Wednesday, March 30


Without feeling or with feeling,
without light and in darkness living,
all of me is slowly burning

-- St. John of the Cross
Translated by Antonio T. de Nicolas

In the spiritual practice of San Juan de la Cruz there is a laborious and dedicated effort to strip the writer away from any background that is not the ultimate, or in his words, the Will of God. The images of the mystic and the poet coincide in this ultimate region, where we find the Trinity, the images of origin, the ultimate marriage of union, the ultimate eroticism of the soul (which happens to be also the original one). These are all images not borrowed from the senses, but built through interior sensitizations that flow from the senses to the image and back, transforming them and yielding the inspired poetry we know.

-- Antonio T. de Nicolas St. John of the Cross: Alchemist of the Soul