Monday, April 11, 2011

Soul, the Throbbing Song of the Great Musician – Hildegard von Bingen

In this blog post I thought I would introduce some of the breathtakingly beautiful thoughts and poetic visions by the feminine Christian mystic – Hildegard von Bingen. A poet, writer, philosopher, musician, composer, scientist, healer, visionary, scholar – a true polymath, at home in various scientific disciplines, kindred to diverse domains of art, and a nimble pilgrim to diverse realms of existence. An authentic Renaissance woman of the Middle Ages, ahead of her times by centuries, an early feminist thinker, a medieval avant-gardist of social movement. A truly fascinating & inspiring spiritual figure.

We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.

With nature's help, humankind can set into creation all that is necessary and life sustaining.

I, the fiery life of divine wisdom, I ignite the beauty of the plains, I sparkle the waters, I burn in the sun, and the moon, and the stars.

The earth which sustains humanity must not be injured, it must not be destroyed.

The soul is a breath of living spirit that with excellent sensitivity permeates the entire body to give it life. Just so, the breath of the air makes the earth fruitful. Thus the air is the soul of the earth, moistening it, greening it.

There is the Music of Heaven in all things and we have forgotten how to hear it until we sing.

Underneath all the texts, all the sacred psalms and canticles, these watery varieties of sounds and silences, terrifying, mysterious, whirling and sometimes gestating and gentle must somehow be felt in the pulse, ebb, and flow of the music that sings in me. My new song must float like a feather on the breath of God.

When the words come, they are merely empty shells without the music. They live as they are sung, for the words are the body and the music the spirit.

A human being is a vessel that God has built for himself and filled with his inspiration so that his works are perfected in it.

Just as a mirror, which reflects all things, is set in its own container, so too the rational soul is placed in the fragile container of the body. In this way, the body is governed in its earthly life by the soul, and the soul contemplates heavenly things through faith.

Because a woman brought death
a bright Maiden overcame it,
and so the highest blessing
in all of creation
lies in the form of a woman,
since God has become man
in a sweet and blessed Virgin.


The soul is kissed by God in its innermost regions.
With interior yearning, grace and blessing are bestowed.
It is a yearning to take on God's gentle yoke,
It is a yearning to give one's self to God's Way.

The marvels of God are not brought forth from one's self.
Rather, it is more like a chord, a sound that is played.
The tone does not come out of the chord itself, but rather,
through the touch of the Musician.
I am, of course, the lyre and harp of God's kindness.


Loving tenderness abounds for all
from the darkest
to the most eminent one beyond the stars,

Exquisitely loving all
she bequeaths the kiss of peace
upon the ultimate King.


I saw a mighty and immeasurable marvelousness.
It had such a fierce shine
I could only behold it
as if through a mirror.
But I knew that within it
was every manner of sweet blossoming,
every manner of good aromas and lovely scents.
It was to be enjoyed
with unbounded delight.
Here were the blessed, happy ones
that moved God in their time on earth,
stirred God with sincere striving and just works.
Now in all this marvelousness
they can enjoy the sweetest ecstasy.


Who are the prophets?
They are a royal people,
who penetrate mystery
and see with the spirit's eyes.
In illuminating darkness they speak out.
They are living, penetrating clarity.
They are a blossom blooming only
on the shoot that is rooted in the
flood of light.


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