February 28, 2017

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But, we just wrote yesterday! yes, we did...

Brief hiatus while Steve goes downstairs to bring his cat, Gwendolyn, up to his office. She has developed the habit--quite on her own--of singing robustly after a meal. While Steve's Mom is sleeping downstairs--and if she wakes up, she begins calling the cat, "Kitty, kitty, kitty," you see, and it becomes more difficult to channel properly ;-).

Now. Steve felt I was bugging him (he still eagerly looks forward to any sign of my nagging!), to check to be sure we had all of my poems copied from an old book. He thought he found one that he had missed, and copied it, only to find that we already had it. But in the meantime, he felt that perhaps I would like to comment on it. Provide the "back-story," the "inside scoop," and any other commentary I would wish to make--in my voice, not in Steve's (because he can always comment on anything).

A little background, first. Now, do you like detective work? Steve has come to enjoy it very much, after several years of research into our past life together, and finding so many interesting things. But he cannot get a single other person interested in it. Nobody has died, you see. (Except us, of course, but that was a long time ago, and both of us died of illness, so that's not very exciting.) The reason people don't find it interesting, is that they don't believe it's real. If a child wants to tell you all about her imaginary friend--how she got there, how she escaped from captivity at the hands of giants, how they first met at a grand ball, and all of that, well, your eyes might glaze over. On the other hand, if that friend was real, and they actually had met that way, you might find it more interesting.

I will compromise, and give you the basics. And this is what Steve feels from me. Remember, our communication is not perfect, as his ideas do enter in, at times.

In 1832, Mathew belonged to a young men's association in Boston, though he lived in our small town some distance away. Members of the club, and their family and friends, were welcome to submit essays, stories and poems to this magazine connected with the Association. I was tutoring Matt at this time, over the winter months, and somehow, my poetry occasionally got in there. Sometimes it was unsigned; sometimes Matt submitted it for me; and sometimes, perhaps, my teacher (or former teacher, whom I had taken one class from) submitted it for me. It was so good, that the editor claimed one of them for himself (or, the typositor thought it was his, and stuck his name on it); many years later, after my death, both the editor and the teacher claimed some of my work for themselves. Both of their careers were advanced thereby. It even put one of them "on the map" as a poet, though he modestly admitted he was never able to write anything very worthwhile afterwards.

That's enough. We write it with all the caveats in place, because Steve himself isn't sure how it "went down," and our communication method is not so exact as to make it clear. The actual detective work, with all the dots connected, is in Steve's book. I wanted to share this poem, which is unsigned in 1832, but is included, in revised form in the editor's compilation--as though all of it was his work--in 1853. I am telling Steve it is okay to present just a little bit of evidence. In 1851, Matt submitted my first short story to another literary newspaper, under my maiden initials (as I wrote it quite young, before we married), "A.P." My story began, simply, "Mary Mahony! Mary Mahony!" Now see how this poem begins:

The Still Small Voice.

The still small voice! the still small voice!
 Hear ye not--when the morning breaks
  Over the distant mountains,
 And each bird in the woodland wakes,
 While the sunlight gleams on the lakes
  And the silvery fountains--
   A voice in the radiant sky,
   In the grove's rich melody?--
   The spirit of God is nigh:--
'Man, make thy choice! O make thy choice!'

The still small voice! the still small voice!
 Here ye not--when the sun burns high,
  And the land and the sea are bright,
 And the streams, that meander by
 And through the emerald foliage hie,
  Rejoice in the noon-tide light--
   A voice where the sea-winds play,
   Where the rivulet glides away?--
   The spirit of God doth say,
'Man, make thy choice! O make thy choice!'

The still small voice! the still small voice!
 Hear ye not--when the sun goes down,
 emsp;With his crimson banner outspread,
 And receives his brilliant crown,
 While the shades of evening frown
  Upon his glorious bed--
   A voice in the sunset sky,
 emsp; Where the twilight breeze goes by?--
  emsp;The spirit of God is nigh:--
'Man, make thy choice! O make thy choice!'

