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" O Greatness, hear! O Brightness, hark! Leave us not little, nor yet dark"~ John Masefield
From the beginning of time, people have been appealing to the Power that lies beyond their comprehension when they are in trouble. This Power has been invoked under many names by many people. In our current postreligious age, there is some uncertainty about this Something we appeal to. We know that it is Big and that it sheds Light, but we are often at a loss to name it.
As we began to disbelieve in the lode-bearing stories and lose patience with the ancient metaphors for the Divine, we entered a no-man's-land where the most authoritive images are scientific or cosmic. The rumor in that land is that there may be no Big Something. But never fear, say some: in the last event there is ourselves, after all!
This sad, lonely place is inhabited by many who no longer reach toward the beautiful, the glorious, or the holy in a daily, connective way. For them, there is not even a metaphor to put in place of the sacred. Whether for us the Greatness is understood as immanent, transcendent, or actually present, it contrives to protect us when we ask for protection. Where the Brightness is seen as a candle, a lamp, or a planetary body, it contrives to leave us less dark.
To comprehend the enormity and illumination of the Divine, we must look into our own hearts and perceive the metaphors that define for ourselves the immensity, the friendship, the beauty, and the eternal brightness, using words and images that are meaningful upon our own urgent tongues.