Welcome To The Religion Network!
I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.
Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.
ON TODAY'S SITE:
Charles Baudelaire, Book of Deuteronomy, Anonymous Chippewa Indian, Heraclitus
Some people don't like poetry. It certainly can seem obscure. But it also weaves
language into images that break free of materiality's heaviness. Poetry gathers the
winds of visionary metaphors that blow high in the atmospheric realm of spirituality.
Take today's poem, "Elevation," by Charles Baudelaire: he calls the human spirit a deft,
good swimmer who revels in the sea of soaring that exists "beyond the sun." To me, and
perhaps without even knowing, Baudelaire is describing how man's spirit is carried aloft
by God's great winds and upon His mighty wings, to realms free of sorrow, where
joy is "inexpressible."
And there, as Baudelaire suggests, we live in "lands
bright and serene." Could that not be describing
True to the paradox that is humanity, Baudelaire was far, far from being a spiritual man!
But as God works through each of us despite our repeated failings, it seems as if He
spoke through this French poet, to leave us words that lift us "beyond the borders of
the starry spheres" to where we drink "the lucid fire that fills cosmic emptiness."
Today's artwork by Beth Vendryes Williams is the perfect complement to its poetry.
Isn't it remarkable how many different pathways the Lord uses to reach out to us?
Watercolor by Beth Vendryes Williams All rights reserved
Above the ponds, above the valleys,
The mountains, the woods, the clouds, the seas;
Beyond the sun, beyond the ether,
Beyond the borders of the starry spheres,
My spirit, you move so deftly,
And, like a good swimmer reveling in the sea,
You surge joyfully through deep immensity
With virile, inexpressible pleasure.
Fly far away from this unhealthy air
And bathe yourself in a higher atmosphere;
Drink like a potion, pure and divine,
The lucid fire that fills cosmic emptiness.
After the troubles and vast sadness
Which thicken the fog that darkens existence,
Happy the one who has strong enough wings
To soar toward lands, bright and serene!
The one whose thoughts are like larks,
Freely rising into morning skies,
Glides above life and understands effortlessly
The language of flowers and all voiceless things.
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867)
French poet, critic and translator
From "Art and Wonder,"
Selected by Kate Farrell
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Little, Brown and Company, 1996
May my teaching drop like the rain,
may my utterances flow like the dew;
like storm winds upon vegetation,
and like raindrops upon blades of grass.
When I call out the Name of Hashem,
ascribe greatness to our God...
For Hashem's portion is his people;
Jacob is the measure of His inheritance...
He preserved him like the pupil of his eye.
He was like an eagle arousing its nest,
hovering over its young,
spreading its wings and taking them,
carrying them on its pinions.
Stone Edition Tanach
Sometimes I go about pitying myself,
and all the time
I am being carried on great winds across the sky.
Anonymous Chippewa Indian
(Adapted by Robert Bly from
Frances Densmore's translation)
Below is a custom search box for The Religion Network site.
It will enable you to research topics or authors. Enjoy!
The Last Word:
However far you go, you will never
find the boundaries of the soul.
Heraclitus of Ephesus (6th-5th century BC)
Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher
Totally Random Bonus Quote:
Don't worry about avoiding temptation.
As you grow older, it will avoid you.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
Twice, British Prime Minister