I am neither a historian nor a trivia buff. I am not a genius, either. I don’t need to be, though, because those are not required to know myself and create my Heart-purpose. They are not required for me to analyze the work and lives of those who understand life based on who we are as human beings. One such person has been Walt Whitman.
Today is the last day of National Poetry Month, and I would like to end it with a few more thoughts on “Song of Myself.” In it Walt integrates eternal realities into everyday life. I identify with Walt’s work and his soul he reveals in it.
When Walt begins with “I celebrate myself, and sing myself,” it sounds egotistical, doesn’t it? However, that would be an egotistical, shallow treatment of his expression. “Song of Myself” is a poem of many concepts, all bound up in one philosophy: connections — eternal Spirit to mortal body; synthesis — of eternal Spirit in mortal body; organic wholeness — of eternal Spirit and all of this mortal time- and space-bound Universe; empathy — of eternal Spirit personalized in Walt identifying with all other mortals; unity and reconciliation of life. Yes, that is a lot, and the thread of it all is eternal Spirit as operative in each of us and throughout the Universe in everything created. As I shared last night, the operative force of Spirit in this creation is love, and the love of Spirit is not egotistical.
Yet, that opening line. I love it! When Walt says he celebrates and sings himself, the rest of the poem shows his total identity and unity with every one of us, of his contemporaries and future readers, and for that matter, those who went before. Walt actually refers to possible past lives: “And as to you Life I reckon you are the leavings of many deaths, (No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before.)” (Section 49). We were always on his mind — and soul.
Walt celebrates and sings You and Me. Allow me to ask you a question: If a complete stranger celebrates, has a party for and about you, makes up a song about you, why shouldn’t you be doing that for yourself? If you’re not, the only reason is Ego. It may seem like only egotists would throw their own parties, but the truth is that only those who realize the value, essence, and working of Heart can do such things in all honesty. They can do it because they have put Ego in its proper place, so there is no fear of offending others, of others’ opinions, or of putting others down in any way.
Would you think it wrong for eternal Spirit to celebrate and sing Self? No? At Heart, core Self, we are eternal Spirit, and Walt knows that truth for himself. In Section 48, he makes it clear: “Why should I wish to see God better than this day? / I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and each moment then, / In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass, / I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is sign’d by God’s name, /And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe’er I go, / Others will punctually come for ever and ever.”
We are divinity in mortal bodies. Not many recognize this or live it, but if they did, it would make it damn hard to kill, rob, or make war on others. The reality is, such a dramatic transition in the historical course of this world must begin here. Every other avenue, scheme, tactic would be fruitless. We need to honestly evaluate who we are and the power we each possess.
Walt acknowledges there are mysteries and difficulties in harmonizing mortality and eternity. In Section 50, he says, “There is that in me — I do not know what it is — but I know it is in me. // I do not know it — it is without name — it is a word unsaid… // Do you see O my brothers and sisters? / It is not chaos or death — it is form, union, plan — it is eternal life — it is Happiness.” We can know all of this for ourselves, and Walt appeals to us.
The question he asks and I ask you and myself is this: “The past and present wilt — I have fill’d them, emptied them, / And proceed to fill my next fold of the future. Listener up there! what have you to confide to me? // Will you speak before I am gone? will you prove already too late?” No, it’s never too late to awaken to the reality of who we are and the power we possess, and we should always be aware of those gentle whispers of Heart, urging us to the same realities of eternity in us, realities of our power as creators with personalized self-identity of eternal Spirit.
Walt’s words and truth are there waiting for us, but they are not his. They are the voice of our Heart, the voice of eternal Spirit being translated to us — energy frequencies to words we can understand. Because he knows, he knew, who and what he is, he speaks to us: “Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged, / Missing me one place search another, / I stop somewhere waiting for you.”
And so do I, waiting to enjoy the Fellowship of the Heart with you. We’re in the big party, the big celebration of life together.
Blessings in your discovery and celebration and singing of yourself!
Since this is National Poetry Month, I have spent the last couple weeks looking at poetry, mostly Walt Whitman’s, and I have analyzed that based on a metaphysical interpretation.
Art that resonates with me elicits connections with life — people, society, politics, charities, and any of thousands of possibilities. Art that attracts me establishes this emotional resonance to my Heart, which then stimulates my mind and soul. Therefore, those artists in written, visual, or performing realms who connect with me usually do so because in some way, they echo or relate to the concepts, ideas, and philosophy I embrace.
