© 2019 Richard Hodges
Cicero says, in On The Nature of the Gods (De Natura Deorum, 45 BCE), that the word “religion” (Latin religio) derives not as usually thought from re-ligare, which would mean “to reconnect” (e.g. man with god) but from re-legere “to re-collect”, “to re-member”, “to re-read”. In order to have a true relationship with our sacred books, including the book of the world, and the book of oneself, one must re-read them.
Re-reading also implies re-creation. The following are my re-readings of a few traditional sources.
The Cuckoo of Awareness
Attributed to Vairocana
From a 10th Century Bön Dzogchen text discovered in the in the Dunhuang caves
The way things are is non-conceptual
but the way of action is conditioned by forms.
Having abandoned the disease of striving,
Since one already has it all,
through being spontaneously present
one leaves it as it is.
Yungdrung, the left-turning swastika of Tibetan Bön religion
Ghanaian syncretistic cult “Blekete”
In God’s shrine, this world
What everybody wants is a good life.
Why do people always make trouble?
God has given principles to live by,
But only you yourself can follow them.
Adinkra symbol Gye Nyame, “except for God”
“Nothing is real except for God”
from Cantares Mexicanos, 16th century Aztec song collection
Song is a flower-place within my soul.
The vapor-scent befuddles me.
My heart grows sweetly drunk in the joy-place
Before the Ever-Present, Ever-Near
Image: Two Aztec singer-shamans, Codex Borbonicus, Paris
from Cantares Mexicanos
Beauty-painted viper, stay, be still
while I dream-imprint your subtle pattern.
I shall weave it in a gift-cloth
To entice a lover.
Her beauty shall exalt
alone, of all that shines,
You: ever-present serpent.
Image: Gaboon Viper Image: The Brazen Serpent, William Blake
Verse on Light, Koran 24:35
God is the Light of heaven and the earth.
The image of His Light a lamp within a niche.
The lamp is in a glass, the glass, as it were, a glittering star,
lit from a blessed olive tree,
neither of the East nor the West,
whose oil appears to shine,
though never touched by fire:
Light upon light,
God guides to His Light whom He chooses,
God shows forth images to mankind,
God is knowledge of all things.
Rg Veda 10.129
Ancient wise men sensed a doubled universe—
Existence here below, source up above.
This line drawn, questions then arose:
What is above, and what below?
How does potential put on being?
Who indeed can say?
The very gods are later than Creation,
And whether He whose eye’s perspective
surveys All did make the world, or did not—
He alone might know the reason it was made;
or may not know.
 Compound words are a stylistic feature of the flowery Nahuatl of Cantares Mexicanos.
 “The Ever-Present” is a frequent refrain in Nahuatl song texts (Cantares Mexicanos)
 “Gift” means “Poison” in German; hence, the viper’s venom, which in cloth-form subjugates the separate ego, as does love.
 “Ever-Present” here becomes a double anagram: “Ever”=Reve (“Dream” in French); “Present”=Serpent.