The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.
The Rock (1934)
I came upon this poem (or more exactly the opening stanza of Chorus I) in Margaret Blackie’s Rooted in Love. These lines ring true at this time for me, and I thought I would share them with you.
Margaret starts her chapter 4 on Desire with these words: Where is the Life we have lost in living? I am not asking you to answer this question: I cannot answer it myself — yet.
As an additional food for thought, I am adding a link to an interview of Pema Chödron by Bill Moyers, entitled “Power Down and Tune in to Solitude.”
Now I return to Megs Blackie’s book.
Photo: T.S. Eliot (found here)