A Sacrificial Offering?

A Sacrificial Offering?

“I am not one of those who neglect the body in order to make of it a sacrificial offering for the soul, since my soul would thoroughly dislike being served in such a fashion. All the soarings of my mind begin in my blood, for which reason I precede my work, through a pure and simple way of life that is free from irritants and stimulants, as with an introductory prelude, so that I cannot be deceived over the true spiritual joy that consists in a concord, happy and as if transfigured, with the whole of Nature.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

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  1. K

    Yes – Rilke has the most refined sensibility. I have some tangential questions. What is the role of pilgrimage in spiritual evolution? In India, there are so many, so many holy places of pilgrimage. In the U.S., not many. Mexico has the Lady of Guadalupe – not sure why there are not many more sacred/holy places here in the U.S. though there are places like Black Hills which are sacred to Native Americans.

    1. Hi K
      Well, if you think of the value of satsang is partly being in the presence of the awake, then consider that some places have a lot of presence, it makes more sense.

      Places gain presence a variety of ways. Someone very awake living there for a time, people doing regular retreats there, profound events taking place there, powerful objects being there, and so forth.

      We can say that places carry their history. A lot of places have residual stress buildup, so that has to be cleared first. I’ve heard stories of sites used for retreats for the first time having more clearing going on.

      There would be more value in a pilgrimage if someone is conscious of that but I can see therapeutic and devotional value in a pilgrimage also.

      For the US, keep in mind that for many faiths, their holy sites are overseas. First Nations people have holy sites but often don’t have control over them or they’ve been lost. If a spot with high presence is not respected, the presence can be overshadowed and lost.

      There are also many unlabeled spots in nature that can have profound presence. Perhaps a gathering place for celebration or where nature is very rich and happy.

      An interesting topic. I’ll blog more on this when I have some time. 🙂

    1. On the first Lorne may have been joking or was referring to suffering. Actually, it sounds like both quotes are out of context.

      There are certainly those with a renunciate orientation who do as Rilke described but most of us live in the world and need the body to be well-cared for to do so.

  2. Michelle

    If I may suggest also the idea that pilgrimages along/to places of Power/Presence can involve hardship and a willingness to encounter the hardship, and surrender to the unknown of those hardships, as well as surrender to the “unknown” which also takes humility and courage. Perhaps in that surrender and humility we are saying to Infinite Love/Consciousness, here I am, I accept whatever it takes to purify and open me so that love/consciousness may more deeply awaken in this one.
    Thanks David for sharing your insights on this. Yes, Brain Pickings has wonderful offerings!

    1. Yes, a pilgrimage may include challenges and hardships that oblige us to surrender and accept. Some of that relates to the difficulty of the journey in prior times though.

      But you have to be careful not to invest in “spiritual suffering”. Because of the cycles of ages, we went though a darker time where people took “tapas” to extremes of austerity. Some of those ideas of “purity through suffering” continue but there are healthier approaches that work fine now.

      Yes, the process does take humility and courage to let go of our old shields and open to what is here. But it doesn’t have to be hard.

  3. Uli

    All will come again

    All will come again into its strength:
    the fields undivided, the waters undammed,
    the trees towering and the walls built low.
    And in the valleys, people as strong and varied as the land.

    And no churches
    where God is imprisoned and lamented
    like a trapped and wounded animal.
    The houses welcoming all who knock
    and a sense of boundless offering in all relations,
    and in you and me.

    No yearning for an afterlife,
    no looking beyond,
    no belittling of death,
    but only longing for what belongs to us
    and serving earth,
    lest we remain unused.
    ~ Ranier Maria Rilke ~

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