Excerpt from A Conversation with Hélène Cardona: Poetry as Prayer by Ron Starbuck

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This interview appeared in our Fall 2013 Print Issue 23.

It is available for download in digital format and in Kindle format.

How do you see the Spirit of God, the Divine Spirit, or the Holy Spirit perhaps, at work within the world?

The enigma of who we are leads to spiritual adventure, to keep seeking forward, beyond where we thought we were going. After graduating from high school in Paris with a baccalauréat in math and physics, I found myself in medical school at seventeen. After two years I crashed, it was like giving up my soul. I went through a deep depression and nearly died. Which is what saved me. It was a deeply transforming spiritual experience (in a way which I had not been able to achieve by going on pilgrimage to Chartres at fourteen), and put me on my path. That is when I knew that who I really am never dies and is connected to something bigger and stronger than I ever knew, unconditional love, the Mystery.

The human being is an animal who differs from the other animals by the fact that he knows he is such; although one can ask if animals have consciousness of themselves. We know that primates, dolphins, elephants and crows recognize themselves in the mirror. Other animals may well have a different type of consciousness. Victor Hugo and Gerard de Nerval believed in immanentism, that spirit is immanent in everything in the world. And that therefore everything is sacred. I write that, “I can always make sense of an animal like the state of grace preceding the end.”

Ron StarbuckRon Starbuck has been deeply engaged in an Interfaith-Buddhist-Christian dialogue for many years. He holds a lifelong interest in poetry and various forms of meditation and contemplative practice. He is the author of When Angels Are Born and Wheels Turning Inward. Each collection follows a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. He has written occasionally for Parabola Magazine, Tiferet Journal, and The Criterion: An Online International Journal in English. He is the Publisher & CEO of an interfaith dialogue blog, the Saint Julian Press http://saintjulianpress.com/index.html where you’ll find work by him and others. In 2014, some of his newest poems appeared in Pirene’s Fountain Volume 7, Issue 15.

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