Such has been the case as I have enjoyed reading Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Continuing the examination of that epic poem, let’s expand the words here. By the way, I really enjoy doing this with Walt’s poems because he directly states that he expects his readers would work as intently making meaning and internalizing his poetry, work as intently as he did in writing those works.
In Section 5 of the poem, after he recognizes the duality of human nature within himself — Ego and Heart — he remembers a scene of love that was pure joy. He knows that the essence of life is to appreciate all and enjoy all. In this poem, he judges none, including himself. At times he exposes negative things with not one breath of condemnation — just shows them for what they are (see Sections 34–38).
He can do this because he knows all of creation, the Universe itself, emanates from eternal Spirit; thus, that Spirit runs through all, and he enumerates all of Nature in that: “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars, / And the pismire is equally perfect, and a grain of sand, and…” (Section 31–32). Yes, even in something as apparently insignificant as an anthill or grain of sand.
Some people just get it, and I am so encouraged that at least some of those, perhaps some of you reading this, find connection and resonance in these troubled times, times in which it appears that the mass of people living in desperation of resignation need to make decisions about making a conscious choice of Ego or Heart if they wish to avoid being subjugated to those who have consciously rejected Heart over Ego in order to manipulate, control, and gain wealth and power at the expense of the rest of creation. And I would not judge those, only to point out it’s happening and hope that discovery of Self, Heart, will give some the sort of life they envision, dream of, hope for. In other words, I love the oligarchs, too, but I have no qualms in exposing them in my love of all others and the rest of creation.
In fact, this is where Section 5 of “Song of Myself” leads us. Walt, after the memory of love he recounts, says, “Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth, /And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own, / And I know that the spirit of God is the 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 the creation is love,…” A kelson is the central structure, including the keel, that the rest of the superstructure of the ship is tied to. Love holds all together, and in that spirit, Walt can unflinchingly, unashamedly, and enthusiastically and sincerely own his identity with all.
He does just that for thousands of lines of poetry. His experience is ours, or it could be, and ours has been his, because he chose it to be so. Proof of his philosophy that allowed him to declare his Heart, core Self to the world through poetry for over a hundred and fifty years? He says, “Space and Time! now I see it is true, what I guess’d at…” (Section 33). And his conclusions are found in nearly every conceivable place int the Earth: he is one with all because eternal Spirit created all of time and space and he is, we are, bearers of eternal Spirit.
He declares this in Section 44: “I am an acme of things accomplish’d, and I an encloser of things to be… // Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me, / Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even there, / I waited unseen and always… // All forces have been steadily employ’d to complete and delight me, / Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul.” He and we can stand with healthy, vigorous souls when we embrace and accept all we are — Ego and Heart — and that everything else, everyone else derives from and is shot through with eternal Spirit.
And I will end with these few lines from Walt, ones that may inspire and encourage us if we allow that. In Section 46 he says, “I know I have the best of time and space, and was never measured and never will be measured. / I tramp a perpetual journey… // Not I, not any one else can travel that road for you, / You must travel it for yourself. / It is not far, it is within reach, / Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know… // …you must find out for yourself.” I hope you will.
I hope you are seeking or have discovered the reality of who and what you are. I hope you have realized the power you possess. Create. Create your life, a purpose, a bond and fellowship with all. This is the Fellowship of the Heart, and it is ours, eternally. Why, then, should we not come into the blessing of it now in time and space, the dimensions we have come to in order to know the greatness of eternity expressed within mortal boundaries?
Blessings in your discovery!
Truth? It’s 10:30 as I begin this. The St. Louis Blues won tonight, and the Cardinals just finished their win. I wasn’t paying as much attention as I usually do because I was listening to a writer’s seminar — (a little ADD, anyone?). Before I started this, I walked the puppies for the night. The truth is I feel like just scrapping this. You know why? Because I spend about six hours a day to get something like 60 likes on the five social media platforms where I publish. Yeah, I’m aware I could do it better in terms of knowing the context of each platform, but I have been doing this for nearly fifteen months with what currently looks like decreasing returns.
