These passages seem to capture some of the essence of the consequences of practice as we continue a way of living with a sense of offering an unqualified attentive presence. Of course in Goehe’s time the notion of mindfulness was nonexistent though of course presence or mindfulness is simply a quality of being human. We all find our own way as Goethe reflects in his writing.
The Holy Longing
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Tell a wise person or compassionate, or be silent,
because the fearful, angry, or reactive person will shut you out.
I adore what is truly alive in us,
The passion and longing will risk everything
In the calm waters of loving,
where you were conceived, where you have conceived,
wonder can claim you,
wonder in the warm light and searing flame of a candle.
In such moments you are no longer obsessed with darkness,
a desire to know love more deeply will sweep you upward.
This won’t make you falter.
You’ll sense magic as if flying,
then lust for that light, insane for that light
you’ll be the moth and you’ll enter the flame
and you’ll be gone; you will be transformed.
As long as you avoid such passion, such commitment, such loss; to die and so to grow, you will only be a troubled guest on this dark earth.