Develop what you have. Project it to the world. God will put a star up there on you. Then the wise men will look for you as they looked for Christ. They are going to bring the gold, the frankinsence and the myrrh. Even if you are hiding in the sheep's pen, they will find you once the star directs them!
It is no wrong or injustice that one has many bags of the finest myrrh and garments embroidered with gold, while another has not those things, which are not necessary for our maintenance; he who has them has not thereby obtained control over anything that could be an essential addition to his nature, but has only obtained something illusory or deceptive. ...This is the rule at all times and in all places; no notice should be taken of exceptional cases, as we have explained.
Sometimes in the company of others I find a disagreeable spirit of competitiveness kicks in and each person is shamed into spending rather more than he would have wished. This is a historically established syndrome, of course. One Magus going to Bethlehem would probably have sprung for a box of After Eights. Three Magi on the same trip found themselves laden with gold, frankincense and myrrh and bitterly comtemplating their overdrafts.
The drama's altar isn't on the stage: it is candle-sticked and flowered in the box office. There is the gold, though there be no frankincense or myrrh; and the gospel for the day always The Play will Run for a Year. The Dove of Inspiration, of the desire for inspiration, has flown away from it; and on it's roof, now, the commonplace crow caws candidly.
There are stories told to him only at this time of year. Fantastic, magical stories, the old Hollier in the woods finding only three red berries, which peel back in the night to reveal gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh, Christmas in hot deserts, dust-blown countries, the necklace of tears, and the story of the robin.
I have terrible nightmares, you know. Every night when I come home from a long day's dying, I take off my skin and lay it nicely on my armoire. I take off my bones and hang them up on the hatstand. I set my scythe to washing on the old stove. I eat a nice supper of mouse-and-myrrh soup. Some nights I drink off a nice red wine. White does not agree with me. I lay myself down on a bed of lilies and still, I cannot sleep.
Catherynne M. Valente
It's not that we have to leave this life one day, it's how many things we have to leave all at once: holding hands, hotel rooms, wine, summertime, drunkenness, and the physics of falling leaves, clothing, myrrh, perfumed hair, flirting friends, two strangers' glance; the reflection of the moon, with words like, 'Soon'... 'do you want me?'... '... to lie enlaced'... 'and sleep entwined' thinking ahead, with thoughts behind... ?' e", Why! Why can't we leave this life slowly?
Heaven, such as it is, is right here on earth. Behold: my revelation: I stand at the door in the morning, and lo, there is a newspaper, in sight like unto an emerald. And holy, holy, holy is the coffee, which was, and is, and is to come. And hark, I hear the voice of an angel round about the radio saying, "Since my baby left me I found a new place to dwell." And lo, after this I beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, of shoes. And after these things I will hasten unto a taxicab and to a theater, where a ticket will be given unto me, and lo, it will be a matinee, and a film that doeth great wonders. And when it is finished, the heavens will open, and out will cometh a rain fragrant as myrrh, and yea, I have an umbrella.
Much can they praise the trees so straight and high, The sailing pine,the cedar proud and tall, The vine-prop elm, the poplar never dry, The builder oak, sole king of forests all, The aspin good for staves, the cypress funeral, The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors And poets sage, the fir that weepest still, The yew obedient to the bender's will, The birch for shafts, the sallow for the mill, The myrrh sweet-bleeding in the bitter wound, The warlike beech, the ash for nothing ill, The fruitful olive, and the platane round, The carver holm, the maple seldom inward sound.
The Holy Night We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem; The dumb kine from their fodder turning them, Softened their horned faces To almost human gazes Toward the newly Born: The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks Brought visionary looks, As yet in their astonied hearing rung The strange sweet angel-tongue: The magi of the East, in sandals worn, Knelt reverent, sweeping round, With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground, The incense, myrrh, and gold These baby hands were impotent to hold: So let all earthlies and celestials wait Upon thy royal state. Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Can we believe that the real God, if there is one, ever ordered a man to be killed simply for making hair oil, or ointment? We are told in the thirtieth chapter of Exodus, that the Lord commanded Moses to take myrrh, cinnamon, sweet calamus, cassia, and olive oil, and make a holy ointment for the purpose of anointing the tabernacle, tables, candlesticks and other utensils, as well as Aaron and his sons; saying, at the same time, that whosoever compounded any like it, or whoever put any of it on a stranger, should be put to death. In the same chapter, the Lord furnishes Moses with a recipe for making a perfume, saying, that whoever should make any which smelled like it, should be cut off from his people. This, to me, sounds so unreasonable that I cannot believe it. Why should an infinite God care whether mankind made ointments and perfumes like his or not? Why should the Creator of all things threaten to kill a priest who approached his altar without having washed his hands and feet? These commandments and these penalties would disgrace the vainest tyrant that ever sat, by chance, upon a throne.
