I would not want to live in a world without love. Would a world with peace, but without love, be a better world? Not if the peace was achieved by drugging the love and hate out of us, or by suppression. Would a world with justice and freedom, but without love, be a better world? Not if it was achieved by somehow turning us all into loveless law-abiders with none of the yearnings or envies or hatreds that are wellsprings of injustice and subjugation. It is hard to consider such hypotheticals, and I doubt if we should trust our first intuitions about them, but, for what it is worth, I surmise that we almost all want a world in which love, justice, freedom, and peace are all present, as much as possible, but if we had to give up one of these, it wouldn't — and shouldn't — be love.
But, sad to say, even if it is true that nothing could matter more than love, it wouldn't follow from this that we don't have reason to question the things that we, and others, love. Love is blind, as they say, and because love is blind, it often leads to tragedy: to conflicts in which one love is pitted against another love, and something has to give, with suffering guaranteed in any resolution.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Give one another of your bread, but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done Nothing you can sing that can't be sung Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game It's easy. We all been playing those mind games forever Some kinda druid dudes lifting the veil. Doing the mind guerrilla, Some call it magic — the search for the grail.
09 - Reckoning
Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is a flower, you got to let it — you got to let it grow. We have come by curious ways To the Light that holds the days; We have sought in haunts of fear For that all-enfolding sphere: And lo! Deep in every heart it lies With its untranscended skies; For what heaven should bend above Hearts that own the heaven of love?
If you believe in peace , act peacefully; if you believe in love, acting lovingly; if you believe every which way, then act every which way, that's perfectly valid — but don't go out trying to sell your beliefs to the system. You end up contradicting what you profess to believe in, and you set a bum example. If you want to change the world , change yourself. There are three lessons I would write, — Three words — as with a burning pen, In tracings of eternal light Upon the hearts of men. Have Hope. Though clouds environ now, And gladness hides her face in scorn, Put thou the shadow from thy brow, — No night but hath its morn.
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Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, — The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, — Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven, The habitants of earth.
Have Love. Not love alone for one, But men, as man, thy brothers call; And scatter, like the circling sun, Thy charities on all. Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, — Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find Strength when life's surges rudest roll, Light when thou else wert blind. Before our lives divide for ever, While time is with us and hands are free , Time, swift to fasten and swift to sever Hand from hand, as we stand by the sea I will say no word that a man might say Whose whole life's love goes down in a day; For this could never have been; and never, Though the gods and the years relent, shall be.
Is it worth a tear, is it worth an hour, To think of things that are well outworn? Of fruitless husk and fugitive flower, The dream foregone and the deed forborne? Though joy be done with and grief be vain, Time shall not sever us wholly in twain; Earth is not spoilt for a single shower; But the rain has ruined the ungrown corn.
I had grown pure as the dawn and the dew, You had grown strong as the sun or the sea. But none shall triumph a whole life through: For death is one, and the fates are three. At the door of life, by the gate of breath, There are worse things waiting for men than death; Death could not sever my soul and you, As these have severed your soul from me. You have chosen and clung to the chance they sent you, Life sweet as perfume and pure as prayer.
But will it not one day in heaven repent you? Will they solace you wholly, the days that were? Will you lift up your eyes between sadness and bliss, Meet mine, and see where the great love is, And tremble and turn and be changed? Content you; The gate is strait; I shall not be there. The pulse of war and passion of wonder, The heavens that murmur, the sounds that shine, The stars that sing and the loves that thunder, The music burning at heart like wine, An armed archangel whose hands raise up All senses mixed in the spirit's cup Till flesh and spirit are molten in sunder — These things are over, and no more mine.
These were a part of the playing I heard Once, ere my love and my heart were at strife; Love that sings and hath wings as a bird, Balm of the wound and heft of the knife.
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Fairer than earth is the sea, and sleep Than overwatching of eyes that weep, Now time has done with his one sweet word, The wine and leaven of lovely life. Sweet is true love though given in vain , in vain; And sweet is death who puts an end to pain: I know not which is sweeter, no, not I. Just as a mother with her own life Protects her child, her only child, from harm, So within yourself let grow A boundless love for all creatures.
Let your love flow outward through the universe, To its height, its depth, its broad extent, A limitless love, without hatred or enmity. Then as you stand or walk, Sit or lie down, As long as you are awake, Strive for this with a one-pointed mind; Your life will bring heaven to earth. Excuse me I'm sorry to bother you, But don't I know you? There's just something about you. Haven't we met before?
Nor means a tinseled dream pursuing lovers Find altered by-and-bye, When, with possession, time anon discovers Trapped dreams must die, — For he that visions God, of mankind gathers One manlike trait alone, And reverently imputes to Him a father's Love for his son. Years, ye shall mix with me! Ye shall grow a part Of the laughing Sea ; Of the moaning heart Of the glittered wave Of the sun-gleam's dart In the ocean-grave.
Fair, cold, and faithless wert thou, my own! For that I love Thy heart of stone! From the heights above To the depths below, Where dread things move,. There is naught can show A life so trustless! Proud be thy crown!
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Ruthless, like none, save the Sea, alone! And pray that a wreath like a rainbow May slip from the beautiful past, And Crown me again with the sweet, strong love And keep me, and hold me fast. The light came through the window, Straight from the sun above, And so inside my little room There plunged the rays of Love. The daily actions of religious people have accomplished uncounted good deeds throughout history, alleviating suffering, feeding the hungry, caring for the sick. Religions have brought the comfort of belonging and companionship to many who would otherwise have passed through this life all alone, without glory or adventure.
They have not just provided first aid, in effect, for people in difficulties; they have provided the means for changing the world in ways that remove those difficulties. As Alan Wolfe says, "Religion can lead people out of cycles of poverty and dependency just as it led Moses out of Egypt".
There is much for religion lovers to be proud of in their traditions, and much for all of us to be grateful for. The fact that so many people love their religions as much as, or more than, anything else in their lives is a weighty fact indeed. I am inclined to think that nothing could matter more than what people love.
At any rate, I can think of no value that I would place higher. I would not want to live in a world without love. Would a world with peace, but without love, be a better world? Not if the peace was achieved by drugging the love and hate out of us, or by suppression.