Throughout history men and women have experienced the unfoldment of their full potential. These writings by Walt Whitman, Alfred Tennyson and William Shakespeare describe some of their own experiences.
Walt Whitman – words from the 1855 edition of “Leaves,” … his new experience:
I believe in you my soul, . . . the other I am must not abase itself to you,
And you must not be abased to the other.
Loaf with me on the grass, . . . loose the stop from your throat,
Not words, not music or rhyme I want, . . . not custom or lecture, not even the best,
Only the lull I like, the hum of your valved voice. I mind how we lay in June, such a transparent summer morning;
And I know that the hand of God is the elder hand of my own,
And I know that the spirit of God is the eldest brother of my own,
And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, . . . and the women my sisters and lovers,
And that a kelson of creation is love
Hast never come to thee an hour,
A sudden gleam divine, precipitating, bursting all these bubbles, fashions, wealth?
These eager business aims—books, politics, arts, amours,
To utter nothingness
Alfred Tennyson – lines from the “Ancient Sage” …
Sat all alone, revolving in myself
The word that is the symbol of myself,
The mortal limit of the Self was loosed,
And passed into the nameless, as a cloud
Melts into heaven. I touch’d my limbs, the limbs
Were strange, not mine—and yet no shade of doubt,
But utter clearness, and thro’ loss of Self
The gain of such large life as matched with ours
Were sun to spark—unshadowable in words,
Themselves but shadows of a shadow-world [186:48].
Lines from the “Holy Grail”:
Let visions of the night, or of the day
Come as they will; and many a time they come
Until this earth he walks on seems not earth,
This light that strikes his eyeball is not light,
This air that smites his forehead is not air,
But vision—yea his very hand and foot
In moments when he feels he cannot die,
And knows himself no vision to himself,
Nor the high God a vision, nor that one
Who rose again; ye have seen what ye have seen [184: 290].
William Shakespeare – Sonnet 39 … on his cosmic experience:
O, how thy worth with manners may I sing,
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is ‘t but mine own when I praise thee?
Even for this let us divided live,
And our dear love lose name of single one,
That by this separation I may give
That due to thee which thou deservest alone.
O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove,
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,
And that thou teachest how to make one twain,
By praising him here who doth hence remain!
William Shakespeare – Sonnet 59 … questions his cosmic experience new, or has it existed always:
If there be nothing new, but that which is
Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss
The second burden of a former child!
O, that record could with a backward look,
Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
Show me your image in some antique book,
Since mind at first in character was done!
That I might see what the old world could say
To this composed wonder of your frame;
Whether we are mended, or whether better they,
Or whether revolution be the same.
O, sure I am, the wits of former days
To subjects worse have given admiring praise.
§ § § § §
The state of Enlightenment should be regarded as the normal state of human life. Living our full potential is what nature intended. Meditation is a technique that introduces us to bliss consciousness and awakens a clearer vision of promise.