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C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

SOUFFLE DE BIRAGO DIOP
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des ancêtres.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire
Et dans l’ombre qui s’épaissit.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans l’Arbre qui frémit,
Ils sont dans le Bois qui gémit,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui coule,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui dort,
Ils sont dans la Case, ils sont dans la Foule :
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres morts,
Qui ne sont pas partis
Qui ne sont pas sous la Terre
Qui ne sont pas morts.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans le Sein de la Femme,
Ils sont dans l’Enfant qui vagit
Et dans le Tison qui s’enflamme.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans le Feu qui s’éteint,
Ils sont dans les Herbes qui pleurent,
Ils sont dans le Rocher qui geint,
Ils sont dans la Forêt, ils sont dans la Demeure,
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres.
Il redit chaque jour le Pacte,
Le grand Pacte qui lie,
Qui lie à la Loi notre Sort,
Aux Actes des Souffles plus forts
Le Sort de nos Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Le lourd Pacte qui nous lie à la Vie.
La lourde Loi qui nous lie aux Actes
Des Souffles qui se meurent
Dans le lit et sur les rives du Fleuve,
Des Souffles qui se meuvent
Dans le Rocher qui geint et dans l’Herbe qui pleure.
Des Souffles qui demeurent
Dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire et s’épaissit,
Dans l’Arbre qui frémit, dans le Bois qui gémit
Et dans l’Eau qui coule et dans l’Eau qui dort,
Des Souffles plus forts qui ont pris
Le Souffle des Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Des Morts qui ne sont pas partis,
Des Morts qui ne sont plus sous la Terre.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

BIRAGO DIOP
“Spirits”
“Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the sighs of the bush;
This is the ancestors breathing.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in the darkness that grows lighter
And in the darkness that grows darker.
The dead are not down in the earth;
They are in the trembling of the trees
In the groaning of the woods,
In the water that runs,
In the water that sleeps,
They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.
Listen to things
More often than beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sighing:
This is the breathing of ancestors,
Who have not gone away
Who are not under earth
Who are not really dead.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in a woman’s breast,
In the wailing of a child,
And the burning of a log,
In the moaning rock,
In the weeping grasses,
In the forest and the home.
The dead are not dead.
Listen more often
To Things than to Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind to
The bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors breathing.
Each day they renew ancient bonds,
Ancient bonds that hold fast
Binding our lot to their law,
To the will of the spirits stronger than we
To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,
Whose covenant binds us to life,
Whose authority binds to their will,
The will of the spirits that stir
In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,
The breathing of spirits
Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.
Spirits inhabit
The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,
The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,
The water that runs and the water that sleeps:
Spirits much stronger than we,
The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,
Of the dead who are not really gone,
Of the dead now no more in the earth.
Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors, breathing.”
–Birago Diop

The Crucifixion

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The Crucifixion story is rich with symbolism and is a mystery. At the centre of this mystery is the question of why Christ needs to die when Jesus tells us that God is always ready to forgive us whenever we ask:

Matthew 7:9-11New International Version (NIV)
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The words of Jesus are full of truth and insight but the story told about his person is full of contradictions. This does not mean we have to reject the story, it becomes a question of how we use it. At one level it can be seen as presenting God as cruel and unforgiving or trapped by a cruel law which demands the death penalty for imperfections and Jesus dying on our behalf. But we don’t see God as cruel or powerless so we must see the story not as a literal truth but as pointing to a truth. For me the crucifixion symbolises God participating in our suffering. Not standing above us but with us and in us, this is what the Christ means, God and Man standing together, as one. God not taking the Cup of suffering away but sharing it with us and making our suffering a sacrament.

Forgive

forgive3

Often when I see stuff about Jesus on Facebook I respond. Jesus was an enlightened teacher and I am fascinated by the pithy style of his teaching though not agreeing with what is taught about his personal divinity.. The religious of his time (and ours) were big on judging and condemning and short on forgiving. Jesus pointed out that everyone sinned you don’t have to be a murdered if you are angry, call your brother ‘fool’ that is on the same continuum of sin. This is what Jesus meant when he said “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” He was not concerned with what people did so much as with the intent and we all have ill or evil intents so don’t bother judging one as worse than another just stop judging and start forgiving because judging makes you both guilty under the fulfilled or complete law while forgiveness restores innocence to both you and the other. Forgiveness, interestingly, completes not only the Mosaic law but also the law of karma that we reap what we sow, since sowing forgiveness reaps the same.

Worth noting too that if you don’t judge you can’t condemn and if you don’t condemn then you have nothing to forgive anyone for. This gives you a purity or innocence. Of course none of us actually has this but this is the path.

Lao Tsu says:

The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self
The highest kindness is to give without a condition
The highest justice is to see without a preference

When Tao is lost one must learn the rules of virtue
When virtue is lost, the rules of kindness
When kindness is lost, the rules of justice
When justice is lost, the rules of conduct

Same as Jesus, underlying written rules or laws is the principle of justice, underlying this is kindness, underlying this is your virtue or sense of decency or rightness and underlying this is the Way, the Tao, submission to the will of God or Heaven ‘without a preference’, without requiring anything to be other than it is. And this too is forgiveness, when we not only forgive others for being what they are but forgive God and the whole of existence and love everything just as it is, unconditionally.

Inner Christ

jesus-way

The only way that I can understand this is to think that if Jesus said it he was referring to the way, the truth and the life in each of us and all of us. He would have been saying that the Light, the Christ is in all of us not just him. Jesus did not invite us to worship him or to look to him for salvation, he invited us to follow God’s will. He told us to look within ourselves and amongst ourselves for the Kingdom of God. (Luke 17:21). Knowing and doing the will of God expresses the Christ within us and makes us brothers and sisters of Jesus and of each other as Children of God (Matthew 12:49).

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