I suppose I have been stupid in many ways, but it doesn’t matter. I have lived and worked my Heart. I suppose it’s just somewhat discouraging, especially when I’m exhausted, because when I taught in the classroom, I knew I impacted students positively. Whether students or readers, my motivation has been love. It’s discouraging, as lovers spurned know, when you care so much but it seems to mean so little.
And the above are examples of reasoning that results from Ego-input. These are things I really feel, but thankfully, because of my own Heart, eternal Spirit within me, I can face these emotions, knowing they are borne of Ego, and figure out wtf I am going to do from here on out.
One thing I know I will do is continue to share poetry for a couple more days to the end of National Poetry Month. I thrill at the way Spirit and the laws of the Universe work, because the needs I have are met by the things upon which I am focused, especially in my writing work.
My focus has been Walt Whitman and his poem “Song of Myself.” Walt, too, faces Ego working and grows apprehensive in tone as he realizes and allows the opinions and actions of others to sway him in some ways. However, he turns to Heart, recognizes the duality of Ego and Heart in him, embraces both, chooses Heart as his operating system and moves into realms that many don’t choose.
The conflicts Walt and I experience bring us to decision and recognition points. These represent times when we must make a choice: Do I continue in this beautiful life of Purpose, Happiness, Contentment in unity with Spirit, creating Vision and consequent blessing? Do I cave to Ego and say, “Everyone and everything seem indifferent and unaffected by my work. Maybe I’m stupid. Maybe I’m crazy. For sure I don’t seem to be fulfilling others’ visions of what I should be?” I can either face that negative Ego-energy by reassessing and creating Beauty through Heart-generated energy, or I can quit.
Walt Whitman felt such conflict of those around him who would bring up his past and the inability to answer to the bigger issues of his time like slavery and the Cvil War, but ultimately, he created Beauty and inspiration by recognizing and embracing himSelf and choosing to see and process and relate to all through Heart: “Trippers and askers surround me,… // These come to me days and nights and go from me again, / But they are not the Me myself” (“Song of Myself” Sec. 4). In between the first line and the last couple lines of Section 4 we find those from the past who would question what he is doing, scientists confronting him because of his observations, socialites not approving because he doesn’t measure up to their standards — all of these make him doubt, but he grabs hold of his personal truth about all those doubts: “But they are not me Myself.” Acknowledge and recognize what is going on internally, but grab hold of Heart.
He stands amused at the interplay and jousting of Ego and Heart, of societal expectations that cause doubt, but he discards in detached curiosity: “Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it” (Section 4). He does not know the ultimate outcome of the doubts of others or the doubting of his own Ego. The crucial fact remains that he recognizes all this is going on, as I have tonight, and he says about himself, his Heart-energized, -evaluating, -processing Self, that “I have no mockings or arguments, I witness and wait.” Patience, self-love, and celebration and song of that Self allow him to move forward and keep all in perspective.
Keeping life and the vicissitudes of all we feel from our experiences in Heart-perspective can do the same for us. We need not be master poets, master anythings, to do this. Oh, except masters of our own Ego and understanding our basic composition. Walt has no qualms about embracing the duality and making no excuses for it; he just says here I am. I’ve dealt with Me, and you can, too, if you have such a mind.
He wouldn’t degrade or denigrate his imperfections, only accept himself as one to be celebrated. He acknowledges his Heart as his primary operating system while respecting his Ego self, too: “I believe in you my soul [Heart], the other I am [Ego] must not abase itself to you, / And you must not be abased to the other” (Section 5). And he goes on to revel in the totality of his being.
And that is what I need to do. Sometimes, though, I really would like some encouragement. Oh, Walt did, too, so I don’t apologize or condemn myself in any way for that — just acknowledge it.
Blessing in continued celebration and singing of yourself!
How do you celebrate — anything? Do you do something out of the ordinary? Do you think in a special or different or renewed way about the subject of your celebration? Do you make some sort of recognition of the subject, whatever it is? Yeah, I do, too.
Another question I would like to ask is How do you feel when you celebrate anything? I feel grateful, accomplished, full, significant, and happy. Does that pretty much nail it for you? I hope so.
My next question would be Have you ever celebrated yourself? How would you do that? Have you ever declared a Mike Day or Lee or Chrissy or Alicia or Steve Day? I think I may need to have some cards printed for Mike Day!
