Two Years, Ten Thousand Views, and Emily Dickinson

September 15th marked the two year anniversary of the Ethics and Spirituality blog. Only a few days earlier the number of views exceeded 10,000!

Many thanks to those kind readers who took the time to ponder my sometimes turgid prose. Thanks also to those who only looked at the pictures. 😉

joe-kracht-parody-6Writing (even the blogging variety) has the power to transport us, and this was well-known to Emily Dickinson, who travelled farther than ninety-nine percent of us while rarely leaving her Homestead.

I’m a great fan of Dickinsonia, which as all poets know is not an iconic fossil of the Ediacaran biota which resembles a bilaterally symmetrical ribbed oval, and whose affinities are presently unknown. (Fie on you, Wikipedia!)

Rather, Dickinsonia refers to all things Emily Dickinson. One of my quaint hobbies is looking for Dickinsonia in pop culture. The signs are manifold, but I do not present them all at once, for a little Dickinsonia goes a long, long way. (Would someone please set that to music?)

In a talk on appreciation of Emily Dickinson, spiritual master Sri Chinmoy says:

Emily learned very little from her association with her outer life. But she learned much from her inner association with her world-seclusion. Indeed, the outer world was an experience devoid of integral reality to her. Therefore, what she knew of earth and thought of earth could not become an encouraging, sustaining, inspiring, illumining and fulfilling experience leading to her own existence-reality.

Emily’s love of God and her love of nature made her inwardly beautiful. All her life Emily lived the life of an introvert. A self-imposed seclusion-life she embraced. God’s Compassion-Beauty was her reward. In God’s Compassion-Beauty, her world and those who wanted to live in her world became preparation-instruments for the transformation and perfection of the frustration-experiences of life.

Her aspiration was not only in seclusion, but seclusion itself became her aspiration. Inside seclusion-aspiration she did get a few striking glimpses of the inner illumination-sun. Life’s buffets gave her two or three times intolerable frustration-experiences, which commanded her to dive deep, deeper within to discover the wealth of the inner life.

What Emily Dickinson achieved is still studied today — not only in the ivory towers of Brown and Vassar, but in inner city schools as well. This video clip titled simply “Steamship” explores the way that books have the power to transport us, “to take us Lands away”:

(If the embedded video doesn’t play, view on Vimeo here.)

For Further Reading:

“Spirituality of Emily Dickinson” by Sumangali Morhall

Coming Soon:

“Put a Bird on It! Part Three”

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