River of Blessings, River of Sorrows, and “Come Away O Human Child”

One view of the River of Blessings

I want to talk today about the River of Blessings, the River of Sorrows, and the poem “The Stolen Child” by William Butler Yeats. From these three elements I believe we can learn more about our souls’ purpose. The elements point out a path to a healthy soul and a well lived life… maybe.

I learned about the River of Blessings from Betsy Bergstrom <http://betsybergstrom.com>. When she teaches how to remove curses, she goes back to the beginning, where the curse was first made. It may be in this life. But most curses I have found go back many lives. At the moment a curse is created we can remove its power. The removal of the curse cascades through the generations to the present time, and beyond. I believe everything from the time of the curse removal to now is changed. When Betsy teaches, she says to call upon the Blessing Field which brings a River of Blessings through time. Positive life force from the river replaces the negative life force that was there.

A few days ago, Sand and I were looking at what seemed to be a small creature that is part of our relationship. To Sand it seemed like it was sometimes bringing disharmony into our lives. So we explored it. What we found was a cord leading into the being with either hoocha <http://weallhavesouls.com/life-force/hoocha/> or negative life force. Whatever was going through the cord turned the being dark and some of the negative affected us. So we removed the cord. The question that we were left with was where was that negative stuff coming from?

There’s more to the story, but I’m going to skip over it to talk about the source of the negative. I believe we could call it the Sorrow Field. From it flows a River of Sorrows.

In some ways blessings and sorrows are opposites. But I think it’s closer to the truth to say that blessings and sorrows are complements of one another. When you have one, it can balance the other. A blessing that is lost becomes a sorrow. But mending a sorrow is a blessing. We are here in physical reality to learn about the play of time and the changes time can bring. Our lives are made full by the interweaving of blessing and sorrow. I believe we are supposed to mix the two as we continue to create our world.

Unfortunately, in this hard-edged reality we have created, we have lost the ability to blend blessing and sorrow together. This being that was full of negative seems to be a vessel that holds the sorrow we can use in our creation. We found a similar vessel of blessings. The two, blessing and sorrow, are like paints we can blend or melodies we can intertwine to create something beautiful. It is said that great art comes from great suffering. But I think the greatest art also has blessings in the mix.

Too much sorrow leads to anger, disgust, and being overwhelmed. We lash out at others. We distrust our relationships and often end them. We feel attacks where none are intended. Hoocha keeps us from seeing any positives that might be there. At the bottom is a huge hopelessness as it seems like we can never get what we wish. Our purpose in this life can never be met. Losses seem permanent. If we have failed, we can never be redeemed.

Too much blessing is equally bad for us. It makes us uncaring and aloof. We think of ourselves as masters of the universe. But we are disconnected from others. We can’t fulfill our wishes when we are overwhelmed with blessings any more than we can when we are overwhelmed with sorrow. The glitter of what we have can blind us to what we wish. Hoocha comes from having too much of anything.

We have forgotten how to empty the bowl of sorrow and it overflows into our lives. But we have also forgotten to empty our bowl of blessings. We can drown in blessings, too. When that happens, it’s a mess. A really ugly mess.

I watched a Sidhe <http://weallhavesouls.com/2016/10/26/exploring-many-worlds/> friend mix blessing and sorrow to create beauty. In his world they tend to this stuff of creation and never let one overwhelm the other. That’s what I believe we are here to do: Mix the sorrows and blessings to create meaningful connections to every being, large and small, in both physical and soul reality, throughout all the worlds we travel through.

And that brings us to “The Stolen Child.” It’s a poem about a human and the Sidhe, at least I believe Yeats was thinking about what I call Sidhe when he wrote Faery. I have included it below.

In each verse there are four similar lines.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Many people put a sinister cast on the poem. The Sidhe have gotten a reputation as child stealers. But let me propose another view. We humans do not know how to empty the bowl of sorrow. This leads to a “world more full of weeping” than we can understand. We need the Sidhe to show us, once again, how to mix our blessings and sorrows because that’s something they still understand.

As you will read, when things are sorrowful, the Sidhe offer blessings of berries and cherries. Blessings abound in the second verse. But they are balanced by sorrows in the third. In the last verse, the child accepts the blessing of going with the Sidhe, but “solemn-eyed” because he understands the sorrow of giving up blessings he has known to enter the place where blessings and sorrows can be mixed.

I accept the many other interpretations, too. Most cast the Sidhe in a darker role. Perhaps some are like that. The world of the Sidhe is very large and many live far from the human world.

You will notice that there are two versions of the last line. Both make sense and I don’t know which is correct. If you want to hear the poem read, here is a version I like:
A sung version is here:

For those of you who want to work with the Sidhe, here are two suggestions. I love both of them.

David Spangler and his work with the Sidhe as part of Incarnational Spirituality <https://lorian.org/>. (The Sidhe are incarnate, although not in human bodies like ours.) Also check out his book, Conversations with the Sidhe <https://lorian.org/bookstore/conversations-with-the-sidhe/>.

The Fairy and Human Relations Congress <http://www.fairycongress.com/>. This year they are looking at Transformational Gratitude — Creating the Magic that is Needed Now.

The Stolen Child
William Butler Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances,
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.
[From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.]


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  1. Pingback: River of Sorrows and Tonglen | We All Have Souls