The still small voice! the still small voice!
 Hear ye not--when the moon beams fall
  On the slumbering ocean,
 And the stars, at the night-spirit's call,
 Come forth, and shine over all,
  With a tremulous motion--
   A voice on the solemn air?--
   'T is Nature's evening prayer;
   The spirit of God is there:--
'Man, make thy choice! make Heaven thy choice!'

Steve will have to go back and code that in HTML, but we will move on with channeling, so as not to lose the thread. Steve has to pause--he knows some of my thoughts about it, but wants to be channeling, not just paraphrasing, here...

I am moving from a realm of "religiousity," to mysticism, meaning, I am urging direct relationship and communication with God. I am saying it is man's choice whether to take up the opportunity offered. I am also showing how intimately Nature is tied with mysticism, being God's representative voice in the world. The "still small voice" is the contact point. It is what is in our hand to do, to respond. This is the essence of true mysticism.

One can write about it all day--the point is to actually take that opportunity. So I am going directly to the heart of the matter.

But there is a flaw, here--one that threw me off-course. Do you see it? I was a Christian, and Christianity, as we know it today--not Christian mysticism, but traditional Christianity--confuses the Realization of God, with heaven, as the end-goal and purpose of religion. This happened because the Wisdom Teachings were hidden, due to persecution. You can still find it in Christian mysticism--do the great mystics ever talk about attaining heaven? No--they are eager for direct communion with God, in a state of Oneness with Him.

So I had heaven mixed up with mysticism, you see. This caused me to be otherworldly; it caused me to put heaven above my soul-mate relationship, and ultimately to "let go" prematurely, which I thought was Victorian-style virtue, and to abandon Mathew in this way. He tried and tried to believe that I had done the right thing, the noble thing, and that the noble thing for him was to accept it. Shall we share the poem he wrote, trying to justify this for me? I was, as you know, very musical. So he wrote of my spiritual advancement as though it were music:

THE SPIRIT LYRE.

'T'was morn to earth's fair child, the morn of life,
The spirit lyre with joyous strains was rife;
They knew it by the quick and graceful mien,
They knew it by the eyes' full gladsome beam,
By that exuberance of happiness
Which only youth's first hours can e'er possess.

Time passed,--the lyre sent forth a deeper tone;
With higher pleasure was her pathway strown:
Love's altar now had found itself a place
Within her soul, and gave to every grace
An added charm; soon Hymen's chain had bound,
And zephyrs still all lightly played around:

But deeper, richer, more melodious still,
The harmony did all her spirit fill:
A purer, holier light was in the glance,
And shed its glory o'er the countenance,
A peace like that which dwells upon the breast
Of silent waters, when the day beams rest

In mute farewell; and life, so bright before,
Was happier still; for now religion o'er
Its every scene a holy radiance cast;
And when the storm of life arrived at last--
For none, however bright their lot, are free--
The lyre discoursed of immortality. *

This, we know is Mathew's poem, because he was signing as an asterisk in this paper (and in a few others). His asterisk was actually a star; and that star was the star that represented his soul. We each had stars, you see--stars in heaven. He wrote under this secret pen-name all his life, in tribute to what we were, to our marriage, as the remaining "star."

But what he is saying, here, is something like: "I feel abandoned, dear, but I believe in you and what you taught me, and I am trying, trying, trying to rejoice in your advancement to heaven, which is what you always wanted."

Well, I realized my mistake the second I left my body. It is true, of course, that heaven is beautiful beyond what one can imagine, while in a physical body. It is Home. It is everything you have read about, and much, much more. But it pales in comparison with true Love. Real heaven is where love is. Even in filth and misery and povery--heaven is right there, if there is true love. But what I found, is that if you are in heaven, surrounded by heaven, but the one you love feels abandoned, and longs for you, and bravely tries to accept, and continues loving you as always, then heaven is nothing. It gets old, you see. You want to be with the one who loves you. The people here are very sweet; we are like best friends, and closest brothers and sisters. But Matt--now Steve--is my twin star. My heart is always with him.

So when yesterday, I said it might seem contradictory that I am surrounded by splendour, and yet, I would wish to be with him even bound in a physical body (full of slime and bones and teeth that ache, and all the troubles and worries), this is what I meant by it.

But it is true--the Still Small Voice is always there. How else do you think we found each other?

All my love,
Abby