Robert G. Ingersoll
After a thousand years pass, it builds its own funeral pyre, lining it with cinnamon, myrrh and cassia. Climbing to a rest on the very top, it examines the world all throughout the night with the ability to see true good and evil. When the sun rises the next morning, with great sorrow for all that it sees, it sings a haunting song. As it sings, the heat of the sun ignites the expensive spices and the Phoenix dies in the flames. But the Phoenix is not remarkable for its feathers or flames. It is most revered for its ability to climb from its own funeral pyre, from the very ashes of its old charred body, as a brand new life ready to live again once more. Life after life, it goes through this cycle. It absorbs human sorrow, only to rise from death to do it all again. It never wearies, it never tires. It never questions its fate. Some say that the Phoenix is real, that it exists somewhere out there in the mountains of Arabia, elusive and mysterious. Others say that the Phoenix is only a wish made by desperate humans to believe in the continuance of life. But I know a secret. We are the Phoenix.
This is the history of governments, - one man does something which is to bind another. A man who cannot be acquainted with me, taxes me; looking from afar at me, ordains that a part of my labour shall go to this or that whimsical end, not as I, but as he happens to fancy. Behold the consequence. Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government! Everywhere they think they get their money's worth, except for these. Hence, the less government we have, the better, - the fewer laws, and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal Government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual; the appearance of the principal to supersede the proxy; the appearance of the wise man, of whom the existing government, is, it must be owned, but a shabby imitation. That which all things tend to educe, which freedom, cultivation, intercourse, revolutions, go to form and deliver, is character; that is the end of nature, to reach unto this coronation of her king. To educate the wise man, the State exists; and with the appearance of the wise man, the State expires. The appearance of character makes the State unnecessary. The wise man is the State. He needs no army, fort, or navy, - he loves men too well; no bribe, or feast, or palace, to draw friends to him; no vantage ground, no favourable circumstance. He needs no library, for he has not done thinking; no church, for he is a prophet; no statute book, for he has the lawgiver; no money, for he is value; no road, for he is at home where he is; no experience, for the life of the creator shoots through him, and looks from his eyes. He has no personal friends, for he who has the spell to draw the prayer and piety of all men unto him, needs not husband and educate a few, to share with him a select and poetic life. His relation to men is angelic; his memory is myrrh to them; his presence, frankincense and flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Thus spoke the Beauty and her voice had a cheerful ring, and her face was aflame with a great rejoicing. She finished her story and began to laugh quietly, but not cheerfully. The Youth bowed down before her and silently kissed her hands, inhaling the languid fragrance of myrrh, aloe and musk which wafted from her body and her fine robes. The Beauty began to speak again. 'There came to me streams of oppressors, because my evil, poisonous beauty bewitches them. I smile at them, they who are doomed to death, and I feel pity for each of them, and some I almost loved, but I gave myself to no one. Each one I gave but one single kiss - and my kisses were innocent as the kisses of a tender sister. And whomsoever I kissed, died.' The soul of the troubled Youth was caught in agony, between two quite irresolvable passions, the terror of death and an inexpressible ecstasy. But love, conquering all, overcoming even the anguish of death's grief, was triumphant once again today. Solemnly stretching out his trembling hands to the tender and terrifying Beauty, the Youth exclaimed, 'If death is in your kiss, o beloved, let me revel in the infinity of death. Cling to me, kiss me, love me, envelop me with the sweet fragrance of your poisonous breath, death after death pour into my body and into my soul before you destroy everything that once was me!' 'You want to! You are not afraid!' exclaimed the Beauty. The face of the Beauty was pale in the rays of the lifeless moon, like a guttering candle, and the lightning in her sad and joyful eyes was trembling and blue. With a trusting movement, tender and passionate, she clung to the Youth and her naked, slender arms were entwined about his neck. 'We shall die together!' she whispered. 'We shall die together. All the poison of my heart is afire and flaming streams are rushing through my veins, and I am all enveloped in some great holocaust.' 'I am aflame!' whispered the Youth, 'I am being consumed in your embraces and you and I are two flaming fires, burning with the immense ecstasy of a poisonous love.' The sad and lifeless moon grew dim and fell in the sky - and the black night came and stood watch. It concealed the secret of love and kisses, fragrant and poisonous, with gloom and solitude. And it listened to the harmonious beating of two hearts growing quieter, and in the frail silence it watched over the final delicate sighs. And so, in the poisonous Garden, having breathed the fragrances which the Beauty breathed, and having drunk the sweetness of her love so tenderly and fatally compassionate, the beautiful Youth died. And on his breast the Beauty died, having delivered her poisonous but fragrant soul up to sweet ecstasies. ("The Poison Garden")