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Browning, Robert - from Bishop Blougram's Apology

Identifier

011004

Type of spiritual experience

Background

This is a lovely quote - why are we here.  The following is a quote from my school friend when she saw this

"So all those religious fanatics  in medieval times [and today], who fasted and purged themselves, lived in sackcloth and ashes, didn't sleep, went on long  pilgrimages to see relics, tied themselves to racks, buried themselves up to the neck in soil, cut off various parts of their anatomy, went naked, hung from trees, walked on hot coals, denied themselves meat or fish or vegetables, or wine, or chocolate,  and generally did themselves considerable damage to show their religious devotion to God …....... get nothing!! – apart perhaps from a few brownie points for the design of the sackcloth."

A description of the experience

Robert Browning – from Bishop Blougram's Apology

 No, when the fight begins within himself
A man's worth something.  God stoops over his head
Satan looks up between his feet – both tug -
He's left, himself, i' the middle; the soul wakes
And grows.  Prolong that battle through his life!
Never leave growing till the life to come
................................

Of course you are remarking all this time
How narrowly and grossly I view life
Respect the creature comforts... Well I do
I act for, talk for, live for this world now,
As this world prizes action, life and talk;
No prejudice to what next world may prove
Whose new laws and requirements, my best pledge
To observe then, is that I observe these now,
Shall do hereafter what I do meanwhile.
Let us concede (gratuitously though)
Next life relieves the soul of body, yields
Pure spiritual enjoyment; well my friend
Why lose this life in the meantime since its use
May be to make the next life more intense?

The source of the experience

Browning, Robert

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities