Metaphors

QUESTION #5: What is your spiritual orientation?

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Option #1

“Caught”

The day that I doubted
Was the day I was born
Unnoticed, it sprouted
Surreptitiously sown

Doubtless, I waited
My nose to the soil
Accusations unfounded
My tempters all the while

If not so nearsighted
I might have foreseen
By vine-work, surrounded
A skin-net of green

My questions all knotted
So wildly o’ergrown
The deathly invention
A strangler’s hold

My last breath expired
Suspended in death
All senses retired
My life’s blood was spent

Till gravity’s inverted
And no longer bound
My lungs drank in freely
As my world turned upside-down

From earth’s surface parted
Now falling through space
The sky-scape uncharted
Wind’s sting on my face

Though now unencumbered
By vine-work o’ergrown
I found myself hurtled
Into chasms unknown

My senses awakened
To the infinite depth
Of falling forever
A fate worse than death

But fate’s underhanded
And gravity stopped
It seemed I had landed
And the landing was soft

Then feeling below me
Surprise seized my breast
Embraced by a savior
I’d never have guessed

The hammock hung tautly
Enmeshed, intertwined
With leafy-green branches
All woven of vine

— Adam Allred

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Option #2

Wade in the Water – Eva Cassidy – YouTube video

I stepped in water and the water is cold
Don’t you know that
God’s gonna trouble the water
Said it chilled my body but not my soul
Don’t you know that
God’s gonna trouble the water

[CHORUS] Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
Don’t you know that
God’s gonna trouble the water
Don’t you know that
God’s gonna trouble the water

Well I went to the water one day to pray
Don’t you know that
God’s gonna trouble the water
And my soul got happy and I stayed all day
Don’t you know that
God’s gonna trouble the water

[CHORUS]

There is love
(In the water)
In the water
(In the water)
There is joy yeah
(In the water)
In your water yeah
(In the water)
Your peace
(In the water)
Is in the water
(In the water)
Your deliverance
(In the water)
Is in the water yeah
(In the water)
Oh step in, step in
(In the water)
Joy is in the water
In the water yeah
(In the water)
Oh step in, step in
(In the water)
Love is in the water
(In the water)
Oh step in yeah
(In the water)
For deliverance
(In the water)
Everything
(In the water)
In the water yeah

Everything you need
(In the water)
Everything you need
(In the water)
Everything you need
(In the water)

God’s gonna trouble the water
God’s gonna trouble the water
God’s gonna trouble the water
God’s gonna trouble the water
Oh wade in the water

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Option #3

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

MORAL.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

— John Godfrey Saxe
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Option #4

“The School Where I Studied”

I passed by the school where I studied as a boy
and said in my heart: here I learned certain things
and didn’t learn others. All my life I have loved in vain
the things I didn’t learn. I am filled with knowledge,
I know all about the flowering of the tree of knowledge,
the shape of its leaves, the function of its root system, its pests and parasites.
I’m an expert on the botany of good and evil,
I’m still studying it, I’ll go on studying till the day I die.
I stood near the school building and looked in. This is the room
where we sat and learned. The windows of a classroom always open
to the future, but in our innocence we thought it was only landscape
we were seeing from the window.
The schoolyard was narrow, paved with large stones.
I remember the brief tumult of the two of us
near the rickety steps, the tumult
that was the beginning of a first great love.
Now it outlives us, as if in a museum,
like everything else in Jerusalem.”

— Yehuda Amichai

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Option #5

“Come, Come, Whoever You Are”

Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow

a thousand times
Come, yet again, come, come.

— Rumi

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Option #6

“In Memoriam A.H.H.”
(excerpt)

Our little systems have their day;
They have their day and cease to be:
They are but broken lights of thee,
And thou, O Lord, are more than they.

Perplext in faith but pure in deeds,
At last he beat his music out.
There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.

He fought his doubts and gather’d strength,
He would not make his judgment blind,
He faced the spectres of the mind
And laid them: thus he came at length

To find a stronger faith his own;
And Power was with him in the night,
Which makes the darkness and the light,
And dwells not in the light alone…

— Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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Option #7

A Day at the Park

— Kostas Kiriakakis

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Option #8

“Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?

Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul, and this other for my body?”

All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.

And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.

Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.

For in revery you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.

And if you would know God be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud,
outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.

You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.”

— Kahlil Gibran

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