In my more daring moments, you might hear me muttering to myself that the "Song of Songs" is the one book from the Hebrew / Christian Scriptures worth saving... Of course, to give voice to such a thought is to invite vicious retribution -- not from the Holy One -- but from "believers"... Am I not a believer as well, I might think, as condemnations are hurled my way? So, anyway, if you had to pick a book -- a section from any Holy Scripture -- which would it be? Genesis? Exodus? The Gospel of John? Al-Fatiha from the Qur'an? Chapter 18 of the Bhagavad Gita? Would it be a word from Lao-tzu or the Buddha?
Would you say, oh what the hell, and throw caution to the wind and pick a poem of Walt Whitman, Mirabai, Kabir, Mary Oliver, or perhaps Rumi? Would you forget the written words altogether and go for a painting of Van Gogh's? What about the Grand Canyon or Yosemite Valley? What about your beloved dog? What about that one, perfect, moment when you felt your heart capable of expanding to encircle your lover, or this precious blue Planet, or even all that is Divine and Holy beyond the visible Universe: with your love?
Welcome, then, into the arms of an earth mysticism... the Song of Songs is a poem of lovers and of the world as it could / should be... instead of the manic greed and exploitation championed by the powerful and privileged... instead of the mindless violence perpetrated by a fantastic number of men the world over... instead of the folly that fills way too many of our days... we could be living our poetry! Our lives could be hymns of both delight and praise! We could actually go through one day without forgetting to bless this earth and all the life that it supports: we could forgive our enemies and show them mercy: we could be the compassion that waits activation in our hearts...
The literalist in every religion will turn red in the face and scream bloody-murder if he / she were to read this: although it is not nearly as daring as what I really think... Does that mean that I am trivializing or putting down someone's / anyone's religion? Well, perhaps, but not really... all religion -- every religion -- is an exercise, a praxis, in the seduction of the mind and heart: from "things" and "out there", to "in here" and a transformed way of seeing: life is a seduction: but who, or what, is seducing you? Is it your faith? Is it your bank account? Is it your politics? Is it your apathy? Is it your fear of immigrants or "other" sexuals? Is it the Holy Book you believe in -- or the one that you burn? If your religion, and the sum total of your life, does not lead you to Yeshua bar Alaha (Jesus of the One) and these eight simple words of his "Love one another as I have loved you", then you are quite frankly missing the seduction of your life...
"We were created by Love, for Love, to become Love" as Simone Weil said. This is the Song of Songs: we are meant to live in Love: to chase It down, and compel It to surrender. This is also why so many of us are so screwed up: gun dealers, arms merchants, mass killings, terrorism, ecocide, racism, exploitation, greed, bigotry of every sort, oppression, sexual slavery, injustice, conspicuous consumption, and on and on... we have forgotten our divine calling! Not one of us is exempt! This is why we are here: right now: breathing...
Our task is that of remembrance: read the Song of Songs: forget the "explanations": delve in: become the bride and groom both (you are): become a lover of the Divine One (you should): walk into nature and go back to your home a changed person: become earthy: feel the soil between your toes: let the sun tickle your skin (all of it): breathe harmony with your every breath: breathe blessings upon everyone whom you meet in your life: sing "One Love" with your meditation: become transformed into Fire! Stretch up your fingers to the night sky: you are awakening! Now, you are an Earth Mystic: one who unifies everything in her heart: and you now stride into your destiny loving others as you know you are loved: without limits...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.