Friday, 24 September 2010

“IT GOES ON” (Robert Frost)

In my mind Robert Frost is one of the most gifted American poets and the title of this blog is part of a quotation, the full text of which is:

“In three words I can sum up everything I've learned in life: It goes on”

I don’t believe this was from a poem but was something he said. Rarely have I come across a statement that is so full of meaning while at the same time being perfectly succinct. It can be interpreted in different ways, depending upon your own philosophical outlook. The atheist or the person sceptical that life continues beyond death, will interpret the words as meaning that life continues on earth through our descendents after we have passed. They may also use it to illustrate that despite what we as individuals may be experiencing at any given time, life goes on around us and few others are affected by what has perhaps devastated us.

Those who know life is a continuous process with no end, like me, will see it as the perfect statement about eternity and our role within it. In those three simple words “It goes on” is contained the kernel of a philosophy that can transform our world. It can lead us out of the darkness of cant, hypocrisy and selfish materialism into the light of understanding; an understanding of the true nature of life and consciousness that can free us from the fears that constantly haunt the minds of millions in this desperately sad world we have created. Some will say of course, “I thought you claimed God created the world?” Indeed that great power we call God, did create the physical world. He did create the myriad life forms that inhabit it and he did create each individual spirit that energises them on this wonderful globe. He did create the flowers, the gently swaying silver birch, the plants, the grass, the mountains, the lakes and the rivers. However, the conditions that pervade the Earth, the social, political, religious and economic systems are the creation of humanity alone.

It is in devising these systems that create conditions, often so injurious to health and happiness, that humanity has shown, despite the best intentions, that almost everything designed to make the impact of life fairer for all, has been subordinated to the desire to accumulate wealth, power and influence. The charge so often levelled at Communist societies that those at the top are “more equal” than the rest is just as true of so called “free” societies. We constantly show the truth of the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians,

“Now we see through a glass darkly . . .”

We see darkly because we use only our physical eyes, which anyone listening to three different witnesses describing an accident, will know are a poor instrument for uncovering truth. Until we begin to exercise our spiritual eyes, guided by our inner and higher selves, we will continue to frustrate the design of God and delay the creation of heaven on earth.

Many a poet and seer have stated that creating heaven on earth is not beyond the ability of humanity. All the basic ingredients are here. The natural beauty that abounds is designed to elicit wonder in the heart of the beholder; it is designed to make us realise that only a mind so great as to be beyond our comprehension could create such magnificence. Were we to follow the advice of William Cowper more frequently, we would start to activate that higher awareness that is within each one of us. His advice was:

“Go, mark the matchless working of the power, that shuts within the seed the future flower,”

Once we come to understand in our hearts the truth and vast import of “It goes on” then and only then will we be able to design social and other systems that create the opportunity for all to enjoy fully the wonder and beauty of this Earth of ours; to enjoy the love and companionship of others, human and animal, without fear and with total respect. Only when we successfully eschew the illusory charms of power and learn to exercise it with love and humility, instead of falling victim to its corruptive influences, will we understand the true beauty of life eternal. We are as children in our understanding of the vast breadth of our everlasting lives. Indeed, it is not going too far to say that modern humanity knows less about this than did the ancients. Having placed the technical exploitation of the resources of the earth above the need to understand our own true nature, we have diverted ourselves into a materialistic cul-de-sac.

It is not too late to retrace our steps but we will need a great deal of help, for the inertia of vested interest will take a huge effort to overcome. Our help lies with those who have passed beyond this life and are now fully aware of the truth. There are millions in that greater spiritual world willing and anxious to help us to escape the continuing consequences of our own past folly. But they cannot act alone. First they need us to ask for their help and once it is forthcoming, we must be willing to accept change, even when such change proves inconvenient or worse.

It is a huge challenge my friends; one that requires courage and trust. Courage to change what in our hearts we know to be wrong and trust in the love and power of the Spirit.

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