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Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, alchemy, art, miracle, and being astonished

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




The immanent Art of alchemy is also adroitly written into the crucible of Rainer Maria Rilke’s unique poetry and life. Excerpted sections from his Duino Elegies, which subtly document stages of the process, run...


“Of course, it is strange to inhabit the earth no longer,

to give up customs one barely had time to learn,

not to see roses and other promising Things

in terms of a human future; no longer to be

what one was in infinitely anxious hands; to leave

even one’s own first name behind, forgetting it

as easily as a child abandons a broken toy.

Strange to no longer desire one’s desires. Strange

To see meanings that clung together once floating away

In every direction. (first elegy)

¼[But then] suddenly in this laborious nowhere, suddenly

the unsayable spot where the pure Too-little is transformed

incomprehensibly, leaps around and changes

into that empty Too-much;

where the difficult calculation

becomes numberless and resolved. (fifth elegy)

¼Wasn’t all this a miracle? Be astonished, Angel, for we

are this, O Great One; proclaim that we could achieve this,

my breath is too short for such praise. (seventh elegy)

¼Look, I am living ¼Superabundant being wells up in my heart. (ninth elegy)”


The end of this lengthy verse by Rilke is certainly a description of the brighter side of the dark and unknown; he has come through unmiracle and reclaimed the miracle.


excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer

















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