Three Passions

I have a heavy heart today for reasons that I can't really go into here. While perusing one of my favorite uplifting blogs, Live Passionately, I found this poem that really spoke to me. Above is a barely visible rainbow that I tried to catch from the deck of the ship this summer.
Bertrand Russell:

Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.



Anonymous said...

Awesome poem. Bertrand Russell was a great writer. I'm gonna have to look up more of his stuff...

I just looked him up on Wiki and he seems like my kind of guy. He stood for a lot that I stand for. Amazing. Thank you for posting this.

Michelle said...

Bertrand Russell is my favorite philosopher. Something told me to check the blogs today - I haven't in probably a week. Thank you, I needed to read this. Thinking of you, XO

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Hi Paige,
I too have these same worries and concerns. They torture me all the time. But, I am not blessed to put it int words such as moving as this.

If you have time stop and read my profile and you will see what my prayers are for the world.

Thanks for posting and sharing this.

Christine said...

Life is filled with indefinite emotional challenges, and for many of us these challenges force us to protect ourselves and to "be strong" in order to survive. Yet this so-called strength often comes by way of ignoring the pain and suffering of others. This denial of our vulnerability and the refusal to acknowledge the suffering of those around us is the denial of our most innate, humane and spiritual emotion: compassion.

Dalai Lama once said, "genuine compassion is based on the rationale that all human beings have an innate desire to be happy and overcome suffering... [And] on the basis of this recognition of this equality and commonality, you develop a sense of affinity and closeness with others." Clearly it is our own ability to experience grief that ultimately allows us to understand the pain of others.
But while it is important that we acknowledge our personal emotional struggles and the struggles of others, we do not necessarily need to attract challenges in order to be truly compassionate.
All of us have access to the compassionate light within each of our souls and from time to time it is necessary to reconnect with that lost light.

Paige, Thank you for Sharing such profoundness.


One Creative Queen said...

Beautiful poem. I'm glad you posted this...and I hope you're ok. You know where I am if you need anything. I'll be thinking of you, kiddo. xx

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that you are having a rough day. I too look to poetry because I know when I'm feeling in a funk I want to hear from others in similar situations to know that I'm not alone.

Crabby Blogging Lady said...

Hm, I think for "love," Russell means "sex."

I certainly understand what a rough day is like... hope you're doing better soon. :)


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