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!
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!