Go Into a Wilderness


Angelus Silesius was a German mystic. I believe I discovered him at around the same time that I was rereading Walt Whitman, and I became intrigued by the similarity in their thought. Silesius said that God cannot love anything inferior to himself. And Whitman speaks of loving the fat that sticks to his own bones. The Divine and man are one.

Silesius, like Whitman, wrote poems. Beautiful poems. One of my favorites is “Go Into a Wilderness.” It’s about many things, and what it is about for me is a meditation on a place from which creativity springs.

Where is my hiding-place?
Where there’s nor I nor Thou.
Where is my final goal
towards which I needs must press?
Where there is nothing.
Whither shall I journey now?
Still farther on than God
—into a Wilderness.

When he says to go “farther on than God” I think he means that we have to let go of our concept of god. To realize God’s infinity, he suggests, we must go beyond the concept and out into creation itself, into an undiscovered place–a wilderness.

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