Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #6 “The First Confession” of Dame Gertrude More

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #6 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you “The First Confession” of Dame Gertrude More published in 1658.

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #5 from “The Presence of Praise” by Ibn Al-Arabi

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #5 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you an extract from Meccan Revelations by Ibn Al-Arabi written around 1238. This is called “The Presence of Praise.”

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #4 from the “Phaedrus” by Plato (Part 2)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #4 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 2 of a series of texts from the “Phaedrus” by Plato.

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #3 from the “Phaedrus” by Plato (Part 1)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #3 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 1 of a series of texts from the “Phaedrus” by Plato (Part 1).

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #2 “Asclepius” from the Hermetica by Hermes Trismegistus (Part 2)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and Read by Sorche Berry.

This is #2 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 2 of a series of texts from the Hermetica attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. This one is also taken from “Asclepius” in which Hermes addresses Asclepius.

Sophiad Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door: #1 “Asclepius” from the Hermetica by Hermes Trismegistus (Part 1)

Recordings of wisdom texts from spiritual masters for use in a contemplative setting. Sophiad readings are taken from mystical, ecstatic, and contemplative texts from across faith traditions. Edited and read by Sorche Berry.

This is #1 in our Sophiad Series, Wisdom Texts at the Jacamar Door. This week we have for you Part 1 of a series of texts from the Hermetica attributed to Hermes Trismegistus. This one is taken from “Asclepius” in which Hermes addresses Asclepius.

the watchman

we are all
alchemists of spirit.
watch your vessel closely
for the ch-ch-ch-changes.
from black to red,
from earth to fire,
talamh à teine

follow sophia,
her winding, fractured path,
for she will
find me, find you.
This is the Work,
and there is always
much to be done

we are ripples on the lake,
condensation, distillation,
solve et resolve,
earth to fire,
talamh à teine

Sorche Berry ©2018
Artwork by Michael Maier ©1618
Emblem XLII, Atalanta fugiens

Contemplation Builds Community

Whatever else we do as living, breathing, walking, talking, sleeping, working members of the human race, we need to take time to share ritual space together.  We’re too busy to stop and take a moment to be grateful, too stressed sometimes to stop and ask for help.  Most disturbingly, we’re too busy to look over the wall of our own issues and to reach out to fellow human beings, whose issues – read nationality, customs, faith, religion – may be different from ours.  Like a line in a Robert Frost poem called “Mending Wall,” we think “good fences make good neighbors.” We’re pretty comfortable with this sentiment.  It validates a vaguely held impression that boundaries have their uses and it lets us off the hook of social responsibility.

Of course, some boundaries are useful.They ground us, and they provide a context within which and from which we can operate.  But to see the wall and never to extend across it a hand or a smile is just plain wrong.  That the two men who share a wall in Frost’s poem have a relationship at all is because they meet across it every year to fix the parts that have tumbled down, through bad weather, or damage by livestock.  In fact, this time of connection is so valuable to both men that, as the poem progresses, we begin to suspect one of them may be causing some of the damage, as an excuse for company and communion.  Frost’s point seems to be that boundaries are only useful when they provide an opportunity for relationship. And it is relationship that is, well, priceless.

We don’t need excuses to extend a hand; there’s damage everywhere.  We’ve all made it.

So let’s share sacred space.  Let’s rebuild together and repair together.  But how on earth do we do this, when we pray differently, have different religious agenda, customs, and expectations?  How do we bridge those kinds of divides?  There is one tradition that is common to most faiths – the tradition of contemplative prayer or silent meditation.  What better medium to share than silence?  Silent contemplative prayer brings us to a place of absolute tranquility: a word-less, ego-less, doctrine-less haven, where we can rest, simply and fearlessly, in the sacred.  Sharing silence together – across traditions and across boundaries of faith – sharing silence reaffirms that, while we may stand before gods of a different name, we stand together in our humanity, with all of its faults and all its beauty.

So find a centering prayer or meditation group near you, and try silent prayer on for size.  You and your neighbor, and the things that are broken between you, will be glad you did.

 

Merton’s Cabin

Refuge and sanctuary,
safe in shimmering woods,
my splintered walls
betray a jagged path
between faith worlds

A monk with a child,
Cistercian Buddha,
doubting Thomas, all
patiently thrust in
trust with his nurse

Eternal lines written here,
safe from passing pleasant fools.
Shame I couldn’t save you
from the shock
of vanished faith

Sorche Berry ©2018
Artwork by Sorche Berry ©2018

Sophia’s Call

Sophia’s Call

I have never been unknown.
You have always known me.
I am Sophia of the eighth Archon,
Co-Creatrix of all the Worlds,
Lady of the Spheres,
Mistress of the Void.
If I have not been known,
That has been your choice.

You have placed a dark veil upon me,
Made me silent, forbidden.
But He knew me before Time,
Knew me well,
And He knows it is I who will
Draw down the last veil.

I am in all, your yesterdays and your forevers,
The whore and the queen, the bile and the blood,
Et Spiritus Sancti, your holy, equal third.
While I turn the constellations, I am your breath on a window,
A lost perfume, presence in an empty room,
As close to you, closer, than your faintest pulse.

I am Compassion, never-ever-ending Love.
I am poured out across a lake in sunlight,
I am the womb’s warmth; in wind, mist, moss
In fecund forest earth, a green thought.
I am mountain, ocean, leaf, and stream,
And you have always known this.

I am the swirl of dhikr,
The blessing of water,
The shoke at a wall,
Cantor, muezzin, the glistening choir.
Mother to Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad,
Always One, All in All.

These arms have held you all, and will always hold you.
I have bled with you, bled for you.
I have cried with, laughed with, and will cry again for you, my children.
I am Namu and Nous. Be held within my golden breath, radiant.

Choose to unveil me.

Many will slide or slouch away.
But for you, Soul of the World,
With Amazon stride, I will break Heaven upon you
And splintered you will scatter,
Joyous, One,
To meet the bright Abyss.

Sorche Berry ©2018
Artwork by Agnessa Kesiakova ©2018