Sunday, November 05, 2006

Eternal Now

Have you ever had such an experience of transcendence that you felt you had to say to the world, “You’re going to have to hold my place until I get back because I’m totally out of here?”

I think, if we are TRULY living beings, for each of us there is (or can be) something that brings us into the eternal now, something that takes us out of the world but at the same time makes us one with The World - with people of all times and places - with the heart of all things.

My transcendent experience is annually parceled out to me once a week for 5 weeks in November and December as our little local oratorio society practices and then presents Handel's Messiah.

For me it is the very real presence of Heaven on earth. As I participate I feel I leave my small world and in doing so become part of something much larger. I become part of all creation, of the very rocks of which would cry out if we were not praising God. I feel I become a part of every person who has ever sung this piece and that I become a part of every place where it has ever been sung. I feel like I am a part of every other person singing with me in that sanctuary as our different voices become one telling the story of the reconciliation of God with man, of a love for us so profound that God gave His own life to reconcile us to Himself, and of a time when we will all be in an eternal now in His presence.

Time and space disappear for me.

I’ve heard there is no time in Heaven, because Heaven is outside of time, so I imagine this is what Heaven will be like.

Today, as our annual practices began once more and I exited my small world and its concerns and entered paradise I made the same request as e.e. cummings (1894-1962)makes in his poem: "really unreal world,will you perhaps do the breathing for me while i am away?"
as any(men's hells having wrestled with)
man drops into his own paradise
whole and the green whereless truth
of an eternal now welcomes each was
of whom among not numerable ams

(leaving a perfectly distinct unhe;
a ticking phantom by prodigious time's
mere brain contrived:a spook of stop and go)
may i achieve another steepest thing--

how more than sleep illimitably my
--being so very born no bird can sing
as easily creation up all sky

(really unreal world,will you perhaps do
the breathing for me while i am away?)
Is there something that makes you truly alive, pulls you out of your little world, and leaves you so breathless that the world has to go on doing your breathing for you until you return?

I hope so. There’s nothing like it!

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