"My lover, my bride!
Say I am Your companion still!
I have followed Your scent on the wild wind."
The Song of Songs: I've said, perhaps too often, that if there were only one Holy Scripture in all the world, the "Song of Songs" in the Hebrew Scriptures, would be my choice. It has been described by mystics as the "Holy of Holies", while others of a more modest persuasion have sought to remove it from the Bible altogether for its eroticism -- and still others bury the eroticism by explaining it as a "spiritual" treatise on Christ's love for the Church... And yet a number of lines in the Song are straight out of far more ancient Egyptian religious rites...
I have long adored this sacred scripture because it is many things at once: like a crystal that shines in the sun with new reflections each way it is turned: can there possibly be a Being more erotic than the Holy One? Pause to consider: the Holy One first imagined the stunning possibility of Creation and answered that "What if?" with an enthusiastic "Why not?" We are made from That! Star shine is in our soul, blood, bones, flesh, and skin! Atoms from That star-burst are in each one of us yet: with the additional holy-moly of "being made in the very image of That One"! All of the fascination and eroticism of touch, sight, smell, taste, kiss, vagina, and penis of human beings is "as a mirror" of the Grand Intention of the Holy One: we didn't evolve out of the blue, rather, we have evolved as lovers seeking a return and remembrance of our seeming lost divinity by becoming ever-more conscious of our Oneness in Love... This is the Song of Songs...
While I have followed the example of St. John of the Cross and re-written the Song of Songs into "my own" version of the Song, I think the most essential point of the Song is this: we are invited to write our own verse and add it to the Song! This is the thing about Holy Scripture and this Scripture in particular, (and which most folks choose to ignore): no Scripture is a "done deal": you read and understand it wrong if you think so! No, we are supposed to take scripture and "re-write" it by inserting it into us and us into it: so that every person then becomes a living translation of scripture... Of course, there are those who want front-row seats to their version of the "real" New Creation so they will try to lead the parade to get to those chairs first... These particular folks are much more interested in privilege, profit, and power than in identification with the Beauty, Compassion, and Overwhelming Kindness of the Divine: and they are, so obviously, in every religion, church, mosque, temple, etc. But for the rest of us, let's make our experience of our religion about remembrance of our Oneness in Love: we can become the Song of Songs: this is the great mystic secret! Every line of the Song is an expression of the mutual yearning of our Being and the Divine Consciousness for the Bliss of an awakening, each into the Other...
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.