Ridiculous or Sublime?

“I can’t tell the difference between the ridiculous and the sublime, until you tell me.”

So in my small amount of free time, I have been watching the television show “Californication,” about a sex-obsessed, disaffected writer named Hank Moody. Hank helped me write this blog post by writing a book of his own and saying to his ex, Karen, about the book, “I can’t tell the difference between the ridiculous and the sublime, until you tell me.”

Hank’s words have been rattling around in my mind since they hit. He speaks of the sublime so casually, but he cannot identify it in his own work. In my last post to you all, I wrote about the sublime, too, before Hank entered my life. I made a stab at identifying the sublime and its basis in God’s love, which gives us the ability to transcend this world we are experimenting in.

Hank made me realize that the sublime allows you to transcend, but it is hard to identify. The authentic sublime versus the ridiculous, posing as the sublime.

The identifying factor of the authentic sublime is truth. When you speak from the heart, unconditionally, without fear or premeditated intent, you speak the Divine sublime.

Look at the word “subliminal” and its breakdown. We have the word “sublime”-overwhelming, transcendent, purifying combined with the word “liminal”–a word indicating “threshold” or “cusp.” The word subliminal indicates as well the prefix “sub”–beneath under, in the depths. Beneath the threshold of consciousness, where truth lives unmuddied by intent, is your subliminal self.

Sublime is an adjective indicating a force so grand, so overwhelming, it holds the power to purify and transcend. It is easy to pretend the sublime, to create a knockoff of that energy, because the sublime can only be recognized by experiencing it, living it, thrilling to it. The sublime is in every work created without fear. The sublime is in the honest, unfettered expression of the soul.

As much as I love Hank Moody, nobody needs a Karen to recognize the sublime for them. You recognize the sublime when your heart soars and you feel lifted. For me, it’s the poetry of Wallace Stevens. For others, it’s the opera, or museums, or sculpting–the sublime is everywhere in this world. The sublime is just authentic expression of the soul light within you.

The sublime unfolds your soul.

I want to leave this post with a poem that always haunts me–it reminds me that the Divine is in every atom and wave of our existence. This poem speaks to me of the sublime, of a divinity so threaded throughout our world that everything of this world bears its seal:

The Planet On The Table

by Wallace Stevens

Ariel was glad he had written his poems.
They were of a remembered time
Or of something seen that he liked.

Other makings of the sun
Were waste and welter
And the ripe shrub writhed.

His self and the sun were one
And his poems, although makings of his self,
Were no less makings of the sun.

It was not important that they survive.
What mattered was that they should bear
Some lineament or character,

Some affluence, if only half-perceived,
In the poverty of their words,
Of the planet of which they were part.

Ariel, like Hank, is trying to speak his truth. He knows he won’t capture the truth in its entirety–“some affluence, if only half-perceived,/In the poverty of their words”–but what is important to Ariel is that he expresses authentically what he experiences. And that expression, although imperfectly capturing in words his experience, the expression itself is of this world and its maker too, and therefore bears the stamp of the divine.

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are


“We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, And forever will re-create each other.”
–Teilhard de Chardin

“One must never be satisfied with his ability to love. No matter where he is, it is always just a beginning.”
–Leo Buscaglia

We are born unto this Earth to change and be changed. Change is the cardinal rule of our physical universe. Change is the only constant in this world and it is the way of the light. Most of the deities in our world religions share one trait—and that is omnipotence. If our God is all-powerful, could he or she in Divine grace not have borne each one of us into our own personal snow globe of physicality to effect these changes our souls need to see?
Of course this is possible. However, we are born unto this Earth together to change each other and to be changed. Like rivers converging, we are never the same once we meet. Our waters mingle and become indistinguishable from each other, and a third party is created from every union of one soul with another. That third party is the “we” that once was you and me. That third party again divides, in a spiritual fission, and neither of the souls that began the journey is the same or can go back to what they were before. Each meeting of souls, like the confluence of rivers, bears the fruit of transformation, of two new souls. Each time you meet another soul, you are essentially re-born, utterly changed, by that soul, just as a river that meets another river is never the same.
Biology tells us that the human body essentially replaces itself in new cell growth over a period of years. The you of 2014 will not be the same you of 2025, for better or for worse. Geology tells us that you never step in the same river twice, because, while that river appears to be an object that stays in one set area, the water that flows through it is always different. What about the soul that each of us carries around inside this chassis of flesh? It is Divine, and the Divine energy that flows through you from stem to stern is always moving like a river, like a life force.
Also like a river, all of our biological life force extends from the same set of stars that gave their lives in a revolution. In our very atoms is the debris of the big bang, all of us sharing the energy of a blast that echoes throughout our physical world. Similarly, water flows in an endless cycle of re-creation, in sublimation, as it converts from ice all the way to an invisible, gaseous vapor and back again. Sublimation is a word that means “a purification or refinement; ennoblement.” Water is refined, changed as it sublimes.
So are souls.
Our re-creation from physical being to soul and back again is a Divine sublimation. And in between, we leave the process of sublimation and we become flowing rivers that converge and part and seek out other water. Re-creation is our purpose on earth. We are here to be re-born, to transform, to change, to leave as something unlike what we were before. And the way we do that is by crashing into one another, by gently meandering toward one another, by becoming part of something bigger, as a river does when it meets an ocean, and, ultimately, by sharing our life force with one another. When you meet another soul, no matter how many boundaries you install around yourself, you will change, regardless. Forever, we are on earth to re-create each other, to be the agents of change God sent us down to be. Forever, we are on earth to be at the beginning of the next journey, to always be learning, to never be complete in ourselves but always be complete in the Divine cycle of sublimation.
Love is sublime. Love renders us a purer substance, converts us into something of greater value. Love and acceptance of each other, these things re-create us and drive us forward through our Divine cycles. Just as a river is never satisfied enough to stop running, may you always have the love to keep moving forward toward change, to keep re-creating.
For it is in love and transformation that we are at our most sublime.
In love and light–Erica

Habit and transformation

Check out @Inc’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/Inc/status/559438064070963201?s=09. 
Investigating this today. Tell me what you all think–I always read it takes two weeks to form a positive habit and two days to break it. Habit and taking the long view are the keys to transformation, and transformation is the meaning of life, so our daily habits are integral to making the most of our time on Earth.