Walt Whitman knew how to celebrate himself. His epic poem “Song of Myself” begins with the words “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” What would you say about yourself? What would be the tone of your music?
Walt could celebrate himself because he knows, understands, and loves himself. We should, too, and we shouldn’t fear making that wonderful self known — no false modesty. Heart-knowledge allows us to know and understand who we really are, and something Heart does not do is disavow Ego, our Ego that creates conflict with Heart-passions, impulses, and motives. Walt embraces his wholeness and recognizes that the contrary nature of Ego and its drive to isolate and protect us sits in direct contrast to Heart that seeks to unify and integrate us with all of creation.
Yes, he does, and Walt’s work and spirit can be a catalyst or an impetus for us to consider our worthiness to celebrate ourself. The last two days, I explored Sections 1 and 2 of “Song of Myself” with you. Tonight, I would like to take a very brief look at Section 3, the focus being on accepting and celebrating our whole natures, the duality of Ego and Heart that exists in us, and how that makes for creation of a being who is neither perfect nor a failure, and more importantly, who is neither right nor wrong. From a Heart-energized vantage point Walt can look at his total being and celebrate all of himself. This is based on a metaphysical analysis of the poem.
Section 3 begins with these words: “I have heard what the talkers were talking, the talk of the beginning and the end, / But I do not talk of the beginning or the end.” He gets that some people bound in Ego look at life in a linear fashion. Not so, though, because we are eternal Spirit; that chunk of Spirit is our Heart, yet it exists in a time-limited body. Contrary states, dynamics, forces drive us to innovation and change, and considering concepts like beginning and end are immaterial. We live in the present to celebrate Self, total Self.
In the second little stanza of this section, he says just that: “There was never any more inception than there is now, / Nor any more youth or age than there is now, / And will never be any more perfection than there is now, / Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.” Right now is heaven or hell, and it partly depends on how we analyze, process all incoming data and respond to it. Processing the input and output via Heart makes it possible for us to see all our personal beauty so we may celebrate ourself. Heart allows us to look from the vantage point of eternity, negating time. Ego would have us be practical to protect us and make everything urgent and a necessity and WE would get lost in the urgency. That’s why choosing Heart makes for a lot more joy, a lot more celebrating. It’s all about starting right now to understand and rejoice in our true Heart-identity and personal truth, and in the expressions of Ego, too.
Walt does see the opposites, the duality of self that we need to embrace. When we do, we can expect creation, birth of new ideas, new emotions, expanding consciousness: “Out of the dimness opposite equals advance, always substance and increase, always sex, / Always a knit of identity, always distinction, always a breed of life.” New creation results from Heart illuminating our mortal, Ego-centered side of self and brings us to an understanding of how we are composed — “Always a knit of identity” —Ego and Heart working in this total being that is Me, and this gives cause to celebrate.
Operating from Heart, awakening to this Self, gives us a full appreciation of our being-ness. We can sense the link to the eternal vibrations and frequencies of life: “I and this mystery here we stand.” Opposites, contrary natures that make for completeness of being. We simply need to accept that: “Clear and sweet is my soul, and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul. / Lack one lacks both, and the unseen is proved by the seen, / Till that becomes unseen and receives proof in its turn.” The spiritual frequencies and energies can’t be seen by the physical eye; however, the process of thought, energy creating and manifesting very tangible, palpable things proves that we are creators.
We need the contrary natures, dynamics of both Ego and Heart. Ego reveals our limitations and shows where Heart can begin working in faith: “Lack one lacks both.” We cannot villainize any aspect of ourself, cannot condemn. It does no good. We can see, understand, learn, and create.
That is cause for celebration and where I will end tonight. I am so tired, and I had to call on and rely on Heart energy to create this. Ego told me to let it go, no one would really notice. That gave rise to creation. This article is proof that unseen energy creates real world results.
Blessings in celebrating You!
I have heard many people, those I know personally, mention that they have no time to consider ideas like self-identity and life purpose in a serious manner. Who has time for such things? Bills have to be paid, and it won’t make any difference for that. It won’t change anything anyway.
And there’s where you are wrong, my friend. It changes everything if you actually meet core Self, discover your own Heart; it makes a huge difference. When we come to understand the nature of our being, we scan limitless possibilities within a limited body. We sense the power we have to create through using the vibrational energies of life, the law of attraction, the power of visualization. All of that is contained within this mortal body — eternal, all-powerful access to this whole universe bound up in this mortal body. It’s quite a paradox, isn’t it?
