Feb 22 2017

Angelus Silesius – So many droplets in the sea

Published by at 9:48 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

/ Image by alexandre-deschaumes /

Short poem, short commentary: Many <-> One

Recommended Books: Angelus Silesius

The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology) Poetry for the Spirit: Poems of Universal Wisdom and Beauty The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry German Mystical Writings: Hildegard of Bingen, Meister Eckhart, Jacob Boehme, and others Haiku: The Gentle Art of Disappearing
More Books >>

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

3 responses so far

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

  1. bharati mon 23 Feb 2017 at 6:52 am

    your commentary perfectly reflects ‘deep quiet’…
    actually needs no further comment, no obligation to disturb the silence, the love!

  2. Joan Binderon 24 Feb 2017 at 8:07 am

    Ivan, go to the website WCCM.org and you will find a worldwide community of Christian meditators who do believe in the direct experience of God in the soul through contemplative prayer. This is approved of by the Catholic Church (today). I cannot speak for the Lutheran church but many of my fellow meditators are of the Lutheran faith. (Also, Methodists, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Baptists, etc.). A new day is dawning!

  3. Warren Robert Reineckeon 10 Mar 2017 at 8:00 am

    Dear Ivan,
    I was taken with your thought for the day, “Life and death are givens, it is what we do with them that counts.” What if the material life/death certitude engenders resentment?

    What if, at some level of awareness, the life/death certainty is seen as an irreconcilable dilemma. Instead of a gift with a preciously limited duration as part of evolution, it is seen as a cruel hoax – and time is spent acting out against it. Might this be at the root of much of mental health issues – the little irreverent jokes, the instinctual need for pay-back or revenge? The relentless need to feed ego to feel self-worth measured by material success? Why our culture delights so in violent entertainment? Why so many people cannot even plan to have a will? Fear is a vulnerability which can and is exploited for political purposes, evidence we see in abundance.

    Your website and the numerous people who you choose to quote offer wonderful insights and meaning to point beyond the existential dilemma. I only wish more people were open to its enheartening illumination and centering equilibrium.

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