Sacred Text Reading Group (Rilke)
Date(s) - 12/18/2021
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
A twice-weekly online sacred text reading group. We meet on Saturdays, 4-5, and on Wednesdays, 12-1. All are wide open and you are welcome!
Using a spiritual-practice approach, in each session we will explore a different brief scriptural text in depth. The aims of the sessions are educational (learning something about the texts and traditions), spiritual/moral (discovering what the texts ask of us), and community-building (getting to know each other better). Our practice usually follows this version of Lectio Divina.
The facilitator will have a version of the text available to share; “bring” your own if you like. All are welcome, as are your suggestions of future texts. Group members also take turns facilitating, if they want to try that role.
Our text for Saturday, December 18, 2021, will be this passage from Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), an influential Bohemian-Austrian poet. In 1902, when Rilke was 27, a 18-year-old cadet at the military school Rilke had attended wrote him a letter asking him for advice on writing poetry and choose between a literary career and a career in the army. Over the next 6 years, the two exchanged letters. In 1929, after Rilke’s death, the young cadet, now around 50, published the letters from Rilke. The following quote is from the fourth letter in the collection, sent by Rilke in July 1903. (The edition is the Penguin edition of Letters to a Young Poet, translated by Charlie Louth.)
If you hold close to nature, to what is simple in it, to the small things people hardly see and which all of a sudden can become great and immeasurable; if you have this love for what is slight, and quite unassumingly, as a servant, seek to win the confidence of what seems poor – then everything will grow easier, more unified and somehow more conciliatory, not perhaps in the intellect, which, amazed, remains a step behind, but in your deepest consciousness, watchfulness and knowledge.
You are so young, all still lies ahead of you, and I should like to ask you, as best I can, dear Sir, to be patient towards all that is unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, like books written in a foreign tongue. Do not now strive to uncover answers: they cannot be given you because you have not been able to live them. And what matters is to live everything. Live the questions for now. Perhaps then you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer, one distant day in the future.
As we sometimes do, we will explore this text on a Wednesday as well, so if December 22 works better for you, attend then.
To have check-in time, or if you are new and would like a brief orientation, arrive ten minutes early. And all are welcome to stay ten minutes after as well, for more getting-acquainted time.
How to join:
- Join this class from your Web browser: https://zoom.us/j/578882781
- Join this class using the Zoom app: Meeting ID: 578 882 781
- Join this class by phone: 669 900 9128 US (San Jose), Meeting ID: 578 882 781
- Join this class by on-tap on mobile phones: +16699009128,,578882781# US (San Jose)
- Phoning in, but not in the bay area? Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/abL8clvIYT