From a city of nine gates


From a city of nine gates, and one of ten,
Streamed forth the dreaming children of men;
And when we’ve enough of our tear-stained fun,
We shall all wake up in a city of one.

2 Responses to “From a city of nine gates”

  1. Thy Friend John Says:

    This quatrain came to me on Wednesday morning, 4/23/10, while I was at work. I was remembering a Hindu tradition that calls the human body “the city of nine gates,” mentally counted them, and realized that female bodies had an important tenth gate, the womb, without which we wouldn’t be here. I thought I might have the makings of a riddle in couplet form, but then all four lines came to me in a rush and I liked the result enough to publish it. It expresses my conviction that our restoration to eternal unity with God (as prayed for by Jesus in John 17:20-26) is in the nature of an awakening, as from a dream (as in Psalm 17:15), and must eventually happen to all, God having no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 33:11) but, human free will notwithstanding, and terrible suffering being possible in both this world and the next, God wills the salvation of all, and is anything too hard for God? (cf. Gen. 18:14, Jeremiah 32:27.) The phrase “tear-stained fun” recalls not only Ecclesiastes’s “all is vanity and vexation of spirit” but also Jesus’ warning that treasure laid up here on earth is vulnerable to moth, rust and thief (Matthew 6:19). Or as another quatrain has it:

    All fruits for which the senses lust
    Must victim fall to moth and rust:
    Best seek, in everlasting day,
    The crown that fadeth not away.

    All this has also been said beautifully, forcefully and plainly in Hindu and Buddhist tradition (as: “the liberation of all sentient beings”), but, Jesus Christ being my Savior, I have a preference for using the language of my “home” tradition, Christian scripture. I believe that “we shall all wake up in a city of one” is also a teaching consonant with _A Course in Miracles_.

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