that harmonic overtones are created.  Thus when two people are close enough to each other, if one feels something, the other person also will feel a very similar feeling – harmonic resonance.  We vibrate in harmony with one another.

 

Living In Eternity

Posted on April 14, 2012 at 11:25 PM Comments comments (0)

LIVING IN ETERNITY

04/14/2012

 

“I’m going to utter perhaps the greatest piece of knowledge anyone can voice…. Do you know that at this very minute you are surrounded by eternity?  And do you know that you can use that eternity, if you so desire?  There! Eternity is there!  All around!  Do you know that you can extend yourself forever….  Do you know that one moment can be eternity?”  -- Don Juan speaking in Tales of Power, byCarlos Castaneda.

 

“Your body is the boundary I’m talking about.  One can get out of it.  We are a feeling, an awareness encased here.  We are luminous beings and for a luminous being only personal power matters.”  -- Don Juan speaking in Tales of Power, by Carlos Castaneda. 

 

How do we live in eternity, how do we use eternity?

 

The feeling of being alive is a feeling of forever.

 

We do not experience being dead. 

 

We experience being alive.  That experience exists in eternity.

 

All existence is embedded in eternity – the alpha and omega already exist, already happened, is happening, will happen – forever.  There is no such thing except forever.

 

Everything we do in our now time is what we are doing.

 

Everything we are in our now time is what we are.

 

Be here now?  Be Here Now, by Ram Das, 1971.  Also called Remember, Be Here Now.  Remember.

 

“Here and now, boys, here and now.”  Aldous Huxley, Island, 1962.

 

When do we forget that we live in eternity, and can use eternity?  When we feel fear.  We have to be true to our feelings.  We have no choice; we have to feel, and therefore we will feel fear.  We are afraid of suffering.  We are afraid of dying. 

 

Are you dead yet?

 

I do not understand how to live in eternity and use eternity in death. But I live in eternity now.  Knowledge is power.  If I know I live in eternity now, I am beginning to learn how to use eternity….

 

MAKE A JOYOUS NOISE: POETRY AND MUSIC, NATURAL THERAPY FOR THE TROUBLED SOUL

Posted on April 7, 2012 at 11:20 PM Comments comments (0)

MAKE A JOYOUS NOISE: POETRY AND MUSIC, NATURAL THERAPY FOR THE TROUBLED SOUL

04/07/2012

 

David, the psalmist, as a youth, soothed the anger of King Saul by playing the harp. 

 

“And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took a harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and well, and the evil spirit departed from him” – Samuel I, 16:23.

 

“An evil spirit from God” – what could this mean?  A troubled conscience?  Post-traumatic stress disorder?  Conflict? Guilt?  Remorse?  Projection?  Why would God harrow the soul of Saul?  To awaken his goodness?

 

David was very much like Saul.  They both in their youth came from simple agrarian families, and were chosen to become warriors.  They both wrestled with their own human nature.  The young David, attuning his emotional harp strings to the troubled music in Saul’s heart, played his harp in direct empathy with Saul.  David was a music therapist for the traumatized king.

 

When David became king, in part he tried to soothe his own trauma through his poetry and music, and his psalms are his offerings to us as well as offerings to God.

 

Excerpts from the Psalms (King James version):

 

“Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.”  Psalm 81:1

 

“Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel; the pleasant harp with the psaltery.”  Psalm 81: 2

 

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us make a joyous noise to the rock of our salvation.”  Psalm 95: 1

 

“O sing unto the Lord a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 96.1

 

“O sing unto the Lord a new song.”  Psalm 98: 1

 

“Make a joyous noise unto the Lord, all the earth.”  Psalm 98: 4

 

“Make a joyous noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.”  Psalm 100.

 

“I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, I will sing.” Psalm 101: 1

 

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a poem written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson, president of the Stanton School, in honor of a visit to the school by Booker T. Washington, with music written in 1905 by his brother John Johnson.

 

“Lift every voice and sing, till earth and heaven ring,

 

Ring with the harmonies of liberty.

 

Let our rejoicing rise, high as the list’ning skies,

 

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.”

 

“How Can I Keep From Singing” is an 1869 hymn from North Carolina written by Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry.

 

“My life flows on in endless song;

 

         Above earth’s lamentation,

 

I hear the sweet, but far-off hymn;

 

         That hails a new creation;

 

Thro’ all the tumult and the strife

 

         I hear the music ringing;

 

It finds an echo in my soul –

 

         How can I keep from singing?”

 

Poetry is word-music.

 

As the instruments play the song, so too the lives we lead are the song we offer to the Lord.

 


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