THOUGHTS ON THE MASKS OF GOD AND A POEM BY RILKE


How literal the human species tends to be! We make our masks with our own hands, then begin to mistake the mask for the ENERGY we attempt to depict, mistaking it for the Thing Itself instead of as a reminder. Isn’t it this tendency that is responsible for the wars and hatreds in the world? My image is better than yours, so I will breaks yours. How important it is to remember that there is just that One Energy that can be contained in no image, no box, no doctrine!

We must not portray you in king’s robes
you drifting mist that brought forth the morning.

Once again from the old paintboxes
we make the same gold for scepter and crown
that has disguised you through the ages.

Piously we produce our images of you
till they stand around you like a thousand walls.
And when our hearts would simply open,
our fervent hands hide you.

RILKE’S BOOK OF HOURS, Love Poems to God, Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy.

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