Whenever I think of this, I remember a few super-applicable lines of poetry from Alexander Pope: “Know then thyself; presume not God to scan; / The proper study of mankind is man, / Placed on this isthmus of a narrow strait, / A being darkly wise and rudely great.” Our wisdom and greatness are tempered by our limited minds and bodies not up to eternal tasks. Ego creates the tension with Heart, and we can face it and embrace it. A conundrum?
Not really. Because it has all been by design. The paradox, the contrary states we are and live in cause creation. We face challenges and innovate, compromise, persuade, drive forward, realize unlimited possibilities. They’re all there, you know, right within each one of us for whatever we want. Our understanding and knowledge of core Self, of Heart, grants us access to Us. To personal truth. To Purpose and Vision and Goals and connections of Fellowship with our own Heart, our inner, true Self, with Spirit, and with one another. Does it make a difference to know this? You better damn well believe it does. Because we have physical bodies to act on eternal truths. We are liars to ourselves if we throw our hands up in resignation.
The majesty of this inner spiritual truth is that we know and receive it in these limited mortal bodies for the express purpose of being able to do something in this world of physical creation, do something to manifest in time and space the unseen life energies moving throughout this realm and also beyond. WE, my friends, are the key to understanding the mysteries and magic of all, for we are, each one of us, a miracle. Therefore, when people speak of no hope, no possibilities of things being different, no way to work things out — oh, are they ever missing out on their own truth and Heart fellowship.
Walt Whitman, as well as many others, understands all of this, which is why his poetry projects such power — at least to me. I know it’s personal taste , and those in the Fellowship of the Heart may have many different, divergent tastes, likes, ideas, solutions. In fact, all of this Walt recognizes in “Song of Myself.”
I shared a little of this poem yesterday, but since it’s still National Poetry Month, I’m sharing more to illustrate the majesty and beauty of a human being, mortal and eternal, individual and unity, seen and unseen.
In this poem, Walt celebrates himself, and in doing so he exalts his body of flesh, his desires, and his works as well as his eternal powers and energies. He deals with Ego and Heart, with individuality and unity.
He gives his age and name and state of health, says schools and creeds of humans may be good or bad and he doesn’t forget them, but one thing he allows unhindered, free, full operation to is his Heart that connects him directly to “Nature without check with original energy,” the fullness of sensing the vibrations of life operating in the now, the present. That was all in Section 1 which I shared last night.
Once again, I am limited by length and words. Oh, if I could have a few of you who respond so regularly here in the room with me, even at this late hour, I would read the words and we would share the full force of them.
Since I cannot for now, I will share a bit of Section 2 tonight. “Houses and rooms are full of perfumes, the shelves are crowded with perfumes, / I breathe the fragrance myself and know it and like it, / The distillations would intoxicate me also, but I shall not let it. // The atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the distillation, it is odorless, / It is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it…”
Walt gives very strong sensory images; they assault the nose in this case, and then he dismisses them for the unseen, unsmelled vibrational frequencies of life he senses in the the atmosphere. He loves that, yet he is aware of the physical. In fact, he goes on to exalt the physical and engage with it as he seeks to experience Spirit in the atmosphere. For several stanzas in Section 2, he uses specific images like seeing his breath in chilly air, the beating of his heart, the breath of his lungs, the smell of the woods and sea and hay and the joy of connections with someone who would hug him. He revels and delights in his ability to physically sense all of that.
And then he comes to the end of Section 2 and basically asks us, the reader, if we have appreciated the massive physical senses and even expanses of the earth or if we have tried to understand poetry that relates such beauty to us. This is his request: “Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, / You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,) / You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the specters in books, / You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, / You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.”
OMG! Did you catch that — “from your self.” Not for yourself because we are creators with control over our life. We have the ability in the here and now to understand, comprehend, integrate connections of eternal Spirit, the Source of all thought and inspiration and creation — BECAUSE we are one with Spirit, because we are Spirit and therefore gain comprehension and assign meaning based on the personalized expression of Spirit as Me, You.
This is why, along with many other instances he develops, he starts it all with “I celebrate myself, and sing myself…” Do you know yourself well enough to celebrate and sing You? You can and may.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!