Aurora Leigh is an epic poem written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. It tells the story of two heroines, Aurora and Marian Erle, whose deeply bonded friendship and coarsely intersecting lives captivate readers. Many critics consider Aurora Leigh to be one of the greatest poems ever written.
The nine-book novel/poem contains this remarkable stanza which has been commented upon by scholars for nearly two-hundred years:
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries
Earth is crammed with heaven, only we don’t see it.
From the moment we wake up in the morning until our head touches the pillow at night, we see the daily drama of our lives playing out in exquisite detail.
Some things might have gone well: people agreed with us, breaks went our way, we were able to get certain things accomplished. Other things perhaps not so well: certain people were abusive or annoying, our body is ailing, breaks definitely went against us.
The daily drama is so captivating that we find ourselves consumed with thoughts of interpersonal relationships, lamenting what others did or did not do in relation to what we would have liked. It’s so easy to become disappointed with others, or ourselves, in the unfolding of events.
Underlying it all is our basic desire to fit in and be appreciated, with sufficient assets – such as money and health – in order to maximally participate in the drama.
The constant stream of stimuli coupled with our continual judgment of good, bad, or neutral perpetuate the drama cycle.
And thus we rarely, if ever, see heaven all around us. There is simply no room for it in our thoughts.
Heaven is not a location or destination. It’s not a place that we earn entry or are denied refusal based on what we do, who we pray to, or what prayers we utter.
Heaven is a state of mind.
It’s everywhere – encompassed in everything – when we choose to see it. And that choice is in the mind.
Wayne Dyer was fond of saying, “Make a conscious decision to look for the unfolding of Spirit in everything and everyone you encounter.” He knew that each time we make such a choice we touch heaven.
We have two choices in life. See heaven all around us – in everything and everyone – and experience the bliss that accompanies such a mindset. Or, we can sit around and pluck blackberries.
Which would you prefer?
Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore the concept of heaven being a decision in the mind – and how we can practice making such a choice. I look forward to seeing you then.