Subtle Understanding: A Poem

I’ve been through this countless times,
for decades,
but it only recently became clear.
Beneath rational understanding,
where we are conscious, and full of words, and things are relatively specific-
there is a whole different level of understanding.
It is subtle.
It has less form, no words, less specifics.
It is full of feeling, of intuition, of implied portents.
It is probably at this instinctive level that animals operate and plants blossom.
A mother uses it as her primary guide, in caring for her child.
Weather systems, all natural phenomena, operate on this level.
Indeed, we alone can be estranged from this way of living.

For us, this level requires compassion with whatever we wanted to understand.
At this compassionate level, we merge with all that is presented to us.
We and it are not separate.
It is full of love and, arising out of that, subtle understanding.
Understanding follows love.

Subtle understanding is of a different nature than rational analysis,
which must eliminate feeling, to leave logic free.
Subtle understanding enters with feeling and very gradually comes to understand.
I’ve lived in subtle understanding for decades now.
It is the basis of the mystical, the direct experience of God.
For God lives in subtle understanding.
That is why, when God showed me the creation of the universe,
done so effortlessly,

I wondered where was rational planning.
Subtle understanding contains laws and order, just as the body has bones.
God’s subtle understanding is enough to form all the details,
all the interdependent interactions, of the created universe.
God doesn’t fuss over the details.
Having in mind the End of creation is enough.

And why do I discover this now?
That I and others may come to respect this level of function.
When we aren’t stressed, uptight, and frantic –
But rather relaxed and casual, we too, can move with subtle understanding.
This level asks no questions, because it answers all.
Patiently, things become clear.
And what hurry is there in eternity?
The way to knowing all there is, simultaneously.
Each element in this, an image of the All.

Wilson Van Dusen

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