Homecoming

"When you think about language and you think about consciousness, it's just incredible to think that we can make any sounds that can reach over across to each other at all...I think the beauty of being human is that we're incredibly, intimately near each other. We know about each other, but yet we do not know or never can know what it's like inside another person. And it's amazing, you know, here am I sitting in front of you now, looking at your face, you're looking at mine and yet neither of us have ever seen our own faces. And that in some way, thought is the face that we put on the meaning that we feel and that we struggle with and that the world is always larger and more intense and stranger than our best thought will ever reach. And that's the mystery of poetry, you know, is poetry tries to draw alongside the mystery as it's emerging and somehow bring it into presence and into birth."

...

"That's what I call spirituality, the art of homecoming. So it's St. Augustine's phrase, Deus intimior intimo meo — "God is more intimate to me than I am to myself." Then you go to Meister Eckhart, and you get the other side of it which you must always keep together with it, where in Middle High German, he says (in German) that means, "God becomes and God unbecomes," or translated it means that God is only our name for it and the closer we get to it the more it ceases to be God. So then you are on a real safari with the wildness and danger and otherness of God.

"And I think when you begin to get a sense of the depth that is there then your whole heart wakens up. You know, I mean, I love Irenaeus' thing from the second century, which said, the Glory of the human being — "The glory of God is the human being fully alive." And I think in our culture that one of the things that we are missing is that these thresholds where we can encounter this, and where we move into new change in our lives, there are no rituals to help us to recognize them or to cross them worthily."

-- John O'Donohue in conversation with Krista Tippett on Speaking of Faith (2.28.08).