Oct 16 2013

Angelus Silesius – So many droplets in the sea

Published by at 8:54 am under Poetry

So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains
by Angelus Silesius

English version by Gabriel Rosenstock

So many droplets in the sea, in bread so many grains;
So too of our multiplicity, nothing but God remains.

— from Haiku: The Gentle Art of Disappearing, by Gabriel Rosenstock

/ Photo by alexandre-deschaumes /

Short poem, short commentary: Many <-> One

Angelus Silesius, Angelus Silesius poetry, Christian poetry Angelus Silesius

Poland/Germany (1624 – 1677) Timeline
Christian : Catholic

Angelus Silesius is the monastic name of Johannes Scheffler. Johannes Scheffler was born into a noble Polish Lutheran family. He received a doctorate in philosophy at the University of Padua and became a physician.

As a young man he was drawn to the writings of the German mystic Jacob Boehme. Scheffler’s growing mysticism didn’t sit well with the dogmatic forms of German Lutheranism of the time and, in 1653, he converted to Catholicism. He took the name Angelus, adding the surname Silesius, meaning “from Silesia.”

During this time, Selisius was briefly named physician to Emperor Ferdinand III, but he soon renounced his profession and, in 1661, he was ordained a priest and retired to monastic life in Breslau. He gave his family fortune away to charities.

He published two books of poetry: The Soul’s Spiritual Delight and The Cherubic Pilgrim. Several of his poems are today used as religious hymns in both Catholic and Protestant churches.

Angelus Silesius was often engaged in public controversy with both the Lutheran Church he had left and also with his adopted Catholic faith. His poetry hinted at a quietest mysticism which asserts that the soul, when it attains deep quiet, can experience God directly — a notion neither institution has been too fond of.

More poetry by Angelus Silesius

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Angelus Silesius – So many droplets in the sea”

  1. Alice Whooleyon 16 Oct 2013 at 12:29 pm

    the experience of us all being one is very healing. I had the experience once at the end of a spell of depression. Significantly, it occurred during mass at communion time. The experience, which only lasted a few seconds, has had a deep impact on my life. It is an experience that cannot be adequately described in words but the overriding feeling I had was one of unconditional love for everybody.

  2. Gregory Travison 16 Oct 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I love the poem. Your thought of the day is really helpful to me and I shared it with my friends. I needed to hear that. I am deeply insecure at times and at other times I have delusion of grandeur. This poem reminds me to stay focused on the one truth. Thanks, Ivan

  3. Jennyon 16 Oct 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Love the thought of the day. To recognize the insignificance of ego is no small feat………..

  4. Kris Hineson 16 Oct 2013 at 7:55 pm

    I love the simplicity of this. Meher Baba, my spiritual friend (in the Sufi sense), describes prior state to creation as the Ocean of Love, saying that all us souls are drops of that ocean. Since I read that I have called everyone drop souls and it’s a lovely concept to walk around with – all the drop souls I see at the supermarket, yelling at a football match, annoying me by driving slow in the fast lane, close friends I am fortunate to have – even … politicians! All drop souls in the ocean. Makes the heart happy in an instant 🙂

  5. jim carlin m d radiologiston 17 Oct 2013 at 9:28 am

    I learn more – experience more listening
    to others stories-than listening to mine

    and being still helps me hear
    then the issue-what am I willing to do

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