Monday, August 11, 2008


Yesterday, I “channeled” Walt Whitman–America’s greatest poet in a presentation at Flagstaff, Az Unitarian Church. Whitman rose up from a mystical experience and straightway wrote his signature poem, Song of Myself. Not unlike Buddha rose up from his mystical experience and wrote his greatest sermon, The Four Noble Truths. Both speeches deserve to be heard by every living being. Whitman is more relevant to us because he presents the clearest picture of an enlightened life. His vision of the good life is so radical that it shatters conventional religious nonsense and points to a full, exuberant, unashamed, fearless enjoyment of life. All his news is good: Life is not a test, none of us can fail. Life is an adventurous journey that we have all participated in from the beginning of time and will continue to its end. What we call losing is as useful as winning. “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. “ What is happening here is that ETERNITY IS ADVENTURING IN TIME. LIFE IS COSMIC DRAMA.

Here’s a short passage from my presentation, relevant to us who travel:

“Each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll.
My left hand hooks you round the waist.
My right hand points to landscapes of continents and a plain public road.
Not I, not anyone else can travel that road for you, you must travel it for yourself.

It is not far-----it is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere, on water and on land.

Shoulder your duds and I will mine and let us hasten forth.
Wonderful cities and free nations shall we fetch as we go.
If you tire, give me both burdens and rest your hand on my hip.
In due time you shall repay the same service for me,
For after we start, we never lie by again.

Long enough have you dreamed contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes;
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
Of this and every moment of your life.

Long enough have you waded timidly by the shore, holding onto a plank.
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To jump off in the midst of the sea and rise again and nod to me
and shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.

By WALT WHITMAN written circa 1848

What a great audience–absolutely perfect focus throughout. And they bestowed on me with their applause the ultimate compliment a curtain call in church.

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