For the 2010 Mystical Art and Talent Show, the first poem of two that I will read is called Tenebrae '97, from 1997 when one of my spirit guides came clearly to me, the 12th century mystic nun Hildegard of Bingen. She told me the word Tenebrae which I had to look up, it is Latin for darkness or shadows, and it is a distinctive Catholic service in the final three days of the Holy Week before Easter. In Tenebrae, psalms from the Book of Lamentations are chanted as candles are gradually extinguished until the church is plunged into total darkness; later, one candle is restored for the light of the resurrection.
This mood fit with the poem I received, which is about what went wrong in this garden Earth, and the hope that remains in knowing what must be accomplished. The Word must be made manifest; the energy of the Universal Soul must be made visible to guide the lost and lonely home. Fortunately, this is the theme of the Mystical Art and Talent shows, for which Hildegard led me to the Swedenborg Chapel to offer so that we might all feel more of our belonging in this world.
As further evidence of the word becoming manifest, we are blessed in 2010 with the publication of "The New Metaphysicals: Spirituality and the American Religious Imagination" by Courtney Bender, a Columbia University sociologist who joined our Mystical Experiences Discussion Group in 2002 to document some of the journey that my friends and I were on. She connects us with the greater lineage of guiding spirits in the Cambridge area, including Emerson, the Transcendentalists, and William James, as well as a current crop of some 60 mystics that she interviewed for the purpose of revealing for further study this new American spiritual movement, loosely connected as it is and intuitively guided to do no less than do our part to help and heal the world.
What sent the wills of the hominids astray?
The hearts of the men in darkness.
What sent the hearts of the men astray?
The souls of the women worshipping lost.
What sent the women worshipping astray?
The Children gone too late before God.
What sent the Children of God astray?
The Word unmanifest.
Oh dear noble puppet,
always did you look,
to where that hand did enter you
and whose it was to love.
Oh dear open heart,
turn your face now prouder all around to see!
My God you have arrived!
They always knew you here;
they were so awkward too.
Oh dear sweet marionette,
ashamed to be alive,
whose strings were but too long.