My beef with esotericism: a poem.

…the second half of a poem, anyway.


We don’t know all: we know that we aren’t wise
Texts have, thank God, a golden wealth of deeps
But this much we do know: the great surprise
has come, the news has spread, the sower reaps:

The double-spoken words of the first book
Became our common sense, and noised about.
Truth into which the angels longed to look
Became the jubilant credal rooftop shout.

We know what’s in your mind: that this was bait
To help us live beneath an empty sky
A thing to make us yearn and love and hate
And just another shabby noble lie:

There was no resurrection from the dead
There were no graveclothes folded in the tomb
There was no flesh, but metaphor instead:
You see, “Truth” became “Man” in the “Virgin’s” “Womb.”

But that will never be: there’s no divide
between initiates and fools: enlightened ones
with scare quotes as the weapons of their pride,
and a mob deceived that God had made them sons.

Oh– more will be revealed, there’s more to learn
More to decipher, and delight, and guess
But where we all began we won’t return,
Repudiating what we all confess.

Nothing’s hidden that won’t be revealed
No inner ring without an outward call
Jerusalem, Rome, Athens: all are healed;
Nehemiah’s built the city’s wall.
The City that our poleis had concealed
We’ll rule by gift-right, or not rule at all.

So, once again admit that you don’t know.
Stop trying to buy the gift you can’t afford,
And meet at last the Way you ought to go.
Let Lady Wisdom lead you to her Lord.



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