This is intolerable!

By Mathias Maurer, August 2013

Dear Reader,

Recently we were sitting at the table and talking – about school once again. Sarah, class 9, Nicolas, class 5, and I. “This stupid morning verse, why do we still have to say it? ‘I look into the world...’, it’s just embarrassing, like in kindergarten,” Sarah thundered. “Why stupid?”, Nicolas asked, “my teacher told us that we should love all plants and animals. That’s true, isn’t it!” I ask: “Can either of you say the morning verse?” Pause. Then in fragments: “... there lie the stones ..., in light of Sun and Soul ..., O Spirit of God ...” They could not manage it – it is probably something that only works as a group in class. I look on the shelf, pull out the book to take a look: “This is intolerable! We aren’t in school here,” Sarah complains. “Don’t worry,” I say, “it’s alright.” That evening I pick up the book again and read the morning verse for the class 5 to 12 pupils:

I look into the world
Wherein there shines the sun
Wherein there gleam the stars
Wherein there lie the stones
The plants they live and grow
The beasts they feel and live
And Man to spirit gives
A dwelling in his soul.

I look into the soul
That living dwells in me
God's spirit lives and weaves
In light of Sun and Soul
In heights of world without
In depths of soul within

To thee, O Spirit of God
I seeking turn myself
That strength and grace and skill
For learning and for work
In me may live and grow.

This verse says it all. It directs our view in three directions: outwards into the world – I perceive through the senses; inwards into our own soul – I gain insight; and towards our own future life – I want to work on the world with God’s help. A path which leads through experience of and insight into the world to self-knowledge, power of judgement and active transformation of the world. I stand on the firm ground of the mineral world; the plants must “live and grow” to feed me and humanity; I feel with the animals, and, as a being with knowledge, I bear responsibility towards them, my fellow human beings, the world as a whole and, indeed, the cosmos.

If the day starts with such powerful nourishment for the soul, this verse cannot just be well tolerated, it is, indeed, a Vademecum which can drive back the sheer intolerable downsides of a globalised world and make its good and bright sides visible.

Mathias Maurer


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