Cosmology in John Donne’s Ruine and Bruce Cockburn’s Broken Wheel

donne

John Donne, 1573-1631

THIS is Natures nest of Boxes; 

The Heavens containe the Earth,

the Earth, Cities, 

Cities, Men.

And all these are Concentrique;

the common center to them all,

is decay, ruine.

(from John Moses, One Equall Light – An Anthology of the Writings of John Donne)

 

As Van Morrison says, “Rave on John Donne.” It seems that Donne’s words were still assuming the Ptolemaic universe, at least for his theological purpose to reveal the decay at the center of the universe. Bruce Cockburn sees Donne’s ruine “way out on the rim of the galaxy” in the Copernican universe. In either view, we see the tragic reality of our Manifest Propensity.

Bryan M. Christman @ Manifest Propensity, 2020

 

“Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” by Blind Willie Johnson – NASA’s Golden Record’s witness to Jesus in Gethsemane

voyager-record

It is fitting that NASA’s  interstellar mission of Voyager includes the song “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” on the Voyager Gold Record, being Blind Willie Johnson’s musical depiction of Jesus in Gethsemane; The passion of Christ which concerned humankind, the angels and God, the earth and the heavens. Continue reading